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.

Will This Tweak In PA Law Send Student Test Scores Soaring?

Jul 22, 2019
John Locher / AP

Student test scores in Pennsylvania could spike next year — and a 90-word provision recently tucked into the state’s school code may be the reason why.

The language states that Pennsylvania will no longer count the standardized test scores of students who miss at least 20 percent of school days prior to the end of the state testing window.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Bimala Kadariya is a vibrant 15-year-old who is quick to tell you that she wants to be famous.

Oliver Morrison / PublicSource

A Pennsylvania school district is warning that children could end up in foster care if their parents do not pay overdue school lunch bills.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Penn State is keeping in-state college tuition flat across the sprawling university system for a second year and for the third time in five years.

The school's board, meeting in the Philadelphia suburb of Media, voted Thursday for a plan that will maintain full-time tuition for lower-division Pennsylvania resident undergraduates at its main campus at about $17,400 annually.

Out-of-state college students at the University Park flagship will have to pay $660 a year in additional tuition.

PA Fiscal Watchdog Calls For End Of Keystone Exams

Jul 12, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

What’s better: saving $1.2 million in taxpayer money or maintaining a test personalized to Pennsylvania?

Citing Technicality, PA School District Scraps First-Of-Kind Policy To Arm Teachers

Jul 11, 2019
Matt Smith / for Keystone Crossroads

The Tamaqua Area School District will scrap a groundbreaking policy that would have allowed teachers and staff to carry weapons anonymously on school grounds.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photos

Pennsylvania students who attend state-owned universities won't see higher tuition next year, the first such freeze in more than 20 years.

The State System of Higher Education's board on Wednesday voted for to keep in-state tuition flat at about $7,700. 

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania is in the early stages of enacting new requirements designed to reduce sexual assault on college campuses.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania is offering aid to school districts to pay for accommodations for students who are homebound while recovering from a serious injury or illness.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill last week after it passed the Legislature unanimously. 

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania colleges and universities could soon be required to offer online, anonymous systems to report sexual assault or violence.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Penn Hills School District leaders say the district is in good shape for the next school year thanks to a last minute funding increase from the state.

The board unanimously approved a budget and a long-term financial recovery plan Saturday during a rescheduled meeting. The board had postponed its meeting this week as it waited for the state’s general assembly to approve a budget.

90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania House Republicans say language was added to appropriation legislation for the University of Pittsburgh to safeguard against using state dollars for abortion procedures.

Richard Vogel / AP

Pennsylvania lawmakers say they'll authorize a second year of school and community security grants, a $60 million program spurred by last year's Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.

Republican lawmakers said Monday that a newly unveiled compromise budget package will keep the program intact for the coming school year. Officials did not have immediate details on how the program guidelines will change.

Woodland Hills
Rachel Gobep / 90.5 WESA

The Woodland Hills School Board passed a plan to furlough up to 70 positions districtwide and approved a 3-percent property tax increase.


The board approved the 2019-20 district budget in a 5-3 vote Wednesday night. 

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Middle schoolers from Milliones 6-12 will remain at the Hill District school next year, after the Pittsburgh Public School Board rejected a proposal that would have sent them to Arsenal 6-8 in Lawrenceville.

Instead, Pittsburgh Public School administrators will spend the next school year working with Hill District community leaders to make Milliones, also known as University Preparatory School or UPrep, successful.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

On today’s program: Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Anthony Hamlet talks about district transformation and his take on a contraversial trip to Cuba; DNA testing kits illuminate lost branches of family trees, but may not tell the full story; and one year after his death, Antwon Rose II’s classmates remember him, followed by a conversation about community healing and changes in policy and policing.

Courtesy of Debbie Reynolds / Twitter

On today’s program: A Baldwin-Whitehall middle school teacher is working with the U.S. Navy to establish STEM education standards; a Pittsburgh businessman is paying it forward by mentoring young people in his community; a Pitt professor is looking beyond grocery store shelves to find ways to eat ethically; and a new group of science writers is building a bridge between shrinking newsrooms and telling science stories.

Adam Tunnard / 90.5 WESA

A national initiative to improve childhood literacy has now found its way to McKeesport, in Pennsylvania’s first permanent laundromat library. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

As students wrap up the school year and head for the pool and camp, early childhood and elementary educators hope that they also spend a good amount of time with books.

Cyber Charters In PA Are Wildly Ineffective And 3 Other Takeaways From New Stanford Study

Jun 6, 2019
Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s charter school debate attracts a lot of heated rhetoric.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

  The Woodland Hills School District is proposing a plan to furlough up to 70 positions and raise property taxes by 3 percent in the face of a $5 million budget deficit.

Vicki Vellios Briner / PennLive

The Pennsylvania Department of Education wants to put the financially distressed Harrisburg School District into receivership, a process that appoints one person to manage the district. 

Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera filed a petition for receivership Monday with the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas.

Rivera recommended Janet Samuels, the district's chief recovery officer, for the receiver position.

A judge will decide whether to approve the petition. The judge also has the power to appoint a receiver other than the one recommended.

Citing ‘Emergency’ Repair Needs, Democrats Call For $125M For PA Schools

May 30, 2019
Emma Lee / Keystone Crossroads

A handful of Democratic state lawmakers from Southeastern Pennsylvania are calling for a $125 million infusion to make “emergency” repairs in public schools, with more than half going to Philadelphia.

Min Xian / WPSU

The jury trial for Braxton Becker, a former member and the house manager of Penn State’s now defunct Beta Theta Pi fraternity, began Tuesday. It’s the first jury trial in the case related to the hazing death of Penn State student Timothy Piazza in 2017. Becker allegedly deleted security camera footage of the fraternity house basement.

Sarah Schneider

Tuesday night’s election results mean that the Pittsburgh Public Schools District will have three new directors on the nine member board who will face some crucial tests in the coming months, including the budget and fate of its senior leadership.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A school district outside Pittsburgh says it's investigating a racist Facebook post that appeared to have been published on a school board member's personal page.

Penn Trafford School District Webstie/

A Pennsylvania school district is defending itself after video surfaced of a safety drill that had a teacher posing as a shooter and donning what appeared to be a Middle Eastern headdress.

The video appears to show the actor wearing a kaffiyeh. The Penn-Trafford School District said Wednesday that organizers didn't intend to portray the shooter as Arab or Muslim at the January training.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Jeremy Resnick co-founded Propel Charter Schools in the basement of a Homestead hospital more than 16 years ago, and helmed the organization as it's expanded to 4,000 students in 13 distinct schools.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Candidates running for a seat on the Pittsburgh Public Schools board have spent the last few months knocking on doors, handing out signs and seeking endorsements. The nine candidates have significant questions to answer about their leadership styles and policies ahead of the May 21 primary.

The solicitor for the Pittsburgh Public Schools district is investigating claims made in a KDKA news story that implies district administrators took an all-expenses paid trip to Cuba last month without the board’s approval and in violation of its gifts policy.