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What's the real cost of the new charters?

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Feb 20, 2015 03:35 PM

We went down the rabbit hole on this one.

And in the end, the Philadelphia School District revised its own math.

After the Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted Wednesday night to approve five new charter schools, SRC Chair Bill Green said the decision would have a "very minimal" impact on the School District's budget.

Turned-down charter providers can make case before state appeals board

By Bill Hangley Jr. for NewsWorks on Feb 20, 2015 08:40 AM

Marc Mannella is a veteran of the Philadelphia education reform movement, but his education in the finer points of charter law may have only just begun.

"One way to look at tonight was that it was a night only lawyers could love," said Mannella on Wednesday, after the School Reform Commission shot down two of his three proposed new charter schools.

As the head of KIPP Philadelphia, Mannella must now decide whether to turn those lawyers loose.

At first forum of mayoral candidates, education is hot topic

By Katie Colaneri on Feb 19, 2015 04:56 PM

The six Democrats vying to be the next mayor of Philadelphia met Thursday morning for their first forum.

They were brought together by the Business Association of West Parkside to talk, well, business, but the conversation rarely strayed from education.

Four arrested at SRC meeting while protesting charter expansion

By Allison Welton on Feb 19, 2015 02:05 PM

Police arrested four school activists Wednesday night for disrupting a contentious meeting at School District headquarters. The School Reform Commission had convened to decide the fate of 39 new charter school applications. Five were approved.

Chanting against charter expansion, the protesters, all members of the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools, said that approving any new charter schools would spell financial disaster for the cash-strapped School District.

It's time for broad-based pressure to support city schools

By James H. Lytle on Feb 19, 2015 12:07 PM

Come May, I hope the primary elections for mayor and City Council will be the event that catalyzes the city to act in support of public education in Philadelphia.

Last November, I wrote about what public education issues mayoral candidates should address. Much has happened in the last few months, most notably the ascension of a new governor committed to increased funding for public schools and the emergence of the likely candidates for mayor.

SRC denies Germantown charter school bids

By Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks on Feb 19, 2015 09:17 AM

Down, but not out.

That's the sentiment that the teams behind two proposed charter schools in Germantown are embracing after watching the School Reform Commission deny their applications Wednesday night.

SRC scorecard: Here's how the commissioners voted

By Notebook and NewsWorks staff on Feb 19, 2015 08:29 AM

The School Reform Commission voted Wednesday night to approve five charters, with conditions: Independence Charter West, KIPP DuBois, MaST-Roosevelt, Mastery Gillespie and TECH Freire. Thirty-four other applicants were denied. Here's how the commissioners voted.

SRC approves five new charter schools, rejects 34; protesters arrested

By NewsWorks Staff on Feb 19, 2015 07:24 AM

After hundreds of hours of hearings on an "unprecedented" 39 applications, the School Reform Commission voted to conditionally grant five new school charters in Philadelphia last night. It denied the 34 remaining applicants.

Protesters upset that any new charters were approved disrupted the meeting. Police arrested four people who ignored pleas to disperse so the votes could continue.

Live blog: SRC approves five charters, all with conditions, out of 39 applicants

By Dale Mezzacappa, Shannon Nolan, and Allison Welton on Feb 18, 2015 04:20 PM

At a contentious meeting marked by angry outbursts and high drama, the School Reform Commission approved five new charter schools Wednesday night, rejecting 34 of 39 applications.

The five members were caught between a rock and a hard place -- between a Democratic governor who wants no new charters and a Republican legislature that does, and facing a sharply divided community. Charter advocates and charter opponents both claimed to have the best interest of students and families at heart.

Temple gets green light to tear down former William Penn High building

By Bill Hangley Jr. for NewsWorks on Feb 18, 2015 09:43 AM

The Philadelphia Planning Commission has given Temple University permission to tear down the vacant William Penn High building on North Broad Street.

In its place, Temple plans another structure, but exactly what it will be the school isn't ready to say.

Citywide robotics competition offers showcase, opportunity for students

By Sara Hoover for NewsWorks on Feb 18, 2015 09:39 AM

Last weekend, the Central High School gym in Philadelphia was filled with the usual sounds of balls falling, rolling and going into goals. But it wasn't students doing the scoring -- it was their robots.

Teams made last-minute adjustments to their robots during the annual citywide robotics championship, the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge. The international competition for 7th- through 12th-grade teams is put on by an organization called For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology -- FIRST.

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