News in Brief
Six women and three men named to new school board
Selected by Mayor Kenney, the new Board of Education — six women and three men — includes social workers, a pediatrician, several educators, one expert in finance, and another in governance.
Board members include Joyce Wilkerson and Christopher McGinley, former members of the School Reform Commission. The school board will take over governance of the District from the SRC on July 1.
All nine have substantial experience on local boards.
The new school board members are: Julia Danzy, who has worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare and Philadelphia City Council and was deputy commissioner for children’s services in the Philadelphia Health Department.
Leticia Egea-Hinton, who teaches classes in social welfare at Alvernia University and has worked in Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services/Adult Services, Office of Emergency Shelter and Services, and most recently was the assistant managing director for the Office of Supportive Housing.
Mallory Fix Lopez, who taught and volunteered in Philadelphia public schools in social studies and English as a second language, was ESL director and program founder at the Garces Foundation, and taught at Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, and currently at Community College of Philadelphia.
Lee Huang, who has worked at The Enterprise Center and is now senior vice president and principal at Econsult Solutions. He is also a member of the Philadelphia Water Rate Board.
Maria McColgan, a pediatrician who has taught at three Philadelphia public schools.She works for the CARES Institute at Rowan University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine and before that at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and is founding chair of Prevent Child Abuse. Wayne Walker, president of Walker Nell Partners Inc., an international business consulting firm with a focus on corporate governance, turnaround management, corporate restructuring and bankruptcy matters.
Angela McIver, who taught in Norristown schools, directed the Upward Bound program at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania, directed the Mastery Charter Thomas
School transition, and founded the Trapezium Math Club, a company that helps children build foundational math skills through afterschool programs.
Christopher McGinley, an associate professor and coordinator of the Executive Educational Leadership doctoral program at Temple and a former member of the School Reform Commission. He also has been a Philadelphia public school teacher, principal and District-level administrator and the superintendent in Lower Merion and Cheltenham Township.
Joyce Wilkerson, a lawyer, former chair of the SRC, former attorney with Community Legal Services, chief of staff to former Mayor John Street, and former chair of the Philadelphia Housing Authority.
Kenney’s plan for schools: $980 million over 5 years
Mayor Kenney promised local investment when he advocated local control of Philadelphia’s school system.
His new budget proposal delivers just that, raising property taxes and reducing scheduled business-tax reductions to cover the District’s looming deficit. The mayor’s plan would send $980 million to the School District of Philadelphia over the next five years, warding off potential cuts and giving the District long-term financial stability that it hasn’t seen in many years.
The mayor is proposing four major revenue streams:
- A 6 percent property tax increase, for $475 million.
- An increase in the real estate transfer tax, for $66 million.
- A $20-million-a-year increase in the city’s contribution to the School District, $100 million over five years.
- A slowdown in planned wage-tax reductions, saving $340 million that would be diverted to the District.
Most states shortchange poor schools, report says
Poor districts get far less money than needed to help students achieve average scores on standardized tests, and a financial analysis shows that higher test scores follow the money, says a new national report.
The report, conducted by researchers at Rutgers University and released by the Education Law Center of New Jersey, is titled The Real Shame of the Nation: The Causes and Consequences of Interstate Inequity in Public School Investments.
It found that almost all states fund public schools far below the level needed to enable students in the poorest districts to perform at the national average in standardized tests.
It also found that districts get what they pay for. Those that spent more than the amount needed to achieve average test scores typically exceeded the benchmark.
The report pushes back against the common idea that public education across the nation is failing. The study found that Pennsylvania spends enough to educate its students to the national average — except in its poorest districts, which include Philadelphia.
Wealthier districts in the state spend more than twice as much as it is estimated that they need to reach that level, while the poorest districts spend, on average, about three-fifths as much — a gap of more than $8,000 per student.