District, PFT settle federal complaint; Moffett to return to Audenried Monday

Hope Moffett is returning to Audenried High School Monday morning.

In a surprise development, both the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers have announced that Moffett will be back in the classroom teaching on Monday, and that her proposed termination has been reduced to a five-day suspension. The union is still planning to fight the suspension.

Corporate Profits at 18 Year High, Workers Must Suck it Up

It has not been officially announced, but it's time you knew that the former Republican Senator from Bucks and Montgomery, Sir Rob Wonderling, is now the Real Mayor of the City, and in his spare time he also instructs City Council on what it is permitted to do. In his role as Real Mayor, Wonderling recently told Council (using the alias of "Michael Nutter") that it may not pass an ordinance requiring businesses to give their workers a few days of paid time off when they're sick. But Council apparently didn't get the message, and two of its members proceeded to introduce and vote out of Committee a measure that would do the very thing that Real Mayor Wonderling told them that they may not do. So Wonderling had to go all the way from his office, wherever it is, to City Hall yesterday and REMIND the folks of who's who and what's what. But his time was not wasted (without calculating lost opportunity costs, that is.) After Real Mayor spoke, sick bill lead sponsor Darrell Clarke immediately let the world know, through the Chamber's very own house organ, the Philadelphia Inquirer, that his legislation wouldn't even be "put on the calendar for final passage" much less actually passed "without additional conversations." I'm sure those conversations will be incredibly enlightening. Oh, I forgot, I'm not invited to participate. Nor will representatives of anyone else who is not a member of the business "community". Never fear, I'm sure that we will hear loud umbrage about that from the Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as see reported many exposes by that institution about the plight of the non-corporate people who will suffer due to Council's subsequent failure to pass this bill.

Oh, and btw, corporate profits were recently reported to be at 18 year highs

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers rally, Monday, March 14

PFT RALLY MONDAY @ 4 PM
PFT Rally to Stand Up for Public Schools 440 N. Broad St. Monday, March 14
3/9/2011

PFT Rally
Monday, March 14 - 4 pm
440 N. Broad St. - School District Administration Building

Stand up for Students
Fight for Our Public Schools

OPPOSE
Converting our public schools to charter schools
Slashing education programs
Intimidating and bullying PFT members

Sponsored by Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
Let us know you're coming.Visit our rally page on Facebook. [at link]

Download and post a flyer [at link]

High School National Walkout against Union Busting - Friday March 11

National Student Walkout planned by Madison, Wisconsin High School Students

?Michael Moore reported ... on the Rachael Maddow Show that high school students in Madison, Wisconsin are calling for and organizing national high school students to walk out (of classes) on Friday, March 11, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Philly School District loses big in charter enrollment dispute

In what will have a dramatic effect on charter school expansion and a potentially serious impact on District finances, an administrative ruling by the state Dept. of Ed. determined that the School District of Philadelphia does not currently have the right to set enrollment caps on charters.

The state has sent the Walter D. Palmer Leadership & Learning Charter School $1.3 million for money owed to the school when it expanded grades and added almost a third more students than it was originally approved for. The charter school had argued that the law did not allow for unilateral determination of charter enrollment.

The District faces court suits from at least a half dozen other charters who are also challenging their enrollment numbers.

I have mixed feelings personally about this ruling. There seemed to be little question that the District was wrong in this case, and would likely have been better off in my opinion, settling with individual schools. For the most part, most charters seemed to be asking for reasonable flexibility around expansion and to accommodate wait lists.

On the other hand, it's hard to imagine that charter operators who are approved for certain grades can unilaterally decide that they can increase into other grades without some measure of oversight, or that they could potentially open other branches and increase their population by multiples.

And as the District already faces a devastating budget shortfall, it's likely that this newest development will significantly complicate the District's financial and structural future.

Hotels that Don't Love You Back

About two months ago leaders of the hotel industry were heard moaning loudly about the travails of their industry. The reason? Owners might have to pay a bit more in taxes under the Sanchez-Green proposal to reform the business privilege tax. Oh, this would be terrible they said. They were already paying higher taxes because the hotel tax had recently gone up to pay for Convention Center expansion. Rates had gone up due to the tax and would have to go up further. Some hotels were in desperate shape and might go under, etc., etc., etc. Oh, and by the way, doom and gloom.

