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NEWS
June 28, 2012 | Regina Medina
Brian Cohen, 27, teacher at Academy at Palumbo: I did like what he had to say, but I'm concerned that what he had to say was tailored for an audience. Obviously, in an interview you don't get the exact specifics of what that person will be on the job. I like the fact that he has the experience, it's better than Mr. Martinez from yesterday. ... If he has worked in this job for six years in Prince George's County, he seems to be in it for the long haul 'cause six years is longer than anyone, I think, since David Hornbeck in Philadelphia.
NEWS
February 19, 2014
CONSIDER Schools Superintendent William Hite's first year. From the time he arrived in September 2012, he presided over the closing of 23 schools and a foundation-shaking $304 million deficit that forced massive layoffs, threatened to keep schools closed on opening day and cut into fundamental education basics - a deficit that has still not been met completely, by the way. For good measure, he inherited a cheating scandal and charter-school scandals and...
NEWS
April 27, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
PHILADELPHIA School District Superintendent William Hite said yesterday that unless the district receives $216 million in new funding, it would be forced to lay off more than 1,000 employees. That was part of the bad news in the district's proposed $2.5 billion budget, which was as grim as expected. The district is requesting up to $320 million in new revenue from the city and state, and labor concessions. Of the $320 million, $96.1 million is needed to maintain current service levels, which Hite described as "insufficient.
NEWS
February 28, 2014
ALL THIS hoopla around Dr. Hite's latest plan for our school district needs some perspective. Talk to any educator and ask what is needed, for instance, to achieve "all 8 year olds reading on grade level. " As a retired kindergarten teacher, let me describe working conditions so you have an idea of what our children have to contend with when they enter kindergarten. There can be up to 30 children in a class. Many have had some preschool experience, but I always had a group of children who walked in off the streets with absolutely no preschool experience.
NEWS
July 27, 2012 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
New Philadelphia School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. will be paid $300,000 annually under a five-year contract endorsed Wednesday by the School Reform Commission. It's a big salary, but about $50,000 less than his predecessor, the controversial Arlene C. Ackerman, was paid. "We were very mindful of the history of the School District," SRC Chairman Pedro Ramos said at a special meeting. "This agreement is a better deal economically for the taxpayers of Philadelphia than the previous two deals.
NEWS
February 14, 2013 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
SCHOOL DISTRICT Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Tuesday that he plans to release revisions to the district's controversial school-closure proposal "sometime next week" before the Feb. 21 School Reform Commission meeting. Hite said the changes are in response to his contact with the public. "We have heard about quality programs, travel time and supporting students with special needs," Hite said during a hearing with City Council's Education Committee. "We have listened and are continuing to listen.
NEWS
February 14, 2013 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Tuesday that he hoped to share changes to the district's school-closing plan next week, giving the public time to assess revisions well before the School Reform Commission votes on the final proposal in March. Testifying before City Council, in a room filled with about 150 activists who mostly opposed closing the 37 schools, Hite said public comments had helped him understand the need to revise the plan before presenting it to the SRC. "Original recommendations don't always end up being final recommendations," Hite said.
NEWS
January 9, 2013 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
SCHOOLS Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. rolled out his strategic vision for the district on Monday, an ambitious proposal that includes a curious mix of big ideas such as International Baccalaureate programs and improved student nutrition while maintaining financial restraint. "Given the challenging reality of the district's finances, this document intends to signal our priorities in light of what evidence and research tell us will provide the best return on the public's investment," the superintendent says in the plan.
NEWS
October 10, 2012
Philadelphia School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. will join Mayor Nutter and the head of the teachers' union to help the Charles Carroll High School community move forward from the Mitt Romney T-shirt controversy, Hite said Monday night in a statement. Late last month, teacher Lynette Gaymon had taken student Samantha Pawlucy to task for wearing a Romney T-shirt to school. The story broke last week and garnered national attention. Pawlucy, 16, has not returned to the Port Richmond school since the episode became public.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Legislation that would create a state-run system for low-performing Pennsylvania schools could devastate the Philadelphia School District, its superintendent told the Senate Education Committee in Harrisburg on Wednesday. William R. Hite Jr. said he favors accountability for additional funds he seeks for Philadelphia. But as written, a bill that would compel struggling schools across the state to improve rapidly or face relegation to a new state-administered system would "create an unfunded turnaround mandate, resulting in the stripping out of supports and programs from schools left under district control," he said.
