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Malala accepts Liberty Medal, says education is a right for all

By Dale Mezzacappa on Oct 21, 2014 11:33 PM

The stage was set to celebrate the power of women at the Constitution Center on Tuesday night as the Liberty Medal was presented to the world's most famous schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai.

The 17-year-old Pakistani, whose outspoken defense of girls' right to an education led to her being shot by the Taliban -- and then becoming a world-famous human rights activist -- accepted the award under a tent set up on the Constitution Center's lawn.

Crucial court hearing on PFT-District dispute Wednesday morning

By Dale Mezzacappa on Oct 21, 2014 05:56 PM

A crucial hearing will occur Wednesday morning in Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg in the legal dispute between the School Reform Commission and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers over the union contract.

The SRC on Oct. 6 nullified the PFT contract and unilaterally imposed changes in teachers' health benefits, saying that 21 months of negotiations had been unproductive and that it needed the savings to put resources back in schools. 

Election 2014: A look at Corbett and Wolf on education

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 21, 2014 05:12 PM

OK, let's get right to the looming question: Did Gov. Corbett cut a billion dollars from public, K-12 education?

That question can be answered in different ways. It all depends on what you count, and how you count it.

If you say yes, Corbett did cut the money, here's how your logic goes, as put together by Democrat Tom Wolf.

National expert instructs parents and District staff on bullying prevention

By Paul Jablow on Oct 21, 2014 04:53 PM

As psychologist Stephen Leff tells it, solutions to bullying in schools start at home.

Leff, co-director of the Violence Prevention Initiative at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, spoke during an anti-bullying workshop at District headquarters Monday. The workshop provided parents with practical tips and information on how to recognize bullying, support children who have been bullied, and work with schools in dealing with this issue.

“If you take one thing away from here today, it’s communicating with your kids," said Leff, also an associate professor of clinical psychology in pediatrics at CHOP. "The most important thing is to know what really happened [in school].”

Philadelphia Futures celebrates 25 years of publishing college guide

By Shannon Nolan on Oct 21, 2014 02:10 PM

Philadelphia Futures has reached a milestone in its mission to prepare students for college. This year marks the 25th anniversary edition of Step Up to College: Philadelphia’s Guide to the College Preparation, Application, Admissions & Financial Aid Processes.

Since 1989 Philadelphia Futures has annually published this resource, providing it free of charge to thousands of students throughout the city in efforts to help remove any barriers to postsecondary success.

After a surge of new students, school stumbles, then thrives

By Payne Schroeder on Oct 21, 2014 10:30 AM

Gregory Bonaparte Jr. loved his 5th-grade class at Tanner Duckrey Elementary School.

“Every time it was Friday, I wanted to go back to school,” said the 12-year-old. “That’s where my friends were.”

His disposition changed when he came back for 6th grade. Suddenly, Duckrey had hundreds of new students and practically doubled in size.

Judge blocks SRC-ordered health care changes for teachers' union

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 20, 2014 06:15 PM

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers won a favorable ruling Monday in city Common Pleas Court in its fight with the School Reform Commission.

On Oct. 6, the SRC unilaterally terminated the PFT contract and imposed health care changes that it said would provide schools more than $50 million in additional resources this year.

On Friday, the PFT filed several legal rebuttals, including a request that the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas grant a temporary injunction in the case.

So the charter funding formula is unfair – but to whom?

By

Dan Hardy

on Oct 20, 2014 12:36 PM

With education funds scarce in the commonwealth, the debate over how charter schools get their money has never been more polarized.

The stakes are huge: Last school year, 176 charter schools educated 129,000 students statewide, at a cost to Pennsylvania school districts of more than $1.2 billion. About half those schools and students are located in Philadelphia; they consume 30 percent of the District’s operating budget.

Charter schools are independently run public schools paid for by tax dollars, authorized and primarily funded by the school districts from which their students come. Districts send charters a per-student payment, based on a state-established formula.

State's special education funding rules are slow to change

By

Dan Hardy

on Oct 20, 2014 12:36 PM

Pennsylvania’s special education funding system is complicated and in flux. But it has generally discouraged districts from identifying too many special education students while rewarding charters that do so.

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