Now it turns out that the industry has never been healthier. Demand for rooms has been shooting up and will only get higher exactly because the higher tax for hotel rooms really helped the industry by creating more convention space and therefore creating more hotel demand in Philly. But contrary to the hotel tax, BPT reform wouldn't directly benefit the industry. Instead it would benefit the general business climate by making outside companies share the overall burden of the tax, and by exempting tens of thousands of small Philly firms from paying it. Oh no, we can't have that if hotel owners have to pay a bit more. Doom and gloom, doom and gloom.

So here's my message to you, besieged hoteliers whose business has never been better. Thank you for reminding us of what narrow self-interest looks like. It looks like you.

And the teabaggers will continue to insist that only the private sector creates jobs.

If the public sector is putting all this money in, why in the world doesn't it take an equity stake and get some of the profits out?

Obama calls for shared sacrifice . . . by the poor and cities.

Obama to cities across the country: Drop Dead. In this article, Obama's budget director uses a putridly stupid comparison between family budgets and the national budget to justify sharp cuts in programs like the Community Development Block Grant program that keep cities alive. He calls for shared sacrifice. What a pathetic, sick joke, when banksters are handing themselves multi-million dollar bonuses for failure and we're not even taxing them. How can this be happening? What can we do to stop it?

Stay classy, Daily News

Can't upload yesterday's cover anymore, but the inside poll should give you an indication of why the rear end of one reality star (minus her face) took up almost the entire front page of the Daily News.

BUTTPOLLart

Included in the "Booty Call" poll are critical questions like:

  • Have you ever bought padded panties?
  • Your partner: ass man or boob man?
  • Choose: thongs, bikinis,boy shorts, granny panties, or none for me thanks

Then there was today's cover which had the ever critical lingerie football gal inset:

DN-WTF

So yeah, stay classy Daily News. There's a lotta competition out there.

Smart People Say: Don't tax the Rich; Instead kill Pensions

They also want, of course, slowly . . . or not so slowly . . . to kill social security. It seems that the time machine of everyone's imagination is being developed by Wall St. owned politicians, not scientists. They have found a way to take us all back to the 19th century. Just like that.

Where are the Democrats calling bullshit on all of this?

Big News: Donna Reed Miller not seeking re-election

This is absolutely enormous news for good government in the northwest!

-Z

MLK Program: "Equal Justice - Following the Dream," Monday, Jan 17, 7:15pm Elkins Park

Join the Jewish Social Policy Action Network (JSPAN) and Cheltenham Area Branch NAACP for "Equal Justice - Following the Dream" an MLK program with Major Neill Franklin (ret.), Executive Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, who will talk about race, the criminal justice system and the drug war.

“For every century there is a crisis in our democracy, the response to which defines how future generations view those who were alive at the time. In the 18th century it was the transatlantic slave trade, in the 19th century it was slavery, in the 20th century it was Jim Crow. Today it is mass incarceration...”- Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP

The program is free and will be held at Congregation Adath Jeshurun, at 7:15pm, the corner of Old York Road/611 and Ashborne Road in Elkins Park. Everyone is welcome. We ask RSVP's be sent by e-mail to jspan@jspan.org or by phone (215) 635-2554.

This shouldn't be your legacy Mr. Governor

Education? A worthwhile legacy. Gambling? Not so much.

And as PA faces down a multi-billion deficit, when it's second biggest revenue generator was gambling proceeds, one has to wonder who exactly is the "simpleton" here. Check out the clip below for 60 Minutes show this Sunday, which touches on predatory gambling and our former governor's inexplicable addiction to it.

But what Is Anyone Going to do About it

This is a great article about another section of Philly in which increasing poverty seems inexorable. Good for the Inky for giving the normally invisible people who live here the spotlight for today. But tomorrow no politician will stand up and propose a solution. Solutions for poverty are so passe.