Possible showers today, but temperatures are expected to slip into the 70s across the region.

In advance of Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary, we’re offering this pop quiz to the candidates to test their true knowledge of the commonwealth. You can take it too, with zero judgments of being called a carpetbagger.

Also, with a critical staffing shortage in Philly schools in everything from crossing guards to rapid response dispatchers, we look at the emergent need for more personnel.

If you see this 🔒 in today’s newsletter, that means we’re highlighting our exclusive journalism. You need to be a subscriber to read these stories.

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

Take our Pa. politicians pop quiz

Here’s how this piece was presented to our newsroom yesterday:

In an election where accusations of carpetbagging have been front and center, we present this quiz as a way for prospective candidates to prove their Pennsylvania-ness.

With that said, we invite you to test your knowledge of Pennsylvania courtesy of this two-part quiz that questions everything from where Pa.’s equivalent of the Grand Canyon is located to where the Little League World Series is played every year.

Our reporter Stephanie Farr, who created the quiz for the candidates and you to consider taking, summed it up best with this line:

“While we take no official stand on whether a candidate is a carpetbagger, we do want a representative who knows how to pronounce Schuylkill, who can spell Monongahela, and who can point to Wilkes-Barre on a map.”

☝🏽 Quick question: Do you know what an Eastern Hellbender is? Take our quiz and find out.

What you should know today

Staff shortages of safety personnel across Philly schools have created an emergency, some say

In addition to an emergent need for teachers, Philly schools are also feeling the effects of a staffing shortage of police, school crossing guards, and 911 operators.

Just how bad is the deficiency? Four hundred seems to be the recurring number of police officer and 911 dispatcher vacancies — and the number of corners deemed dangerous enough to warrant school crossing guards that aren’t there.

A contingent from Mastery Charter High School gathered outside City Hall yesterday demanding the city do more to incentivize people to fill these roles. “We are here to ask the city to provide city basic services to keep our children and our families safe,” said Markida Ross, parent of a child at Mastery Gratz Charter High School and an organizer with the Mastery network. “We can’t keep waiting.”

In all, the city is authorized for about 1,000 crossing-guard positions and 6,380 police officers. Police officials have blamed the pandemic, a tight labor market, and a decline in interest in law enforcement work nationwide as reasons for the officer shortage.

And while some schools like Mastery have hired off-duty police officers to keep students safe, it’s a topic that city officials say isn’t limited to one or two schools.

Our reporter Kristen Graham explores the issue and what’s being done now.

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

Eagles fans found out this week that the team will play a game on Christmas Eve (4:25 p.m., Fox29). The last Christmas tilt for the Birds was on Christmas Day in 2017, when they hosted the Raiders behind then-backup QB Nick Foles. Today’s question: Do you know what team the Eagles will play this year on Christmas Eve? Take a guess and find the answer here. 🔒

a. Commanders

b. Cowboys

c. Colts

d. Chiefs

What we’re …

☝🏽 Explaining: What a Real ID is and the benefits of having one in Pennsylvania.

🤝🏽 Reading: This commentary on why people looking to improve Kensington aren’t often involving the community in the discussion.

👩‍👦 Learning: The keys to a quality parent-child relationship.

🧩 Unscramble the Anagram 🧩

We bet happy hours were quite the affair back in the day in this neighborhood.


Think you know? Send your guess our way at morningnewsletter@inquirer.com. We’ll give a shoutout to a reader at random who answers correctly. Today’s shoutout goes to Judy Pidgeon of West Deptford, who correctly guessed DONOVAN MCNABB as Thursday’s answer.

Photo of the day

That’s it for me this week. Glad to be back with you all. My colleague Ashley Hoffman is in your inbox Sunday and I’ll be back to start your week on Monday. ✌️