If, like us, you're a big fan of political arcana, then you probably took note of the procedural gymnastics that took place in the state House earlier this month when the Republican-controlled chamber quietly did away with a key, post-pay raise era reform. Namely, lawmakers voted to spike a decade-old requirement that the chamber wait 24 hoursbefore casting a final ballot on bills that had been amended by the Senate. They replaced it with the same, six-hour cooling off period required on the other side of the Capitol. Backers said it was simply a move to make sure the two chambers were playing by the same ground rules. Critics, quite sensibly, pointed out that the matter was less about lawmakers' convenience, and more about making sure the public had a chance to adequately vet legislation before it was ushered into law. Enter state Rep. Greg Vitali, D-Delaware, who's introduced a non-binding resolution requiring the House to return to the 24-hour waiting period that seemed to be working so well before the House went and tinkered with it.
Senate of Pennsylvania Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session
Posted: January 17, 2017 09:59 AM
From: Senator Robert M. Tomlinson
To: All Senate members
Subject:Freeze on Property Taxes for Senior Citizens
Please join me in co-sponsoring legislation to provide a real estate tax freeze for senior citizens age 65 and older.
Curmuducation Blog by Peter Greene Friday, January 27, 2017
The Trump Department of Education continues to shape up as a place that is, perhaps, more about patronage than education. Today we have word from the Huffington Post that a memo from Jason Botel (another supremely reformy appointment as Senior White House Adviser for Education) that the following folks have been brought into the department:
Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, probably survived the grilling she got from angry Democrats last week. When Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) demanded she promise not "to privatize public schools," DeVos replied, "Not all schools are working for the students." When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asked her to make "universities tuition free," DeVos replied, "I think that's a really interesting idea (but) there's nothing in life that's truly free." Those answers were fine. I suppose it's important for a nominee to be polite. But what I wish she'd said was: "No, Sen. Murray, I won't promise not to privatize! Didn't you notice the mess government schemes create? Many government-run schools are lousy! Private is better!"
Her ideas are no less dangerous to the American project than Ben Carson and Jeff Session's.
BY GRAHAM VYSE January 25, 2017
Betsy DeVos’s Senate confirmation hearing last week was, by most accounts, a train wreck. The education secretary nominee aired extreme views that alarmed public education advocates, but she also showed an unfamiliarity with basic policy issues. So it came as no surprise when Democrats demanded a second hearing for thebillionaire Republican donor, ostensibly because they want more time to vet her potential conflicts of interest. Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, who chairs the education committee, denied their request. On Tuesday, he took to Medium to accuse Senate Democrats of “grasping for straws.” “Few Americans have done as much to help low-income students have a choice of better schools,” wrote Alexander, who served as education secretary under President George H.W. Bush. “She is on the side of our children. Her critics may resent that, but this says more about them than it does about her.” For an education expert widely regarded as thoughtful on these issues, Alexander’s article is remarkably disingenuous, complete with straw-man arguments and unfounded characterizations of the Democratic opposition to DeVos.
Washington, D.C. Phone:(202) 224-4944
Forum #2 – Harrisburg Area (Enola, PA) Tuesday, February 28, 2017 – Capital Area Intermediate Unit – 55 Miller Street (Susquehanna Room), Enola, PA 17025
Forum #3 – Philadelphia Thursday, March 2, 2017 – Penn Center for Educational Leadership, University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street (5th Floor), Philadelphia, PA 19104
Forum #4 – Indiana University of Pennsylvania Tuesday, March 14, 2017 – 1011 South Drive (Stouffer Hall), Indiana, PA 15705
Forum #5 – Lehigh Valley Tuesday, March 28, 2017 – Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21, 4210 Independence Drive, Schnecksville, PA 18078
Join school directors around the country at the conference designed to give you the tools to advocate successfully on behalf of public education.
- NSBA will help you develop a winning advocacy strategy to help you in Washington, D.C. and at home.
- Attend timely and topical breakout sessions lead by NSBA’s knowledgeable staff and outside experts.
- Expand your advocacy network by swapping best practices, challenges, and successes with other school board members from across the country.
Plan to join public education leaders for networking and learning at the 2017 NSBA Annual Conference, March 25-27 in Denver, CO. General registration is now open at https://www.nsba.org/conference/registration. A conference schedule, including pre-conference workshops, is available on the NSBA website.