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Monthly Archives: September 2014

September 29th | Posted In News

Last Week in Philly: 9/23- 9/29 Edition

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Welcome to YIP’s Last Week in Philly – a weekly recap of all the vital news stories you might have missed while salsa dancing at the Puerto Rican Day parade. Check back every Monday for our recap of last week’s most important stories.

 

Education

Cigarette tax passed: Lawmakers in Harrisburg finally passed the $2-per-pack cigarette tax, after months of delays. It’s unclear whether the amounts raised by this tax will be enough to close the budget gap, and the delayed implementation certainly cost the city money.

City Council approves $30 million loan for the School District. The loans will be paid back using the city’s 1 percent sales tax surcharge, which was extended recently to help cover the huge drops in state funding for schools.

Class sizes: Some schools are facing serious overcrowding problems, with some classes of 35 students being taught by a strings of substitutes. Elsewhere, classes with 50 pupils aren’t uncommon. Some parents are having trouble finding schools with free registration slots. This isn’t an easy read, but that’s what makes it an important one.

Test Scores: Turns out that slashing funding doesn’t increase test scores.  Who knew?.

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September 22nd | Posted In News

Last Week in Philly: 9/16 – 9/22 Edition

banks

Welcome to YIP’s Last Week in Philly – a weekly recap of all the vital news stories you might have missed while getting ready to welcome DeSean back to town. Check back every Monday for our recap of last week’s most important stories.

 

Education

City Council approved a referrendum calling for the abolishment of the School Reform Commission (SRC). Mayor Nutter would have to sign it, then Philadelphians would have to vote to approve it, and then the General Assembly and the Governor and the SRC would have to decide to care.  Right now, the SRC views the vote as “symbolic.” which, to be fair, is all it is.

11 more School District buildings were sold.

Will PA review and/or revise its Common Core-like standards?  Tune in … sometime in the future to find out, as the House has postponed hearings indefinitely.

So long: After just a hot second on the job, the founding principal of the LINC school is abandoning ship.  After (checks watch) months of dedicated service, Saliyah Cruz is leaving for an undisclosed job in Baltimore.

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September 15th | Posted In News

Last Week in Philly: 9/6 – 9/15 Edition

loveparkphoto

Welcome to YIP’s Last Week in Philly – a weekly recap of all the vital news stories you might have missed while planning out your Restaurant Week. Check back every Monday for our recap of last week’s most important stories.

 

Education

School is no longer out for summer, which means Alice Cooper lied to us.

School Reform Commission: The Teachers’ Union is angry over City Council’s refusal to add a non-binding referendum to the November ballot asking Philadelphians whether the School District should be controlled by the School Reform Commission or a local school board. The SRC can only be disbanded by a vote of the SRC itself or an act of the state legislature.

The Notebook will have a new focus this year: children’s behavioral health issues.

Raw numbers on school performance, for your perusal.

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September 12th | Posted In Philadelphia

Football’s Call to Action

football

Monday was a hard day for football fans.  Between the publication of the security footage showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice beating his then-fiancée into unconsciousness and the NCAA’s surprising decision to rescind the penalties that it had imposed on Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, it’s fair to say that everyone who follows the sport was left with mixed emotions at best.

It’s not YIP’s place to comment on whether the NFL’s handling of the issue of domestic violence is right or wrong; nor is it our place, as an organization, to comment on whether the NCAA was right in reversing its sanctions against Penn State.  There are plenty of arguments to be had about any number of points, and reasonable people can disagree about many of them.

But there are two points that are not in dispute: (1) domestic violence is abhorrent, it needs to be stopped, and its victims need all the help we can give them; and (2) child abuse is abhorrent, it needs to be stopped, and its victims need all the help we can give them.

Please take Monday as a call to action.  There are many great organizations in and around Philadelphia that do amazing work in the fields of domestic violence and child abuse.  A handful of them are listed below.  If you want to make a difference, you could try boycotting the NFL or NCAA football.  But if you want to change a victim’s life, you should donate to or volunteer for these organizations.  This list is far from exhaustive, which just shows you how many opportunities you have to do the one thing we hope all of you will do: get involved.

Domestic violence organizations:

 

Child abuse/child welfare organizations:

September 10th | Posted In Millennial, Politics

Framing the Problem: Lack of Young People in Politics

Only 53% of millennials get this reference

Only 53% of millennials get this reference

There is a lack of engagement in Philly politics on the part of young people. Two big, simple facts back that up.

The Big, Simple Facts Section

Fact 1: 18-29 year-old voter turnout has been abysmally low in primaries and non-presidential general elections.

Former YIP President and bona fide political smarty-pants, Josh McNeil, wrote the following and I, recognizing his sagacity and my own laziness, will simply cut-and-paste it here: Read more

September 8th | Posted In News

Last Week in Philly: 8/31 – 9/6 Edition

dilworth park

Children dance in Dilworth Park’s new fountains – photo credit thedp.com

Welcome to YIP’s Last Week in Philly – a weekly recap of all the vital news stories you might have missed finalizing your fantasy football lineups and getting weird at the Philly Fringe. Check back every Monday for our recap of last week’s most important stories.

 

Education

Good News! All PSD students are eligible for free meals.

Bad News! Early morning school is bad for students’ health.

Sorta Good News! No Philly Schools are on “persistently dangerous” list. This is due to a drop in total violent incidents; however, the rate of violence per student population has remained constant since the district has lost population.

Really Bad News! Philly Schools open on time, but under the threat of looming layoffs and massive budget cuts.

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