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Stories tagged: WHYY/NewsWorks

Dozens more schools lose school police due to budget cuts

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Aug 21, 2014 12:44 PM

In a move that leaders hope will be temporary, the Philadelphia School District will not fill its staffing vacancies for school police officers, causing a few dozen additional schools to share an officer when classes begin Sept. 8.

This inaction amounts to a 10 percent cut in school police workforce — saving the district $2.4 million.

The 26 elementary and middle schools affected will only have an officer in the building for half of the week.

Plan would require more Pa. charter teachers to be certified

By Mary Wilson for New​sWorks on Aug 18, 2014 11:49 AM

Traditional public schools and charter schools don't have the same rules when it comes to teacher certifications, but one new proposal would bring the two types of schools a little closer together.

All professional staff at traditional public schools in Pennsylvania are required to be certified by the state. Contrast that with charter and cyber-charter schools, which are only required to have 75 percent of their teachers state-certified.

Forthcoming legislation from State Rep. Thomas Murt, R-Montgomery, would increase that requirement to 80 percent.

Could 'community school' concept work in Philadelphia?

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Aug 14, 2014 07:11 PM

In Philadelphia, 40 percent of school-aged kids live in poverty.

One in five students has had some contact with the Department of Human Services.

The rate of chlamydia and gonorrhea among Philadelphia's 15- to 19-year-olds is three times the national average.

In an effort to help city children achieve academically despite socioeconomic difficulties, City Council has started examining the idea of turning schools into social-service hubs.

Can we trust the Philly cigarette tax revenue projections? A look inside the numbers

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Aug 13, 2014 03:34 PM

You can hear them calling in the street.

They lean on corners, squat on milk crates, rest on folding chairs – angling for a buck.

At the bustling intersection where Erie and Germantown Avenues slice through North Broad Street, they occupy every corner, calling to passersby:

"Loosie! Loosie!"

They're the city's black market cigarette hawks.

From packs semi-hidden in coat pockets or under thighs, the hawks sell individual "loosie" cigarettes. On a recent hot Friday afternoon, the going rate on North Broad was 50 cents a pop.

MLK High conflict-resolution staff seek facetime with incoming freshmen

By Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks on Aug 12, 2014 12:07 PM

Do the right thing.

Since the beginning of summer, Kim Ivery has relayed the simple — but heartfelt — wish countless times to her daughter Lexus, a rising freshman.

She desperately wants her youngest to start fresh after a rocky middle school experience.

"You're going to high school now," she's told her. "You're becoming a young lady. All that fighting and stuff, you have to leave it behind."

No cigarette tax vote, but promise of funds to tide Philly over

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Aug 4, 2014 11:08 PM

After a fruitless meeting of Pennsylvania legislative leaders and the Corbett administration, a cigarette tax for Philadelphia city schools remains in limbo.

But despite the lack of legislative deal, work continues on sending the struggling School District a funding advance that will allow doors to open on time, lawmakers said.

A spokesman for Gov. Tom Corbett said Monday that there is no amount or date set for the funding advance, which could help the Philadelphia School District with cash flow problems, but not fill its budget gap.

Protesters go to Harrisburg to push for cigarette tax

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Aug 4, 2014 12:48 PM

Two buses of protesters left Philadelphia for Harrisburg this morning to push for a cigarette tax and more education funding.

The protesters were from every part of Philadelphia, young and not so young, and from many ethnic and social groups.

Although not a parent or a teacher, Tom Derr says he's a concerned citizen worried about what the schools would do without the cigarette tax money.

Corbett says he's 'disappointed' cigarette tax vote postponed

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Aug 1, 2014 06:06 PM

Gov. Corbett said he disagreed with House Republican leaders' decision to call off a planned vote on authorizing Philadelphia to raise a cigarette tax to help fund its schools.

"Hopefully we'll find out what the reason was," said Corbett at an unrelated event in York County on Friday. Less than 24 hours before, House lawmakers had been notified they would not be called back to Harrisburg next week, as previously planned, to vote on the cigarette tax.

Micro-grant sparks vibrant clean-up effort on GHS property

By Daniel Pasquarello for NewsWorks on Jul 30, 2014 01:00 PM

Their community mainstay may be shuttered, but locals want to ensure that it doesn't become an eyesore.

So more than 30 members of the "Legends of Germantown" Facebook group helped spruce up the land surrounding Germantown High School on Sunday afternoon.

What began with sweeping and weeding the walkways turned into a more concerted raking and trash-collecting effort to prepare the larger expanses of grass for mowing.

Temple joins growing list of schools making standardized tests optional

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jul 29, 2014 05:36 PM

Nervous test-takers, fear not. Temple University announced Tuesday it will join the growing list of colleges ditching the SAT as an entrance requirement.

The university calls it the "Temple Option," describing it as "an admissions path for talented students who show great potential for success but don't perform well on standardized tests."

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