Advancing the Betsy DeVos school privatization agenda has emerged as a top budget priority for PA House members, even though this will provide very little or no benefit to the communities many rural lawmakers represent. On a near party-line vote of 114-84, the PA House approved a budget proposal that retains the very modest $100 million increase in Basic Education Funding and the $25 million increase in special education funding that that Governor Wolf has proposed.
The House budget, however, significantly undermines support for young children and working families by cutting $50 million in funding increases for Pre-K programs proposed in Governor Wolf’s budget and providing $62 million less in Child Care Services and Assistance. The House budget also contains an $800 million deficit and slashes funding from human services, environmental protections, and other vital programs and services that support our communities.
In this context of this austere budget, it is stunning that many PA lawmakers voted for a $75 million increase in funding for the Educational Opportunity Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs. In their budget, $55 million in new EITC/OSTC funding will be dedicated to providing vouchers for private/religious schools, bringing the total taxpayer funding for private/religious school vouchers to $180 million/year.
Curmuducation Blog by Peter Greene Saturday, April 8, 2017
I get hugely behind in my podcast listening-- I'm far better at absorbing information through my eyes than my ears, and listening to a full podcast requires a level of attentiveness that I can't always muster. That's unfortunate for me, because every time I finally get around to listening to casts, I end up wishing I'd listened sooner. Tops on my list of podcast catch-ups is Have You Heard, a cast now in its second season and featuring the team of Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Schneider. Both are long-time knowledgeable observers of the education; Berkshire is one of the best interviewers in the civilized world, and Schneider knows more about the history of education than just about anybody. They share a gentleness and decency that allows them to talk to the most difficult of subjects (check out their conversation with She Who Will Not Be Named)
Herald Mail Media by Jennifer Fitch Apr 9, 2017 Updated 10 hrs ago
PA Capitol Digest by Crisci Associates April 7, 2017
The Keystone Research Center Thursday released a new report that provides the first estimates of the impact of property tax elimination proposals on families in Pennsylvania. The report finds that, far from providing relief for working families, recent proposals to eliminate school property taxes in Pennsylvania would increase taxes on the middle class while sabotaging the chance to adequately fund Pennsylvania schools for middle- and low-income families. In the proposal being considered by legislators in Harrisburg, the elimination of school property taxes across the state is offset by increases which include raising the personal income tax by 61 percent (from 3.07 percent to 4.95 percent); increasing the sales tax rate 14 percent to 7 percent (from the current 6 percent); and expanding coverage of the sales tax to previously untaxed goods like food and services. The report, authored by labor economist Mark Price, finds that such a proposal would, on net, raise taxes for virtually all Pennsylvania residents. Even after accounting for a reduction in local property tax bills of, on average, $1,685, the typical tax bill for Pennsylvania families would rise by $334 next year.
Citizens Voice BY SARAH HOFIUS HALL / PUBLISHED: APRIL 10, 2017
AP April 8, 2017
Michael Churchill is an attorney at the Public Interest Law Center.
Post Gazette By Deana Carpenter April 7, 2017 12:00 AM
- Monday, May 1, 6-8 p.m. — Parkway West CTC, 7101 Steubenville Pike, Oakdale, PA 15071
- Tuesday, May 2, 7:30-9 a.m. — A W Beattie Career Center, 9600 Babcock Blvd, Allison Park, PA 15101
- Tuesday, May 2, 6-8 p.m. — Crawford County CTC, 860 Thurston Road, Meadville, PA 16335
- Wednesday, May 3, 6-8 p.m. — St. Marys Area School District, 977 S. St Marys Road, Saint Marys, PA 15857
- Thursday, May 4, 6-8 p.m. — Central Montco Technical High School, 821 Plymouth Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
- Friday, May 5, 7:30-9 a.m. — Lehigh Carbon Community College, 4525 Education Park Dr, Schnecksville, PA 18078
- Monday, May 15, 6-8 p.m. — CTC of Lackawanna Co., 3201 Rockwell Avenue, Scranton, PA 18508
- Tuesday, May 16, 6-8 p.m. — PSBA, 400 Bent Creek Boulevard, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
- Wednesday, May 17, 6-8 p.m. — Lycoming CTC, 293 Cemetery Street, Hughesville, PA 17737
- Thursday, May 18, 6-8 p.m. — Chestnut Ridge SD, 3281 Valley Road, Fishertown, PA 15539
— Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), Senate Appropriations Committee chair