Gov. Corbett cancels Central High visit

Philadelphia-Schools-Corbett-Central-600
Students, parents and staff who are frustrated with state education funding demonstrate Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, near Central High School in Philadelphia ahead of a scheduled visit by Gov. Tom Corbett. The Governor is expected to present the school with an award for its academic performance. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Update: Gov. Corbett canceled his appearance at Central High today, avoiding a protest by about 300 people at the school. He held a news conference in Center City to announce the appointments of Bill Green and Farah Jiminez to the SRC.

Corbett said he did not go to Central because he feared it would be a distraction to the students and said "adult theatrics" ruined his plans.

Here's the previous post:

We knew Gov. Corbett's visit to Central High was going to be momentous - protests outside, possible student protests inside, teachers and alumni and others weighing in to voice their displeasure with the governor.

But several moving pieces have changed things considerably. Most importantly, Corbett, as I reported in today's paper, will nominate City Councilman Bill Green and Farah Jimenez, head of the People's Emergency Center, to the SRC. Green, who would have to resign from Council, will be chairman.

Also, as my colleagues Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden also reported today, the governor will propose millions in new money for schools. And since Philadelphia is by far the largest district in the state, that means if the governor can get the funding he's asking for, the district will get a large chunk of that. This all casts the protests in a bit of a different light.

What does this mean for the district? Well, the money piece, if it comes together, is good of course. But even $100 million wouldn't restore everything the district has lost in recent years. Thousands of employees were laid off. Hundreds of programs were cut.

Green as chairman could remake the district. He has expressed strong affinity for charter schools, and in a district that's already lost more than 70,000 students to charters in the past decade-plus, Green's views could mean the district as we've known it is no more.

All of this, plus last night's revelation that the SRC began to discipline the 138 educators implicated in a widespread cheating probe. No shortage of news, to be sure.

Follow along on Twitter - I will be at Central High, and will Tweet as much as I can!

Continue Reading