Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Entire Pa. Delegation Votes for Fiscal Cliff Deal
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Congress broke a rancorous stalemate Tuesday to pass legislation designed to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. But the compromise bill, which blocked most impending tax increases and postponed spending cuts largely by raising taxes on upper-income Americans, left a host of issues unresolved and guaranteed continued budget clashes between the parties.
New York Times By JENNIFER STEINHAUER Published:
The measure, brought to the House floor less than 24 hours after its passage in the Senate, was approved 257 to 167, with 85 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in voting to allow income taxes to rise for the first time in two decades, in this case for the highest-earning Americans. Voting no were 151 Republicans and 16 Democrats.
Every Republican and Democrat who represents
in the U.S. House or Senate this week voted in favor of a deal to avert the
so-called ‘fiscal cliff.’ Pennsylvania
Education programs would be spared the prospect of the largest across-the-board cuts in history, but only temporarily, under a bill to avert much of the so-called "fiscal cliff," overwhelmingly approved by the U.S. Senate early Tuesday morning. The measure now requires passage by the House of Representatives. UPDATE: The House approved the measure late Tuesday by a vote of 257 to 167. Nearly every Democrat voted for the bill, while 85 Republicans supported it. Sixteen Democrats, and 151 Republicans voted against the measure.
The measure, which passed the Senate 89-8, would delay the trigger cuts known as "sequestration," which have been set to hit just about every government agency—including the U.S. Department of Education—on Jan. 2. Under the deal, the cuts would be postponed until March, giving federal lawmakers time to craft a broader budget agreement. The deal was worked out at the 11th hour by Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate minority leader.
To help pay for the postponement of the trigger cuts—which would slice 8.2 percent from a wide range of programs, including K-12 education—lawmakers have agreed to $12 billion in revenue increases, plus $12 billion in spending cuts, including $6 billion from domestic programs, according to published reports. It's unclear how, and whether, those cuts would affect education spending.
The deal essentially sets up yet another major fiscal fight later on this year.
PCAPS advances alternate plan for Philly school closings
With the prospect of closing 37 schools by Sep 2013, teachers, students and families are very concerned about the future of public education. The good people at Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS) have come up with alternatives as embodied in The Philadelphia Community Education Plan.
Patriot News Op-Ed by Adam Schott
Adam Schott is Senior Policy Analyst at Research for Action, and a former executive director of the State Board of Education.
The Department of Education has the opportunity to make a meaningful New Year’s resolution in raising standards for performance and accountability
school districts face unprecedented financial and structural challenges,
leading many—including Harrisburg, Lancaster, ,
and other mid-state communities—to drain reserves, furlough staff, and end
proven, research-based programs. Yet one sector of public education is
burgeoning, due in part to a lack of sufficient regulation by the state and a
funding system that creates incentives for rapid growth. York
More than 30,000 students attend
16 cyber charter schools, up from 12 earlier this year. With eight more
cyber charter applications currently before the Department of Education, the
sector’s footprint is set to double in the span of just six months. In a
state where education policy change normally assumes a cautious pace, this
rapid growth should be reason enough for leaders to tap the brakes. But
given the questions concerning the academic and operational performance of
cyber charter schools, the imperative for a time-out on further approvals is
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