News & Notes:  

Bethlehem schools change open enrollment policy

Apr30

In an attempt to promote school choice without losing students to charter schools, Bethlehem Area School District is changing its policy for open enrollment.   Read more at: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/bethlehem/mc-bethlehem-school-open-enrollment-20140429,0,2563835.story More »

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Parents protest charter scheme

Apr30

Parents at two traditional public schools that could be converted to charters joined together yesterday to voice opposition to the process – including news that a decision on one school’s fate has been postponed. Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-04-30/news/49526392_1_charter-groups-mastery-charter-schools-school-advisory-council More »

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PA Cyber teacher in running for national award

Apr29

A Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School English teacher and Beaver Falls resident has been nominated for a national award, the school announced. Read more at: http://www.timesonline.com/news/local_news/pa-cyber-teacher-in-running-for-national-award/article_efc02c18-f0c6-50b1-a43e-4fc7ac7628fd.html More »

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School District postpones West Kensington Elementary School’s charter vote

Apr29

The Philadelphia School District has postponed a parents’ vote scheduled for Thursday on whether a West Kensington elementary school should be converted to a charter. A vote at a second school is still on for now.   Read more at: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/04/28/school-district-postpones-west-kensington-elementary-schools-charter-vote/ More »

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Principals seek full funding

Apr29

Recently, about 70 principals from the School District of Philadelphia went to City Hall to ask City Council to approve additional funding for schools and to talk about how the budget crisis continues to profoundly affect the learning environment. Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20140429_Principals_seek_full_funding.html More »

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Demonizing education providers is not the way

Apr29

It is not easy to demonize people who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars of their own money to help educate poor children. But some members of the education establishment are taking a shot at it.   Read more at: http://www.dailylocal.com/opinion/20140429/demonizing-education-providers-is-not-the-way More »

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More $ for education, but where to find it?

Apr28

A recent poll of Pennsylvania voters found that more than 70 percent want the state to provide more and fairer funding for public schools.   Read more at: http://lancasteronline.com/opinion/editorials/more-for-education-but-where-to-find-it/article_28a8481c-ceda-11e3-9c4f-0017a43b2370.html More »

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Listen up, students: She defines ‘mettle’

Apr27

If Laurada Byers ever gets one of those inspirational “Pass It On” billboards like Oprah Winfrey (“Encouragement”) and Michael J. Fox (“Optimism”), we’d have to suggest “Mettle” for hers. After her husband, Russell Byers, a well-known Daily News columnist, was stabbed in the heart and died during a 1999 robbery attempt outside a Chestnut Hill Wawa, Byers […] More »

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Phila. School District releases budget with $216 million deficit

Apr27

Without a $216 million cash infusion, the Philadelphia School District faces yet another unthinkable situation in September – class sizes as big as 41, layoffs of more than 1,000 employees, and further cuts to special education services, nurses, and other basics already in short supply. Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-04-27/news/49424737_1_staff-layoffs-philadelphia-school-district-transportation-cuts More »

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Cyber school offers alternative education to local youth

Apr26

On any given school day, Tom Schellhammer and his younger brother Aaron are typically found at their computers working on assigned studies in curriculum that includes math, science, language arts and social studies. Read more at: http://www.bradfordera.com/news/article_b6c700c6-ccea-11e3-af36-0019bb2963f4.html More »

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Tax gas drillers to pay for education, Democratic candidates for governor say

Apr26

After watching their property taxes rise while their children lost teachers and programs over the last three school years, most Pennsylvania voters say public education should be the top priority for the next governor, polls show.   Read more at: http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-pa-election-schools-democrats-corbett-20140426,0,1055991.story More »

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At fiery meeting, SRC moves to revoke charter schools’ status

Apr26

At the end of a marathon meeting, the School Reform Commission voted late Thursday night to begin the process of suspending the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners School’s charter. It also adopted a new charter policy and renewed the charters of several schools.   Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-04-26/news/49408615_1_charter-renewal-palmer-leadership-learning-charter-policy More »

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Judge rules against SRC in charter case

Apr24

PHILADELPHIA The Philadelphia School Reform Commission’s powers to suspend portions of the state law covering charter schools may have hit a snag. Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/256450261.html More »

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Philly’s coolest charter school in high-tech heaven

Apr23

The coolest school in Philadelphia has a golden telescope on the roof, where everyone from kindergarten through 12th grade can watch explosions on the surface of the sun. Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-04-23/news/49351152_1_grade-school-old-school-high-tech-heaven More »

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Hite urges Palmer charter revocation

Apr23

The Philadelphia School District has taken the unprecedented step of asking the School Reform Commission to revoke Palmer Leadership’s charter, alleging poor academic performance, financial woes, and billing for students no longer attending the school. Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-04-23/news/49351173_1_charter-enrollment-charter-school-office-palmer-leadership-learning More »

