Critical Issues in Public Finance

You are here

Course Number: 
GAFL 528

Course Section:



  • Executive MPA

Course Type: 

  • Elective



  • Spring 2022

Course Format:

Hybrid (on-campus and online)
On-Campus Day(s): 
On-Campus Time(s): 

Spring 2022 weekend classes will be held from 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on the following Saturdays: January 15, February 19, March 19, and April 22. The class will also meet online weekly on Monday evenings.

On-Campus Location:

Online Day(s): 
Online Time: 
5:15 - 6:15 p.m.
Course Description: 

The Course, Critical Issues in Public Finance will consider contemporary issues affecting the fiscal state of local governments. Covered will be issues that have distressed municipalities; the policies/initiatives that seek to rectify such including privatization/public-private partnerships; reformation of municipal pensions; sustainable education funding alternatives; and tax policies aimed at promoting economic growth. Students will be assigned to a team, which will identify and provide a solution for an issue or issues plaguing a fictional government. Each team will prepare a written report and make a presentation all of which will constitute the final project. Assignments will serve as the building blocks for the final written work product and presentation developed by each team. The class is divided into four modules. The first module will take a historical look at events behind fiscal distress in municipalities and then explore current-day drivers that are causing the same today. Modules two, three, and four will examine some of the tools that have been used successfully or otherwise to remediate the drivers of fiscal distress. In each module case studies will be used to further analyze the particular fiscal challenge of a municipality. Written assignments will be based on case studies.

This course has seats reserved for Fels' students and gives priority to grad students. Non-Fels students should contact Mindy Zacharjasz at to request a permit.

This is a "hybrid" course, with synchronous, online meetings and once-monthly, on-campus meetings in Philadelphia, PA. Also, please note there is an additional $150 online course fee.

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326