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District employee charged with steering $1 million contract to friends and family

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on May 27, 2015 08:05 PM

A Philadelphia grand jury has recommended criminal charges against Priscilla Wright, 50, who until January was the Philadelphia School District's manager of small business development.

In 2013, as the city reeled from the closure of 23 public schools, the grand jury alleges, Wright used her influence to take advantage of the situation.

Paying tribute to a 'force of nature'

By Dale Mezzacappa on May 27, 2015 03:18 PM

Ed Rendell's favorite story about Marciene Mattleman is – well, it is about the same as Michael Nutter's favorite story. Stories always told with affection.  

Mostly, they go like this: She would call on a Monday with her latest big idea. The mayor would politely say "no" and gently hang up. 

But that was not the end of it. She would keep calling.

Shake, push, and read aloud! Quiet reading time no more

By Sarah Stippich on May 27, 2015 02:14 PM

When you think of story time, what do you imagine? Is it a time to listen quietly? Does it involve one adult’s voice and a lot of children sitting quietly with undivided attention? Well, story time isn’t what it used to be. It can be interactive, fun, and sometimes a bit … LOUD!

Recently, authors and publishers have offered picture books that create a truly interactive reading experience. Readers will shake, turn, touch, and play with a book. Or they are encouraged to physically search through a book, lifting flaps to discover new illustrations. Sometimes, the very idea of a picture book is turned on its head.

GOP prosecutors bolster Wolf's case for more pre-K funding

By Ben Allen for NewsWorks on May 27, 2015 11:09 AM

Several district attorneys in Pennsylvania are standing behind Gov. Wolf's proposal to invest more money in early childhood education.

What is a millage rate, and how does it affect school funding?

By Connie Langland on May 27, 2015 09:00 AM

What is a millage rate?

Millage is a term that represents the tax rate levied on real estate or other property. A mill is one thousandth of a dollar, or one tenth of one cent.

The millage rate is the number of dollars of tax assessed for each $1,000 of property value. A rate of 10 mills means that $10 in tax is levied on every $1,000 in assessed value.

Council talks budgets, penmanship with District

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on May 27, 2015 08:56 AM

It's budget season, and the School District of Philadelphia is making the rounds to seek money for the coming school year.

District officials appeared before City Council on Tuesday to ask for recurring funds, to the tune of about $100 million a year, to help them achieve long-term strategic plans. In response, City Council asked for more information about how the District had spent past budget contributions, as well as grilling the educators about penmanship.

Hite, SRC make pitch to City Council

By Dale Mezzacappa on May 26, 2015 03:00 PM

The annual ritual of District officials appearing before City Council began on Tuesday.

School Reform Commission Chair Marjorie Neff told the lawmakers that "our fiscal house is now in order."

The teen-mom dropout dilemma and removing barriers to child care


Della Jenkins

on May 26, 2015 01:03 PM

If you want teen parents to graduate, the solution is very simple: Help them gain access to child care.

Imagine that you’re 17 years old. You’ve been out of school for over a year after the difficult birth of your first baby. You know that you need an education to build a better life for you and your child, but you can’t afford to pay for child care while you’re in school.

So what do you do? Many teen parents faced with this dilemma simply drop out of school, and some never return.

School officials make their money pitch Tuesday to City Council

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on May 26, 2015 09:50 AM

The School District of Philadelphia will make its case for additional revenue before City Council on Tuesday morning.

District officials will urge Council to agree to Mayor Nutter's proposed 9.4 percent property tax hike.

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