If you'd ever wondered exactly how much cash gets thrown around Harrisburg on a regular basis, here are few, sobering numbers: All told, the more than 900 lobbyists who roam the halls the Capitol spent $500 million, or nearly $2 million per-legislator, in 2015 to "push, shape or block" the flow of legislation. That's nearly twice as much as taxpayers spend on the 253-member General Assembly, among the nation's largest and best-paid legislative body. Those numbers come to us via our pals Mike Wereschagin and Brad Bumsted of The Tribune-Review, who took a deep dive Sunday on the legion of contract lobbyists who also sometimes run lawmakers' political campaigns even as they work for (and occasionally against) issues that will come before the General Assembly.
PA-BGT: Closing the Education Funding Gap
PoliticsPA Written by Jason Addy, Contributing Writer
One piece of the budget puzzle looks set to fall into place as Gov. Tom Wolf readies to sign a bill to implement a statewide education funding formula. In an almost unanimous vote on Wednesday, the PA House of Representatives approved a formula recommended by the Basic Education Funding Commissionalmost a year ago to close the funding chasm between the state’s wealthiest and poorest school districts, thewidest gap in the nation. All of the state’s 500 school districts will receive the same allocations they received in 2013-14, plus an amount to be determined by the new formula, which makes adjustments for poverty and enrollment rates, as well as the district’s income and school property tax levels, Karen Langley of the Post-Gazette reports. The formula was used to allocate state education funding this year, and the bill will ensure it is used again in the future, taking politics (somewhat) out of the process.
Times Tribune BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD Published: May 29, 2016
WITF Written by Radio Pennsylvania | May 28, 2016 8:49 AM
(Harrisburg) -- High school graduation rates have been on the rise, but one national drop-out prevention organization is pushing to improve it further. They want the graduation rate framed as an economic issue. Pennsylvania's high school graduation rate is 85 percent, higher than the national average but lower than the 90 percent that groups like Communities in Schools would like to see. Executive Vice President Gary Chapman says it's estimated the annual increase in earnings if Pennsylvania's graduation rate reached 90% is $100 million. "That would be another 26 million dollars in state, local and federal tax revenue. Potentially 700 new jobs in the state could be filled by these graduates and we would see annual spending in the state increase by 74-million," he said.
Post Gazette By Sonja Reis May 27, 2016 10:13 AM
Kids spend more time at school than anywhere outside their homes, making schools where we have the greatest chance of improving kids' health trajectory through physical, social and emotional development.
PENNSYLVANIA EDUCATION POLICY FORUM Thursday, June 23, 2016
Dr. Lee Burket, Director, Bureau of Career & Technical Education, PA Department of Education
Jackie Cullen, Executive Director, PA Association of Career & Technical Administrators
Dr. William Kerr, Superintendent, Norwin School District
Laura Fisher, Senior Vice President - Workforce & Special Projects, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
James Denova, Vice President, Benedum Foundation