Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. AP | Matt Rourke
1. The police department is going to start releasing the names of officers who fire at civilians.
The gist: City Paper reports that Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey announced in a memo yesterday that “the department will immediately begin disclosing the names of officers who discharge their firearms in Officer-Involved Shootings ‘within seventy-two (72) hours of the incident.'” According to the memo, this was one of the recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Justice in its scathing report on police shootings in Philadelphia. Also, the department will examine each case to ensure that “no threats are made toward the officer or members of their family prior to the release of this information.” Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed the GOP-led legislature’s state budget Tuesday night, in part, he said, because it would set aside far less education funding than he believes is fair.
How much less?
Earlier this year, the Philadelphia School District asked state lawmakers for an extra $206 million. The Republican bill would have provided only an additional $21.8 million to the school district, according to data from Senate GOP spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher. That’s about 11 percent of the surplus funding that district officials said they need. Read more »
Photo Credit: POWER Philadelphia
POWER Philly is in Harrisburg for 10 days to pray, fast and meet with state legislators with the hope of getting fair funding for Pennsylvania’s public schools into the state budget, which is supposed to be completed and signed by June 30th.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be here fasting and getting involved,” Sheila Armstrong, a POWER activist told Philly Mag this week. “I’m a woman of faith, a Christian, and I told my sons, ‘This is a missionary trip. We are doing God’s work.'” Read more »
Philadelphia City Council did something Thursday that it’s done a lot in recent years: voted to increase both taxes and education funding. Lawmakers expect to raise an extra $70 million for the city’s schools by hiking the property, parking and use-and-occupancy levies.
So, where does that leave the school district? Somewhat better off than it was before, no doubt. But it’s not out of the woods yet, either. Its future depends on the answers to these five big questions, which we should learn in the coming weeks: Read more »
Photo | Shutterstock.com
It’s official: Councilman Bobby Henon’s bill that would have paved the way for a new prison in Philadelphia is dead for the season. Read more »
We told you last week that officials at schools in Philly and across Pennsylvania are preparing for a drop in the graduation rate in 2017, when passage of the Keystone Exams will be a requirement to get the diploma. But there may be a reprieve. Read more »
Photo of duct tape and newspaper Wiffle balls by Leslie Marie Grace. For the original image, which shows more of the balls, go here.
Philadelphia public school teachers have to get creative sometimes, especially when funds are scarce. Thanks to Reddit, a photo taken by a teacher at a South Philadelphia elementary school is going viral — much to that teacher’s surprise.
“I am frankly amazed!” says Leslie Marie Grace, the art teacher at the George W. Nebinger School at Sixth and Carpenter. “The image has really struck a chord with some people.” Here’s the story behind it:
Read more »
Much in the same way that the best lawyers kill lawsuits before they ever make it to trial, the best lobbyists kill legislation before it is ever introduced.
In Philadelphia, City Councilman Bobby Henon was seriously eyeing a tax on sugary beverages to help fund the financially crippled school district, according to several City Hall insiders. In fact, sources say Henon went to the trouble of drafting up legislation and putting together a plan to promote it. As a lawmaker who has launched anti-childhood obesity initiatives, it was a natural fit.
But when Council unveiled its education funding package last week, it included a hike in parking tax, a boost in real estate taxes, and an increase use-and-occupancy taxes … but no soda tax. Read more »
For the third time this year, Councilman Bobby Henon held a bill Thursday that would allow the city to spend more than $7 million to buy land in Northeast Philadelphia that could be used to replace an aging prison. Read more »
Election Day in Philadelphia | Photo by AP/Matt Rourke
1. Voter turnout among millennials was abysmal in the mayoral election.
The gist: Only 12 percent of registered voters between the ages of 18 and 34 cast a ballot in Philadelphia’s mayoral election, according to newly released data from the City Commissioners office. Millennials make up the largest bloc of registered voters in the city, though you wouldn’t know it on Election Day. As BillyPenn reported, “There are 71,000 more registered millennials than people age 35-to-49, 82,000 more than people age 50-to-64 and 140,000 more than people age 65 and up. And yet those respective age groups beat the millennials in voter turnout by about 20,000, 53,000 and 42,000.” Read more »