Several school districts, parents, and groups have taken a lawsuit alleging Pennsylvania's school funding system to be unconstitutional to the state Supreme Court.
An appeal filed Wednesday by the plaintiffs seeks to force the state's highest court to hear a case dismissed last month by Commonwealth Court. In that decision, the court ruled, as it has in prior lawsuits, that the question of school funding and what level of it is constitutional is a matter for the state legislature to decide.
Superintendent William Hite sought Wednesday to dissuade legislators from passing a bill that would create an "achievement school district" to turn around the state's struggling schools.
Testifying in front of the Senate's education committee, Hite called the draft of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Lloyd Smucker, a blow to Philadelphia.
"Senate Bill 6 would create an unfunded turnaround mandate, resulting in the stripping out of supports and programs from schools left under local district control," he said.
Philadelphia schools can bear no more cuts, said Superintendent William Hite earlier this week.
It's positive news, then, that the School District of Philadelphia projects to end the year with a small surplus and expects to gain sorely needed resources next year, should city and state proposals hold up, according to budget documents.
For a second year, the District is inviting proposals from schools and their communities to overhaul neighborhood schools and reinvent high schools.
Monday's announcement marks the kick-off of Round 2 of the District's efforts to remake the city's neighborhood schools into appealing, cutting-edge options tailored to Philadelphia's mostly high-needs students.
To be the first in a family to attend college is a breakthrough moment that can help secure a student's financial future and end a cycle of poverty. But for many low-income students, the process proves too foreign, the hurdles too high to overcome.