governor shapiro lifeline scholarships

Gov. Shapiro and Pa. lawmakers can address absenteeism, violence by giving kids a lifeline

Originally published in The Philadelphia Inquirer

Superintendent Tony B. Watlington Sr. is right: For students within the Philadelphia School District, attendance is a life-and-death issue, particularly for students of color in some of the state’s lowest-performing schools.

It’s no secret that Philadelphia district schools are failing academically — 135 of the district’s 217 schools are “low achieving” and fall within the bottom 15% of the state’s schools based on statewide testing.

What isn’t well advertised are the other difficulties facing these low-performing schools. According to Pennsylvania Department of Education data, students in these schools are twice as likely to experience violence — including assaults, threats, weapon possession, theft, and fighting — than their peers at the top-performing 85% of schools.

Read more in The Philadelphia Inquirer