News & Notes:  

A public school funding SOS (column

Feb28

The message — really an SOS — about public school funding came from rural Tioga County, but it’s one most Pennsylvanians have grown used to hearing. Read more at: http://www.ydr.com/letters/ci_25248000/public-school-funding-sos-column More »

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Charter School: Philadelphia School Reform Commission actions are unconstitutional

Feb28

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PHILADELPHIA – On Friday, February 28, 2014, West Philadelphia Achievement Charter Elementary School (West Phila. ACES) filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania asking the Court to declare recent actions taken by the School Reform Commission (SRC) of the School District of Philadelphia illegal and unconstitutional, and to immediately suspend […] More »

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Philadelphia, PA-March 22- Screening of “TEACH”!

Feb28

Please RSVP to your fellow teachers for a screening of “TEACH” on March 22nd! The film takes an intimate look into the struggles and triumphs of America’s education system through the eyes, minds and hearts of teachers. As a teacher myself, I sometimes wonder if the public really knows what we go through every day […] More »

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School officials discuss charter problems with auditor general

Feb27

By the letter and spirit of the law, Pennsylvania charter schools are intended to work in collaboration with school districts, experimenting with new ideas and sharing innovative concepts that are proven to produce positive results.   Read more at: http://articles.mcall.com/2014-02-27/news/mc-pa-auditor-general-charter-schools-20140227_1_charter-schools-charter-students-charter-problems More »

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Pocono Mountain Charter School battle goes on

Feb27

The Pocono Mountain Charter School has survived its latest legal test, but the marathon battle with the Pocono Mountain School District is far from over.   Read more at: http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140227/NEWS/402270327/-1/NEWS More »

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PIAA head: Charter sports may be illegal

Feb27

The peace and calm that has marked the brief tenure of Dr. Robert Lombardi as executive director of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association might be coming to an end.   Read more at: http://www.lewistownsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/544585/PIAA-head–Charter-sports-may-be-illegal.html?nav=5020 More »

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National Charter Schools Group Outraged over Mayor de Blasio’s Decision to Kick Children Out of their School

Feb27

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT February 27, 2014 Katherine Bathgate (202) 521-2827 Katherine@publiccharters.org National Charter Schools Group Outraged over Mayor de Blasio’s Decision to Kick Children Out of their School Four charter schools kicked out of school buildings, hundreds of children affected WASHINGTON, D.C. —  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has told four charter schools they […] More »

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Duquesne charter school denied

Feb26

Duquesne City School District’s court-appointed receiver Paul B. Long has denied the application for a proposed charter school. Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/5655337-74/charter-duquesne-application#axzz2uQcBKego More »

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How safe are elementary schools?

Feb25

AFTER A 5-year-old girl allegedly was abducted from a West Philadelphia school and raped in January 2013, School District officials said they were mounting a comprehensive review of security procedures at their buildings.   Read more: http://articles.philly.com/2014-02-25/news/47639608_1_schoolyard-school-safety-west-philadelphia-school More »

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Possible Roadmap for Fixing Pa.’s Public Education Funding

Feb24

Earlier this month, 15 parents from throughout New York state, along with a coalition of statewide education groups, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state’s public school students, charging that the state is neglecting its constitutional obligation to ensure that every school has sufficient funding to provide all students a meaningful educational opportunity. Read […] More »

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Phila. revamps its charter school policy

Feb23

Amid mounting financial pressure from charter schools, the Philadelphia School District Friday unveiled a revised charter policy proposal that uses a carrot-and-stick approach.   Read more: http://articles.philly.com/2014-02-23/news/47584711_1_charter-schools-deputy-superintendent-paul-kihn-high-quality-options More »

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Find middle ground to fix gaps in charter school law

Feb23

Pennsylvania is frequently knocked for being slow to adopt policy innovations. Ironic, then, how much criticism is heaped on one of the true innovations of the past generation —charter schools Read more at: http://lancasteronline.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/find-middle-ground-to-fix-gaps-in-charter-school-law/article_b7493154-9996-11e3-959d-001a4bcf6878.html More »

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Peduto appoints task force to recommend changes in Pittsburgh Public Schools

Feb21

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Friday announced the formation of a 21-member task force to study the beleaguered Pittsburgh Public Schools and develop recommendations to overhaul the district, which is projected to go broke in 2016. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2014/02/21/Peduto-appoints-task-forc/stories/201402210147#ixzz2uYf4uwwa More »

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Without change, audit suggests state takeover lies ahead for Steel-High School District: auditor general

Feb21

Faced with a deteriorating financial situation, state Auditor General Eugene DePasqualesaid Steelton-Highspire School District is “on life support” and headed for a state takeover if the fiscal situation there doesn’t improve. A recently completed audit of the 1,306-student Dauphin County district conducted by his office that covered 2009 to 2013 raised concerns about the district’s failure to keep […] More »

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Green’s first SRC meeting: High drama, big plans

Feb21

Dozens of cameras clicked as Bill Green walked into the room to begin his first School Reform Commission meeting. More than 100 people rose to their feet. Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140221_Green_s_first_SRC_meeting__High_drama__big_plans.html More »

