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NEWS
October 9, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Philadelphia School Reform Commission moved - with little notice, in a fast, early-morning meeting attended by few members of the public - to unilaterally cancel the teachers' contract, they had the support of Mayor Nutter. But the mayor, speaking at a news conference Tuesday, made it clear he was not turning cartwheels over the action. A negotiated settlement, he said, is always his preference. "Look, it's not the proudest moment in the city's history," Nutter said of the SRC's Monday move.
NEWS
October 9, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
IF WHAT happened Monday with the School Reform Commission's decision to break its teachers contract feels like deja vu, the feeling is not entirely misplaced. It's easy to find several parallels between the actions of SRC Chairman Bill Green and those of his father, former Mayor Bill Green III, who oversaw the biggest teacher strike in Philadelphia history in 1981. First, some background: In September 1981, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers went on strike for 50 days over a promised 10 percent pay raise that never materialized.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham and Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writers
By activating its nuclear option and cancelling its teachers' contract, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission took an action Monday that could remake the city's schools and have national implications. The unilateral step at a morning meeting has already set off a battle. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers received no advance word of the action - a unanimous vote taken at an SRC meeting called with minimal notice. The move will likely result in a legal challenge to the takeover law the SRC believes gives it the power to bypass negotiations and impose terms.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | By Joe Dolinsky, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Instead of focusing on her students Monday morning, Anissa Weinraub, an English teacher at Academy at Palumbo in South Philadelphia, said she was stunned by the School Reform Commission's sudden decision to cancel its teacher contract. "When the SRC unilaterally imposes . . . what else are they going to try to impose on?" Weinraub asked at a rally outside Gov. Corbett's Philadelphia office Monday afternoon. Weinraub said she believed the teachers' union was negotiating in good faith and was shocked by Monday's news.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
AFTER MONTHS of threats, Bill Green officially declared war on Philadelphia public school teachers. In a bold but unsurprising move, the School Reform Commission, chaired by Green, voted yesterday to unilaterally cancel the teachers union contract and impose health-care-benefits changes - during a hastily called 9:30 a.m. meeting - sparking outrage from union leaders, elected officials and education activists. District officials said the benefits changes will save about $44 million this year and $200 million over the next four years, which will be redirected to schools for key resources, such as counselors and nurses.
NEWS
September 23, 2014
VOTERS won't be seeing a referendum question on abolishing the School Reform Commission on November's ballot, since City Council had too short a time between passing the resolution last week and the deadline for inclusion; the bill is still on Mayor Nutter's desk, waiting for a signature. Maybe it will appear in May, but voters should pay attention now to what they'll see - and won't see. They may see a nonbinding vote saying something like, "Should Philadelphia abolish the SRC?"
NEWS
September 21, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Eliminate the School Reform Commission? Not so fast, says its chairman, Bill Green. Responding to a City Council vote Thursday to place on the November ballot a nonbinding question asking Philadelphia voters whether they want schools returned to local control, Green was emphatic: The SRC isn't going away yet, and he's not threatened by Council's move. "I view it as symbolic," Green said of the referendum. "There's no substance there. " The SRC was created in 2001 by an act of the legislature, and the only way for it to go away is to vote itself out of existence.
NEWS
September 21, 2014 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
YOU KNOW that nonbinding ballot referendum City Council approved Thursday to ask voters if the School Reform Commission should be abolished? Don't count on seeing it on the Nov. 4 general-election ballot. The deadline to get the measure, sponsored by City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, placed on the ballot passed on Monday. The City Commission, which runs elections in the city, yesterday mailed out absentee ballots, military ballots and ballots for civilians overseas. The question is not on those ballots.
NEWS
September 20, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted Thursday night to sell 11 shuttered school buildings - including Germantown High - in a group of transactions that would net just $2 million. The sales were met with alarm in some corners. Germantown residents in particular said they had no idea the property, which closed to students in 2013, was about to change hands. "You took us all incredibly by surprise," retired teacher Karel Kilimnik told the SRC. Germantown neighbors have been meeting for a year to discuss possible uses for the high school site.
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