Education

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.

Setting the Record Straight about PA School Funding Cuts

I wrote a letter to the editor in the Patriot-News and PennLive.com setting the record straight about funding cuts to Pennsylvania schools in recent years. Take a look:

Research is clear that student performance improves with smaller class sizes, rigorous programs, and qualified teachers. Yet since 2011 Pennsylvania has done the opposite, enacting cuts that have increased class sizes, eliminated enrichment programs, and taken tens of thousands of teachers, guidance counselors, and aides out of the classroom.

Video: Don’t Let Property Tax Plan Derail PA Schools

The future of Pennsylvania schools — and the quality of education every child receives — is at stake in a property tax proposal in Harrisburg.

The plan to swap property taxes for higher state levies will drain billions from Pennsylvania classrooms within a few years. Over time, it increases funding inequities across districts and makes it harder for future graduates to compete in a 21st century job market.

There is a better way. Watch our new whiteboard video to see how we can strengthen our schools, make funding more equitable, and address property tax concerns. Then share the video with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Webinar: Property Tax Elimination and PA School Funding

Legislative proposals to eliminate school property taxes are being debated in Harrisburg, but what does it mean for school funding in Pennsylvania? If you missed the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's Friday webinar tackling this question, you can watch it below (click here to download the PowerPoint presentation). Mark Ryan of the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) joined PBPC's Sharon Ward to outline the fiscal impact of the proposals. If you need the quick version, check out Michael Wood's blog post last week on what the IFO found when it crunched the numbers on the property tax plans.

Funding Uncertainty in Property Tax Plan

As I blogged yesterday, a new analysis from the Independent Fiscal Office concludes that a proposal to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania would leave school districts with $2.6 billion less in overall funding within five years.

What’s At Stake for Schools in Property Tax Plan?

The latest proposal to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania would leave school districts with $2.6 billion less in overall funding within five years, according to an analysis from the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office. Matthew Knittel of the IFO presented the findings during a Pennsylvania Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday.

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