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NEWS
August 8, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham and Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writers
Gov. Corbett said Wednesday that he would advance the troubled Philadelphia school system $265 million, but officials said that action - which represents no new revenue or savings - would not avert layoffs or guarantee that schools would open on time. Corbett traveled to Philadelphia to make the announcement, standing at a news conference flanked by officials including Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. and School Reform Commissioners Feather O. Houstoun and Farah Jimenez. Hite said he appreciated Corbett's affirmation, but underscored that the governor's advance did not touch the School District's $81 million shortfall.
NEWS
June 30, 2010 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Small high schools came to Philadelphia in a big way four years ago, when four new ones opened their doors. Less than three miles apart, High School of the Future in Parkside and Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Center City had vastly different beginnings. Expectations for both were high. Both awarded their first diplomas this month. But although leadership was identified as key to both, one had turmoil at the top and the other had a stable principal. Though both emphasized technology and were given freedom to innovate, one kept a close eye on district standards and the other initially veered from the path.
NEWS
April 3, 2013 | By Ibrahim Barzak and Dalia Nammari, Associated Press
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Starting with the new school year in September, Gaza boys and girls in middle and high school will be breaking the law if they study side by side. Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers argue that new legislation, mandating gender separation in schools from age 9, enshrines common practice. But women's activists warned Tuesday that it's another step in what it sees as the Hamas agenda of imposing its fundamentalist world view on Gaza's 1.7 million people. The Gaza rules appear harsh compared to Western practice but are not unusual in parts of the Arab and Muslim world.
NEWS
August 7, 2014
SO NOW Philly schoolkids, parents, teachers, et al get to watch a game of political chicken - played out on a merry-go-round. To catch you up, our "full-time" Legislature refused this week to interrupt its two-month-plus summer vacation to authorize a $2-per-pack cigarette tax for schools. Without the tax, Mayor Nutter and district Superintendent William Hite say schools can't open. The Republican House blames the Republican Senate: Oh, we passed the tax and they put other stuff in the bill.
NEWS
June 4, 2007
What qualities are important for a new Philadelphia schools chief? We'd like to hear from Philadelphia residents in 150 words or less. E-mail us at suburbanletters@phillynews.com or write us at Regional Commentary Page, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 800 River Rd., Conshohocken, Pa., 19428. All letters must include a full name, home address, and day and evening phone numbers.
NEWS
December 27, 2005
Let me commend you for reporting that "the Eastern PA Organizing Project, a faith-based and community group... " rebuked the School District of Philadelphia. Faith groups can and should rebuke secular organizations, for faith groups are better at changing lives than secular organizations. We are accountable to the God who made us, whereas secular organizations leave out God all together. The only hope for improving the educational system in America is impacting the Word of God upon it. Thomas Muldoon, Philadelphia
NEWS
December 14, 2012 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
SUPERINTENDENT William R. Hite Jr., saying he had "few options," announced Thursday that the School District will recommend closing 37 schools as part of a plan to establish "a school system that is better run, safer and higher performing. " Calling it "a historic moment," Hite said his recommendations also included changing the grade levels of 23 schools and making other program changes affecting another seven. The total savings for the district could be up to $28 million beginning in 2014-15, he said.
NEWS
August 5, 2014
LET'S TALK political reality. One: The Legislature's an insular sect of me-first pols, too many of whom don't give a flying flock about Philadelphia or its schools. Two: Schools will open on time. Yes, Mayor Nutter, schools boss William Hite and others see today as one more day when the Legislature sticks it to the city. Yes, lawmakers were to return to the Capitol from vacay and maybe authorize a $2-per-pack cig tax for schools. And, yes, that's not happening. So we get another sky-is-falling, schools-can't-open, fire-more-teachers response.
NEWS
July 15, 2013 | By Michelle Faul, Associated Press
LAGOS, Nigeria - Shaking a finger while cradling an assault rifle, the leader of Nigeria's extremist Islamic sect threatened to burn down more schools and kill teachers. But he denied that his fighters were killing children. In a new video released Saturday, Islamic radical Abubakar Shekau said he "fully supports" attacks on several schools in recent weeks. The U.N. Children's Fund says at least 48 students and seven teachers have been killed since June, with some burned alive this month in a dormitory.
