The Philadelphia School District’s Unfortunate Hashtag: #phled

philadelphia school district hashtag phled

In a city that has smart parents fleeing in droves to the better, safer schools of the suburbs, this hashtag used by the School District of Philadelphia is probably ill-advised. Ah, homophony.

PSP Lobbied to Get Bill Green SRC Chairmanship

To convince state senators in Harrisburg (who voted to confirm him) that Democrat Bill Green was the man to lead the School Reform Commission, the influential Philadelphia School Partnership hired a high-profile lobbying firm, Wodjak and Associates. While it’s no surprise that Green is the sort of reform-minded, pro-charter candidate the PSP favors, this latest news suggests an ideological and political closeness between the two that may make some uncomfortable.

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Bill Green Confirmed as SRC Chair

The State Senate has confirmed at-large Councilman Bill Green as new School Reform Commission chair by a vote of 44-2. Philly’s Vincent Hughes and Chesco/Montco’s Andrew Dinniman dissented. Farah Jimenez, who leads a West Philly non-profit that addresses homelessness, was also confirmed as a new member of the five-person board.

[Daily News]

Morning Headlines: District Gets 20 Bids for Shuttered School Buildings

School District of Philadelphia

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

Another lumbering step forward has been taken in the effort to raise budget money for the School District of Philadelphia. Since last year’s December 17th deadline, the District has received 20 offers for the 28 school buildings for sale, seven of which were “expedited sales” and open to individual bids.

Putting the abandoned buildings on the market and using the money to fill its budget gap has it proponents, but another deadline looms. As the Inquirer’s Troy Graham puts it:

To cover what the city pledged toward the district’s budget deficit, sales worth at least $61 million have to be completed by June 30. If not, the city would have to dip into its funds to make up the difference.

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WATCH: Diane Sawyer Heads Back to Strawberry Mansion High School

Since Diane Sawyer first visited Strawberry Mansion high school last May, Nightline reports, several positive developments have occurred. One, the school is no longer on the city’s “persistently dangerous” list. Two, for the first time ever, it’s got a football team. (Go Knights!). Here’s the video of Sawyer’s follow-up, which aired last night.

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Philly Considering Putting Ads in Schools

Yesterday City Council moved forward a bill that would allow the school to sell space on school buildings to advertisers. Predictably, as the Inquirer notes, proponents have touted the obvious economic benefit to the cash-strapped district, and opponents–some of them parents and teachers–have been wringing their hands (understandably) about inundating youngsters with commercial messages during school hours. Necessary caveat, as with all things School District of Philadelphia: Even if Council ultimately passes the bill, the ultimate authority rests with the SRC.

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Was Nurse Shortage Really to Blame in Laporshia Massey’s Death?

Philadelphia School District Building

In mid-October, City Paper reported that 12-year-old Laporshia Massey died after an asthma attack her school was unable to treat, since it was lacking a nurse on staff. That story blew up big time, making the local TV rounds, and giving us a tangible parable with which to make sense of the devastating budget cuts the school district has endured. Today, that narrative got a little less black-and-white. Dan Denvir, who broke the story, reports that an active city investigation into her death has allegedly found that Massey’s father Daniel Burch was himself negligent in caring for her.

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