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Facing deficit, Northwest Area raps charter cybers

Feb20

With a preliminary budget deficit of $790,000 staring them in the face, Northwest Area School Board members on Wednesday questioned the legality of $113,500 in bills from charter cyber schools. Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/1207188/Facing-deficit-Northwest-Area-raps-charter-cybers More »

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PSP used lobbying firm to promote Green as SRC chair

Feb20

As Bill Green takes the helm of the School Reform Commission, new details have emerged about the process that brought him to the job.   Read more at: http://thenotebook.org/blog/146953/psp-used-lobbying-firm-promote-green-src-chair?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=twt&utm_campaign=social More »

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Phila. charter schools turn to bonds for financing

Feb20

As the Philadelphia School District’s money struggles continue with no end in sight, the city’s charter schools are becoming financially bolder, taking on significant debt. Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-02-20/business/47530672_1_charter-schools-tacony-academy-philadelphia-school-district More »

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Nutter asks biz to help get schools money

Feb20

MAYOR NUTTER closed his annual address to the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce yesterday with an impassioned plea for business leaders to help lobby Harrisburg for more education money.   http://articles.philly.com/2014-02-20/news/47493551_1_education-funding-seanwalshdn-blog-city-council More »

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Inquirer Editorial: Hite plan gets muted response

Feb20

There has been very little excitement about Superintendent William R. Hite Jr.’s Action Plan v2.0 for Philadelphia public schools. But that’s understandable. It’s not that people don’t like Hite or what he is trying to do. But they have been down this road before, and this time there’s even less reason for optimism.   Read […] More »

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Charter Reform?

Feb19

What does charter reform mean for the person tasked with representing Warren County in Harrisburg? http://www.timesobserver.com/page/content.detail/id/569359/Charter-Reform-.html?nav=5006 More »

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Cyber-Charter Applicants Face Tougher Times in Pa.

Feb19

In rejecting a recent group of applications to open cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania, state officials cited a litany of shortcomings, and one overriding concern: Who, ultimately, would be running the show?   Read more at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/02/19/21cyber_ep.h33.html?tkn=UOWFjVDqbnyticvVJ4%2FMYEVsdaPZZTD6fqXx&cmp=clp-edweek&utm_source=fb&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mrss More »

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Green, Jimenez sworn in to SRC

Feb18

The School Reform Commission has two new members. Farah Jimenez and Bill Green were sworn in as commissioners at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Green is chairman of the five-member volunteer panel. Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/school_files/Green-Jimenez-formally-join-the-SRC.html More »

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Mapping poverty: Wealthiest and poorest school districts in Pennsylvania

Feb17

Lancaster Newspapers reporter Paula Wolf is writing about recent census estimates that show poverty rates among school-age children remain higher than they were at the end of the recession.   Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/mapping-poverty-wealthiest-and-poorest-school-districts-in-pennsylvania/article_53d4e55a-9810-11e3-8d0a-001a4bcf6878.html?mode=story More »

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Superintendent Hite Introduces New Action Plan To Turn Around Philadelphia Public Schools

Feb17

”It’s bigger, it’s bolder and it’s meant to be aspirational in scope and urgent in nature.” For Dr. William Hite, the goals are researched, proven and interconnected, at the top 100 percent of college or career readiness. Read more at: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/02/17/superintendent-hite-introduces-new-action-plan-to-turn-around-philadelphia-public-schools/ More »

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TED-Ed Offers Students a Chance to Explore ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’

Feb14

Cultivating a new generation of TED talkers. Focused on spreading technology, entertainment and design ideas, the nonprofit TED got its roots 30 years ago as a single conference centered on that mission. Since 1984, the organization has expanded to include two annual conferences (the TED Conference and TEDGlobal), the TED Talks video website, the Open […] More »

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Feb13

To: All Western PA PCPCS member CEOs, The Auditor General announced a series of five public meetings throughout the state to focus on the issue of identifying potential improvements to charter school oversight and operations. The purpose of these sessions is to receive ideas on the effective and efficient oversight of charter schools to be […] More »

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Opinion: Why the runaround on turnarounds?

Feb13

AMID extensive coverage of the very real challenges facing our public schools, we shouldn’t lose sight of what’s actually working. Right now, outstanding educators are working closely with families of all backgrounds to transform Philadelphia’s lowest performing schools into some of the best schools in the city. Yet, not enough people are talking about Renaissance […] More »

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“The Whole Gritty City”

Feb12

To: PCPCS member charter schools, The following letter came to me by way of my daughter whose friend teaches in New Orleans. The link is to a program that will appear this Saturday on CBS that may be of interest to you as educators. It’s not about Pennsylvania kids, but children everywhere face the same challenges […] More »

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Do our schools offer a quality education?

