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NEWS
March 19, 2010
KANSAS CITY, Mo., is on track to close 29 schools due to declining enrollment, and many other school districts are verging on similar action, so it wouldn't be illogical to predict a major overhaul of every phase of America's system of public education. I believe a major reduction in salaries, pensions and other benefits will be necessary to correct a dire situation. Politicians and school administrators can make speeches and promises, but money is the final arbiter. Ephraim Levin, Philadelphia
NEWS
October 15, 2001 | By TIMOTHY POTTS
IF THE EVENTS of the past few weeks have taught us nothing, we have learned that we Americans, including Pennsylvanians, are capable of great acts of heroism and generosity. We have a deep reservoir of compassion when we see innocents suffering through no fault of their own. Even those of us who have no connection to New York City or Washington couldn't wait to donate our blood, sweat, tears and hard-earned money toward their rescue. It's enough to make me believe that we in Pennsylvania really do have the heart and will to rescue our own innocents.
NEWS
August 19, 2014
ANOTHER WEEK, another crisis at the Philadelphia School District. Last week, it was over whether the school year will begin on time. Superintendent William Hite wisely decided it would, despite the fact that the district still is $81 million short of the money it needs to operate all year. Still, Hite had to slash another $31 million from the budget. When they open on September 8, schools will be more dangerous and dirty - due to the cuts in the budgets for police officers and maintenance.
NEWS
October 14, 2010 | By Tom Infield, Inquirer Staff Writer
Calling him "the education candidate," a public-school advocacy group endorsed Democrat Dan Onorato for governor Wednesday afternoon. Education Voters of Pennsylvania, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group based in Philadelphia, said it preferred Onorato over Republican Tom Corbett because of his support for gradually raising state funding for most school districts according to a formula first approved by the legislature in 2008. Corbett has said he does not support increased funding because of budget crises that the state faces in the next few years.
NEWS
April 2, 2010
AMERICA IS now in the process of dismantling its public-school system. This is the result of indulging in expensive school contracts, lowering standards for teachers and pupils and a funding system that is both archaic and unworkable. All of the foregoing, tolerated by political know-nothings and exacerbated by tens of thousands of drones, has managed to wreck America's infrastructure of learning. What solutions now, disgusting, disingenuous politicians? Ephraim Levin, Philadelphia
NEWS
September 16, 2013 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
Stepping into Philadelphia's school-funding crisis, the Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a fiery address Saturday linking public education to the civil rights movement and promising a return to the city to "take the veil off. " The problem, he said in his keynote speech at the "Higher Education Awareness, Dropout Prevention, and Health Initiative" conference, is "a direct effort to eliminate public education. " He then seized upon a theme often trumpeted by city education activists: "You got money, [Gov.]
NEWS
April 20, 1999 | By Louise Harbach, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Nationwide she may be known as the founder of the American Red Cross, but in Burlington County, Clara Barton will be remembered for promoting public education. At Burlington and Crosswicks Streets in Bordentown is a one-room brick schoolhouse, believed to be the first public school in the county, which Barton, then 30, started in 1852 as part of her goal to overcome a bias in the community against "pauper schools. " "Something drew me to the State of New Jersey," Barton wrote in her memoirs.
NEWS
May 15, 2012 | By Lisa Haver
If the School Reform Commission and Chief Recovery Officer Thomas Knudsen have their way, we may witness the end of public education in Philadelphia. A five-year plan proposed by Philadelphia School District officials calls for the overhaul of virtually every element of the system — from finances to academics to central management. These drastic changes suggest to many that the district is intent on expediting the privatization of its schools, despite its promises to stay the traditional route and invest in neighborhoods and communities.
NEWS
May 29, 1994
The most encouraging news about the plan for Philadelphia's public schools announced last week is that, at last, the key players are singing from the same hymnal. When Mayor Rendell, City Council President John Street, and the school board president, Rotan Lee, presented a list of ideas to prevent $29 million in cuts from the school district's budget, they talked more than economics. They talked about addressing the severe credibility problem of the district, the continuing perception that it just sucks up public money to support a "bloated, inefficient and topheavy bureaucracy.
NEWS
March 3, 2003
QUICK RECAP: A few weeks ago, Philadelphia School District CEO Paul Vallas all but canned two principals who had allowed students to get a bit out of hand at their high schools. The crackdown was controversial, but few could debate its symbolic value. High school principals were on notice that a higher standard will be enforced. But a district doesn't survive on symbolism alone. Vallas has now followed up with a bold and substantial plan to overhaul nearly all Philadelphia high schools.
