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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."