Carl A. Marrara is the vice president of government affairs for the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association
HARRISBURG PA – Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget 2017 Pennsylvania state budget, unveiled Tuesday (Feb. 7, 2017), is balanced through cuts and consolidations. The $32.3 billion spending plan would attack looming budget deficits with more than two-billion dollars in cuts and efficiency measures. But it also calls for increased education funding. Deborah Gordon Klehr, director of the Education Law Center, praised the proposed $75 million increase in early childhood education, and extra funding for early intervention, as “crucial investments.” Although spending increases for grades K-through-12 are appreciated, she added, they fall short of what’s needed. “The governor’s proposed increase of $100 million in basic education, and $25 million in special education funding, will not be enough to allow schools to close long-standing resource gaps,” Klehr noted. Closing those, she added, would require an extra state investment of almost $3 billion over time. Klehr reported Pennsylvania ranks 46th in the nation for state share of education funding, and still has the largest difference in funding between wealthy and poor school districts. “Taking all of that into consideration, we’re hopeful we can work with the governor and the General Assembly to ensure that the budget gets us closer to closing that gap,” she explained.
PA Senate GOP Website February 10, 2017
WHAT: The PA Public School Building Construction and Reconstruction Advisory Committee will hold its next public hearing to continue discussion and receive testimony related to the state’s reimbursement program for school districts for costs associated with construction and reconstruction and lease of public school buildings (commonly known as PlanCon). The Committee was established pursuant to Act 25 of 2016 to review and make recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly.
WHO: PlanCon Committee, co-chaired by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne and House Education Committee Chairman Stan Saylor. This hearing will be held in the district of PlanCon co-chair Representative Saylor.
Monday, February 13 at 11:00 a.m.
Red Lion Area High School, 200 Horace Mann Avenue, Red Lion, PA 17356
The Erie School District has a familiar person making its case for additional state funding in Harrisburg. Jane Earll, the former state senator from Erie, is lobbying on the district's behalf.
TIMES-TRIBUNE EDITORIAL BOARD / PUBLISHED: FEBRUARY 12, 2017
I'm going ask you, this morning, to consider the case of U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
Huffington Post by Steven Singer 02/03/2017
Brian Klaas is a Fellow in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and author of The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding & Abetting the Decline of Democracy.
There is an enormous paradox at the heart of American democracy. Congress is deeply and stubbornly unpopular. On average, between 10 and 15 percent of Americans approve of Congress – on a par with public support for traffic jams and cockroaches. And yet, in the 2016 election, only eight incumbents – eight out of a body of 435 representatives – were defeated at the polls. If there is one silver bullet that could fix American democracy, it’s getting rid of gerrymandering – the now commonplace practice of drawing electoral districts in a distorted way for partisan gain. It’s also one of a dwindling number of issues that principled citizens – Democrat and Republican – should be able to agree on. Indeed, polls confirm that an overwhelming majority of Americans of all stripes oppose gerrymandering. In the 2016 elections for the House of Representatives, the average electoral margin of victory was 37.1 percent. That’s a figure you’d expect from North Korea, Russia or Zimbabwe – not the United States. But the shocking reality is that the typical race ended with a Democrat or a Republican winning nearly 70 percent of the vote, while their challenger won just 30 percent. Last year, only 17 seats out of 435 races were decided by a margin of 5 percent or less. Just 33 seats in total were decided by a margin of 10 percent or less.
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
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.