Commonwealth Court rules against last challenge, letting school funding suit to advance

Commonwealth Court rules against last challenge, letting school funding suit to advance

A lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s school funding advanced once again over the objection of state lawmakers.

Late last year the state Supreme Court ordered the Commonwealth Court to hear the case, first filed in 2014. Despite challenges from both Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), the court denied preliminary objections in May 2018.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
In Philadelphia, Democrats pitch free tuition at state schools

In Philadelphia, Democrats pitch free tuition at state schools

Tyrell Mann-Barnes is a senior biology student ready to start pursuing med school. He’s from a low-income family in Philadelphia and the first generation that went to college. His other siblings went to school for athletic scholarships, but that wasn’t an option for him. His cousins didn’t even apply because college is expensive. He knew college would change his life, so he found a way. 

He became student body president and a resident assistant for three years. His positions led to decreased tuition and covered his room and food costs.

“I would have been a housing and food insecure student [otherwise],” he said. 

Although he’s happy with his accomplishments, he doesn’t want other students to struggle like he did. At a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing Thursday, he said the PA Promise Plan may be a step in the right direction. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018/Author: Taylor Allen
Categories: News and Views
School officials ask for consistent funding, Republicans ask about armed employees at safety hearing

School officials ask for consistent funding, Republicans ask about armed employees at safety hearing

The tragic repeat of school shooting headlines moved the Pennsylvania legislature to act this year, to the tune of $60 million extra school safety funding.

But with the budget signed and the distribution system — through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency — set, state Republicans have turned to finding out what else they can do.

From social media bullying to school safety surveys to arming trained school personnel, all were discussed Wednesday at Cedar Crest High School in Lebanon as the Senate Republican Policy Committee held its third roundtable on keeping pupils protected.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Wolf in Commonwealth Court brief: “Fair funding formula is only as good as the amount of money behind it.”

Wolf in Commonwealth Court brief: “Fair funding formula is only as good as the amount of money behind it.”

Gov. Tom Wolf this week filed a brief in the ongoing education funding lawsuit, disputing an earlier brief submitted by fellow respondent, Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati (R-Jefferson).

 

The case, filed by six state school districts represented by the Public Interest Law Center and the Education Law Center in 2015, alleges that Pennsylvania’s education funding formula violates the state’s constitutional guarantee to a “fair and equitably public education.” 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018/Author: Kara Barmoy
Categories: News and Views
School funding sparks loud campaign fights, raises legislative questions

School funding sparks loud campaign fights, raises legislative questions

It all started one month ago in the waning days of budget season, with a meeting between advocates and the governor’s staff and some off-the-cuff remarks at a Philadelphia press conference.

But as the calendar turns to August, a controversy over the state’s school funding formula has held on as a campaign cudgel and legislative worry, as accusations of intimidation and collusion resound.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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