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Poll: Education funding key for Pa. voters

Apr22

Public education funding has become “the single most important priority” for voters in Pennsylvania, political pollster Terry Madonna said during a Tuesday teleconference unveiling results of his new survey.   Read more at: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1343459/Poll:-Education-funding-key-for-Pa.-voters More »

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A closer look at charter school performance

Apr22

Misleading statistics have a tendency to stick. And for education in Pennsylvania, it’s the data suggesting that charter schools underperform compared to district public schools.   Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/A_closer_look_at_charter_school_performance.html More »

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Proposed Legislation Unfairly Discriminates Against Special Education Students

Apr22

    HB 2138 and SB 1316 are currently being considered by the Pa. Legislature, and in their present form, will cause inequities for special education and will cause charter schools to close. The implementation SB 1316, and HB 2138, identical pieces of legislation impacting the formula for special education funding, will cause major inequities for […] More »

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Union for Khepera Charter authorizes call for strike

Apr21

Frustrated by stalled negotiations between school officials, a union representing teachers at Khepera Charter School in Mount Airy has voted to authorize its negotiating team to call a strike, an official said Monday.   Read more at: http://www.phillytrib.com/news/union-for-khepera-charter-authorizes-call-for-strike.html More »

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Group fighting to preserve district for Steel

Apr21

Kendra Brooks says Steel Elementary is the last public school in Nicetown. And if she has a say, it will stay that way.   Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-04-21/news/49268397_1_mastery-charter-schools-district-run-school-school-parents More »

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WE NEED YOUR VOICE TO PRESERVE STUDENT EQUITY

Apr21

ACTION NEEDED NOW!!! WE NEED YOUR VOICE TO PRESERVE STUDENT EQUITY. Before the end of this month, the Pennsylvania House and Senate will likely consider legislation that may have a devastating impact on the support you will be able to provide to your special education students, undermine your ability to provide Free and Appropriate Public […] More »

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Schools face number of problems

Apr19

After reading the article on the Carbon County school’s education meeting, I felt that some firsthand experience might shed light on the education issues that the school faces. My first concern is the PSSA testing results.   Read more at: http://www.tnonline.com/2014/apr/19/schools-face-number-problems More »

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Charter schools targeted by PIAA

Apr17

Bob Lombardi has nothing against charter schools, but as the executive director of the PIAA, he says his job is to be the voice of many schools around the commonwealth of Pennsylvania that are screaming foul against the charter school effect on athletics, particularly basketball.   Read more at: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/highschool/2014/04/18/Charter-schools-targeted-by-PIAA/stories/201404180085 More »

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Capitolwire: Child protection laws cast a wider net on mandated reporters, advocates say

Apr16

By Christen Smith Staff Reporter Capitolwire HARRISBURG (April 15) — Gov. Tom Corbett signed four more child protection bills Tuesday inside the lobby of the Ambler Area YMCA, surrounded by the mandated reporters at the center of the new laws. Senate Bills 21 and 33 and House Bills 431 and 436 flesh out the role of the state’s mandated reporters — including teachers, […] More »

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Federal Charter Measure Clears Hurdle in House

Apr16

States and districts would be encouraged to help grow high-quality charter schools—and ensure that they enroll and retain English-language learners and students in special education—under a bipartisan bill approved overwhelmingly by the House Education and the Workforce Committee last week.   Read more at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/04/16/28charter.h33.html?intc=mvs More »

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School advocates file brief to support teachers union

Apr16

THE ALLIANCE for Philadelphia Public Schools has filed a brief in support of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ legal fight to block the district from eliminating teacher seniority.   Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-04-16/news/49188403_1_teachers-union-president-jerry-jordan-teacher-seniority More »

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Pa. Auditor General DePasquale, State Rep. Godshall, visit Souderton Charter School Collaborative

Apr15

Pennsylvania auditor General Eugene DePasquale waves as he enters a kindergarten classroom during a tour of the Souderton Charter School Collaborative with State Representative Robert Godshall, right. The two took a tour of the school Monday and met with a group of parents and teachers.   Read more at: http://www.thereporteronline.com/social-affairs/20140415/pa-auditor-general-depasquale-state-rep-godshall-visit-souderton-charter-school-collaborative More »

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More voices urge action in district dispute

Apr14

Two local education-reform organizations have filed papers asking the state Supreme Court to act quickly on the School Reform Commission’s request to affirm it has broad powers to impose work-rule changes.   Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/school_files/More-voices-.html More »

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Charter board examines options for generator

Apr14

As the process of finalizing bids and loan paperwork continues, the trustees of the Bear Creek Community Charter School continue refining details of the construction project.   Read more at: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1326290/Charter-board-examines-options-for-generator More »

