In the old Kensington High School building, two distinct schools have their own budgets, principals and classes. There's even a physical barrier, a kind of wall between the two spaces.
Essence Whiting, a rising sophomore at one of the schools, Kensington Urban Education Academy, said there are doors in the wall, but students stay on their own sides. She said she prefers Kensington Urban -- which has just over 300 students -- and relationships she has there over her old middle school, where the grades were three times as large.
The Philadelphia Board of Ethics has fined the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers $1,500 for contributions to City Council candidate Helen Gym in violation of the city's campaign finance law.
Political committees are permitted to give candidates for municipal office no more than $11,500 per year. The board found (and the PFT admitted) that the union's political committee gave Gym's campaign twice that, routing a second contribution through the committee of the American Federation of Teachers' Pennsylvania chapter.
A top Republican lawmaker suggested Monday that Pennsylvania may need a short-term budget as a compromise on a full spending plan proves elusive.
"The Senate Republicans [and] the House Republicans don't want to see services for the most vulnerable in the commonwealth ... held up," said Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) as he emerged from a private meeting with Gov. Wolf, a Democrat.
Democratic Gov. Wolf of Pennsylvania isn't ruling out a switch to 401(k)-style retirement plans for future state and school employees.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would partially undo the state's seniority protections for teachers, while also allowing school districts to make layoffs for financial reasons – a practice that is now barred.
The bill would allow school districts to ignore seniority when deciding to lay off the small minority of the state's teachers who have below proficient ratings.
Gov. Wolf says a vote for his education budget will be a vote for lower property taxes in Pennsylvania.
But while Republicans say they would welcome the tax relief, they're not sold on the governor's plan to increase spending overall.
When it comes to disparities in school funding, Pennsylvania is leading the country.
Community members gathered Wednesday in the Springfield High School auditorium in Delaware County to hear about the imbalance that has wealthier districts getting more state funds than poorer ones.