Friday, July 1, 2011

"Own your cuts," Sturla scoffed. "Have a parade and say: 'I cut your school district and I'm proud of it. Good for me.'"

On passage of SB 330 (Act 1 exceptions limited to PSERS and Special Ed):

"It doesn't stop tax increases. All it does is give the people in those school districts, the taxpayers, a little bit more of a say in the decision," said Rep. Eli Evankovich, R-Murrysville.

Rep. Greg Vitali, D-Delaware, said school directors are elected to make those decisions, and that taking the responsibility away from them erodes representative government.

"This is dangerous legislation," he said. "It impedes school districts' ability to maintain quality schools."

On the budget (Delco Times):

"This is a responsible budget that curbs state spending, does not contain any new or increased taxes, proposes no additional borrowing and maintains essential services," said state Rep. Thomas Killion, R-168, of Middletown.

"This budget is a disgrace. We are sitting on a huge amount of money in surplus revenues and punishing students and taxpayers by refusing to use it for much-needed services," said state Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, of Upper Merion, whose district includes Haverford and Radnor townships.

"I think it is a hurtful budget and very, very painful," said state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-159, of Chester. "It hurts poor people. It hurts children. It hurts seniors and persons with disabilities."

On the budget (Patriot News):

"We had a goal, and we accomplished it for the taxpayers of Pennsylvania," said House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, referring to the on-time, cost-reducing budget. "They deserved it."

Democrats felt no such pride.

In a debate Thursday on cuts in aid to public schools, Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, challenged Republicans to tout this budget back in their hometowns.

"Own your cuts," Sturla scoffed. "Have a parade and say: 'I cut your school district and I'm proud of it. Good for me.'" 

Sunshine Law Penalties Increased (SB 101):

SB 101, which increases fines for public officials (including school board members) who intentionally violate sunshine laws, also passed last evening.  It should be noted that sunshine laws would not apply to voucher schools receiving public tax dollars under any of the PA voucher legislation discussed to date.  No requirements for any public meetings, no right-to-know laws and no fiscal transparency.

Posted on Thu, Jun. 30, 2011
Corbett signs Pa. budget
By Angela Couloumbis,Dan Hardy, and Amy Worden
HARRISBURG - With less than an hour before the end of the fiscal year, the General Assembly approved a school tax bill demanded by Gov. Corbett on Thursday, capping hours of drama that had threatened to derail Pennsylvania's $27.15 billion budget.
Corbett signed the budget at 11:47 p.m. - with 13 minutes to spare. "I'm signing the first on-time budget in eight years," he said in brief remarks before the signing.

Corbett signs budget
Friday, July 01, 2011
By Tracie Mauriello and Laura Olson, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG -- With 13 minutes to spare, Gov. Tom Corbett signed a $27.15 billion state budget package into law late Thursday night, narrowly finishing his first spending plan by the June 30 deadline.
While the governor and the Republicans in control of both legislative chambers campaigned on reversing the last administration's pattern of budget fights dragging into the summer, it took lawmakers until the final moments to complete all of the measures that Mr. Corbett required of them.

PSBA seeking school directors for NSBA grassroots advocacy program 6/21/11
Join more than 1,300 school directors from across the nation who are advocates for public education through NSBA's Federal Relations Network
The National School Boards Association is inviting school directors to join the Federal Relations Network, its grassroots advocacy program that brings local board members on the front line of pending education-related issues before Congress. The FRN involves local school board members like you from every congressional district in the country who are committed to grassroots advocacy for public education. This summer's recruitment is to fill vacancies for 2012 in every congressional district.

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