ESEA’s 50-year legacy a blend of idealism, policy tensions

Fifty years ago this month, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act outside the former one-room schoolhouse in rural Texas he'd once attended. The new law dramatically ramped up Washington's investment in K-12 education, carving out a role for the federal government in educating the nation's poorest children… More

Phila. SD receives $1.5 million grant for innovations in early literacy

The Philadelphia School District and the Free Library have received a $1.5 million federal grant for a program called “Building Bridges with Books” that will benefit students from 10 elementary schools… More

NEWS RELEASE: Eliminating prevailing wage for schools would provide financial relief

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association’s Senior Director of Government Affairs John Callahan spoke at a news conference today in the State Capitol on Rep. Jesse Topper’s proposal to exempt school districts from prevailing wage requirements (HB 707). Callahan called prevailing wage a burdensome unfunded mandate that needlessly hurts local taxpayers and their schools… More

Editorial: The charter news is mixed

Last week, Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes released a new report that studied charter-school performance in 41 urban areas, including Philadelphia. It found that such charters provide higher levels of growth in math and reading compared to traditional public schools… More

Fight ongoing for land tax fairness

Area officials this week made another major push in their efforts for tax fairness. On Monday, the Pennsylvania State Land Tax Fairness Coalition sent a letter to 25 members of the Pennsylvania House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, calling on lawmakers to consider two proposals that would particularly benefit Elk, Potter and Cameron counties… More

National News: States use cameras to crack down on school bus scofflaws

At least 12 states—Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia—have laws that authorize the use of cameras on the outside of buses to catch fly-by drivers, according to the NCSL… More

Long winter cuts vacations, but not half days in Luzerne County public schools

The long, cold and snowy winter continues to reverberate through public school calendars this week, with most students losing days off that are often built into the schedule around Easter as a spring break… More

Revolving door of teachers costs schools billions every year

Every year, thousands of fresh-faced teachers are handed the keys to a new classroom, given a pat on the back and told, “Good luck!” Over the next five years, though, nearly half of those teachers will transfer to a new school or leave the profession altogether — only to be replaced with similarly fresh-faced teachers… More

Budget hearing covers proposed school funding flap, graduation tests and more

It took nearly three hours into Monday's Senate budget hearing before Acting Education Secretary Pedro Rivera was asked to answer for a letter he sent to school superintendents two weeks ago that riled Republican lawmakers in both legislative chambers… More

For schools on the brink, state mulling more ways to help

The Wolf administration is reconsidering the way the commonwealth helps school districts with rocky finances. Four of Pennsylvania's 500 school districts have such severe money problems that the state has put them on financial recovery status, appointing an outside officer to balance the books… More