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NEWS
August 19, 2014
ANOTHER WEEK, another crisis at the Philadelphia School District. Last week, it was over whether the school year will begin on time. Superintendent William Hite wisely decided it would, despite the fact that the district still is $81 million short of the money it needs to operate all year. Still, Hite had to slash another $31 million from the budget. When they open on September 8, schools will be more dangerous and dirty - due to the cuts in the budgets for police officers and maintenance.
NEWS
July 5, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a surprise move, Wendell Pritchett resigned Thursday from the School Reform Commission, citing frustration with and fear for the state of public education in Philadelphia. He will be replaced by Marjorie Neff, who until June was principal of Masterman, the city's top magnet school. Neff spent 38 years as a teacher and principal and was the first Philadelphia School District educator to ever serve on the SRC. Pritchett, a well-regarded academic who was the longest-serving member of the commission, said the SRC's job had essentially become figuring out which from a menu of bad options will cause the least damage to city students.
NEWS
July 1, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot by the Taliban for championing girls' education, has been awarded the National Constitution Center's 2014 Liberty Medal. "It's an honor to be awarded the Liberty Medal," Malala said in a statement. "I accept this award on behalf of all the children around the world who are struggling to get an education. " Helen Gym, a founder of Philadelphia's Parents United for Public Education, said she is glad the National Constitution Center is highlighting the importance of education by choosing Malala.
NEWS
June 11, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
We Americans may be passive about politics, even ignorant about history and geography - but we've always been passionate about our children's education. Witness the continued success of the scrappy start-up news organization called the Philadelphia Public School Notebook. On Tuesday, the Notebook will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a party at the University of the Arts featuring music, exhibits, and an awards ceremony. First produced in photocopiers and distributed by hand in supermarkets and community meetings, the Notebook has grown into a respected journal providing in-depth coverage of the city's 212 public schools and the system that supposedly holds them together.
NEWS
May 30, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
Public higher education in New Jersey badly needs changes to become more affordable, accessible, and successful, legislators were told Wednesday during a hearing at Rowan University. Over 2 hours and 45 minutes, members of the Assembly's higher-education committee listened to students, administrators, and a faculty union president, all of whom agreed it was right for the Legislature to tackle reform of the state's public higher-education system. But their solutions varied, in some cases opposing legislators' proposals or urging caution.
NEWS
May 8, 2014
City Council has lost all credibility when it comes to bailing out Philadelphia's cash-strapped public schools. Its members may sound concerned, but if they were, they wouldn't continue to sit on $120 million in potential sales-tax revenue that they could give to the schools with one vote. Council President Darrell L. Clarke on Monday condescendingly assured Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. that Council would "pony up more money" because "we always do. " But it is Clarke's insistence that half the sales-tax money be used for pension relief that is blocking its use for schools.
NEWS
April 17, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Most Philadelphia voters disagree with the way the School Reform Commission is handling its responsibilities. They're dissatisfied with Gov. Corbett's positions on public education. And they side with teachers in an ongoing contract dispute with the Philadelphia School District by a ratio of 4-1 - or so says a poll commissioned by the teachers union. The findings come from a new survey of 554 registered voters commissioned by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and conducted by a Democratic polling firm, Washington-based Hart Research Associates.
NEWS
March 17, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
EDUCATION ADVOCATES CALLED for increased oversight and transparency of the state's charter schools, while sparring over a state Senate proposal that would allow universities to authorize new charters during a public hearing yesterday at City Hall. The hearing was the last of five held across the state by Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale on the topic of charters, which have grown sharply during the last decade. DePasquale, who took office last year, has chided state education officials for not holding charters more accountable.
NEWS
February 28, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
IN YET ANOTHER effort to hoist the beleaguered school district onto stable fiscal ground, City Council is floating a new proposal ahead of what's expected to be a contentious budget season. Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez introduced a bill yesterday that funnels a greater percentage of property taxes from the general fund to the schools. About 45 percent of property-tax revenues now go to city coffers, while the remaining 55 percent goes dedicated to the school district. Sanchez's bill would tip the scales so that the city gets 40 percent and the school district 60 percent.
NEWS
February 24, 2014
Mayor Nutter's plea for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce to do more to help city schools was another sad reminder that the system still hasn't closed a funding gap that threatens to create yet another fiscal crisis next year. "Solving the education problem must become a business and economic imperative," Nutter said Tuesday. "If we don't address this problem now, in 10 years, we won't have a competitive workforce, meaning you won't have a qualified pool of workers to fill available positions.
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