Study: Philly Support for Public Schools Is On the Rise

School District of Philadelphia

Photo by Jeff Fusco

There is a perception in some circles that the City of Philadelphia has been less than generous when it comes to public schools. But maybe it’s time to rethink that view.

new report from Temple University’s Center on Regional Politics suggests the city has dramatically boosted its financial support for schools in recent years — and that the city’s oft-impoverished residents are carrying a heavier-than-expected tax burden as a result.

The study, “How Well Does Philadelphia Support Its Public Schools? A New Perspective,” avoids concluding that the city “does more than it gets credit for doing.” But it highlights important data: Read more »

WATCH: Northeast High Girl Turns Video of Her Beating Into Anti-Bullying Crusade

Images from Mia DeJesus' video.

Images from Mia DeJesus’ anti-bullying video.

Mia DeJesus says she was beaten unconscious in a Northeast High School bathroom last week — and to make things worse, her attackers posted video of the incident online to see.

Now the video is going viral — promoted by 16-year-old DeJesus herself, as a statement against bullying.

“I refuse to be held hostage by this video and my fear,” she says in a voiceover. “I will not be a victim.”

Watch: Read more »

Philly Schools Are Closed Again Tomorrow

Philadelphia School District Building

Photo by Jeff Fusco

All Philadelphia public schools are closed again tomorrow due to this weekend’s snowstorm.

Not long after the Philadelphia School District announced its decision, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia also announced schools in the city would be closed tomorrow as well.

Read more »

Philly Schools Are Closed Monday

Photo Jan 24, 11 48 59 AM

Good evening, Philadelphia. Here’s what we know — and don’t know — as sunset falls on a snow-blanketed region:

District and Catholic schools in Philadelphia will be closed Monday. The announcement from the School District of Philadelphia came late Sunday afternoon: “Due to the snowstorm that occurred over the weekend, all School District of Philadelphia schools are closed for Monday, January 25.” The Archdiocese of Philadelphia also announced that “Archdiocesan high schools and Catholic elementary schools in the City of Philadelphia will be closed tomorrow, Monday, January 25, 2016 due to ongoing travel difficulties associated with the weekend’s winter storm.” Also closed are all early childhood and after-school programs and all administrative offices.”

City employees, however, will be on the job: Mayor Jim Kenney declared at a Sunday morning press conference that City Hall will be open. CBS3 reports, however, that there will be no trash or recycling collection on Monday.  Read more »

It’s So Cold, Two Area Schools Are Closed Today

Alain Locke Elementary. Photo | Google Street View

Alain Locke Elementary. Photo | Google Street View

It’s about 22 degrees in Philadelphia right now. You don’t need me to tell you that this is cold, one of the coldest days yet this winter and one that probably made you shiver on your way out of the house this morning.

Indeed, it’s so cold that two Philadelphia area schools are closing today due to a lack of heat. First is the Alain Locke Elementary School, at 45th and Haverford in West Philadelphia. That school has no heat whatsoever; it was in session this morning, but it dismissed at noon. (Hey, at least the school’s boiler didn’t explode.)

In Bucks County, Truman High School closed at 10 a.m. this morning due to a heating circulator not being repaired. Read more »

Cruz Seeks State Audit of School District

cruz schools

A Philly Democrat is once again seeking a state audit of the Philadelphia school district’s finances, saying the district needs to show a “greater level of accountability” for its spending.

Rep. Angel Cruz, who represents a portion of North Philly, sent a memo to colleagues last week, asking for their support of his effort. Read more »

Will Supreme Court Break the Power of Philly’s Municipal Unions?

The U.S. Supreme Court | Shutterstock.com

The U.S. Supreme Court | Shutterstock.com

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday heard a case that could undermine the power of Philadephia’s powerful municipal unions.

The case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, doesn’t directly involve Philadelphia. But the issue it decides — whether civic unions that serve the School District of Philadelphia, City Hall and other public institutions can force non-members to pay union dues as a “fair share” of the benefits they receive from union activity — could have a big impact here.

“All of the unions in the city of Philadelphia, certainly the school district, and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, have negotiated fair share agreements. So if the court were to overrule that decision, it would have very serious consequences for all local unions, including the uniformed services,” attorney Elaine Williams told KYW. Read more »

State: Four Philly Schools Have “Curriculum Deficiencies”

Since 1997, the restored building, with a large addition in the rear, has been occupied by the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. | Beyond My Ken, Wikimedia Commons

The Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts is one of four schools cited by the state for “curriculum deficiencies.” | Beyond My Ken, Wikimedia Commons

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has ruled that four Philly schools have “curriculum deficiencies,” and must come up with corrective action plans within 45 days.

The ruling was disclosed Monday morning by the Public Interest Law Center, which is suing the state over what it says are shortcomings in education funding to public schools. The organization said it discovered the ruling as part of discovery for the lawsuit; a Department of Ed official confirmed that a letter was sent to the district on Dec. 8, confirming the finding of curriculum deficiencies.

The schools: Bodine High School of International Affairs, Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush, and C.W. Henry School.

“We are delighted the department has decided to take action,” Amy Laura Cahn, staff attorney with the Public Interest Law Center, said in a written statement announcing the finding. “These actions show the Department has finally acknowledged its legal responsibilities.”

District officials said the ruling shows the state has failed sufficiently fund schools. “The findings again highlight an issue that plagues all Philadelphia public schools: a lack of resources due to reductions in revenues from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. ” district spokesman Fernando Gallard said. “For all Philadelphia schools to operate with robust curricula, programming and resources, we must have adequate public education funding.”

Read more »

Al Jazeera Features “Philadelphia’s Filthy Schools”

Well, this is unsettling:


That’s right: Al Jazeera has been taking a look at “Philadelphia’s Filthy Schools.” And it has no shortage of bad stuff to report.

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, in fact, provided the network with pictures — some of them from reports by City Auditor Alan Butkovitz — documenting the mess at some 150 schools across the city where deficiencies like “rotting walls, standing water, mold and crumbling ceilings” have been found. Read more »

« Older Posts