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.
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.
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 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.
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.
April 5, 2011 |
THE CITY'S Department of Homeland Security is still trying to figure out who sent a bomb threat to the school district over the weekend. District officials on Sunday said that an email addressed to Superintendent Arlene Ackerman contained a threat to detonate a bomb at lunchtime yesterday. The email included several complaints against the district and was directed toward Ackerman and staff. On Sunday, four bomb-sniffing dogs and a host of police officers searched district headquarters, near Broad and Spring Garden streets, but found nothing.
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.
February 21, 1993 |
More than seven months after their contract expired, secretaries and classroom aides in the Methacton School District finally have a new three-year agreement. The Educational Services Personnel Association and the Methacton Board of School Directors ratified the tentative agreement Feb. 11. The board gave final approval Tuesday. The contract, which affects about 71 district employees, calls for 4.5 percent increases in each of the three years. Union members now will pick up 10 percent of the cost for full health benefits.
February 11, 2011 |
For the last two years, as the federal government doled out millions for education spending, the School District of Philadelphia has enjoyed an increase in teacher hires, resources and student achievement. But with massive financial uncertainty looming, district officials now face the daunting task of restructuring the way they do business. And that may include deep cuts across the board, from central office staff to teachers to music and sports. Deputy Superintendent Leroy Nunery said that if the district doesn't get enough money from the city or state to plug the hole, the district should prepare for layoffs and budget cuts.