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Stories tagged: NewsWorks

After another pact falters, uncertainty returns to long-overdue Pa. budget

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Dec 8, 2015 11:06 AM

For the second time in a month, a tentative deal to end Pennsylvania's five-month budget impasse has fallen apart.

Gov. Wolf and legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle came to an agreement late last week that would provide a historic $400 million boost to K-12 education funding by increasing the number of items eligible for sales tax.

Mentors and youth forge strong ties, but struggle to bridge racial divide

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Dec 3, 2015 06:47 PM

When you see Naje Taylor behind the counter of The Monkey & the Elephant cafe, his face shows no signs of past scars.

But they're there.

Taylor, who grew up in neighborhoods across South and North Philadelphia, was put into a foster home about a decade ago and has shouldered his way through adolescence with a weary air of indefatigable hope.

PSP makes $10.5 million grant to five new charter schools

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Dec 2, 2015 05:45 PM

The Philadelphia School Partnership will provide $10.5 million in startup grants to five new charter schools that were approved to open for the 2016-17 year.

PSP will provide $3.3 million to Mastery Charter Schools to open Gillespie, a K-6 campus in North Philadelphia that plans eventually to enroll 588 students – giving admissions preference to students living in the Simon Gratz catchment area.

Four charter organizations apply to convert three elementary schools

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Dec 1, 2015 11:09 PM

Four charter management organizations have applied to take over operations at three District elementary schools and run them as neighborhood-based charters, the School District of Philadelphia announced Tuesday.

Superintendent William Hite proposed Renaissance charter conversion for Cooke, Huey and Wister Elementary Schools on Oct 1.

Pa. House OKs delaying Keystone exams as graduation requirement

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 30, 2015 03:05 PM

This story was published by NewsWorks on Nov. 25


The Pennsylvania legislature is one step closer to pushing back the use of standardized tests as a graduation requirement.

State law now mandates that, starting with the class of 2017, high schoolers must pass Keystone exams in Literature, Algebra I and Biology to graduate.

Mayor-elect Kenney pushes plan to create 25 community schools

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 23, 2015 07:48 PM

In his first major policy announcement since winning election, Philadelphia Mayor-elect Jim Kenney formalized a campaign promise to create 25 "community schools" over the next four years.

Before a sea of schoolchildren and TV cameras in the gymnasium of North Philadelphia's Tanner Duckrey Elementary, Kenney told students Monday that the initiative would help give them "the ability to reach your potential in your life."

Research group calls for revisions to Pa. school quality index

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 23, 2015 10:41 AM

Does Pennsylvania's school rating system make the grade?

In a recent brief, Research for Action argues that the state's School Performance Profile index leaves much to be desired.

Marathon SRC meeting revolves around charter conversion proposals, renewals

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 20, 2015 10:30 AM

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission hosted a marathon meeting Thursday night featuring a slate of nearly 70 public speakers. The bulk of the testimony showcased opposition to the District's proposal to convert three of its elementary schools into neighborhood-based charters.

Changes to substitute teacher plan to be unveiled at SRC meeting

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Nov 19, 2015 10:38 AM

Philadelphia Schools Superintendent William Hite intends to present a new plan for covering teacher vacancies after months of dissatisfaction with a New Jersey contractor hired to supply substitutes.

Source4Teachers of Cherry Hill was awarded the District contract to provide 75 percent of the teachers needed by the District on any given day. In September, its fill rate was only 11 percent. That's increased, but only slightly.

Pa. school officials lobby to keep taxing abilities

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Nov 16, 2015 04:07 PM

Tiny preschoolers and K-12 school students took Monday off to join school board members and exasperated parents calling for an end to Pennsylvania's budget impasse, as Gov. Wolf signaled that a budget deal wouldn't be ready before December.

Members of the advocacy coalition known as Campaign for Fair Education Funding fanned out throughout the Capitol building to meet individually with their lawmakers and ask for a finalized state budget.

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