Saint Clair Residents Speak Out On Merger, Board Gives Reasoning

SAINT CLAIR, PA — Seven of about 70 borough residents raised their hands in favor of a merger between Saint Clair Area and Pottsville Area school districts at a borough school board meeting Wednesday.

The school board welcomed feedback from borough residents about the possible school merge after a public meeting Monday describing details from the feasibility study.

Many points and questions were brought up by residents, including what would happen to the school if they didn’t merge.

Various school board officials including Jason Bendle, acting superintendent, Michael Holobetz, board president, and Michael O’Pake, board solicitor, explained that the school would eventually be taken over by the state and go into receivership. The school board would still exist, but an assigned recovery officer would have the ultimate say in decisions.

Read more:

http://republicanherald.com/news/saint-clair-residents-speak-out-on-merger-board-gives-reasoning-1.1846958

Auditor General: Reading School District’s Efforts To Fix Problems ‘Ridiculous’

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eight months ago, state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale lambasted the Reading School District.

In an audit report that he called the worst ever of a school district in Pennsylvania, he derided the district’s leadership, financial management and ability to provide students with a quality education. He said if things didn’t change quickly, there would be a more than strong chance the state would take the district over.

On Friday, DePasquale was back in town to provide an update. The story wasn’t much better.

“It is, again, not a pretty picture,” he said during a press conference at the Reading State Office Building.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20140118/NEWS/301189948#.Utqg8PQo6c8

Enhanced by Zemanta

Governor Christie To Announce State Takeover Of Camden Schools

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poor...

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Camden suffers from unemployment, urban decay, poverty, and many other social issues. Much of the city of Camden, New Jersey suffers from urban decay. 日本語: ニュージャージー州カムデンのスラム. Svenska: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Kiswahili: Camden, New Jersey ni moja ya mataifa maskini zaidi katika miji ya Marekani. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TRENTON – Gov. Christie plans to announce Monday that he is taking the extraordinary step of putting the educational and fiscal management of the Camden School District under state control, The Inquirer has learned.

As part of the takeover of what the state considers the worst-performing district in New Jersey, Christie will appoint a new superintendent and leadership team, shifting the school board to an advisory role, according to Christie administration officials briefed on the plan.

The Republican governor’s move nonetheless has support from at least a few school board members and key Democratic leaders in the South Jersey political establishment, some of whom are expected to join Christie at the takeover announcement Monday in the city, officials said.

Camden will become the fourth urban district under state control, after Paterson, Newark, and Jersey City. This is the first takeover initiated by Christie, who will add the severely challenged district to his education portfolio less than eight months before his reelection bid.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/nj/20130325_Christie_to_announce_state_takeover_of_Camden_schools.html

Chester-Upland School District May Run Out Of Cash

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

Image via Wikipedia

CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — Nearly two decades after being declared financially distressed, the school system in this struggling Philadelphia suburb faces a new and even more daunting crisis: It may run out of cash.

Administrators in the Chester Upland School District, one of Pennsylvania’s poorest systems and once the center of a failed experiment in school privatization, say they won’t be able to make payroll Wednesday unless the state advances the district $18.7 million in expected funding. While teachers and staff have vowed to continue working, the situation has thrown the system into new turmoil and has parents scrambling for other options.

Hoping to avoid a shutdown, the school filed a lawsuit Thursday, declaring a “cash-flow crisis” and asking a judge to tell state Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis that he must act to provide students in the district with a “thorough and efficient educational system.” Meanwhile, anxious parents are looking at other options for their children, such as sending them to private schools or having them live with relatives and go to other public schools.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/article/20120115/NEWS03/120119722

Corbett Signs Legislation To Allow Harrisburg Financial Takeover

Recreation of the flag of the city of Harrisbu...
Image via Wikipedia

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has signed legislation that will allow a state takeover of Harrisburg’s financial affairs. The capital of Pennsylvania is drowning in debt from a failed retrofit of the city’s incinerator.  Harrisburg is over $300 million in debt. 

Harrisburg was accepted into the Act 47 Program for financially distressed municipalities but City Council failed to authorize the recommendations made by the Act 47 team.  Neither was the city able to come up their own plan to emerge from certain bankruptcy.  

Disgusted with the inability of city leadership to move forward, Pennsylvania State Senator Jeff Piccola introduced legistion to allow the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to take control of Harrisburg’s finances.  This legislation was signed by the governor this morning.

Harrisburg Moving Closer To State Financial Takeover

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 185 – 9 in favor of a bill that will allow a state-appointed receiver to take control of Harrisburg’s finances.

It is also very liked this bill will overwhelmingly pass in the PA State Senate!

Harrisburg is a financially distressed community under ACT 47.  City Council has refused to comply with recommendations made by the Act 47 team and the mayor’s proposal was also vetoed.

PA State Senator Jeff Piccola is leading the charge for a state takeover.  Harrisburg is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt from a failed incinerator retrofit.

Governor Corbett is expected to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.