April 25, 2012 |
The realities are ugly, leaders said Tuesday - the Philadelphia School District is nearly insolvent, lags behind most other urban districts in academics, and loses students to charters because parents believe it does not keep their children safe. "What we do know through lots of history and evidence and practice is that the current structure doesn't work," School Reform Commission Chairman Pedro Ramos said. "It's not fiscally sustainable and it doesn't produce high-quality schools for all kids.
January 15, 2015 |
Camden school officials have taken the first step toward selling the Front Street building that houses the district's central offices, a structure they say has fallen into disrepair and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to maintain. The eight-story edifice was constructed almost a century ago to hold executive offices of the Victor Talking Machine Co., later RCA Victor, which had numerous buildings throughout downtown Camden. On Tuesday the district posted a request for qualifications, seeking bidders interested in buying and renovating the property.
August 31, 2014 |
The fallout from the Philadelphia School District's dismal financial situation continues: 17 central-office employees were issued layoff notices Friday. Overall, 81 positions were eliminated, said Fernando Gallard, spokesman for the school system, but among those were 64 vacant jobs. The laid-off workers come mostly from the district's facilities and capital improvements offices. One employee from the Office of Family and Community Engagement was also issued a pink slip. Shedding the 81 jobs saves the district $5.4 million, Gallard said.
November 27, 2012 |
IT'S NO secret that the School District of Philadelphia is facing its own fiscal cliff. The district asked its blue-collar union to forgo wage increases and give back money to the district last summer as school closures loomed. Just two weeks ago, district officials were forced to borrow another $300 million from Wall Street to pay its bills. So, why is the district giving out pay raises to certain groups? The grumblings among district workers began to rise this month when word leaked that 25 nonunion employees had received salary increases since the summer.
October 7, 2008 |
New Philadelphia schools chief Arlene Ackerman has surrounded herself with a diverse inner circle of educators picked from far and wide, shaking up a historically inbred district with fresh faces. The 14 people Ackerman has tapped are seven women and seven men, most with classroom experience. They include a former Army colonel and a handful of ex-principals. They come from around the country - New York, Detroit, Louisiana, Arizona, California. Most are her former doctoral students from Columbia University or graduates of prestigious national programs she's attended herself.
October 5, 1994 |
Following a meeting with the School District's deputy superintendent, three of the seven district region offices have agreed to hold music festivals this year. But there's no word on what the remaining four will do. The region music festivals faced an uncertain future this year after the district's central office, which had coordinated the event, shifted responsibility to each region office. Some 12,000 to 15,000 students participate in the festivals each year. After a meeting last week, the Northeast, Northwest and high school region offices have committed to holding the festivals, said Deputy Superintendent Jeanette Brewer.
March 19, 2011 |
In a surprise move, the Philadelphia School District agreed Friday to halt its effort to fire outspoken English teacher Hope Moffett and allow her to return to the classroom on Monday. The decision was made when the district agreed to settle a First Amendment lawsuit filed by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers in federal court last week on Moffett's behalf. "It's miraculous," Moffett said when reached by phone Friday night. "This is like the best-case scenario. " Moffett will instead face a five-day suspension that will proceed to an expedited arbitration, and the union will argue that the Audenried High School teacher should face no disciplinary action.
November 22, 1994 |
Superintendent David Hornbeck yesterday outlined a proposal to restructure Philadelphia's schools by shifting responsibility for budgets, hiring and maintenance to 22 "community councils" made up of principals, parents and teachers. About 95 percent of the School District's budget would be divied up among the councils, who would determine how to spend the money. The plan is part of Hornbeck's "Children Achieving" agenda and would reduce the role of the district's central office.
June 25, 2001 |
Six months after asking her entire central administration staff to resign, Superintendent Annette D. Knox is again trying to reorganize the school district's core leadership. Last week, she recommended a slew of personnel moves, including transfers, hires, and the demotion of the district's second-ranking administrator. The school board is expected to vote on the changes tonight at its monthly meeting. It will also consider a plan to lay off 136 employees. Knox offered no explanation for the reorganization when she presented the recommendations to the board.
September 25, 1997
City Controller Jonathan Saidel deserves a gold star for catching imprudent expenditures by some Philadelphia public schools staffers. To show it learned the lesson, the district's central office should quickly devise rules for those in the schools who now make most decisions about individual spending. At a time when the district is decentralizing its operations and trying to convince the state that it deserves more funding, expensive staff dinners in fancy restaurants send the wrong message.