News & Notes:  

Governor Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett Announce $23.1 Million in Funding to Enhance Academic Opportunities for At-Risk Students

Sep29

Governor Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett today announced that $23.1 million in funding has been awarded to 64 school districts and community-based organizations in 29 counties across the state.  This funding will support educational resources in local communities to increase student academic achievement – a cornerstone of what the Governor believes will ensure […] More »

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Free Training on New Mandatory Reporting Requirements!

Sep29

Some important amendments to the Educator Discipline Act became effective February 18, 2014 for all public schools and you need to know what they are. School safety involves not only protecting our students and staff from threats from “outside” of the schools, but also encompasses safety from “within.” It is incumbent upon everyone involved in […] More »

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Democrat Tom Wolf says he’s opposed to York charter school conversion

Sep26

The Democratic candidate for governor says ‘we need to take a different course’ Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf said he’s concerned about the possible conversion to charter schools for the York City School District. The York City School District is considering converting all or some district-run schools into charter schools, to be managed by outside operators, […] More »

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Charter operators face community questions in York City

Sep26

Two charter operators faced opposition before and during a meeting Wednesday where they discussed their proposals for running York City School District buildings starting next year. York City is considering bringing in charter operators in 2015-16 to run district buildings, an option under the financial recovery plan if internal reform doesn’t work. Chief recovery officer […] More »

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Comprehensive study of financing for charter school facilities

Sep26

Today, LISC proudly releases our 2014 Charter School Facility Finance Landscape study. Now in its fourth edition, the study is the most comprehensive source of information on how charter schools fund real estate projects. First released in 2005, this edition provides a current and robust survey of the activities of foundations, nonprofit financing organizations and real estate […] More »

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Palmer charter school in Philadelphia denied $1.4 million needed to stay open

Sep25

A Common Pleas Court judge on Wednesday denied a request by Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School for an immediate payment of $1.4 million from the Philadelphia School District – putting the charter’s future in jeopardy. It was not immediately clear whether the school’s closure was imminent, but Palmer officials have said in […] More »

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Acting Secretary of Education Announces Flexible Instructional Days Pilot Program for Pennsylvania Schools

Sep25

Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq today announced that a Flexible Instructional Days pilot program is available to schools across the commonwealth. Flexible Instructional Days offer schools the ability to use non-traditional educational delivery methods on regularly scheduled school days in which circumstances, such as inclement weather, necessitate an alternate approach. The program is effective […] More »

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Corbett signs Philly cigarette tax

Sep25

Gov. Tom Corbett on Wednesday signed into law a bill adding a $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes sold in Philadelphia to help pay for the city’s schools. The tax takes effect Wednesday and will push to about $7.80 the price of a pack of cigarettes sold in Philadelphia. At that rate, the state Budget Office estimates, […] More »

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Academic Skills on Web Are Tied to Income Level

Sep24

Wealthier students tend to perform better on tests of reading comprehension than their poorer peers, a longstanding trend that has been documented amply. But with the Internet having become an indispensable part of daily life, a new study shows that a separate gap has emerged, with lower-income students again lagging more affluent students in their […] More »

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Charter school operator fields questions in York

Sep24

Representatives of Charter Schools USA, one of two charter companies being considered to take over York City School District buildings, fielded questions on issues including finances and academics from a small audience on Tuesday night. The school district is considering bringing in an outside operator — either Charter Schools USA or Mosaica Education — to […] More »

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Lehigh Valley Dual Language Charter School ‘disappointed’ by Bethlehem’s Supreme Court appeal

Sep23

  Lehigh Valley Dual Language Charter School said it is disappointed the Bethlehem Area School District plans to appeal its expansion to the Supreme Court.   Monday night, Bethlehem schools Superintendent Joseph Roy said the board has authorized its solicitor to appeal the Commonwealth Court ruling that paves the way for the charter to open […] More »

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Emergency hearing on Palmer Charter School delayed – again

Sep21

  An emergency hearing scheduled for Friday on a request by Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School for $1.4 million from the Philadelphia School District was again put on hold.   At the request of attorneys for both sides, Common Pleas Court Judge Nina Padilla reset the hearing for Wednesday.   “We’re talking […] More »

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Education department resists expanded audit

Sep19

Resistance by the state Department of Education to an expanded state audit that would include a review of its oversight of special advisers and consultants appears to be hitting a brick wall with state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.  Read more. More »

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Palmer Charter seeks immediate relief from court

Sep18

The school year at a city charter could come to an abrupt end this week for its nearly 1,300 students. The troubled Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School on Wednesday asked Common Pleas Court to order the Philadelphia School District to hand over nearly $1.4 million immediately or the charter could close Friday. […] More »

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Sto-Rox lodges another appeal to block Propel-West