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Acting education secretary discusses funding formula

Apr14

Pennsylvania needs an education funding formula that will better support the needs of students living in poverty and English language learners, acting state Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq said Monday.   Read more at: http://www.delcotimes.com/social-affairs/20140414/acting-education-secretary-discusses-funding-formula More »

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Where McCord, McGinty, Schwartz and Wolf stand

Apr13

All four candidates would seek to restore money that Corbett cut from higher education and public schools to balance the budget. They also all oppose vouchers for private schools.   Read more at: http://www.centredaily.com/2014/04/13/4133434/where-mccord-mcginty-schwartz.html?sp=/99/116/129/ More »

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New special ed funding formula hurts charter schools, advocates say.

Apr10

By Christen Smith Staff Reporter Capitolwire HARRISBURG (April 9) — The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools say new special education funding formula proposals punish charter schools with reduced funding. In some districts, such as Philadelphia, charter schools with special education students could receive less than half of the money the school district would receive for […] More »

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Pa. Education Department sides with SRC on work-rule changes

Apr07

The state is backing the Philadelphia School Reform Commission’s request for a court ruling that would allow it to impose work-rule changes, including disregarding seniority for teacher assignments, transfers, layoffs, and recalls.   Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-04-07/news/48912076_1_work-rule-changes-state-takeover-education-department More »

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Charter-school sports about opportunity

Apr07

With the state high school basketball championships in the books, the scholastic sports establishment has set out to ensure that what happened in the basketball playoffs never happens again.   Read more at: http://standardspeaker.com/opinion/charter-school-sports-about-opportunity-1.1663623 More »

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Bear Creek Twp. approves charter school plans

Apr07

The last township-level hurdle for the new Bear Creek Community Charter School was cleared Monday when the township supervisors gave final approval to the project’s land development plan.   Read more at: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1310643/Bear-Creek-Twp.-approves-charter-school-plans More »

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Christiana bill would alter cyber school funding model

Apr06

State Rep. Jim Christiana plans to introduce legislation this week that would drastically change the way Pennsylvania cyber charter schools receive tuition payments. Read more at: http://m.timesonline.com/news/local_news/christiana-bill-would-alter-cyber-school-funding-model/article_b2026ac5-0638-54a7-97a7-7bf3c16d4528.html?mode=jqm More »

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Pa. Education Department sides with SRC on work-rule changes

Apr06

The state is backing the Philadelphia School Reform Commission’s request for a court ruling that would allow it to impose work-rule changes, including disregarding seniority for teacher assignments, transfers, layoffs, and recalls.   Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/254055411.html More »

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Uncertainties remain in York City school finances

Apr05

Meetings this week in the York City School District should shed more light on how things are shaping up for the 2014-15 school year, but several pieces of the district’s financial puzzle remain unsettled. Read more at: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_25497544/uncertainties-remain-york-city-school-finances More »

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The ABCs of school choice

Apr05

When people speak of a legacy, they usually mean something other than what the late economist Milton Friedman and his wife, Rose, left behind, namely the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice (edchoice.org).   Read more at: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bal-the-abcs-of-school-choice-commentary-20140404,0,4617383.story More »

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Erie district recommends not renewing charter school

Apr05

The Erie School District is recommending that the Erie School Board not renew the charter for the Erie R.I.S.E. Leadership Academy Charter School after a state audit and its own investigation found serious problems.   Read more at: http://www.goerie.com/article/20140405/NEWS02/304049893/Erie-district-recommends-not-renewing-charter-school# More »

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Papenfuse wants to oust school recovery officer

Apr04

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse wants to shake things up in the city’s public schools. Papenfuse said he’s calling on the State Secretary of Education to oust Harrisburg Schools Chief Recovery Officer Gene Veno.   Read more at: http://www.abc27.com/story/25160728/papenfuse-wants-to-oust-school-recovery-officer?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter More »

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2 Philly schools may become charters, if parents agree

Apr03

Two public elementary schools in North Philadelphia singled out for their struggling academics are on track to become charter schools in the fall.   Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-04-03/news/48805668_1_charter-schools-traditional-public-schools-renaissance-schools More »

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Amid $1.7B backlog, Pa. lawmakers urged to overhaul school construction funding process

Apr01

Amid a $1.7 billion backlog in funding, school officials and building industry representatives on Monday urged state lawmakers to overhaul the way Pennsylvania pays for public school construction.   Read more at: http://cumberlink.com/news/local/education/amid-b-backlog-pa-lawmakers-urged-to-overhaul-school-construction/article_2aa5114e-b9dc-11e3-981d-001a4bcf887a.html More »

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