The timely passage of a strong budget bodes well for Pa.
Post Gazette By Gov. Tom Wolf July 15, 2016 12:00 AM
WHYY Newsworks BY KEVIN MCCORRY JULY 14, 2016
Email from the Reach Foundation July 14, 2016
Dear School Choice friends and family,
We thank Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) for his leadership, along with all Republican and Democratic legislative leaders and members in the passage of House Bill 1606, which in part would continue to expand the supply of opportunity scholarships to meet the growing demand of Pennsylvania students and parents. The bill passed with a vote of 172-18. House Bill 1606 would increase the amount of tax credits available in the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program by $25 million, providing a total of $175 million in both the EITC and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs.
The new tax credits would be allocated in the same proportions as outlined in current law. Scholarship Organization (SO) credits would increase by $15 million to $75 million. Educational Improvement Organization (EIO) credits would increase by $7.5 million to $37.5 million. Pre-kindergarten Scholarship Organization (PKSO) credits would increase by $2.5 million to $12.5 million.For more information, please visit the webpage of PA Speaker of the House Mike Turzai.
We especially thank and acknowledge Keystone Christian Education Association, Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools, Children's Scholarship Fund of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, Association of Christian Schools International, Philadelphia School Advocacy Partners, REACH Advisory Board and all members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate who continue to ensure that all children throughout the Commonwealth of PA have access to a quality education.
In case you missed it, the following link is the press conference held on June, 29th at the Dauphin County Library with REACH Executive Director, Otto V. Banks, and House Speaker, Mike Turzai, requesting an increase of $25 million in the EITC program. You can see it on our YouTube Channel.
When I to give talks on Pennsylvania budget issues, the question I always get is, "Why can't they agree in Harrisburg?" In some ways, it is a naïve question. Politics is always full of disagreements. But in other ways, it points to a deep way in which politics is broken, not just in Pennsylvania but in America. It is harder for government officials to reach agreements now than in the past. And it is important to understand why.
Samuel E. Abrams is the director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has written a new book, “Education and the Commercial Mindset,” that details how and why market forces have come to rise in public education and become important in corporate school reform. Renowned progressive educator Deborah Meier wrote an interesting review of the book on her blog. She wrote in part: This is a book that you should rush out and buy/read. The author, Samuel E. Abrams, is currently the director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Teachers College, Columbia. When I first saw the title and the source, I did not think it would be a book I would be enthusiastic about. However, I discovered immediately that the author taught for a number of years at NYC’s Beacon High School, which I know and respect. So I decided maybe my biases were unfair. Indeed I was wrong to be wary. Chapter One should be a must for all those who want (or should want) to understand the period we are in and the issues confronting us. If you can’t imagine reading the whole book — start there. Then decide.
Education Policy and Leadership Center
Applications are available now for the 2016-2017 Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP). The Education Policy Fellowship Program is sponsored in Pennsylvania by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC). Click here for the program calendar of sessions. With nearly 500 graduates in its first seventeen years, this Program is a premier professional development opportunity for educators, state and local policymakers, advocates, and community leaders. State Board of Accountancy (SBA) credits are available to certified public accountants. Past participants include state policymakers, district superintendents and principals, school business officers, school board members, education deans/chairs, statewide association leaders, parent leaders, education advocates, and other education and community leaders. Fellows are typically sponsored by their employer or another organization.
The Fellowship Program begins with a two-day retreat on September 15-16, 2016 and continues to graduation in June 2017. Click here to read more about the Education Policy Fellowship Program, or here to see the 2016-2017 program calendar.
Applications are being accepted now.