Sep18

The Sto-Rox School District is taking its fight against the opening of a Propel Charter School to the next level. Propel won its case for Propel-West before the state Charter School Appeal Board, but now the district has notified Commonwealth Court that it is appealing. This week, it asked the state Charter School Appeal Board […] More »

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Lehigh Valley Dual Language Charter School seventh-, eighth-graders to attend class on Saturdays

Sep18

Lehigh Valley Dual Language Charter School seventh- and eighth-graders will be in school on Saturdays and holidays as its expansion battle plays out in the courts. The South Bethlehem-based charter school has outgrown its current location at 551 Thomas St. and seeks to open a middle school in the former Seton Academy.Bethlehem Area School District has been blocking […] More »

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Encouraging movement on aid to Philly schools. Now lawmakers need to get the job done

Sep17

The state House will take an encouraging step on Monday to help Philadelphia’s public school students when it casts a likely vote on a city-only, $2-per-pack cigarette tax aimed at helping the cash-strapped district close an $81 million deficit. With the  looming threat of both teacher lay-offs and a late opening for the current school year, lawmakers were […] More »

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Propel Hazelwood charter school in Pittsburgh plans open house

Sep17

About 200 families will get their first glimpse inside Propel Hazelwood charter school on Tuesday, about a month since its inaugural academic year began.The K-4 school, the neighborhood’s first since Pittsburgh Burgwin closed in 2006, will host an open house for families, neighbors, board members and funders at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Read more.   More »

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Tourette Syndrome group honors PA Cyber Charter School

Sep16

The Pennsylvania Tourette Syndrome Alliance Inc. has presented its 2014 Accommodating School Award to the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. PA Cyber is the first charter school in Pennsylvania –  cyber or brick-and-mortar charter school – to receive the award, an Alliance spokesperson said. Read more. More »

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Secretary of the Budget Charles Zogby Authorizes 4th Quarter Pension Payments Incurred Last Year

Sep12

To: All Charter School CEOs, Click here for the official letter from Secretary of the Budget, Charles Zogby authorizing the payment of fourth quarter pension payments incurred last year to charter schools. Again, thank you for your efforts in contacting the Governor’s Office and your legislators to help PCPCS save another $20 million for charter schools. […] More »

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Lehigh Valley Dual Language Charter School wins appeal

Sep12

An appellate court has rejected an appeal filed by the Bethlehem Area School District to block a second building for the Lehigh Valley Dual Language Charter School. The kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school at 551 Thomas St. in Bethlehem wants to open a second building to handle its increasing enrollment.  Read More      More »

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A Slow Motion Implosion At K12 Inc.

Sep10

K12 Inc., the for profit, publicly traded online charter school corporation, has been going through some rough times lately, and it looks like times are going to get even rougher. Let’s forget about the achievement of K12 Inc. students (generally lousy), the schools’ “churn rate” (about a third of its students leave every year) and […] More »

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MACS Named “One of America’s Top High Schools” by Newsweek Magazine (Press Release)

Sep10

Philadelphia, PA—September 10, 2014—Multi-Cultural Academy Charter School (MACS) is proud to announce that we have been named as “One of America’s Top High Schools” by Newsweek: High School Rankings, 2014. Newsweekconsidered over 14,000 schools for the rankings, and ranked MACS as #121 in their top 500 schools nationwide that are “beating the odds…performing better than […] More »

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Chester Upland receiver expected to OK expansion of charter schools

Sep05

Chester Upland School District Receiver Joe Watkins plans on approving the expansion of the city’s three brick-and-mortar charter schools, allowing them to include high school classes in the future. At a public meeting of the receiver on Aug. 21, Watkins passed three resolutions that affect Chester Community Charter School, Chester Charter School for the Arts […] More »

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Nominate a High-Performing Urban School

Sep04

From the National Center for Urban School Transformation: In these trying times for public education, we know that the successes of talented urban educators and students often are overlooked. The good-news story in the nation’s most challenged school systems is that there are outstanding urban schools that we can celebrate, honor, and learn to emulate. […] More »

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Basic Education Funding Commission Website

Sep04

A website has been established to follow the actions of the Basic Education Funding Commission, a 15-member commission tasked with developing and recommending to the General Assembly a new formula for distributing state funding for basic education to Pennsylvania school districts. Click here to visit the website. More »

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Capitolwire: Relative wealth, population shift mean different things to different districts.

Sep04

By Christen Smith Staff Reporter Capitolwire HARRISBURG (Sept.3) — “Relative wealth” and “population shift” have emerged as the Basic Education Funding Commission’s favorite buzzwords for describing the fundamentals of a new state aid formula for public schools. But the meaning of those terms differ from district to district — and the new formula the commission is […] More »

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