Uber and Lyft Give Philly Schools a Boost for the First Time

Promotional photos from the press kits of Uber (left) and Lyft

Promotional photos from the press kits of Uber (left) and Lyft

Data released by the School District of Philadelphia on Thursday show that Uber and Lyft, which were both illegal at one point in Philadelphia, brought in more than $44 million in their first two months of legal operation across the state, according to the Inquirer. And, in the first fruits of a tax agreement, school leaders announced that the district would receive nearly $358,000 from the ride-sharing companies.

Legislation signed by Gov. Wolf in November that allowed the companies to operate statewide included a 1.4 percent levy on each ride provided through the companies’ apps. Previously, when Uber and Lyft operated under a temporary court reprieve, they were taxed at just 1 percent per ride. Read more »

Teachers’ Union Head Rejects District’s $100M Contract Offer

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers has reportedly rejected a $100 million contract offer from the School District of Philadelphia.

The Inquirer reports that PFT president Jerry Jordan won’t take the contract to his membership. The PFT says the deal doesn’t include retroactive pay or cost-of-living adjustments. Philadelphia teachers have been without a contract since August 2013 — a total of 1,187 days.

As a result of not having a contract, district teachers have not received raises in four years. The contract offer, per the report, would not retroactively move teachers up in “steps” that guarantee teachers higher pay. It would not give teachers increases for earning advanced degrees — instead using $32 million in bonus pay to help fill positions at difficult-to-staff schools. Read more »

Philly Police, Schools Investigating Creepy Clown Threats

Clown Threats

Photo Courtesy Graeme Maclean via Wikimedia Commons.

Halloween might be right around the corner, but Philly’s schools and police aren’t clowning around.

The PPD and the School District of Philadelphia released a joint statement statement informing the city’s residents that they’ve opened an active investigation into a series of “scary clown threats” made on social media.

Read more »

Philly Schools Adopt Policy Protecting Transgender Students’ Rights

Philadelphia school district Superintendent William Hite speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, in Philadelphia. Mayor Michael Nutter discussed efforts by My Brother’s Keeper Philadelphia, part of a national initiative created by President Barack Obama to address inequality targeting men and boys of color. Nutter told reporters Wednesday he hopes to build on the momentum of the program and laid plans for it to continue beyond his administration, ending in January. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite. | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission adopted a policy Thursday night that immediately broadened the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming students in the city’s schools. The new guidelines allow students to use their bathroom of choice, be referred to by their names and pronouns of choice, and participate in gender-segregated groups that correspond with their gender identity. Read more »

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