May 27, 2015
AS THE PARENT of a Philadelphia School District student, and a graduate of our school system, it grieves me to see the state of education in our city. Classrooms that are perpetually in need of basic supplies, teachers who are demonized as they pay for their own materials, administrators who don't provide adequate support and too many politicians pointing fingers. All this as the schools face an $85 million deficit, and students become unwitting pawns in a game that no one wins.
May 22, 2015 |
A LAWSUIT ACCUSING the state of failing to adequately and equitably fund education is headed to the state Supreme Court. The plaintiffs, which include six school districts and two statewide organizations, filed an appeal yesterday challenging a Commonwealth Court decision last month to dismiss the suit, claiming that school funding is a function of the Legislature, and therefore not a matter for the courts. "Our Supreme Court bears the responsibility for ensuring that our most precious constitutional rights are protected.
May 21, 2015 |
CITY VOTERS approved abolishing the School Reform Commission and answered "yes" to each of three other questions on the ballot in yesterday's election. The vote to abolish the SRC won't elicit any immediate action, said City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, who sponsored the ballot question - and also won the Democratic primary for re-election to her Council seat. "This gives us a chance to talk about it with the governor," Blackwell said of the SRC question in a phone interview before the results were known.
May 21, 2015 |
The Boys and Girls Club in Germantown has all the trappings of the pre-World War I building it is: a third-floor gym; warrens of dilapidated rooms on multiple floors; a chained-off, caved-in pool. Not for much longer. On Tuesday afternoon, Comcast Corp. announced that it would spearhead a $40 million fund-raising drive that will allow the Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia to demolish the Germantown club and replace it with a modern one named after the founder of the media and cable company, Ralph J. Roberts, 95, who lived in Germantown as a young man. Improvements to what will be called the Ralph J. Roberts Boys and Girls Club include a double gym for sports tournaments and a hockey rink financed through Ed Snider's charitable foundation.
May 16, 2015 |
In the courtyard of City Hall, behind the cover of a temporary chain-link barrier, artists have spent the last few weeks constructing a monument within a monument - a scrap-wood counterpoint to the ornate marble of City Hall and the slick granite of Dilworth Park. The installation, a suggestion of a classroom by way of benches and an empty chalkboard frame, marks the home of Monument Lab - a thought-experiment-as-public-artwork that opens today and that will occupy the courtyard for three weeks, bringing together artists, civic leaders, and the public to share ideas on what would be an appropriate monument for 21st-century Philadelphia.
May 15, 2015 |
THE EARLY EVIDENCE suggests that speed, not decrepit infrastructure, was to blame for the horrific Amtrak train crash that killed seven people and injured hundreds more in Frankford on Tuesday. But the deadly incident naturally gave new life to longstanding concerns about the sorry state of America's aging, outdated rail system. The timing couldn't be worse. The Republican-led House Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to advance a bill that would cut Amtrak's funding by $260 million, to $1.14 billion, the Washington Post reported.
May 15, 2015 |
YOU'VE DONE what so many others won't or can't afford to do. You've saved money in an emergency fund. In fact, through much sacrifice, delayed gratification and maybe even debt reduction you've managed to save up enough cash to cover what it costs to run your household for a few months. But then you look at all that money just sitting there earning so little. Makes you hopping mad. The interest rate your financial institution offers on a checking or savings account is so pitifully low it feels like you are paying the bank to keep your money safe.
May 15, 2015
Sarah Santiago 10th grade Esperanza Academy Charter School Fully fund my education because it is my right to have one. I have the right to knowledge, and I have the right to learn about the world and what is happening in it. I have the right to know of all the hate and misery that is in our world, but I also have the right to gain the tools that I need to change that. Fully fund my education because I am a young Latina, and we live in a world where the odds are always against the favor of myself and those just like me. Fully fund my education because I want to be a leader, and I want to be a leader without having to be looked down upon because I am female and a Latina.
May 14, 2015 |
THE CITY'S public school system is once again stuck in no man's land, otherwise known as a new budget cycle. The city charter requires the school district to adopt its budget by May 30, but funding from the city and state are a giant question mark at this point, leading to the possibility that the district might violate the charter and go past its deadline for the second straight year. "I can't see how the district would conceive of passing a budget by May 30," Bill Green, a member of the School Reform Commission, the district's governing body, said in a recent interview.