Pennsylvania Creates Commission to Study New School Funding Formula

One thing Governor Tom Corbett and Philadelphians can agree on: The funding system for public schools in this state is broken. What we don’t know if they’ll agree on: Whatever recommendations the new Basic Education Funding Commission makes.

Corbett signed the bill, sponsored by Republican Bucks County Rep. Bernie O’Neill, which attempts to overhaul how school districts are funded. “Our current system is very antiquated and fails to recognize the differing needs of school districts with increasing or decreasing enrollment levels,” O’Neill said in a press release.

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Principal, 4 Teachers Charged in Cheating Scandal at Philadelphia School

As expected, charges were announced today in an investigation into cheating at Philadelphia schools. The principal of Cayuga Elementary School and four teachers there have been charged in the cheating scandal, the Inquirer’s Kristen Graham reports. The school is in Hunting Park.

Action News says the attorney general’s office alleges the teachers gave test answers to students, changed answers and “improperly reviewed PSSA questions prior to tests.”

The Inquirer first reported on cheating at Cayuga in 2012. The paper said principal Evelyn Cortez, who was charged today, told teachers to “go through and make sure no questions are left blank” on state achievement tests.

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Masterman Wins Second Junior High Chess Title

NBC 10 reports: “The Julia R. Masterman School chess team found themselves in a familiar situation in Atlanta, Ga. over the weekend. The team, composed of students, Angel Hernandez-Camen, Srisa Changolkar, Shira Moolten, Torin Kuehnle and Nalin Khanna were competing in their second National Junior High chess championship in a row.” The team won a field 1,300 students from 38 states.

School District Says It Needs $216M to Avert Thousands of Layoffs

The Philadelphia school district is still broke, if you haven’t noticed. Schools superintendent William Hite says the district needs $216 million or it will have to lay off a thousand teachers, KYW 1060′s Pat Loeb reports. Hite adds he doesn’t believe layoffs are a realistic solution, saying the budget is already too tight to cut any more jobs.

At the Inquirer, Kristen Graham has sobering details from the budget.

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Masterman Is Once Again PA’s Top School

The Inquirer reports: “Philadelphia’s Masterman High School once again topped U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of Pennsylvania schools, with a number of suburban high schools rounding out the top 10.  New Hope-Solebury in Bucks County surged into the No. 3 spot ahead of academic powerhouses Conestoga (fifth) and Lower Merion (15th).”

The rankings of best Pennsylvania schools can be found here.

‘Works Bomb’ Detonated at Philadelphia School

A bomb went off in the yard outside a Feltonville school earlier this week, and a student has been charged. The City Paper‘s Dan Denvir reports the student, whose name has not been released, detonated what’s called a “works bomb” just outside the Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences on Wednesday.

What’s a works bomb? It’s a cheap homemade explosive made with toilet bowl cleaner The Works. This now-censored article with directions provides the info — chemicals in bathroom cleaners like The Works mix with the aluminum in tin foil and causes a pretty big explosion.

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Census: Philadelphians Are Moving to Montgomery County

Photo | shutterstock.com

Photo | shutterstock.com

Despite the fact that the American Dream has changed, and no longer necessarily signifies the white picket fence and 2.5 children living in the ’burbs, a Census report that was recently released includes Philadelphia and Montgomery County in the top 25 “pairs of counties with the largest number of people moving from the origin to the destination, minus people moving in the other direction,” according to Business Insider. (Net annual population flow from Philadelphia County to Montco between 2007 and 2011: 5,236.)

This means that large numbers of Philly residents left the city between 2007 and 2011 specifically to live in Montgomery County.

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