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Success of immigrant communities starts with neighborhood school support

By Dai Lai Htoo for NewsWorks on Apr 17, 2015 03:41 PM

Since I came to South Philadelphia in 2008, the demographics of my neighborhood have changed constantly. I see American neighbors move out because of the increase in property prices. Then I see new immigrant refugees move in with the support of a resettlement agency that pays their rent for a few months. After that time, they move out because they need to stand on their own, and they need to look for cheaper rent.

My newest neighbors are refugees from Burma, like me, and refugees from Nepal who have the same refugee experiences as us. We also have neighbors who are Chinese American, African American, Latino, and White.

Highlights from last night's SRC meeting

By Wendy Harris on Apr 17, 2015 03:22 PM

Tensions ran high at last night’s School Reform Commission meeting, where members of the student group Youth United for Change were escorted out of the auditorium by school police. Many had come to the meeting to protest the District's plan to close Kensington Urban Education Academy and merge it with Kensington International Business. Ultimately, the five-member panel voted unanimously to suspend part of the public school code in order to accelerate the school's closing process.

But that wasn't the only thing that happened at yesterday's meeting. In case you missed it, here are some other important highlights we are featuring that were tweeted by others at the meeting.

SRC approves $55 million tax incentive for Gallery mall redevelopment

By Jared Brey for PlanPhilly on Apr 17, 2015 09:35 AM

Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission voted Thursday night to approve a tax-increment financing district for the area surrounding the Gallery mall on East Market Street that would save the mall’s owners $55 million in property taxes over 20 years.

Which mayoral candidate would best improve city schools?

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Apr 16, 2015 04:54 PM

Philadelphia's future depends in large part on developing a public school system that can serve the city's large economically disadvantaged population while attracting middle-class families that will expand its tax base.

SRC preview: Closing Kensington Urban, Bok water damage, new playgrounds

By the Notebook on Apr 16, 2015 03:04 PM

An array of noteworthy resolutions have been slated for tonight's School Reform Commission meeting. The SRC will be deciding on proposals from the District that include a suspension of the school code, building sales, school improvements, grant acceptances, and a request to revise the school calendar.

In advance of the meeting, Youth United for Change will be protesting the District's plan to close Kensington Urban and merge it with another school in the same building. The student-led group successfully fought for the creation of the school and three other small high schools a decade ago.

What would proposed budget increases buy Philadelphia schools?

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Apr 16, 2015 01:21 PM

Four years after Pennsylvania state budget cuts reduced recurring funding for Philadelphia classrooms by $294 million, Mayor Nutter and Gov. Wolf propose to put nearly that much money back into the School District.

Former Atlanta educators sentenced to prison for roles in test-cheating case

By Corey Mitchell for Education Week on Apr 16, 2015 12:38 PM

A Fulton County, Ga., judge sentenced eight of the 11 former Atlanta schools employees convicted in a test-cheating scandal to prison Tuesday, reserving the harshest penalties for those who refused to reach sentencing agreements with the district attorney.

Almost all the defendants will spend time behind bars, a reality that hit home hard for some in the courtroom. Crying and sobbing could be heard as Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter handed down the first of the sentences.

Neighbors to oppose veterans center on vacant District property in Grays Ferry

By Jared Brey for PlanPhilly on Apr 16, 2015 09:41 AM

A group of residents living near 27th and Wharton Streets in Grays Ferry is planning to attend a hearing Friday morning in City Hall to oppose the sale of a vacant lot owned by the Philadelphia School District and slated for redevelopment as a health and services center for veterans.

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