Feb11

Unless you live in the City of Pittsburgh, you’re likely to think highly of the quality of the public schools. And student achievement data is more likely to support such perceptions if you live in a high-income school district.   Read more at: http://pittsburghtoday.org/RealityCheckIII.html?utm_source=Reality+Check+-+Education+Quality+&utm_campaign=Feb+12%2C+2014+Eblast&utm_medium=email More »

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OP-ED: Reform of Pa. charter schools long overdue

Feb10

Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly are charged with being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. It is our responsibility to treat this money as an investment by doing all we can to ensure the highest possible “return.” Read more at: http://www.pottsmerc.com/opinion/20140211/op-ed-reform-of-pa-charter-schools-long-overdue More »

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Philadelphia School Chief Faces Down Budget Cuts and Crises

Feb10

William R. Hite Jr., superintendent of schools here in one of the nation’s poorest cities, is known as a man who prefers collaboration to confrontation, but he has spent the academic year taking no prisoners. Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/11/education/philadelphia-school-chief-faces-down-budget-cuts-and-crises.html?ref=education&_r=1 More »

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Pittsburgh schools’ Lane looks ahead to new board

Feb09

While Pittsburgh Public Schools expects to run out of money in 2016, superintendent Linda Lane doesn’t think things are so dire that the district has to clean showers less often, as a report suggested as a way to save money. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2014/02/10/Schools-Lane-looks-ahead-to-new-board/stories/201402100050 More »

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Philly schools consider universal enrollment model

Feb09

When it’s time to enroll in school in Philadelphia, students face a bewildering array of choices: Neighborhood public school? Cyber school? Charter? Private or religious school? What about a specialty district school focused on science? Performing arts? International affairs? Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/244621111.html More »

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Two cyber high school seniors selected as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

Feb07

Two high school seniors from cyber charter schools were among the 106 Pennsylvania seniors selected as candidates to compete for the U.S. Presidential Scholars program. The candidates are: Vincent G. Bertoni, 21st Century Cyber Charter School, Exton, PA and Hope E. McNamee, PA Leadership Charter School, West Chester, PA. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was […] More »

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Proposed Ready to Learn Block Grant Program

Feb07

On February  4, Governor Corbett presented his 2014-2015 Budget address. Included in his proposed Budget is the creation of the $341 million Ready to Learn Block Grant program that, if approved as presented, will provide additional funding directly to public schools, both traditional and charter. $240 million of the $341 million will be allocated directly to […] More »

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Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School Seeks Executive Director

Feb07

Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School Executive Director Philadelphia, PA The Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS) seeks nominations and applications for the position of Executive Director.    Founded in 2005, FACTS is the first public K-8 charter school in the Chinatown neighborhood.  FACTS students develop strong academic skills through a curriculum that integrates folk arts, social […] More »

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EASD hears application for proposed charter school

Feb07

Some say because Easton Area School District has slashed so many teachers and programs in recent years, it should have a charter school in the district that will have smaller class sizes and provide more hands-on learning for children. Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/easton/mc-easton-strong-foundations-charter-school-hearin-20140207,0,6040252.story More »

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Corbett unveils budget with focus on schools, pensions

Feb06

The $29.4 billion budget that Gov. Corbett unveiled Tuesday was packed with what millions of Pennsylvanians would consider good news: A big boost for public schools. More money for the disabled. Fewer taxes on businesses. Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-02-06/news/47053386_1_corbett-election-year-budget-budget-address More »

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Strings in Corbett’s education grant plan draw ire

Feb05

The centerpiece of Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget proposal, a big new grant program for public schools, is getting pushback because it attaches strings to the use of the money at a time when Corbett is against giving a general increase in state aid to education. Read more at: http://www.centredaily.com/2014/02/05/4019751/strings-in-corbetts-grant-proposal.html More »

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“Ready to Learn Block Grant”

Feb04

Earlier today, Governor Corbett presented his 2014-2015 budget address. Included in his proposed budget, is the creation of the $341 million “Ready to Learn Block Grant” program that, if approved as presented, will provide additional funding directly to public schools, both traditional and charter. $240 million of the $341 million will be allocated directly to […] More »

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Gov. Corbett proposes $29.4 billion state budget; suggests pension savings, new money for education

Feb04

After earlier proposals of spare budgets, Gov. Tom Corbett on Tuesday put forward a more generous plan for state government — with a new $240 million grant program for K-12 education, an area of political liability — as he heads into a re-election battle. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2014/02/04/Gov-Corbett/stories/201402040130 More »

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For a district on the brink of collapse, Philly schools still managed to hand out huge salaries and pricey perks

Feb03

If ever there was a school district with huge financial problems, it’s Philadelphia’s. The alarming media headlines have told the story for the past few years   Continue reading at: http://eagnews.org/for-a-district-on-the-brink-of-collapse-philly-schools-still-managed-to-hand-out-huge-salaries-and-pricey-perks/ More »

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F.C.C. Says It Will Double Spending on High-Speed Internet in Schools and Libraries

Feb03

The Federal Communications Commission will double the amount of money it devotes to adding high-speed Internet connections in schools and libraries over the next two years, in an effort to meet President Obama’s promise to provide broadband service for an estimated 20 million American students in 15,000 schools, officials said Saturday.   Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/02/us/fcc-says-it-will-double-spending-on-high-speed-internet-in-schools-and-libraries.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=1 More »

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