With the end of the current fiscal year a scant eight days away, Gov. Tom Wolf is sending some pretty clear signals about what he does (and more importantly) doesn't want to see in a finished spending plan. Speaking to reporters Wednesday, the York County Democrat didn't exactly say no to a Republican-backed plans to balance the books. But he didn't exactly say yes, either. As our pals at the Associated Press report: "Wolf avoided saying that he outright opposes two key Republican ideas: borrowing against future state revenue and legalizing gambling on slot machine-style games in thousands of bars, truck stops and other locations. "Rather, he suggested that such ideas concern him.
PoliticsPA Written by Paul Engelkemier, Managing Editor June 22, 2017
Senate Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) told reporters that he was unsure how the Senate will close the expected $2 billion budget deficit. According to City & State, Scarnati said “how we close this out is yet to be seen.” There are some ideas that have been floated, but do not show much chance of passing the Senate. The House passed a gaming expansion bill two weeks ago, but the bill does not have much support in the Senate. “My experience with gaming in the Senate Republican Caucus, I can boil down real simply: You have a third of the members of the Senate Republican Caucus who oppose gaming because they oppose gaming. You have a third of them that have a gaming interest within their district, so they’re somewhat not in favor of competition for casinos. Then, you’ve got a third of the members in our caucus that could be influenced one way or another to vote for something. There’s no strong consensus and, when you start off with two-thirds of your caucus either principally against it or certainly economically opposed to something, it’s difficult. That’s why we’re where we’re at,” Scarnati told reporters.
HARRISBURG PA – A group of Pennsylvania education leaders, including Pottsgrove High School Principal Dr. Bill Ziegler (at top and below) and Upper Providence Elementary School Principal Dr. Melissa Patschke, personally visited the state Capitol to lobby area politicians and prod them to allocate more money for education in Pennsylvania’s annual budget. The spending plan is due to be finalized next Friday (June 30, 2017). The state’s financial crisis in public schools demands “the help of legislators,” Ziegler said, as one of five speakers representing the Pennsylvania Principals Association during its annual Principal Advocacy Day. “We still need to significantly increase school funding,” he said, as “statewide survey data shows that 85 percent of school districts plan to raise taxes, 50 percent plan to reduce academic or extracurricular activities, and 48 percent plan to reduce staff resulting in larger class sizes.” Local funds also are threatened by proposed legislation that would provide significant property tax reductions for commercial properties, Ziegler added. “If this bill passes, the Pottsgrove School District could potentially lose more than $1.7 million in tax revenue from commercial properties next year alone,” he said. Joining Ziegler and Patschke in making comments in the rotunda were principals from Junitata Elementary School, Crestwood High School, and the association’s executive director. Advocacy Day, which this year occurred on June 9 (Friday) focuses on having legislators from across the state discuss education issues of the day directly with those involved in teaching their constituents’ families.
Politico By BURGESS EVERETT 06/22/2017 07:16 PM EDT
Thomas Murray, Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education
Kristen Swanson, Director of Learning at Slack and one of the founding members of the Edcamp movement
*Leadership for Learning
*Professional and Community Leadership