Sam Britt/ News Break
Philly schools could drop mask mandate this week
- Officials from the School District of Philadelphia have hinted that the mask mandate could be lifted in city schools as of March 9. The potential decision has drawn mixed responses, as one student wondered why mask mandates are being lifted even though they are helping lower the spread of COVID-19. Others question the effectiveness in schools as masks aren't being properly worn by students or staff.
Pa. releases data on COVID's effects on students learning
- Data from the 2021 state basic education test are available and the scores show how COVID-19 has detrimentally affected students learning over the past two years. The scores showed that there were decreases in the math, literature/language and science portions of the tests. However, besides the pandemic, the test was also taken by a smaller percentage of students than usual due to COVID-19 so that may also have an effect on the scores.
Tri-county coalition looking to form new rail agency
- Montgomery, Berks and Chester Counties are seeking to form the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority to bring a new train line to Reading. The goal of the group is to create a rail line that would travel from Philadelphia to Reading with stops in Pottstown and Norristown. SEPTA has attempted to stretch into this region but the price was too steep for the plan to get off the ground.
Coalition calls for Philadelphia to become more business-friendly
- The Inclusive Growth Coalition, made up of leaders from the Philadelphia-area chambers of commerce, is pushing for the city's pandemic recovery to be equitable and to bring more jobs to the region. The group wants inclusive growth, which means "more local jobs, more local businesses contracting with each other, more employers that tend to pay higher wages, and more city tax revenues that provide for health care, education, social protection and basic public services."