March 11, 2015 |
Public education funding, already a key issue in the race for mayor of Philadelphia, could eclipse other subjects of debate this year if an anticipated rush of spending by political groups overwhelms the campaign messages of the candidates. "Independent expenditure" groups, working apart from the candidates in the May 19 Democratic primary, could set the agenda for the race. That spending is expected to pay for preelection television commercials. One group now gearing up is American Cities, a political action committee launched by the founders of the investment firm Susquehanna International Group.
February 27, 2015 |
Included in the $12.7 billion that Gov. Christie is proposing to spend on pre-K to grade-12 education is a measure bound to raise hopes as well as eyebrows - a pilot program that would pay for students in failing schools to attend private, religious, or out-of-district public schools. Christie's proposed fiscal 2016 budget calls for $2 million to fund a demonstration model based on the never-passed Opportunity Scholarship Act. Long a supporter of vouchers and other school-choice measures, Christie put a pilot program in his proposed budget two years ago, but it was removed by the Legislature's Democratic majority.
February 12, 2015 |
IMAGINE THIS: A lobbyist from the Chamber of Commerce approaches Mayor Nutter and offers a $10,000 donation to the city if the mayor will veto the upcoming vote requiring city employers to provide sick days. That lobbyist would be arrested and tried in a court of law. When Mark Gleason, executive director of the Philadelphia School Partnership, spoke with School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green last week and offered a donation of $25 million in exchange for the SRC to approve a number of charter-school applications, what followed was a discussion in the news media about whether he was offering enough.
November 6, 2014 |
YEAH, YEAH, we know. The governor's race is over with a historic outcome, Democrat Tom Wolf becoming the first candidate to unseat an incumbent, sending Gov. Corbett home after one term. Let's talk about what's really important: Today is the first day of the 2015 race for mayor, the first open-seat race since 2007. There are just 6 1/2 months until the May 19 Democratic and Republican primary elections. Here's a rundown of the declared and potential candidates. DEMOCRATS The big names * State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams Status: Could declare any day, since he doesn't have to resign his Senate seat to run for mayor (a big advantage)
October 17, 2014 |
I IMAGINE THAT Aretha Franklin educated many on what respect means and how to spell it. Her 1967 cover of an Otis Redding tune became popular at a time when civil rights in relation to race, class and gender were on the minds of many. She leaves no room for misunderstandings about what she wants. She just spells it out: "R-E-S-P-E-C-T. " No confusion. No metaphor. No nuthin'. "Give me my propers ," she demands. Give it to me. And, as with any good demand, therein also lies a threat: See what happens if you don't.
September 21, 2014 |
A new Philadelphia education group is on the scene. On the airwaves, in print ads, and online, an organization called PhillySchoolChoice.com says it aims to build a coalition of parents to spread the word that charter schools, Catholic schools, and district magnet schools are options for city students. The group is affiliated with Choice Media Inc., an educational-advocacy nonprofit in Hoboken, N.J. On Monday, it began airing 30-second spots on television featuring unnamed city parents talking about how their children have benefited from charter and parochial schools.
September 15, 2014 |
By popular demand, the Department of Dirty Pool, Sneaky Tricks, and Outright Cheating is back in operation at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. It's called the Public/Non-Public Committee. NJSIAA executive director Steve Timko said recent "media reports" about high-profile transfers and a groundswell of grumbling that certain schools are willing to bend or break the rules for athletic advantage have persuaded the organization to get back into the discipline business.
June 7, 2014 |
ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. - The NJSIAA is working with the state Department of Education to evaluate the impact of the school-choice program on sports, according to NJSIAA executive director Steve Timko. Timko said Wednesday at the organization's last meeting of the school year that the NJSIAA is trying to gather as "much data as possible" before devising a strategy for addressing an issue that some school officials believe has threatened the competitive balance in public-school sports. New Jersey Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D., Gloucester)
May 15, 2014 |
Margo Davidson made history four years ago when she became the first Democrat, the first female, and the first African American state representative in her Delaware County district. But since that election, the political landscape has changed. The district's lines have been redrawn and it is now solidly Democratic. Perhaps more significantly for Davidson, who is considered a somewhat unconventional Democrat, she has two challengers from her own party. Billy Smith, 39, a defense attorney and former Lansdowne Borough councilman, is campaigning against Davidson's vote to increase restrictions on abortion clinics and her support for school vouchers.
May 9, 2014 |
ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. - Sectional title games in boys' and girls' basketball will be held on neutral courts at area colleges starting in 2016, according to a plan forwarded this week by the NJSIAA basketball committee. NJSIAA director Larry White said Wednesday the committee wants to implement the change in 2016 rather than 2015 to allow schools time to adjust schedules, especially with regard to the highly popular county tournaments in North and Central Jersey, as well as conference tournaments such as the Cape-Atlantic League's annual tournament.