NEWS
March 21, 2015 | By Dylan Purcell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nameplates were hurriedly shuffled when Marjorie Neff took her place as chairwoman of the School Reform Commission at Thursday night's monthly meeting. The audience showered Neff with applause as she sat beside Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. She then thanked former Chairman Bill Green, seated two seats to her right, for his service. Hite addressed news, first reported by Inquirer columnist Mike Newall, that the district allowed thousands of books to pile up in a dusty, block-long basement beneath its headquarters.
NEWS
March 6, 2015
IN HIS BUDGET address, Mayor Nutter framed his proposal to raise $105 million for the school by raising property taxes by 9.3 percent in this way: "I don't want to raise your taxes, but I do want to educate our children. " But, do we have any guarantee that the money raised by higher taxes will meet that goal? Will Philadelphia's public-school students, many of whom lag so far behind in the basics, really be educated? We believe they can be. We believe the $105 million - regardless of how it is raised - will be well spent by Superintendent William Hite.
NEWS
March 6, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
SUPERINTENDENT William Hite yesterday presented a revised vision for the city school system that focuses on closing the achievement gap and providing more specialized education, but relies on significant investment from the city and state. Hite's blueprint, referred to as Action Plan v3.0, centers around core goals of getting all kids to read on grade level by age 8, getting all students to graduate ready for college or career, and providing great teachers and principals at every school.
NEWS
March 6, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Even if piles of promised cash come through from the city and state, the Philadelphia School District must rethink the way it does business, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Wednesday. The school system must narrow its focus, think hard about equity, and outsource some of the things it does now, he said at a news conference introducing his plan for the district. Hite wants to give full autonomy to the strongest schools beginning in 2016, and turn some struggling ones over to private providers who would run them on contract.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham and Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writers
Gov. Wolf's budget proposal would be very good for the Philadelphia schools. His plan calls for a nearly $160 million increase in state funds that would more than wipe out the district's projected $80 million deficit. "I'm elated with his proposed increases in revenue," Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said. "I think that it not only helps Philadelphia, but it helps all of the public-school children across the commonwealth. " The governor's $30 billion spending plan would boost basic education funds for Philadelphia by $142 million and add $17.4 million for special-education services.
NEWS
December 5, 2014 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
IN FALL 2013, Superintendent William Hite Jr. announced that he was taking a 10 percent pay cut in keeping with the fiscally challenged district's theme of "shared sacrifice. " He said that nine top administrators also would take pay cuts. That didn't happen, but Hite consented to a $30,000 salary reduction amid tough union negotiations, a budget shortfall and fewer resources available in schools. It turns out that Hite's share of the sacrifice had a shelf life of one year. His cut was restored in October under an amendment to his contract that returned his annual base pay to $300,000, according to a November 2013 document released by the district this week to the Daily News . Many Sunshine Law advocates believe that the change to Hite's contract violated the law, but the district says it's on solid legal ground.
NEWS
August 23, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
A solution to keep 7,500 public, private, and charter school students from losing their ride to school is in the works, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Thursday night. Hite last week ordered $32 million in temporary Philadelphia School District cuts so that schools can open on time. One of those reductions would have taken away free SEPTA TransPasses for high school students who live less than two miles from school. The School Reform Commission was set to vote on a policy that would codify that change, but Hite pulled the resolution.
NEWS
August 21, 2014
REGARDING your editorial "Obstacle Courses" praising the efforts of Dr. William Hite, as you put it, to "fight on . . . behalf" of the schoolchildren of Philadelphia, my question is: Are you serious? The latest in a line of SRC-appointed CEOs of a school system under direct control of Harrisburg, Hite made it his first priority to close or consolidate dozens of district schools while continuing the expansion of privately managed charters. How does that promote public education? The "set-in-their ways" unions, meanwhile, have been working without a contract since last August, resulting in a wage freeze, and saving the district tens of millions.
NEWS
August 17, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
PHILADELPHIA PUBLIC schools will open on time and avoid massive layoffs, but reduce key services to help address an $81 million deficit, officials announced yesterday. Superintendent William Hite said the district is banking on assurances from state officials that a Philadelphia cigarette tax will be approved, which could generate $49 million for the district this school year, as well as concessions from the teachers union that would net major savings. Without those two measures in place by Oct. 1, the next step would likely be significant layoffs, which would increase class sizes and require combined grade-level classes, Hite said.
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