The School District has published its 2014 "Guide to School Budgets" that lays out quite starkly what to expect next year unless new money can be found. The document is meant for principals, School Advisory Councils, teachers, parents, assistant superintendents and community leaders.
A national report released Wednesday showed that far fewer dollars are spent per student in schools with predominantly Black and Latino enrollments, and that staffing those schools with less experienced teachers accounts for much of the spending disparity.
By Katie McCabe
The School Reform Commission voted Monday to outsource the three top management positions in its transportation department, but recessed until Wednesday to allow more time for talks with the labor union representing bus drivers, mechanics, and other blue-collar workers whose jobs could be facing a similar fate.
City Council put off a property tax reassessment sought by Mayor Nutter on Thursday and instead approved a plan that would raise about $40 million in additional funds for the School District.
That is less than half the $94 million that officials said was needed to stave off further cuts to schools and classrooms.
Sentado en una mesa de la cafetería en el Community College of Philadelphia, Cheick Kante no hace ningún esfuerzo por ocultar su frustración.
"A veces quisiera no haberme mudado acá nunca", dice Kante, un alto joven de 22 años que está estudiando una carrera en sistemas de información en el CCP. "Nunca pensé que sería así".
With students mostly gone for the day, Benjamin Franklin High's lone secretary has headed home, replaced at her desk by Principal Christopher Johnson.
Right away, the phone starts ringing.
First, it's a parent requesting a transcript. Then, it's a District complaint about paperwork. A 9th grader straggles in, asking for bus fare. A juvenile probation officer follows, trying to get records on a case.
Johnson deals with it alone.
Sitting at a table in the cafeteria at the Community College of Philadelphia, Cheick Kante makes no effort to hide his frustration.
"Sometimes I wish I'd never come here," says Kante, 22, a towering man who is studying computer information systems at CCP. "I never knew it would be like this."
A few hours later and a brisk walk away, Mohamed Kakay is a study in confidence as he chats in Starbucks at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is a graduate student in global studies. "I've had to work twice as hard," says Kakay, also 22. "But the resources are there for immigrant students."
Please help us welcome our newest blogger, Nijmie Dzurinko, former executive director of Philadelphia Student Union.
In the blurry world of education reform, parents, students, educators, and communities need a guiding light to keep us on track. What could public education look like in our city and state if education was fundamentally a human right guaranteed in our society? How can we proceed in our efforts to improve public education using a human rights lens as a way of discerning the competing efforts, frames and messages that inundate us?
“This all sounds too broad. I’m concerned about my school, my family, my community, and I can’t get into the politics.”
If that was your internal voice just now, you may have lost sight of the fact that the most powerful architects of public school reform are taking it upon themselves to tackle big questions like the future of education in our society, how it will be delivered and to whom, who will benefit, and how the role of education will be understood by all of us.
A new study by the Keystone Research Center says that contracting out student transportation has increased costs for Pennsylvania school districts instead of saving them money.
"Handing the reins over to the private sector is not always a good bargain for taxpayers," said Keystone executive director Stephen Herzenberg, a co-author of the study with labor economist Mark Price.
Still searching for millions of dollars in savings and hoping to extract concessions from its largest blue-collar union, the cash-strapped School District has issued a request for proposals for outside vendors to provide facilities management services in hundreds of District-owned buildings.
The District is "seeking greater operational efficiencies and reduced costs through innovative building management solutions" at "approximately 400 buildings. comprising 10 million square feet of space," according to the RFP.