HARRISBURG — A deep ideological divide between Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf portends a protracted budget impasse without a state spending plan in place, political analysts said Wednesday. “The Republicans are acting like Republicans, and Wolf is acting like the progressive Democratic liberal he is,” said Colleen Sheehan, a political science professor at Villanova University and former GOP House member. More than a battle over issues, it's a standoff between “believers,” she said. “This is the divide in America today. We are at a crossroads.” “I see it being a protracted problem. It just seems ideologies on the two sides are just too far apart,” said J. Wesley Leckrone, a political science professor at Widener University in Chester.
EDUCATION is front and center as Pennsylvania's budget heads into overtime. A key element in this debate is whether additional school funding should be tied to new accountability measures in the form of House Bill 1225 and Senate Bill 6, both of which would allow a more forceful state hand in governing the state's lowest performing schools. (S.B. 6 passed the Senate on a party-line, 27-22 vote on Sunday evening.) In the abstract, linking increased funding with oversight makes sense; however, this particular proposal deserves careful scrutiny. The bills would create an Achievement School District governed by a newly established seven-member state board, with four Republican appointees and three Democrats. The Achievement School District would be empowered to take over the state's lowest performing schools and implement one or more of the following prescriptions: replace the school principal and at least half the staff, contract with an outside school operator, convert to a charter or close the school.
Truebright charter won't reopen in fall