The School Reform Commission bought some time by delaying a vote on the district’s budget. But did it change the fundamental problems the district faces. Tom Ferrick writes about the hurdles that still must be overcome.
Gov. Corbett’s hopes for a gentle spring are being dashed by a dose of reality. State revenues are falling. A deficit looms. He may have to make deep cuts in the state budget. Tom Ferrick examines the governor’s dilemma.
The four Democratic candidates for governor outdid themselves in promising more, more, more for public education if they are elected. As Tom Ferrick explains, promising is the easy part when it comes to the difficult and expensive issues surrounding state support for education.
The Corbett administration is “pro-choice” when it comes to education, but refuses to give a dime to local districts to defray charter costs. Funding a fair share of these costs could ease the financial distress of Philadelphia’s public schools.
Remember when fracking was a bad name? Now, mainstream politicians are embracing the idea of gas drilling because it can be a tax bonanza for the state. Tom Ferrick explains the sea change in thinking about drilling.
The new Land Bank offers the opportunity for Philadelphia to reverse neighborhood decline by assembling land into tracts suitable for development. Tom Ferrick looks at the history — and the possible future — of abandoned property in the city.
It looks like Sen. Leanna Washington was determined to test the limits of that question, given her indictment last week for using state employees for political purposes. Tom Ferrick examines the case and how it came to be.
The city’s unions are looking for a candidate to support for mayor in 2015. The only qualification: you must agree to everything the unions want. Tom Ferrick writes about life on the Fantasy Island of union politics in Philadelphia.
The Ironworkers indicted for using violence and sabotage to secure jobs represent an extreme version of how local building trade unions handle those who dare to hire non-union workers. Tom Ferrick explains how it works.
If only someone in city government had done their job, the tragedy that was the Buck Hosiery factory fire could have been averted. Tom Ferrick reports on a damning grand jury report on the blaze, which killed two firefighters.
The cliché is that Latinos do not vote and that makes it hard for them to assert political power. As part of our series on Latino Philadelphia, Tom Ferrick looks at voting data that tests the commonly held beliefs about Latino voters.
Reaction to Bill Green’s appointment to chair the School Reform Commission ranged from winces, perplexed rolls of the eyes to (Enter Mayor Nutter) a mild rant. Tom Ferrick looks at the plus/minus ledger on Green.
Here it is just two weeks in 2014 and already I have to break one of my New Year’s resolutions. I promised myself that I would not write a word about the mayor’s race until at least the first day of summer. But, then along comes…
School Superintendent William Hite is one of the best public leaders in Philadelphia’s recent history. But can he make the changes needed in the district? As 2014 begins, Tom Ferrick assesses Hite’s character and his impossible mission.
When it comes to the effects of the recession, Philadelphia is like a boxer who just went 10 rounds. The fight may be over, but the poor guy is still woozy and has a lot of painful bruises. Tom Ferrick tells the numbers behind the story.
Why is Council President Darrell Clarke so insistent on having his way on the land bank bill? It may be simply a power thing, driven by ego and a desire to control. Tom Ferrick examines the man behind the mask.
Right now, the only person who can save Gov. Tom Corbett from defeat in 2014 is Allyson Schwartz. The Montgomery Co. congresswoman may be a formidable candidate in the Democratic primary, but a weak one against the governor. Tom Ferrick on the geopolitics of the governor’s race.
Welcome to the Neverland that is Harrisburg, where reality is a mere inconvenience. Tom Ferrick how politics and anti-tax sentiment has trumped reality when it comes to fixing Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges.
The Big Dogs don’t give a dime to the city, but Tom Ferrick has found a small group of nonprofits who go against the flow and make voluntary payments to city government. What’s up with these outbursts of generosity?
No wonder Philadelphia’s big non-profits get jittery over talk about them giving money to help the public schools. Read about the Supreme Court ruling that gives new powers to local government to tax non-profits.
Chaos is the new normal in Philadelphia’s public schools. Students returning to school found the landscape vastly changed from when they left in June. Meanwhile, the adults are still fighting over a new contract. An analysis by Tom Ferrick.