Archive

Governor ties proposed PA education funding to targeted grants

February 25, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — If city schools hope for more money in the coming year, school leaders are going to have to jump through hoops to get at it.

Gov. Tom Corbett is willing to funnel new Read the rest

As Pennsylvania speaker heads into retirement, conservatives claim victory

February 12, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

After 28 years in Harrisburg and two terms as the top dog in the state House, Speaker Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, will retire from politics at the end of the year.

Smith’s decision to walk … Read the rest

Report: Former PA lawmaker used per diem to buy house

February 7, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

A Harrisburg-area TV station reports that former state Rep. James Wansacz, D-Lackawanna, who bought a home in the capital with taxpayer-paid per diem payments, is seeking to sell the house and pocket $52,000 … Read the rest

Three more important details from Corbett’s budget address

February 6, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Education funding and calls for public-pension reform were the cornerstone pieces of Gov. Tom Corbett’s fourth budget address earlier this week.

But those aren’t the only important pieces of the budget proposal, … Read the rest

Inside Corbett’s budget proposal: New education programs, millions in additional spending for schools

February 4, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — Education funding will get a boost in next year’s budget if Gov. Tom Corbett has anything to say about it.

Corbett outlined his 2014-15 budget proposal Tuesday, focusing much of his 30-minute address … Read the rest

Corbett holds line on taxes in election-friendly PA budget

February 4, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — After enduring the lean years of the great recession, Gov. Tom Corbett on Tuesday urged state lawmakers to “build a stronger Pennsylvania” through a budget proposal that goes another year without … Read the rest

Inside Corbett’s budget proposal: Gov looks to defer $300 million in PA pension payments

February 4, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Facing $2 billion in mandatory pension payments next year, Gov. Tom Corbett is looking for a way out.

On Tuesday, Corbett outlined his budget proposal for the 2014-15 fiscal year, which begins July 1, … Read the rest

Cash or credit? PA facing $600 million in new pension costs in next budget

February 3, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Gov. Tom Corbett will lay out his plans for next year’s state budget Tuesday morning in Harrisburg, with a $2 billion elephant in the room.

That’s how much — about $1 out of … Read the rest

For parents, a tough choice: ignore a drug that could help a sick child or risk jail time

January 31, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Above all else, Deena Kenney describes herself as a mother who wants what is best for her son.

Under current law, the state of Pennsylvania says she can’t.

Kenney’s 17-year old son, Christopher, … Read the rest

PA Democrats propose taxing tobacco products, eliminating business tax deductions to fund education

January 31, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — New taxes on tobacco products and the elimination of tax breaks for some large companies are part of a Democratic plan to generate $1.1 billion in revenue and savings for Pennsylvania next year.… Read the rest

Examining why unemployment fell below 7 percent in PA for the first time in five years (and what it means for the election)

January 30, 2014 | By | Posted in Features, Investigations

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

For the first time in five years, Pennsylvania’s unemployment sits below 7 percent.

It’s a significant shift, if even only a symbolic one. But it’s not all great news.

The state Department of Read the rest

More bad fiscal news for PA as IFO lowers revenue projection

January 24, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Already facing the prospect of a $1 billion deficit heading into next year, state budget makers got another round of bad news this week when Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office lowered its revenue projections for … Read the rest

Charter school for Philadelphia foster children will not be renewed

January 17, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — A charter school in Philadelphia that seeks to provide support for the city’s most vulnerable youths is losing its opportunity to educate those students.

The School Reform Commission, an appointed body that … Read the rest

‘Backroom political maneuvering’ cost taxpayers $200K, candidate says

January 16, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

A York County, Pa., businessman running for state Senate as a conservative Republican alleges GOP leaders in Harrisburg conspired against him.

To understand his thinking, some background information is needed.

Last year, state Sen. Mike … Read the rest

Education rising to the top of the legislative agenda in election year

January 16, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — In the fight to win control of Harrisburg in 2014, the civil rights of students are in the forefront.

Education funding, access and outcomes in Pennsylvania have become central issues in a tense … Read the rest

Under new management, Philly Renaissance Schools show growth

January 15, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

Some Philadelphia schools are under new management, and the results are decidedly mixed.

Since 2010, Philadelphia has applied wholesale reform to some of its lowest performing schools, enacting sweeping change with the goal of quick … Read the rest

Moody’s warns of fiscal instability of Philadelphia schools

January 10, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — The School District of Philadelphia is facing a credit downgrade and more financial problems unless changes come soon.

The credit report released this week from the rating agency Moody’s Investors Service said the … Read the rest

PA Senate prez: Do away with ‘obsolete, unsustainable’ pensions or face difficult budget cuts

January 9, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

After two years of talk and little action, pension reform might finally rise to the top of the General Assembly’s to-do list in 2014.

If so, it will be for good reason. Escalating pension … Read the rest

Three things to know about Philadelphia’s school budget: Debt, pensions and safety

January 3, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — State, local and even federal taxpayers are keeping the School District of Philadelphia operational, but the funding crisis seems to deepen with each passing year.

The district adopted a $3.1-billion budget for 2013-2014, … Read the rest

Year in Review: With minimum wage increasing in New Jersey, some say Pennsylvania should follow suit

December 31, 2013 | By | Posted in General News

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Higher costs are likely and higher unemployment is a possibility after New Jersey raises its minimum wage by $1 at the beginning of 2014.

Economists who look at the coming wage hike, approved by … Read the rest