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Paying for high-quality pre-K cast as investment in Pa. future

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Mar 26, 2015 08:31 PM

One Wednesday morning at the Paley Early Learning Center in Northeast Philadelphia, 4-year-old Quincy was learning how to write the letter 'L'. Tracing arrows with his finger, he repeated after his teacher the different parts of the letter: a long line and a short line.

Quincy is one of about 13,000 pre-K students in Pennsylvania's Pre-K Counts, a program for families making under 300 percent of the poverty level. For context, about 39,000 children in Philadelphia alone qualify for the program.

District 2015-16 budget, if funded, would add $130 million directly to schools

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 26, 2015 04:07 PM

The SRC adopted a "lump sum" budget Thursday night that assumes more than $264 million in new revenue from the city and state that has been proposed by Gov. Wolf and Mayor Nutter but is by no means guaranteed.

SRC adopts nearly $2.9B 'lump sum' budget for 2015-16

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 26, 2015 03:01 PM

The School Reform Commission met Thursday afternoon to vote on a $2.86 billion "lump sum" budget for next school year that includes nearly $265 million in new revenue, based on proposals from Gov. Wolf and Mayor Nutter that would funnel more money to the District.

The budget shows that the District expects to end this fiscal year on June 30 with a $6.9 million surplus, which it plans to spend down next year.

How Philadelphia compares with other big-city school districts


Paul Socolar

on Mar 26, 2015 12:57 PM

The fall 2014 edition of an annual report called Managing for Results in America’s Great City Schools provides data from 2012-13 comparing the School District of Philadelphia and about 40 other big-city school districts on key performance indicators for information technology.

Philadelphia’s results fell near the bottom among big-city districts nationally on most of the technology indicators.

Report gives District low technology ranking


Dan Hardy

on Mar 26, 2015 11:41 AM

The numbers tell the story: Philadelphia has all the markings of a technology-starved school district.

In a report released last fall on 2012-13 information technology benchmarks for about 40 of the school districts making up the Council of the Great City Schools, the School District of Philadelphia ranked second from the bottom in the average age of its computers: just over five years. A computer’s assumed useful life is about five years.

Wolf challenges Pa. schools to cut overhead

By Sara Hoover for NewsWorks on Mar 26, 2015 09:46 AM

School districts across Pennsylvania have consistently made budget cuts for the last five years, and Gov. Wolf is challenging them to find more.

The good, the bad, and the buggy: Technology in Philly schools

By the Notebook on Mar 25, 2015 05:53 PM

For the first time, the Notebook focused an edition on education technology.

Our main findings: Some Philadelphia schools have pioneered technology use in several ways. But its overall use is spotty, often dependent on school leadership, teacher training and buy-in, and overall District stability.

Four schools nab $375K in PSP grants

By Neema Roshania for NewsWorks on Mar 25, 2015 04:44 PM

Philadelphia School Partnership is awarding a total of $375,000 in grants to three Philadelphia District schools and one Catholic school.

Mayoral hopefuls debate education at South Philly elementary school

By Dave Heller and Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Mar 25, 2015 04:33 PM

WHYY education reporter Kevin McCorry sits down with NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller to talk about Tuesday's mayoral forum on public education.

The Democratic candidates for Philadelphia mayor debated perhaps the most important issue in this year's race Tuesday night: public education.

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