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District begins Round 2 of plan to reinvent neighborhood schools

By David Limm on Apr 20, 2015 04:48 PM

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.

City Council candidates' views on education: Sherrie Cohen

By the Notebook on Apr 20, 2015 03:43 PM

On May 19, Philadelphians will hit the polls to winnow the field of City Council at-large candidates. Out of 28 declared candidates, only seven will be elected in November (including at least two from a minority party). Each party can run five candidates in the general election. The Notebook reached out to the candidates, asking their opinions on the election's most gripping issue: education.

Where do candidates stand on the School Reform Commission's decision to approve five new charter school applications? Whose job is it to find more money for public schools, the city's or the District's? Absent an agreement with the teachers' union, do they think the SRC is right to pursue concessions through the courts? And finally, what ideas do they have for how the District can fix its financial problems?

Philadelphia's rejected charter schools beginning to resubmit applications

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Apr 20, 2015 09:46 AM

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission already rejected 34 out of 39 charter school applications this year.

But any rejected charter can put its application back on the table, according to Pennsylvania charter law.

Success of immigrant communities starts with neighborhood school support

By Dai Lai Htoo for NewsWorks on Apr 17, 2015 03:41 PM

Since I came to South Philadelphia in 2008, the demographics of my neighborhood have changed constantly. I see American neighbors move out because of the increase in property prices. Then I see new immigrant refugees move in with the support of a resettlement agency that pays their rent for a few months. After that time, they move out because they need to stand on their own, and they need to look for cheaper rent.

My newest neighbors are refugees from Burma, like me, and refugees from Nepal who have the same refugee experiences as us. We also have neighbors who are Chinese American, African American, Latino, and White.

Highlights from last night's SRC meeting

By Wendy Harris on Apr 17, 2015 03:22 PM

Tensions ran high at last night’s School Reform Commission meeting, where members of the student group Youth United for Change were escorted out of the auditorium by school police. Many had come to the meeting to protest the District's plan to close Kensington Urban Education Academy and merge it with Kensington International Business. Ultimately, the five-member panel voted unanimously to suspend part of the public school code in order to accelerate the school's closing process.

But that wasn't the only thing that happened at yesterday's meeting. In case you missed it, here are some other important highlights we are featuring that were tweeted by others at the meeting.

SRC approves $55 million tax incentive for Gallery mall redevelopment

By Jared Brey for PlanPhilly on Apr 17, 2015 09:35 AM

Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission voted Thursday night to approve a tax-increment financing district for the area surrounding the Gallery mall on East Market Street that would save the mall’s owners $55 million in property taxes over 20 years.

Which mayoral candidate would best improve city schools?

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Apr 16, 2015 04:54 PM

Philadelphia's future depends in large part on developing a public school system that can serve the city's large economically disadvantaged population while attracting middle-class families that will expand its tax base.

SRC preview: Closing Kensington Urban, Bok water damage, new playgrounds

By the Notebook on Apr 16, 2015 03:04 PM

An array of noteworthy resolutions have been slated for tonight's School Reform Commission meeting. The SRC will be deciding on proposals from the District that include a suspension of the school code, building sales, school improvements, grant acceptances, and a request to revise the school calendar.

In advance of the meeting, Youth United for Change will be protesting the District's plan to close Kensington Urban and merge it with another school in the same building. The student-led group successfully fought for the creation of the school and three other small high schools a decade ago.

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