NEWS
August 9, 2013
THIRTY-ONE days just became seven. If City Council doesn't move on certifying $50 million in proceeds from the sales tax to the School District by next Friday, Superintendent William Hite says he will be unable to open the schools on Sept. 9. So the daily countdown of time remaining in the standoff between the schools and the state and city lawmakers who have fallen short of finding the money the schools need to open has just been shortened. More to the point, Hite has finally introduced the nuclear option.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 18, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
City schools will open as scheduled Sept. 8, but with deep cuts to student transportation, school police and building maintenance, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Friday. Hite ordered $32 million in budget cuts to ensure enough cash for classes to begin on time, and he said that without action in Harrisburg by Oct. 1, more than 1,000 layoffs and further reductions to school budgets will follow in October. "We don't know if there's light at the end of the tunnel," a somber Hite said at a news conference.
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.
NEWS
August 16, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Will Philadelphia schools open on Sept. 8, as scheduled? Can the nearly broke system afford to run classes all year? Will officials lay off more than 1,300 employees? Will they pack classes with 40 students? After a summer of suspense, the answers to those questions are expected Friday. A special School Reform Commission meeting had been called for Friday morning but was scrapped late Thursday in favor of a news conference with Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. What Hite's call will be is anyone's guess.
NEWS
August 16, 2014 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Dino DiMucci removes his weathered fingers from the gray suit coat he's been hand-stitching. He wants to tell a story. It's clear he has the time. The shelves are half-empty in the narrow Newtown, Bucks County, haberdashery where he works. The back has more thread spools than garments. So DiMucci holds his right hand in the air and pinches his middle finger to his palm. This, he says, is how tailors push needles through fabric. For a week as a boy in southern Italy, his hand was tied in that position with a piece of string.
NEWS
August 15, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
WITH THE summer winding down, Erika Ford's daughter, Jordin, is excited about her first day of kindergarten - or "big kids' school," as she calls it. "It's like something that she's been waiting for, leading up to, looking forward to," said Ford, of Nicetown. Unfortunately, Ford and thousands of other parents in the Philadelphia School District aren't sure exactly when that first day will be - or what conditions to expect - due to the district's budget woes. Superintendent William Hite is expected to announce a plan today to deal with an $81 million deficit, which could include massive layoffs, moving back the scheduled Sept.
NEWS
August 14, 2014
RONNIE Polaneczky's recent column on our ongoing fight to help Philadelphia does little to help those of us fighting to give Philadelphia schools the tools needed to open on time. Instead of enlightening readers on the difficulties we face in educating Philadelphia's 200,000 students, Polaneczky chose to attack the wife of House Majority Leader Mike Turzai as part of an overall assault on the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as we worked to pass enabling legislation for Philadelphia City Council to levy a $2-per-pack cigarette tax to help fund our city's schools.
NEWS
August 14, 2014 | BY TYLER TYNES, Daily News Staff Writer tynest@phillynews.com
SHE STRUTS to the plate nodding to "Run the World (Girls)" by Beyonce. Her long, black braids swing uncontrollably when she whips heat from 46 feet away. But for as long as anyone in the Philadelphia region has cared, Mo'Ne Davis has never been the average female baseball player. Taney Little League's ace was unknown outside the city until Sunday, when she threw a shutout against a team from Newark, Del., and sent her team to the Little League World Series in Williamsport. At this point in her young career, Mo'Ne has reached rock-star status.
NEWS
August 14, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
A study that said more money has not helped city schools is flawed and presents a skewed picture of the Philadelphia School District's reality, a local nonprofit says. The conservative Commonwealth Foundation said in an analysis released earlier this month that while the system's budget had grown over the past decade, its students were still struggling, and that "serious reform" was needed to fix the city's schools. But Research for Action, a Philadelphia-based organization whose mission is to strengthen public schools, found the Commonwealth Foundation brief "misleading, inaccurate, and devoid of context needed for an informed understanding of what is happening in the city's schools.
NEWS
August 13, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
PHILADELPHIA Schools Superintendent William Hite got another promise yesterday that state lawmakers would continue to push for cigarette-tax approval to help fund the district, but he said a Friday deadline to decide whether to shorten the school year or make massive layoffs still looms. Hite met privately with state House Majority Leader Mike Turzai at the district's headquarters for about an hour yesterday afternoon. After the meeting, Hite said Turzai assured him that the House would work to pass "a clean bill," but that it did not change the district's grim reality - an $81 million shortfall.
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