April 25: Nonprofit gives $6 million to Philadelphia Schools | Mixed billboard messages | Philly ranked among worst air quality | KeySpot seeks funding | New Jersey dune doom

Happy Thursday Eyes! 

City nonprofit Philadelphia Schools Partnership will spend $6 million to expand two public schools and turn another Philadelphia School District program into a high school, the Inquirer reports. PSP will give another $2 million to district schools that will receive an influx of students when the School Reform Commission shuts the 24 schools it has selected for closure. East Germantown’s Hill-Freedman magnet school will receive $2.6 million to expand its grade range from middle school through high school. Science Leadership Academy will receive $1.9 million to build a second campus at Beeber Middle School in West Philadelphia, and the Workshop School will receive $1.6 million to further a goal of adding 500 students. 

Philly has struggled since the early ’90s to regulate billboards, how close they can be to each other and to other uses. On PlanPhilly this morning Jared Brey reports that the city’s latest attempt to regulate billboards has been shelved for now because city leaders feel the regulations don’t reflect the reality of the local billboard environment. 

Air quality in the Philadelphia region improved over the past decade, but it is still among the worst in the country, the Inquirer reports. Ranked against the rest of the country, the Philadelphia region ranked 22nd worst for daily particulates, 10th worst for annual particulates and 16th worst for smog in the American Lung Association’s annual report. 

Since December, the KeySpot initiative has brought 79 KeySpots with 813 computer and internet workstations to locations throughout the city. The Freedom Rings Partnership program aims to improve computer access for city residents, 41 percent of whom do not have computer or internet access. Now Freedom Rings Partnership hopes to find new funding to keep the KeySpots running after this summer

Rebuilding New Jersey’s sand dunes after Hurricane Sandy’s destruction is causing controversy, NewsWorks reports. New Jersey wants to build engineered dunes and beaches along 80 miles of the 95 miles of developed shore, but the Army Corps will only build in a town if all of the beach or dune-front property owners sign easements, something not all residents are on board with.  

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