Press Releases

Thursday, June 18, 2015 3:07 PM

The Basic Education Funding Commission, created through Act 51 of 2014, released its long-awaited report on a new formula for distributing basic education funding to Pennsylvania schools today. Click on the link below for the full report.

basiceducationfundingcommission.pasenategop.com/files/2014/08/final-report-2015.pdf

 
Thursday, June 18, 2015 10:07 AM

Most of Pennsylvania’s registered voters are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

About half (49 percent) support Gov. Tom Wolf’s death penalty moratorium, versus 37 percent who oppose it. And they want action on increasing education funding and property tax reform.

Those are some of the findings of the latest Franklin & Marshall College poll, released Thursday.

F&M political scientist G. Terry Madonna, who directs the poll, said he wanted to gauge public sentiment on some of the main issues before the state Legislature.

Click here for article.

Source: Lancaster Online, By TIM STUHLDREHER, Staff Writer, Thursday, June 18, 2015 6:00 am.

 
Thursday, June 18, 2015 10:05 AM

A bill permitting Pennsylvania school districts to tie future teacher layoffs to job performance evaluations narrowly survived an early-round vote in the state House Wednesday.  The 95-94 vote on an amendment drafted by House Education Committee Chairman Stan Saylor, R-Red Lion, left the bill's immediate future anything but a slam dunk, as supporters try to rally the votes needed for final passage.  The bill essentially adds budget shortfalls to the list of reasons a district can lay off classroom teachers, and administrators - when using that reason - would be required to first eliminate affected personnel with "failing," or "needs improvement," ratings.

Click here for article.

Source: Pennlive.com, By Charles Thompson, June 17, 2015 at 9:35 PM, updated June 17, 2015 at 10:36 PM.

 
Thursday, June 18, 2015 10:04 AM

Pennsylvania House members voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to exempt more people from a state law that requires background checks for those who work with children.  The 180-9 vote sent the Senate the proposal to limit the checks for adult volunteers and employees at schools, child care facilities and similar places to those who have direct and routine interaction with children.

The more vigorous checks were enacted last year as part of the Legislature's response to the child sex abuse case against former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and scandals involving church clergy.  Some lawmakers said they hoped the Senate will remove a provision that exempts school or university workers who do not interact with students or prospective students who are less than 16 years old.

Click here for the article.

Source: Pennlive.com, By PennLive staff and wire reports, June 17, 2015 at 7:22 PM.

 
Thursday, June 18, 2015 8:17 AM

In theory, Pennsylvania school districts whose communities are similar economically are supposed to receive about the same amount of money per student from the state. But, with politics muscling in on how public school aid was distributed in the last two decades, officials have long complained about gaping disparities in public school aid.

Some communities now get half as much per-student aid as those with similar economic circumstances.

On Thursday, a panel of lawmakers and top advisers to Gov. Tom Wolf is set to recommend a way to close the gap, an effort that comes as Wolf is seeking the biggest one-year boost in public school aid in the state's history.

An Associated Press review of state data shows per-student funding differences can be great.

Click here for the full article.

Source: Associated Press, By Marc Levy, June 17, 2015.

 
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 9:18 AM

The Basic Education Funding Commission, Co-Chaired by Senator Pat Browne (R-16 Lehigh) and Representative Mike Vereb (R-150 Montgomery), will meet on Thursday, June 18th at 10 a.m. to consider recommendations and a funding formula and release its report to the General Assembly and the public.  The Basic Education Funding Commission was established through Act 51 of 2014 to develop a new formula for the distribution of state funding for basic education to Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts. The 15-member commission has undertaken a comprehensive study of a number of factors, held 15 hearings over the past 11 months and heard from a wide-range of experts and advocates in the education field, as well as parents, before arriving ultimately at a consensus on a new formula.  The meeting will be held in the Majority Caucus Room of the House of Representatives. The recommendations of the commission will not go into effect, however, without legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.  Barring any unforeseen technical difficulties, the hearing will stream live on www.pasenategop.com and www.pahousegop.com.

Click here for more.

Source: PA Senate Republican website, June 16, 2015; PA Education Policy Roundup, June 17, 2015.

 
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 9:17 AM

School districts across Pennsylvania, in a panic over what to do with the students who fail the Keystone Exams, were handed a lifeline this week when the state Senate agreed to place a moratorium on making the tests a graduation requirement.

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Source: Allentown Morning Call, June 16, 2015; PSBA Daily EDition, June 17, 2015.

 
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 9:08 AM

If school budgets were television shows, 2015-16 would be filled with reruns of past episodes. Facing such pressures as significant hikes in pension costs and increases in charter school tuition and health care costs, 71% of Pennsylvania districts that responded to a recent survey said they plan to raise taxes. Additionally, 41% indicated they plan to cut staff by eliminating positions, furloughing employees or instituting a hiring freeze and 23% plan to cut programs.

Click here for article.


Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 16, 2015; PSBA Daily EDition, June 17, 2015

 
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 8:42 AM

The state Senate unanimously passed a bill Monday that would delay by two years a requirement that high school students pass Pennsylvania's Keystone exams to graduate. Under the plan, the proficiency tests - in algebra 1, biology, and literature - will not go in effect for incoming freshmen until the 2018-19 school year.

Click here for article.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, June 16, 2015; PSBA Daily Edition, June 16, 2015.

 
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 8:41 AM

Pennsylvania's budget negotiators appear to have reached a qualified agreement in their quest to hammer out a new spending plan for state government. Not the agreement. But an agreement, and that's some progress. The agreement in question is — at least as confirmed by several legislators and senior staffers Monday — that the state needs $1.2 billion to cover one-time revenue sources tapped this fiscal year, plus major mandated costs looming for the next.

Click here for article.

Source: Pennlive.com, June 15, 2015; PSBA Daily Edition, June 16, 2015.

 
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P.O. Box 39, 122 Valley Road, Summerdale, PA 17093 Phone: (717) 732-4999 Fax: (717) 732-4890
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