Archive

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

Week in Review: Case draws attention to civil immunity for judges

April 17, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Plenty of lawmakers in Pennsylvania say the state has a big pension problem, and this week an economic think tank revealed just how dire it thinks the issue could be.

Another property tax reform bill is … Read the rest

Pennsylvania pension funds could run dry in as little as 10 years

April 16, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Without higher contributions from workers and taxpayers, Pennsylvania’s public sector pension plans may not be able to pay for their promises.

And if investment returns fail to live up to expectations, the two pension … Read the rest

Week in Review: Philadelphia teachers union has sweetheart deal on rent

April 10, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

This week, a champion for private liquor stores has emerged in the Pennsylvania state Senate; Gov. Tom Wolf was sued for trying to help home care unionizing and education reporter Evan Grossman explained how taxpayers underwrite … Read the rest

Advocates present plan to fix failing Pennsylvania schools

April 10, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

Despite massive taxpayer investments, some Pennsylvania schools continue to fail.

How to fix that problem is the subject of much debate in state and local government, but one education reform group says the state should … Read the rest

House Republican leader says property tax relief bill coming

April 9, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Plenty of Republican state reps have groused about Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s $3.8 billion property tax relief plan, calling one of the central parts of his budget proposal a bait-and-switch.

Now, House Republicans are … Read the rest

Week in Review: Auditor cites big pension problems for small Pennsylvania city

April 3, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

HARRISBURG, Pa. — It’s not just Pennsylvania that has a pension problem.

Plenty of municipalities across the state have pension systems in distress, and the small city of Jeannette in western Pennsylvania is just the latest to … Read the rest

Kane revoked subpoenas in casino investigation involving DeNaples, Inky says

April 3, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

More bad news for Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

Already facing questions over why she closed a criminal probe into corrupt state lawmakers, Kane will now have to answer to allegations she shut down an … Read the rest

City solicitor: To recover, Jeannette should do away with pension ‘spiking’

April 2, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Singled out for bad pension planning, officials in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, are determined to tackle the problem.

The town’s solicitor told us Tuesday the first step is eliminating the practice of pension “spiking” by the town’s … Read the rest

With limited reach, Philadelphia mayoral foes are talking out of school

March 27, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — No issue more seems to be important to Pennsylvanians at the moment than education, according to several polls.

So it makes perfect sense that Philadelphia mayoral candidates have made schools a top talking … Read the rest

Week in Review: Pennsylvania schools getting mixed message from Harrisburg

March 27, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

The annual state budget process slogged on this week as state lawmakers continued to parse the governor’s proposed spending plan during hours of budget hearings.

As the state works out the kinks, school districts across Pennsylvania … Read the rest

Senator’s facetious request: State should collect our political money, too

March 26, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — State Sen. Don White has a modest proposal.

The Indiana County Republican wants to funnel money to campaign groups using government resources, which usually would be frowned upon in Harrisburg, seeing as … Read the rest

Despite high marks, Pennsylvania charter schools still under attack

March 24, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — A national education reform organization charges school choice and education freedom are under siege in the City of Brotherly Love.

NO CHOICE: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has taken an adversarial position against charter

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Week in Review: Pennsylvania budget proposal goes under microscope

March 20, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

State lawmakers have settled into the long process of vetting Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal, but they’re really only talking about half the picture of total state spending.

This week, we explained why the budget proposal … Read the rest

View porn on state computers? You should go to jail, lawmaker says

March 19, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Sometimes office policy just isn’t enough.

A Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to make it illegal for state employees to use commonwealth-owned computers, networks or cell phones to view or exchange pornography.

CYBER CRIME: A Pennsylvania

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Are Philly school reformers the silent majority?

March 17, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — Union-financed activists are drowning out the voices of parents who want better opportunities for their kids, some believe.

Last month’s well publicized School Reform Commission meeting tested this theory. Anti-charter groups repeatedly shouted … Read the rest

Wolf’s GO-TIME team identifies millions in savings for PA taxpayers

March 16, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — It’s hard to believe that, in 2015, a $29 billion enterprise would use a paper system to manage construction projects costing millions, if not billions, of dollars each year.

Pennsylvania has done just that, … Read the rest

Week in Review: More charges filed against Pennsylvania lawmakers

March 13, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams kept rolling this week in a case that Attorney General Kathleen Kane said could not be prosecuted, putting more scrutiny on the state’s top prosecutor.

THREE MORE CHARGED: Philadelphia District Attorney

Read the rest