Friday, March 27, 2015

POSTED: Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 3:01 PM

The School Reform Commission is now deciding the fate of 39 charter school applications, the first such new proposals in seven years.

I'm livetweeting until the finish.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 10:09 AM

Today, the SRC decides the fate of 39 possible new charter schools.

The SRC is surely feeling intense pressure - powerful people on all sides are watching their moves today. On one hand, Gov. Wolf has said that he wants zero new charters approved. And on the other, Republicans in the House and Senate have urged the passage of many charters - between 16 and 27, House Speaker Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) said. And while governors propose budgets, legislators get them passed.

State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D., Phila.) is the latest to weigh in. Hughes, in a letter sent to SRC Chairman Bill Green this morning, said that "adapting a full expansion of charters will not just cause the financial collapse of the School District, but it will cause the academic collapse of every student in both traditional and charter schools in Philadelphia."

POSTED: Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 5:08 PM
Mark Gleason, executive director of the Philadelphia School Partnership. (JACK DUGAN / FOR THE DAILY NEWS)

There's major news afoot in the Philadelphia school landscape: Philadelphia School Partnership is offering up to $35 million over three years to clear the way for the School Reform Commission to approve new charter schools.

The money would pay for new charters for 14,000 Philadelphia students. Thirty-nine charter applications await the SRC, which could decide on them next week.

Mark Gleason, executive director of PSP, said the group is trying to "take the cost issue off the table for the district."

POSTED: Sunday, January 25, 2015, 9:09 PM

With an eye to the snowy forecast, Philadelphia School District officials have made the call to close schools early on Monday.

All schools will dismiss at noon. After-school activities are cancelled.

Auditions for the High School for Creative and Performing Arts scheduled for Monday are cancelled, and have been rescheduled for the next day school is in session.

POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2015, 9:50 AM
Philadelphia public school parents and local advocacy groups protest the SRC's recent move to cancel the contract for teachers, nurses and staff, October 15th, 2014, on the front steps of the school district building, located at 440 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA. Kia Philpot-Hinton, with Action United, is speaking center, over a microphone. Staff Photographer / Jessica Griffin

Commonwealth Court judges have handed a win to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, ruling that the School Reform Commission cannot throw out the teachers' union's contract and impose new terms.

The decision was confirmed by Jerry Jordan, PFT president, on Thursday morning.

POSTED: Thursday, January 15, 2015, 5:29 PM

Compared with big-city peers, the Philadelphia School District now spends less per pupil than almost any other education system in the country — even Detroit’s.

Philadelphia’s per-pupil pricetag last school year was $12,570 — the lowest of any comparable district except Memphis, Tampa and Dallas, the Pew Charitable Trusts concluded in a report released Thursday.

POSTED: Thursday, December 18, 2014, 4:01 PM

It's another busy day in Philadelphia School District land - on tap is an SRC meeting, a student die-in, and a five-year financial plan for the cash-strapped school system. Follow along as I livetweet...

POSTED: Thursday, December 11, 2014, 12:37 PM

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez on Thursday announced a $100 million competitive grant program - the largest in history, he said - that will go to expand apprenticeship programs.

Perez made the announcement in Philadelphia, where he touted a successful Philadelphia School District apprenticeship program that equips students to be Information Technology professionals - jobs that often land products of the program starting salaries of $50,000 or above.

"Apprenticeship is not only your ticket to the middle class," Perez said. "It's the other college."

About this blog

Inquirer reporter Kristen Graham writes the Philly School Files blog, where she covers education in Philadelphia, both in and out of the classroom.

During the school year, you’ll frequently find her hosting live chats about the district on

Please do pass along the scoop about what’s going on at your Philadelphia public school; Kristen welcomes tips, story ideas and witty banter.

Kristen Graham Inquirer Staff Writer
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