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.
January 29, 1997 |
One after the other, six black residents - bolstered by supporters in the audience - expressed disbelief that a long-standing black administrator in the school district was not interviewed in the search for a new superintendent. Their angry questions fell onto a mute West Chester Area school board that, citing confidentiality, did not add any specifics to a written statement read at its meeting Monday night. John Hewlett, the director of human resources for the school district, applied for the position of retiring Superintendent Thomas Kent, but was not granted an interview.
January 18, 1997 |
Some think the School District's stately headquarters at 21st Street and the Parkway is an opulent palace for overpaid bureaucrats, but the view from the basement is anything but chic. Just ask City Controller Jonathan Saidel, who was surveying the damage yesterday from a burst heating pipe that spewed 200-degree water over desks covered with auditors' work papers. The accident occurred late Thursday. It was discovered by a district employee after the heating system went down and an alarm sounded.
September 20, 1996 |
Rhonda H. Lauer is back in the saddle. Lauer, who left her third-in-command post at the Philadelphia School District in July because of differences with Superintendent David Hornbeck, will become chief executive officer of a non-profit group that partly will explore ways to improve education. Privately financed Foundations Inc., based in Darby, Delaware County, underwrites programs to improve the lives of children and families. One such program, which operates in the William Penn School District in Delaware County, offers before-and-after-school child care for youngsters through sixth grade, workshops for parents and a free summer camp.
July 11, 1996 |
What is the largest multi-site system serving approximately 26,000 children in Philadelphia, with a combined annual budget of more than $116 million for which there is no publicly supported central office or even a clearinghouse? If you answered the child-care system, you can step to the front of the class. Despite the critical 1991 Carnegie Report, "Starting Points," which underscored the importance of early childhood education, child care receives little attention. Mayor Rendell's recent statement that "child care is the most important economic development issue facing Philadelphia," failed to bring the obstacles providers face when working with city or state regulatory and licensing agencies to the forefront.
April 27, 1996 |
Outraged over proposed cuts in school programs, some 250 Lincoln High students yesterday walked out of classes, blocking traffic at the intersection of Rowland and Ryan avenues for two hours. "They want to take away charters and academies and all the sports, and they want to fire 11 teachers and put more students in classes. It's not right," said ninth-grader Nicole DiDonato. "They had the same budget last year that they have this year," shouted senior William Hinkel. "Why can't they do the same things?"
November 30, 1995 |
In a surprise move, Neshaminy Assistant Superintendent Bernard Hoffman announced his retirement at a school board meeting. Hoffman, 56, said he wanted to leave at the end of the school year in 1997. He has worked in the school district for 38 years, starting as a 20-year-old teacher in 1958 at Penndel Elementary School. Hoffman has been a constant in the ever-growing Neshaminy School District. Board member Robert S. Tull Jr. said he remembered as a boy admiring Hoffman.
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.
November 1, 1994 |
When Larry Magid learned of the School District's difficulty in funding region music festivals, which annually showcase the talents of 15,000 kids, his instincts were to help. So he made a phone call to Deputy Schools Superintendent Jeanette Brewer. Magid, co-owner of Electric Factory Concerts, a major concert promoter in town, told her he wanted to donate the $12,000 needed to pull off the music festivals this year. Late yesterday, Brewer got word that the School District could pick up the check any time.
October 15, 1994 |
Schools Superintendent David Hornbeck testified yesterday before Commonwealth Court Judge Doris Smith that the district is revamping its structure by axing its regional offices. He said he agreed with a court-appointed education team's recommendation to get rid of the regional offices to decentralize the system. The regional offices act as go-betweens for schools and the central office. Hornbeck was a witness during the second day of hearings on Smith's education team's report on improving city schools.