If you dine at any Stephen Starr restaurant (like Parc, Buddakan, Morimoto, Talula's Garden) in the next four weeks, be prepared for the upsell - not to a pricier bottle of wine, but to donate to the Philadelphia School District.
Starr on Tuesday announced he was making a $25,000 donation to the district, hoping to spur $100,000 in donations from his patrons over the next four weeks.
"Every check that we print will ask politely for a donation," Starr said at a news conference.
On the seventh snow day of the 2013-14 school year for the Philadelphia School District, is it time to think about June yet? Going to school later in June, that is?
Not so fast.
With one extra day built into the calendar, Philadelphia ostensibly has to make up six snow days. Officials had previously announced that they would change three days once scheduled as spring break - April 15, 16, and 17, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - to full school days. The district has asked for a waiver from the state education department for the rest of the time, hoping that although it technically does not meet the requirement for the number of days school must be in session, the fact that it meets the number of hours required will be enough.
Officials from the union that represents Philadelphia School District principals have a tentative agreement on a new contract with "serious concessions", and will present the new pact to members at a meeting this Thursday.
Members of The Commonwealth Association of School Administrators received notice of the meeting on Saturday. They are set to consider the new pact on Thursday.
The principals' contract expired in August.
The Philadelphia School District is close to four deals for closed school buildings, it announced today.
The district said it is negotiating deals on these properties:
Anna Shaw Middle School, 5400 Warrington Ave. (Southwest Philadelphia). Buyer: Mastery Charter. Proposed use: educational.
It's the first School Reform Commission meeting for new Chairman Bill Green and Commissioner Farah Jimenez, and it should be a lively one. This week, Superintendent Bill Hite released his ambitious action plan - base pricetag, $320 million. Protesters are expected to "welcome" Green. And we'll hear a financial update, with details expected of how the district plans to pay for unexpected charter school costs incurred this fiscal year.
Earlier today, both City Council President Darrell Clarke and Mayor Nutter weighed in on Hite's action plan and his call for massive new revenue streams.Nutter, at a news conference Thursday afternoon, said the city has done everything it can to increase funding on its end, including raising taxes and borrowing money. It’s the state’s turn now to do its part, he said.
Repeating the message he shared to business leaders at the annual Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday, Nutter called on law makers in Harrisburg to pass legislation that would create a statewide student-weighted funding formula.
The School Reform Commission has two new members. Farah Jimenez and Bill Green were sworn in as commissioners at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Green is chairman of the five-member volunteer panel.
They were sworn in by Family Court Judge Kevin Dougherty, who reminded them that "education is the vaccine against violence." Dougherty said that with the addition of Green and Jimenez, he believed that "we are truly on the right path. We have two great advocates."
Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. was in attendance, as were family members of each.
UPDATE, 5:15 p.m.
All Philadelphia public schools are now also closed on Friday because of the continued poor conditions, officials said Thursday evening. No decision has been made yet on whether administrative offices will be closed on Friday.
ORIGINALLY: Amid all the weather-related craziness, there's been some confusion over whether school will be held on Monday, Feb. 17 - President's Day, a long-scheduled holiday for students and staff. A service note from SEPTA erroneously said that Philadelphia public schools would be open to make up for all the snow days we've had this school year, and some folks have picked that up via social media and other news outlets.
My colleague Martha Woodall wrote today that charter school costs will be $25 million more than the Philadelphia School District had budgeted for. The district will spend about $700 million on the 67,315 Philadelphia students enrolled in charters this school year.
The reasons? It's mostly because charter schools have enrolled about 1,600 more students than their caps say they ought to have.
The district pays charters $8,596 per student, or $22,242 for students who receive special-education services.