Education

We cover how our residents are growing and learning, starting from pre-K, through higher education, and beyond, into adulthood. 

Coverage of education in western Pennsylvania on 90.5 WESA is supported by a generous grant from
The Grable Foundation.

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Officials say a Pennsylvania high school rifle team has received thousands of dollars in donations since the school board refused a grant from the National Rifle Association.

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A Pennsylvania school board has decided to turn down a $4,730 grant from the National Rifle Association for new rifles for the school's rifle team.

The Pocono Record reports that the Stroudsburg School Board voted 6-2 Monday night against the NRA grant.

Board member Merlyn Clarke cited the organization's stands on some issues and asked why the board should "promote a gun culture that has nothing to do with our rifle club."

Schools Encourage Girls To Get Involved In Science, Tech

Mar 27, 2018
Charlie Riedel / AP

Don't bring that "a woman's place is in the kitchen" kind of stuff around Jessica Perfetto.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Moon Area High School was one of more than a dozen local schools to receive a threat in the weeks following a school shooting that left 17 dead in Parkland, Fla

PA District Arms Teachers With Rocks In Case Of School Shooter

Mar 24, 2018
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A rural school district in eastern Pennsylvania is arming teachers and students with buckets of rocks as a last resort should an armed intruder burst in, the superintendent said Friday.

Every classroom in the district about 90 miles northwest of Philadelphia has a 5-gallon bucket of river stones, said Blue Mountain School District Superintendent David Helsel.

"We always strive to find new ways to keep our students safe," Helsel told The Associated Press in a telephone interview, adding that the rocks are one small part of the district's overall security plan.

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The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh announced two elementary school mergers and one closure over the weekend.

Church leaders report enrollment has dropped by 50 percent since 2000. The district remains the fourth largest school system in Pennsylvania, serving about 17,000 students and employing nearly 1,500 teachers.

Nicholas Vaskov, a spokesperson for the Diocese, said the cost of tuition and fewer people identifying with religion could be factors.

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Teachers in the South Butler County School District will not be in their classrooms Friday, according to union spokesperson Brooke Witt.

Duolingo / Provided Photo

One of the world’s most uncommonly mastered languages can now be introduced to learners in five minute daily increments.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Officials at a Pennsylvania high school say they will issue detentions to more than 200 students who walked out of school as part of a nationwide protest against gun violence.

90.5 WESA

A group of Pennsylvania lawmakers and environmental advocates are trying to lower the lead levels in schools.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Standing on a platform in front of hundreds of her peers who attend Allderdice High School in Squirrel Hill, freshman Sophia Levin said she didn’t want to be the next victim of gun violence.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Meals in schools changed about five years ago when the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued standards that said schools had to reduce sodium, saturated fat, and trans fats from meals in order to be reimbursed through the National School Lunch program.

Mike Stewart / AP

The National Rifle Association has awarded more than $237,000 in grants to 25 Pennsylvania schools in recent years, according to an Associated Press analysis.

The NRA Foundation grants went to school programs including the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and rifle teams. More than 80 percent of the grants were provided as equipment rather than cash.

Only a fraction of Pennsylvania's 500 school districts received awards between 2010 and 2016.

Carnegie Mellon University / Provided Photo

Carnegie Mellon University’s Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to name Farnam Jahanian as the school's 10th president.

Jahanian, a nationally recognized computer scientist, was named interim president in June after the sudden resignation of former president Subra Suresh. Suresh led CMU for four years and is now the new president of Nanyang Technological University Singapore.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers and support staff are reviewing a summary of proposed changes to their collective bargaining contract including pay raises, new health care benefits, changes to teacher scheduling and sick leave. 

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

A Pennsylvania court has ruled that a teacher who retired before same-sex marriage was legalized is entitled to health care benefits for his husband.

PennLive.com reports that Gateway School District in suburban Pittsburgh denied the man's request to retroactively sign up for spousal benefits when he married his longtime partner in 2014. He had retired in 2013, before same-sex marriage was legally recognized in Pennsylvania.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

A strike by Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers has been averted just days before members of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers had planned to walk out.

Chris Knight / AP

Pennsylvania's treasurer is starting up a program that could eventually provide educational grants for all children born in this state, beginning with $100 to get it started when they are born.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

The union representing 2,400 Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers announced Monday morning that it plans to go on strike Friday.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

Negotiators for Pittsburgh's teachers union and school district wrapped up a marathon bargaining session late Friday night without a deal in place, but with no imminent plans for a strike.

Nina Esposito-Visgitis, president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, said the two sides made progress Friday. They will meet again this week for another negotiating session.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

The 2,400 teachers who work for Pittsburgh Public Schools are one step closer to a strike, but will hold off doing so as the union representing them continues to negotiate with the district. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Two main issues are keeping the Pittsburgh Public Schools district from settling a contract dispute with the union representing its teachers, according to PPS administrators. 

Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers / submitted

The vast majority of members of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers who voted Monday authorized the union to call a strike.

Matt Rourke / AP

Teachers, paraprofessionals and technical and clerical employees at Pittsburgh Public Schools are deciding whether to strike for the first time in more than 40 years.

A Library Without Books? Universities Purging Dusty Volumes

Feb 7, 2018
Michael Rubinkam / AP

A library without books? Not quite, but as students abandon the stacks in favor of online reference material, university libraries are unloading millions of unread volumes in a nationwide purge that has some print-loving scholars deeply unsettled.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Before school starts at 7:30 a.m., Daunteeka Smith drops her daughter off at the Early Head Start Center on the first floor of Westinghouse High School.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A Pittsburgh education advocacy group is coordinating organizations that could care for children in the event of a teacher strike.

Matt Rourke / AP

The University of Pennsylvania has announced plans to distance itself from casino mogul Steve Wynn and comedian Bill Cosby in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against both men.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

A statewide audit has found a number of school districts across Pennsylvania have employed bus drivers that should be banned from the job—and still more have drivers that aren’t properly cleared.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said the problem may be a communication breakdown between school districts and the bus companies they contract with.

His office’s report found 10 bus drivers whose criminal convictions should have barred them from their jobs. One had a felony assault charge.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers sent ballots to its 3,000 members Monday asking teachers, paraprofessionals and clerical workers for authorization to call a strike.

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