In the School District of Philadelphia, students are not required to attend a particular high school. A wide—and potentially bewildering—variety of choices confronts eighth-graders and their parents. To go anywhere other than their neighborhood high schools, they must identify the options they think fit their needs and apply to them.
Philadelphia’s tax policies have been an ongoing focus of public debate in the city. Pew’s research on the topic has included examinations of local property tax assessments and collections, the residential tax burden in the city compared with its suburbs, and business tax incentives and exemptions.
In recent years, a number of Philadelphia neighborhoods have undergone significant transformation, with higher-income residents moving in, real estate prices rising, new businesses replacing old ones, and racial and ethnic compositions changing. Such shifts, often seen as gentrification, have received a great deal of attention in the city.
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Poverty is one of Philadelphia’s most enduring problems. The city’s poverty rate is 25.7 percent—the highest among the United States’ 10 largest cities. That means that about 400,000 city residents, including more than a third of the city’s children, live in a household with an annual income of $19,337 or less. In this episode, host Dan LeDuc talks with Larry Eichel, director of Pew’s Philadelphia research initiative, about the story behind these numbers. We also hear from Matt Bergheiser of University City District about its West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, a program that provides job training to local residents and helps match them with employers. To learn more, visit pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.