Bill to create Harrisburg school voucher program gains committee approval

Bill to create Harrisburg school voucher program gains committee approval

The House Education Committee approved Monday a bill which would create vouchers for students in the struggling Harrisburg School District, despite criticism that district officials were not included in the process.

The consideration of HB 1800, authored by House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), comes just days after news that the district, which was placed in state receivership earlier this year, is facing a $2.6 million budget shortfall. It was approved out of committee on a 13-12 vote, with Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe) and Rep. Megan Schroeder (R-Bucks) joining Democrats in opposition.
Monday, November 18, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Wait for community college system in Erie County set to continue as state board delays vote

Wait for community college system in Erie County set to continue as state board delays vote

Tom Petty wrote that the waiting is the hardest part, something that Erie County community leaders can attest to in their decades-long push for a community college system in the commonwealth’s 14th largest county.

That wait was supposed to end Thursday, with officials from the county’s political, business and education communities descending on Harrisburg for a State Board of Education vote on whether to establish a community college in the state’s far northwest.
Thursday, November 14, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Governor, Republicans face off over charter school reforms

Governor, Republicans face off over charter school reforms

An announcement from Gov. Tom Wolf that he will seek new regulations to beef up transparency on charter schools has refocused attention on an area which lawmakers have said has needed attention for some time and will perhaps serve as an impetus to bring on even meatier legislation from the General Assembly.

Announced Tuesday, Wolf said he will instruct the Department of Education to heighten financial transparency for charter school management firms and increase their accountability to the state. The governor is also calling for a fee-for-service model designed to recoup taxpayer money that goes into processing charter applications and other services which the Department of Education performs.

Friday, August 23, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Citing need for equity, Wolf announces reforms to beef up charter school transparency

Citing need for equity, Wolf announces reforms to beef up charter school transparency

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday a slate of reforms to the state’s charter school laws in what he says is an attempt to hold charters to the same standards as public schools at a time when critics say they are siphoning off money from local districts.

Flanked by Education Secretary Pedro Rivera and a bevy of local lawmakers in an Allentown press conference, Wolf announced he would be tasking the Department of Education with developing regulations that aim to beef up financial transparency for charter school management firms and increase their accountability to the state.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Dems cry foul over school code, as bipartisan vote sinks last remaining piece of budget puzzle

Dems cry foul over school code, as bipartisan vote sinks last remaining piece of budget puzzle

A perfect storm of grievances sunk the final remaining piece of the state budget Thursday evening, as the House voted down the School Code bill over what Democrats called broken promises, while Republicans expressed concern over a provision to alter the compulsory school.


By a vote of 77-121, a bipartisan group of lawmakers voted against the bill, which was unveiled in the Senate late last night.


Thursday, June 27, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
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