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Hite's plan for schools echoes Wolf's call for equity and more funding

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Mar 4, 2015 03:22 PM

Two leaders with a passionate interest in education released documents that could provide guidance for fully funding Philadelphia's public schools.

The day after Gov. Wolf presented his proposed budget, Philadelphia Schools Superintendent William Hite released his "Action Plan 3.0" Wednesday. The 50-plus page document spells out the superintendent's plan for overlapping "networks" of schools, with a focus on bringing more equity – and more revenue -- into the school system.

Mixing history, literature in study of city's 1793 yellow fever epidemic

By Jessica McDonald for NewsWorks on Mar 4, 2015 12:31 PM

More than two centuries ago, an outbreak of yellow fever hit Philadelphia — then the largest city in the fledgling United States — and wiped out about 10 percent of the population. Now, one Philadelphia public school is using a young adult novel to share this piece of history and foster a love of reading.

Dissecting Wolf's $33 billion plan for Pennsylvania

By NewsWorks Staff on Mar 3, 2015 07:57 PM

Gov. Wolf's first budget address put an emphasis on his vision for improving Pennsylvania's present and its future.

He is calling for tax increases in an effort to generate additional funding for education, property tax relief, and economic development programs in a more than $33 billion state budget proposal.

'Innovative and bold' or an 'attack' on charters? Reactions to Wolf budget plan

By Allison Welton on Mar 3, 2015 05:05 PM

Was it an “innovative and bold” step forward or a bloody “attack” on charter schools? After Gov. Wolf’s budget address, some groups immediately turned up the heat on legislators to “put our money where their mouths are,” while others took a breath and celebrated a “solid first step” toward universal pre-K.

Here’s our round-up of reactions from the education world to the governor’s proposals.

Survey points to more cuts in Pa. school districts

By Sara Hoover for NewsWorks on Mar 3, 2015 04:16 PM


School districts across Pennsylvania say they're struggling to do more with less, according to a recent survey that looks at school budgets.

It shows that most of the state's school districts are looking at more tax increases as well as cuts to programs and staff cuts to keep up with costs for mandated services.

As new SRC chair, Neff plans to continue teamwork

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Mar 3, 2015 09:50 AM

Gov. Wolf called -- and Philadelphia School Reform Commissioner Marjorie Neff answered.

Neff replaced Bill Green, an appointee of former Gov. Tom Corbett, as chair of the SRC, a position with responsibilities such as setting the agenda for meetings and signing all School District contracts.

Mayoral candidates stand by Wolf's SRC switch-up

By Katie Colaneri for NewsWorks on Mar 2, 2015 08:49 PM

As Bill Green vows to fight Gov. Wolf's decision to remove him as chair of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, most of the candidates running for mayor of Philadelphia are standing by the governor.

Sale of former schools nets District $42 million

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Mar 2, 2015 12:25 PM

The George W. Childs Elementary School at 17th and Tasker Streets in South Philadelphia once resonated with the sounds of more than 500 students in its halls and classrooms. 

Pa. Senate majority leader: Pension overhaul before any Wolf tax measures

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Mar 2, 2015 09:47 AM

On Tuesday, Gov. Wolf of Pennsylvania will unveil a state budget proposal that will crystallize his plan for increasing education spending while also dealing with the state's $2.3 billion structural deficit.

For Wolf to pass his agenda, which will likely include a slate of tax increases and expansions, he must first find a way to compromise with the Republican leaders who control the legislature.

Parents, students slam high-stakes testing at opt-out forum

By Connie Langland on Feb 27, 2015 12:31 PM

Among the lineup of speakers at a forum on high-stakes testing Thursday night, two young people stepped forward to share firsthand knowledge of the toll that the state's annual standardized assessments can take on learning in the classroom and life beyond high school.

“My mom opted me out,” said Guillermo Santos, a 6th grader at Masterman, facing a room of 90 to 100 educators, parents, and students crowded into a conference room at the Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine St.

Letters: Banning signs at an SRC meeting

By on Feb 26, 2015 03:48 PM

To the editor:

The actions of the School Reform Commission members at last week’s special meeting on new charter applications, particularly those of Chairman Bill Green, were shameful. They sanctioned the actions of police officers who harassed community members who came to be heard on a very important issue facing the School District.

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