Education

Educational Tax Credits: Increasing Public Funding of Private Schools at the Expense of Public Schools

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In the last few days of the legislative session, state lawmakers are fast-tracking a bill that would expand and unify the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC).  Tax credits provide taxpayer subsidies to businesses that fund scholarships to students attending private and religious schools, pre-K through 12th grade.  House Bill 1207, a proposal by Rep.

Local Taxpayers Pick Up Slack in State's Basic Ed Subsidy

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The second meeting of the Basic Education Funding Commission, on August 20 in Harrisburg, got off to a rocky start. Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion) read a statement on behalf of the House Republican caucus indicating a lack of interest in addressing the adequacy of education funding and great interest in protecting the hold harmless funding system (which ensures minimum funding increases for districts with declining enrollments).

Senate Bill 76: a School Defunding Formula Bill?

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The Senate Finance Committee did not take up Senate Bill 76 this week, a positive sign. The committee held a hearing on April 30 to consider an amendment that was supposed to fix the problems with the legislation, but the amendment had the opposite effect, raising even more questions about the impact of the bill on schools, communities, and businesses.

Education Is the New Black

A new poll out confirms the public’s support for more education funding and a new education funding formula.

Education Advocates Make a Case for Philly School Funding

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Sharon Ward, PA Budget and Policy CenterA coalition of education advocates joined forces to call on Philadelphia City Council to provide $195 million in sustainable local funding to the city's school district next year.

At an event last Thursday when Council met, several speakers explained how much students have suffered from budget cuts in recent years and how city leaders must step up once again to provide needed funding for city schools.

“Philadelphia students, teachers, and staff cannot go through another year of upheaval and uncertainty,” said Sharon Ward of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, one of the advocates to participate Thursday.

Looking Beyond the Kinder, Gentler Budget

With state budget hearings in the rearview mirror, I wanted to offer a few thoughts about the Governor Tom Corbett's 2014-15 budget proposal.

First of all, this, the Governor's fourth budget, is very different from his first. Tough talk about reining in spending has been replaced with a host of new initiatives that resonate with the public, particularly women.

Punxsutawney Phil and Governor Corbett

I published a commentary this week on Governor Corbett's 2014-15 budget proposal this week in the Allentown Morning Call. Check it out.

Punxsutawney Phil is predicting more chilly weather ahead, but a winter-weary Gov. Tom Corbett must have spring on his mind. His budget address Tuesday painted a bright and rosy picture of Pennsylvania's future even as we remain in the grip of a long economic winter.

What's in the Governor's 2014-15 Budget?

General Fund Spending: 2014-15 Executive BudgetGovernor Tom Corbett has proposed a 2014-15 state General Fund budget that would spend $29.4 billion, $927 million, or 3.3%, more than the current fiscal year.

Education Love Fest Starts, But Is It The Real Thing?

In the weeks leading up to the release of a proposed state budget in February, governors typically schedule photo ops to announce some new budget initiative popular with the public. This signals the administration’s priorities, keeps the good news from getting lost in the overall budget story, and builds up political capital for the budget fight ahead.

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