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Archive: September, 2011

POSTED: Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 4:41 PM

Tomorrow's School Reform Commission meeting has been postponed due to the recent departures of two of its members, according to a statement by Commissioners Denise McGregor Armbrister and Joe Dworetzky.

A new date has not been announced. This latest move pushes the SRC two weeks behind schedule. Last week's meeting was delayed until tomorrow due to a lack of quorum. 

Nonetheless, the board members said the work will be done.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 1:15 PM

As promised, Mayor Nutter today made the first of his two appointments to the School Reform Commission by giving the job to his former staffer, Dr. Wendell Pritchett, the Chancellor of Rutgers University-Camden.  

In a statement, Nutter described Pritchett as "a respected scholar in urban history and an experienced government policy-maker."

His appointment comes a day after the resignations of SRC Chairman Robert Archie and Commissioner Johnny Irizarry.   

POSTED: Thursday, September 15, 2011, 1:03 PM

George Richezza, president of 32BJ SEIU District 1201, issued a statement today in response to the district's plan to layoff 848 facilities and transportation workers.

The union, which is comprised of more than 3,000 public school aides, bus drivers, attendants, mechanics, building engineers, cleaners and maintenance workers, rejected to making concessions. The union is seeking to save $75 million in givebacks from its unions.

“By putting more than 1,100 men and women out of work, the Philadelphia School District will not just make life more difficult for these workers and their families, but will inflict harm on our schools and our struggling economy. Eliminating nearly half of the workforce that supports our school system – including all school bus drivers -- would decimate our schools’ ability to function and ensure our kids safety. Philadelphia students are already paying the price after the Ackerman administration turned our schools’ finances upside down, and they deserve better than this.”

POSTED: Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 3:39 PM

Updated 6:12p.m.: About two weeks after rejecting a proposal by the district, principal union members voted in favor of the same concessions just minutes ago.

Accepting the deal by a landslide - 173 to 64 - principals have avoided losing 27 assistant principals who were issued notices last week. But layoffs could still come down the pike.

No word yet from union president Robert McGrogan.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 5:06 PM

I know many of you were looking forward to attending tomorrow's School Reform Commission meeting. But you will have to wait until next week.

A lack of quorum has forced officials to reschedule tomorrow's planning meeting.

But no worries, those fresh-faced Commissioners should be present at the next scheduled meeting, on Sept. 21, 2011, at 2:00 p.m., inside district HQ.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 7, 2011, 4:18 PM

Although district officials say they hope to save up to $75 million in concessions from its unions to close a multi-million gap, it doesn't look too promising after yet another one of its union voted to turn down proposed amendments.

The union representing district maintenance workers is the latest union to strike down a tentative deal brokered by the district, a union official with Local 1201 confirmed today. In a vote of 849 to 594, members shot down the deal that included foregoing a 3 percent raise in January. 

Union president George Richezza declined to comment. District spokesman Fernando Gallard said the district will not stop communicating with all of the district's unions.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 7, 2011, 11:58 AM

Beginning today, parents and guardians of children entering kindergarten, Head Start and Bright Futures will meet with their pupils' teachers today.

Parent-teacher conferences will last until Sept. 12, across the city. To find out the hours, contact your local school. These meet-and-greets are crucial for everyone involved. Parents, this is the best time to pass on to your student's teacher important information about your child’s likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses and any concerns that you may have. Read more tips from about transitioning to kindergarten.

Kindergarten is such an exciting time for both parents and students. Gone are the days of perpetual play. It's a time of transition from home to the start of more formal schooling.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 6, 2011, 6:00 AM

The summer of Arlene Ackerman-inspired discontent comes to a close Tuesday as students across Philadelphia return to school.

We want to hear about the first day back - whether you're a student, teacher, parent, principal or interested observer.

Are things going well? Are there big problems keeping things from running smoothly? Let us know in the comment section below or by sending an email to Dafney Tales at

Daily News @ 6:00 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog
Dafney Tales has been covering the School District of Philadelphia for the Daily News since 2009. She hopes this blog will be a forum where taxpayers – parents, educators and advocates - as well as students, can engage in a constructive conversation about education in the city. Send tips to Reach Dafney at

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