Archive

Six Philadelphia charter schools have been approved this year

May 27, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

There are still more than 20,000 names on waiting lists to get into Philadelphia charter schools.

ANOTHER CHARTER ADDED: The School District of Philadelphia has approved six new charter schools this year.

But the School … Read the rest

3 things to know about raising Pennsylvania’s 911 surcharge

May 27, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Everybody loves to gripe about the long list of surcharges and extra fees tacked onto their phone bills.

One of those pesky fees could be on the rise for Pennsylvanians, but the trade-off would … Read the rest

New website shows how Philly taxes will be used to fund schools

May 25, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

A new website is bringing increased transparency to Philadelphia’s school funding issue during a critical time for the cash-strapped school district.

TAXING PROPOSAL: Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter wants to raise taxes to help pay for

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Week in Review: Pennsylvania pension reform has long road ahead

May 22, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

The state Senate made waves earlier this month when lawmakers there approved public pension reform, but the legislation still has a long road to travel, as reporter Eric Boehm explains this week.

Gov. Tom Wolf also … Read the rest

Pennsylvania charter schools grilled on financial information

May 22, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association is pressing all of the state’s charter schools and cyber charters to make specific financial data available through a blanket right-to-know request filed last week.

BOOK CHECK: The Pennsylvania School

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Despite school closing, Education Management ‘committed’ to repaying state grant

May 21, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Education Management Corporation, which operates private, for-profit colleges across the country, announced earlier this month it will close 15 of its locations, including the Art Institute of York.

It’s another blow for Pennsylvania taxpayers … Read the rest

Week in Review: State lawmakers take up pension reform and property tax cuts

May 15, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Big things happened in Harrisburg this week. Really.

State lawmakers are notorious for dragging their feet on big public policy issues, but in a rash of activity this week, the state Senate rolled out public pension … Read the rest

Mayoral candidates want to end state control of Philly schools

May 15, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

No group — maybe outside of the Dallas Cowboys — is more unpopular in Philadelphia than the School Reform Commission.

SRC YOU LATER: Most Philadelphia mayoral hopefuls pictured here want to end state control of

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Philly mayoral candidates don’t agree on charter schools

May 14, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

With less than a week from the Democratic primary in Philadelphia, education issues loom large in the mayoral race.

Charter schools, the School Reform Commission and a new funding formula are the three major education … Read the rest

The doctor is not in: PA health groups debate nurse practitioner independence

May 13, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

LAB-COATED LOBBYING: Over 200 nurse practitioners gathered in Harrisburg Tuesday in support of bills that would expand their ability to practice more independently of doctors.

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — A large majority of Pennsylvanians oppose greater independence … Read the rest

PA taxpayers can now track Wolf cabinet members’ expenses

May 11, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Transparency has gotten more clickable, as Gov. Tom Wolf announced this month that his cabinet officials’ expenses are now online.

TRANSPARENCY RISING: Gov. Tom Wolf announced this month another move to try and restore the public’s

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Week in Review: PA hoarding other people’s stuff, nurses call for easing of regulations

May 8, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Pennsylvania finally got some good short-term budget news this week when the Independent Fiscal Office pointed out that changes to the state’s unclaimed property laws would lead to a surge in revenue.

In fact, the state … Read the rest

PA General Assembly takes four months to send first bill to Wolf

May 6, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Lt. Gov. Mike Stack ran the Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday, but even that wasn’t as protracted a process as passing a bill in Harrisburg.

Stack signed his first bill as Senate president … Read the rest

Lt. Gov. Stack running Pittsburgh Marathon for a cause: Film tax credits

May 1, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Lt. Gov. Mike Stack will run in this Sunday’s Pittsburgh Marathon, but a news release Friday had a twist even director M. Night Shyamalan could appreciate.

Stack, a Democrat, will lace up to “focus attention on the … Read the rest

Week in Review: Lawmaker wants state to control struggling schools

May 1, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Pennsylvania took over the struggling School District of Philadelphia 14 years ago, hoping to help address poor student performance and sharp budget deficits.

INTERVENTION: State Sen. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster, wants to put failing schools under state

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Sen. Wagner’s latest union challenge would rein in employee compensation

April 29, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

State Sen. Scott Wagner doesn’t like Pennsylvania’s public-sector unions, and leaders of organized labor certainly aren’t enamored with the York County Republican who once compared them to power-hungry dictators such as Hitler.

The rocky … Read the rest

Higher taxes all ’round: 3 things to know about IFO report on Wolf’s tax plan

April 27, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

All Pennsylvanians would face higher taxes if Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal becomes law.

On the campaign trail and in his first budget plan, Wolf had pitched an ambitious overhaul of Pennsylvania’s tax system … Read the rest

Week in Review: Plenty of scary news for Pennsylvania taxpayers

April 24, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Halloween’s still a long way off, but we’re already telling ghost stories here at PA Independent.

Reporter Evan Grossman continues his investigation into the School District of Philadelphia’s so-called “ghost teachers,” who made big bucks despite … Read the rest

Close enough for government work: This town reveals the problem with family and politics

April 23, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

ONE BIG FAMILY: Council members from the tiny Northeastern Pennsylvania borough of Throop have a history of hiring their family members.

By Will Swaim | Watchdog.org

There’s an old aphorism, sometimes attributed to Harper Lee, that goes, “You can pick … Read the rest

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court rejects school funding lawsuit

April 22, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

The Commonwealth Court spiked a school-funding lawsuit this week, ruling that education spending is not in its wheelhouse.

“This is a legislative policy determination,” Judge Dan Pellegrini wrote, referencing state Supreme Court rulings that eliminate … Read the rest