Pricey Pads March 27, 2015
Now’s your chance to purchase a brand new estate home in a very exclusive oceanfront stretch of Palm Beach, Florida. An unfinished 35,000 square foot Mediterranean mansion has come on the market for a staggering $84.5 million. The palatial residence sits on 2-acres of land with 242′ of direct ocean frontage. It’s currently under construction but according to the listing it will include a bowling alley, home theatre, pub room, as well as five bedrooms, and seventeen bathrooms. According to PhillyMag.com the estate is owned by Vahan Gureghian who purchased the land for $28.9 million with the intentions of building a large estate home. It’s listed with Christian Angle Real Estate.
“What the formula lacks led to the current harsh reality in Pennsylvania: If districts don’t have enough state support, the burden falls to local taxpayers to make up the difference. More than anything else, it is this central fact that leads to Pennsylvania’s school funding status as the most inequitable in the nation. Wealthy districts can easily raise the amounts needed, poor districts cannot, and the resources a student has are heavily dependent on the zip code in which he or she is born. This was our reality before the fair funding formula was passed, and it is our reality now.”
Why Pa.’s New School Funding Formula Is Still Unfair and Unconstitutional
(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from guest writer Michael Churchill. Churchill is a staff attorney at the Public Interest Law Center in Philadelphia.)
While politicians and advocates are celebrating the legislature’s passage last week of a student-based, fair formula for distributing new school funds, it is important to understand this reality: Our school funding system is as unconstitutional today as it was last week. Much about the formula is worthy of praise. Among other things, it will thankfully end the era in which funding went to districts based on close relationships to the leadership of the General Assembly. And in distributing new money to districts, it will use accurate information about the number of students and their needs, giving extra funds for students in poverty or learning English, and giving extra help to districts with lower capacity to raise money locally. This is a decided improvement. But the formula is only a baby step toward what is needed. It does not address the inadequate amount of funding available to districts struggling to meet state-set proficiency standards. It does not address the vast inequities that exist from district to district. Indeed the formula locks in those inequities because it only addresses how new funding is distributed. It never asks what schools need in order to meet state standards.
WITF Written by Brad Christman, Radio Pennsylvania | Jun 3, 2016 2:05 PM
(Harrisburg) -- For 25 years, education funding has been allocated on a "hold harmless" basis - meaning no school district can receive less state aid than it did in the previous year. Student population shifts and other evolving factors were not considered. The bill signed by Governor Tom Wolf changes that funding formula - but only for new state money, or the dollars that make up the line item increases in the coming years. As such, the governor says he is not finished. "I will continue to do what I did to get this fair funding formula and that is work and support the good work of legislators on both sides of the aisle in either chamber...people who want to come up with a good way to make sure we're funding our schools adequately and fairly. And that's one of the issues that I'm sure we'll talk about," says Wolf. The new funding formula only impacts new money the state sends to its 500 school districts. That dampens the immediate impact and has given rise to calls for a more comprehensive approach to reexamine all basic education money.
Gov. Wolf's second budget proposal could hardly fare worse than his first.
Citizens Voice BY ROBERT SWIFT, HARRISBURG BUREAU CHIEF JUNE 5, 2016
Times Tribune BY BORYS KRAWCZENIUK / PUBLISHED: JUNE 4, 2016
Area Muslims rejoiced earlier this week when the School District of Philadelphia announced it would formally observe two Muslim holidays, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr. So too did John Chin, executive director of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation. “I think it sends a very strong message that the school district is for everyone,” said Chin. “It’s a good conversation starter.” Based on precedent set in other large school districts, that conversation may soon tilt to holidays such as the Lunar New Year, a widely observed celebration among Chin’s constituents, or Diwali, a Hindu holy day. In an age of increasing religious pluralism, school calendars have emerged as a new battleground.
By Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette June 3, 2016 12:00 AM
Judge rejects charter school's appeal to open in Lancaster; 'Glaring' flaws cited in petition signatures
Lancaster Online by KARA NEWHOUSE | Staff Writer June 2, 2016
After spending 2.5 years and nearly half a million in taxpayer money to fight a charter school proposal, School District of Lancaster succeeded last week. Backers of Academy of Business and Entrepreneurship Charter School in November 2013submitted an application to open a school on West Liberty Street the next year. They planned to enroll 400 students in kindergarten through ninth grade by the end of a five-year charter, but the School District of Lancaster board rejected the proposal. Last week, a judge ruled that the charter school did not gather enough signatures to appeal the rejection. In his opinion, Lancaster County Judge Joseph Madenspacher called the flaws in the ABECS petition “glaring.” They included forged, illegible and improperly gathered signatures. An appeal cannot be sent to the State Charter Appeals Board unless a common pleas court rules it sufficient, a Department of Education spokeswoman told LNP Wednesday.
Akosua Watts, head of school, talks to an attendee at the groundbreaking ceremony for Chester Charter School for the Arts' new school building on Thursday, June 2, 2016. In the eight years since its founding by the director of a popular children's chorus, the Chester Charter School for the Arts has hit an academic high note as the top-performing school in Delaware County's poorest community. Soon, it will move from a rental space in an industrial park - where young musicians, dancers, and artists hone their skills against the rumble of potato-chip trucks rolling out of a neighboring warehouse - and into a venue more in tune with the school's success. Administrators and civic leaders broke ground Thursday for a $25 million campus on the edge of Chester. According to plan, a state-of-the-art, 90,000-square-foot building with dance studios, a band room, and a kiln will rise from the vacant lot on Highland Avenue by the fall of 2017. Chester Charter School for the Arts (CCSA) has 500 students in grades K-9 and 56 staff. Administrators say the move should enable the school to become a full K-12 by 2018, with 750 eventually enrolled.
Post Gazette By the Editorial Board June 4, 2016 12:00 AM
Inquirer by Martha Woodall, Staff Writer Updated: JUNE 5, 2016 — 1:09 AM EDT
PENNSYLVANIA EDUCATION POLICY FORUM Thursday, June 23, 2016
Dr. Lee Burket, Director, Bureau of Career & Technical Education, PA Department of Education
Jackie Cullen, Executive Director, PA Association of Career & Technical Administrators
Dr. William Kerr, Superintendent, Norwin School District
Laura Fisher, Senior Vice President - Workforce & Special Projects, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
James Denova, Vice President, Benedum Foundation