Hello Everybody, My name is Rajiv Venkataramanan and I am a Fels Fellow here at Philadelphia Notebook. I'll be with the Notebook for the summer, writing about education funding issues in Pennsylvania. I became passionate about education advocacy and research while I was an undergraduate at Harvard University. I was involved with various tutoring projects that gave me eye-opening exposure to the dilapidated condition of Boston's forgotten, inner-city schools. After graduating from college, I became a community organizer with ACORN Philadelphia. Within a few months of organizing in the Philadelphia area, I again became deeply involved with education organizing/advocacy efforts, which gave me a real sense of how important education is to uplifting low and moderate income communities. I will be attending Georgetown University Law Center this fall, where I hope to study civil rights and human rights law.
Despite the AP story reporting that $380 million of federal money to save teachers' jobs will be distributed through the basic education formula, sources inside the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) say that it is too early to know when or how the federal funds will be doled out to school districts.
Just hours after the House of Representatives passed the state fiscal aid bill on Tuesday, President Obama signed it into law sending $26.1 billion to recession-battered states. $16.1 billion is allocated to support state Medicaid programs and $10 billion is earmarked to avert layoffs in public schools across the country.
A state fiscal aid package once considered dead was revived yesterday when the US Senate voted to send states $16.1 billion to meet Medicaid payments and $10 billion to prevent layoffs of public school teachers.
While the announcement of the finalists of Race to the Top's second round takes up major education headlines this week, $10 billion of emergency aid to save teachers' jobs died quietly in the US Senate.
In an interview Tuesday with the Associated Press, Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Corbett declared that one of his priorities as governor would be to make public money available for private and parochial school vouchers.