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Stories tagged: WHYY/NewsWorks

In cheating, principals cited intense pressure to raise scores

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 26, 2014 04:05 PM

Early in the morning, before anyone else arrived at Communications Technical High School, Barbara McCreery would sit in her office as principal and redo some of her students' standardized test booklets – 15 at a time, she says, with an answer key in hand.

City Council panel approves borrowing $30 million for Philly schools

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Sep 24, 2014 10:01 AM

The city of Philadelphia intends to borrow $30 million more to keep the schools afloat while the District  awaits proceeds from the cigarette tax that was finalized Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Senate.

The city borrowed $27 million to help the District meet expenses for the fiscal year that ended in June. It agreed then to borrow $30 million more in September.

In victory for Philly schools, lawmakers reach consensus on cigarette tax

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 23, 2014 07:14 PM

Philadelphia schools received a tremendous victory in Harrisburg on Tuesday as Senate lawmakers passed a long-sought $2-per-pack cigarette tax that District leaders expect to generate $49 million in revenue this school year for the city district.

In a 39-11 vote, senators adopted the language approved by the House of Representatives on Monday. This was key, as the two chambers disagreed for much of the summer over other elements unrelated to the cigarette tax that were tucked into the omnibus legislation.

Community group scrambles to file charter school application

By Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks on Sep 23, 2014 10:29 AM

A grassroots group in Northwest Philadelphia wants to transform Germantown High School into an independent charter school serving neighborhood students.

During a packed Monday night community meeting, Germantown High School Coalition members voted to submit a charter school application to the Philadelphia School District by the Nov. 15 deadline.

Pa. House passes $2-per-pack Philly cigarette tax on to Senate

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 22, 2014 06:19 PM

In a 114-84 vote, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives once again approved the $2-per-pack Philadelphia cigarette tax for city schools on Monday.

The measure could get a vote in the Senate as soon as Wednesday. Gov. Corbett has pledged to sign the bill upon passage.

The Philadelphia School District is counting on the cigarette tax to generate $49 million this fiscal year to avoid more than 1,000 layoffs that District officials warn would turn schools into "empty shells."

Interactive timeline: A summer of false starts, bluffs, and political theatre in Philly school funding

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 22, 2014 09:40 AM


Since last spring, District leaders have been sounding the alarm about this year's fiscal plight, but even after months of handwringing and headlines, schools have opened with less resources than last year.

Here, we take a look back on a summer of false starts, bluffs, and political theatre. 

Below, you can view a timeline of the summer's milestones – with links to archived articles – and also listen to a piece that allows the major players in the funding debate to tell the story in their own voices.

A look back at the first two weeks of classes

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 20, 2014 10:29 AM

The resource-starved Philadelphia School District has now finished its second full week of classes.

Pending deal on former Germantown High catches neighbors off guard

By Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks on Sep 19, 2014 05:07 PM

A grassroots group in Northwest Philadelphia says it will fight to bring education back to Germantown High School. But it may have to win over members of a Maryland-based development firm to do that.

SRC approves Germantown High School sale to Md. developers

By Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks on Sep 19, 2014 09:38 AM

The Concordia Group, a Maryland-based development firm, now has the opportunity to buy several Philadelphia School District properties, including the former homes of Germantown High School and nearby Robert Fulton Elementary.

On Thursday night, the School Reform Commission voted to allow Concordia and the District to begin the negotiation process for the sale of five shuttered school buildings.

Philly mayoral candidate wants to abolish SRC

By Holly Otterbein for NewsWorks on Sep 17, 2014 02:33 PM

Standing outside the headquarters of the cash-strapped Philadelphia School District, former city solicitor Ken Trujillo announced Wednesday that he is running for mayor — and that he wants to ax the School Reform Commission.

"We must end the state takeover of education in Philadelphia," Trujillo said. "It's time for the SRC to go!"

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