Governor Rendell is hopeful for action by early next week on the long-delayed state budget, with as much as $300 million in state aid for Philadelphia schools hanging in the balance. Informal legislative negotiations are underway, with a House-Senate conference committee slated to form on Monday.
Not everyone was cheering the end of the 40-year-old desegregation case in the courtroom presided over by Commonwealth Court Judge Doris Smith-Ribner on Monday morning. Leaders of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers sat silently as the parties urged adoption of an agreement that would significantly impact their collective bargaining agreement.
After nearly 40 years, it is over.
Or not quite.
On Wednesday the School Reform Commission voted to accept a consent agreement that will end a unique desegregation case that had its beginnings in October, 1970. That was when the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission first filed its complaint that the Philadelphia School District was “unlawfully segregated by race.”
A state Senate Education Committee hearing on Joseph Dworetzky’s nomination to fill the vacant fifth seat on the School Reform Commission will finally take place in Harrisburg next Wednesday, June 24, nearly three months after the nomination, presumably paving the way for a full Senate vote.
Tomorrow, a coalition of activists that includes students, parents, and teachers will deliver a “Teacher Quality Report Card” to leaders of both the School District and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, demanding changes in the contract that is currently in negotiations.
UPDATE: The Notebook contacted BRT spokesperson Kevin Feeley this afternoon, who confirmed that the School District has "funding authority" over the 80 BRT clerks scheduled into the SRC payroll. When asked what would happen if the District chose to eliminate funding for the BRT positions, Feeley responded: "If there is no funding then there is no funding." - Public School Notebook (5:36 p.m.)
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addressed the annual convention of the Education Writers Association in Washington, DC Thursday night, and he said that the name "No Child Left Behind" has to go.
"The name 'No Child Left Behind' is toxic," he said.
Here is an excerpt of a District document that outlines the priorities for Phase 1 of Imagine 2014, 2009-10. The plan has 170 items in all. In the PDF 48 items are bulleted for Phase 1, though it has been reported that Phase 1 involves 44 items. The pricetag for year one is $126 million.
Just hours before the School Reform Commission is scheduled to vote on Imagine 2014, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s five-year blueprint for the School District, officials finally revealed and put a price tag on their first-year priorities -- $126 million.