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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.

Philadelphia High School Fair starts today

By Payne Schroeder on Oct 17, 2014 12:15 PM

The annual Philadelphia High School Fair starts today at the Armory at Drexel University on North 33rd Street, between Market and Cuthbert Streets.

Thousands of students and their parents are expected to visit the expo, which is presented by Great Philly Schools, in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia. The fair is designed for 7th and 8th graders, as well as high school students looking to transfer schools.

PFT files legal response to SRC's contract cancellation

By the Notebook on Oct 17, 2014 11:22 AM

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers has filed a multi-pronged response to the School Reform Commission's move to cancel its contract.

Primarily, the union is challenging the District's gambit of going directly to Commonwealth Court with its action, bypassing the traditional labor relations process for settling contract disputes. The PFT is responding with motions to Commonwealth Court, the local Court of Common Pleas, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, and the American Arbitration Association.

Notes from the news, Oct. 17

By the Notebook on Oct 17, 2014 07:44 AM

SRC listens to anger for hours, after thousands protest contract cancellation. Notebook

3000 at rally protest teachers' contract cancellation. Daily News

Throngs of teachers gather at Phila. schools HQ to protest their contract cancellation. Inquirer

Parents' groups protest SRC at district offices. Inquirer

Hundreds protest against Phila. SRC's controversial move. 6ABC

Protesters Rally Ahead of SRC Meeting in Spring Garden. CBSPhilly

Thousands join street protest before raucous SRC meeting. Inquirer

Protesters, Teachers Block Broad Street in Front of Philly School District. NBC10

This Is What the Streets of Philadelphia Look Like After Commission Votes to Cancel Teachers' Union Contract. The Blaze 

23 Best Signs From the Philadelphia Teachers' Protest. Philadelphia Magazine

Students disrput film screening at District headquarters. Notebook 

Student protesters say SRC member yelled, disparaged schools. Inquirer

School Reform Commissioner Simms defends her action at screen filmingNewsWorks

After Palmer loses court case, 600 students face expulsion from charter. Notebook

Students Forced To Leave Walter Palmer Charter Due To Over Enrollment. Myfoxphilly

250 students forced out of Philadelphia Charter School. 6ABC

Phila. Charter School Holds Lottery To Cut Enrollment. CBSPhilly

Councilwoman proposes e-cigarette tax to help fund Philly schools. NewsWorks

Philadelphia School Failure. Wall Street Journal

Transform the city with technology education. Inquirer

More school districts exploring stay-home days. Philadelphia Tribune

News Summary from Keystone State Education Coalition


Who's hiring teachers in Philly? For education job postings, visit jobs.thenotebook.org

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Notes from the news

SRC listens to anger for hours, after thousands protest contract cancellaton

By Dale Mezzacappa on Oct 16, 2014 11:37 PM

For nearly three hours Thursday night, the School Reform Commission listened to harsh and bitter criticism of its move last week to cancel its contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and unliaterally change health benefits for the union's 11,500 members. 

Eagles player promises ice-cream party if West Oak Lane students read regularly

By Brian Hickey for NewsWorks on Oct 16, 2014 10:04 PM

Holding a brand-new book and poster freshly autographed by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin, young Kazir got to talking Wednesday morning about why he loves reading.

Among two dozen students in the Prince Hall Elementary School library for the "READ! By 4th Campaign" literacy event, the youngster said that good books often offer quality life lessons.

"Dictionaries. Other large books," he mentioned of things he's read. "One book taught me how to drive a car."

That's when Kazir's second-grade friend Jeremiah had heard enough.

After Palmer loses court case, 600 students will have to leave charter

By Bill Hangley Jr. for WHYY on Oct 16, 2014 08:15 PM

Usually, charter schools hold lotteries to decide who will attend. But one school is scheduled to hold a lottery Thursday night to find out who will have to leave.

A forced enrollment cut is just one of many problems faced by the Walter D. Palmer Charter School in Philadelphia's Northern Liberties neighborhood.

A pioneer of the local school choice movement, Walter Palmer has for years overenrolled his charter school, hoping to force the Philadelphia School District to eventually pay for the extra students.

School Reform Commissioner Simms defends her action at film screening

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 16, 2014 04:49 PM

Thursday night will be the first Philadelphia School Reform Commission meeting since it terminated the teachers' contract in a surprise meeting last week.

The meeting was already expected to attract a firestorm of protest, but conflict may have been further fanned by School Reform Commissioner Sylvia Simms scolding students at a film screening Wednesday night.

Councilwoman proposes e-cigarette tax to help fund Philly schools

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Oct 16, 2014 03:54 PM

A Philadelphia city councilwoman wants a tax on e-cigarettes that would be dedicated to the public schools.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown said she'd like the city to tax the nicotine-based fluid used in electronic cigarettes and other accessories to help the struggling School District.

Students disrupt film screening at District headquarters

By Waleed Shahid on Oct 16, 2014 01:17 PM

[Notebook editor's note: This commentary appeared on NewsWorks Thursday morning. Shortly after, Sylvia Simms said on Twitter that she would like to meet with the student protesters.]

 

Yesterday evening, students from the Philadelphia Student Union disrupted a screening at the School District headquarters of Won’t Back Down, a film largely critical of teachers' unions and supportive of charter school development.

The students sat silently in the first few rows of the auditorium, only to break out of their seats about 20 minutes into the film to sit in front of the screen and clap and chant in support of a fair funding formula and against the recent decision by the School Reform Commission to cancel the teachers’ union contract.

District's hearings to shut down Palmer Charter School begin

By Bill Hangley Jr. on Oct 15, 2014 06:02 PM

Hearings began today on the School District’s effort to deauthorize and shut down Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School, even as the founder’s plan to steer the school through its immediate financial crisis has apparently fallen through.

Speaking after this morning’s testimony, Palmer said he does not know how much cash the 1,200-student school has on hand or how much longer it can stay open without some kind of fresh financial support.

Conservative think tank is behind paid protesters at Philly teachers' union event

By Anna Orso for Billy Penn on Oct 15, 2014 04:26 PM

A conservative, free-market think tank in Harrisburg is behind efforts to pay people to distribute opposing information at a teachers' union rally and protest planned for Thursday, Billy Penn has confirmed.

Cindy Hamill-Dahlgren, spokeswoman for the Commonwealth Foundation, confirmed Wednesday that the group hired New York guerrilla marketing firm GoGorilla, which will pay about 12 people to hand out fliers and hold banners in opposition to the teachers’ union — however, she said she wouldn’t characterize this effort as a “counter-protest.”

7 minutes with Gov. Corbett on school spending, competing priorities

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 15, 2014 03:54 PM

Gov. Corbett of Pennsylvania came to WHYY's studios Friday to answer a wide array of questions from various reporters during an hourlong visit.

Aside from NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller's interview, the conversations weren't intended to be broadcast in their entirety.

But upon reviewing the tape – considering the importance of education as an issue in this election – I decided to post my full, unedited seven-minute conversation with Corbett, who is seeking election to a second term.

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