City Gets Another Summit

No, not another event on the scale of the G-20; this time, it is a summit on education. Funded by a $10k grant from the America’s Promise Alliance, the forum will allow "community leaders to convene key stakeholders to develop and/or advance action plans for improving the high school graduation rate" according to a City Council resolution to accept the funds.

What more can be done? They can’t argue for college aid. The City and the School District have already tapped the local foundation community to create the Pittsburgh Promise, a program that awards college scholarship money to graduates of the Public Schools. The chance at getting the money should be spurring on students to work harder and graduate on time with the necessary grade point average if we are to believe the proponents.

Then too, they can’t argue that the School District has been tight-fisted: per pupil expenditures have almost doubled in the last decade (($11k in 1999 to $19.5 in 2008 according to the Schools’ financials). That should be adequate money to prepare students to graduate on time.

Maybe they can discuss the increasing impact charter and cyber charter schools are having on the District. In FY2005, the enrollment ratio of the Pittsburgh Public Schools to students living in the District attending charter schools was 17 to 1: three years later, enrollment in the Public Schools has fallen and enrollment in charters has grown to the point where the ratio is 11 to 1. Perhaps parents are seeing something that others aren’t. But don’t look for these stakeholders to be invited to the meeting.