What are the differences between the Wolf/Senate GOP pension plans? A primer

Senate Republicans have released the details of their long-awaited pension reform plan, which would do away with the defined-benefit retirement plan for state and public school employees. And, as the Associated Press reports, it would require concessions from many current employees to shore up the state's debt-ridden pension systems… More

Gov. Tom Wolf accepts Bethlehem elementary school’s invitation

Governor Wolf Elementary School in Bethlehem is named after Pennsylvania's seventh governor but it also shares a name with the 47th: Gov. Tom Wolf. The Butztown Road school extended the new governor an open invitation to visit the school via the sign in front of its building. And it looks like Wolf has accepted. LehighValleyLive… More

Which Pa. school districts get the highest percentage of aid from the state?

This post is part of an occasional series of podcasts and web “explainers.” Which school districts in Pennsylvania receive the most state funding as a share of their total revenue? If you guessed Philadelphia, you'd be dead wrong. Newsworks… More

Pension bill to move ahead despite Browne’s absence

Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) is expected to make a full recovery after a motorcycle accident last weekend landed him in the hospital. Browne's colleagues say his absence is significant, with just two months remaining until the state budget deadline. Sen… More

Should teacher layoffs be carried out by seniority or evaluations?

If a district needs to lay off teachers, should it do it based on seniority or performance? As PennLive's Jan Murphy reported, school districts would be free to lay off teachers based on their performance evaluation rather than seniority under legislation sponsored by Rep. Steve Bloom, R-North Middleton Twp… More

Pennsylvania charter school reform hinges on ‘accountability’

School choice advocates and charter school critics both want stronger laws for greater oversight and accountability in the charter sector. So why is it so difficult to effect any real change in Harrisburg? It comes down to exactly what accountability means… More

PSBA Legislative Alert: Call House members to vote YES to Furlough and Tenure reforms under HB 805

Yesterday the House Education Committee approved legislation that makes major needed reforms to current practices for furlough and tenure of professional employees.  The bill now goes to the House floor, where a vote could happen as early as tomorrow, Wednesday, May 6. House Bill 805 (Rep… More

Rising free and reduced school lunch figures: Does it show growing poverty rate in midstate?

The portion of students with free and reduced lunch — a possible indicator of poverty — is on the rise at districts across south-central Pennsylvania.In the last decade at school districts in Dauphin, Cumberland, York, Lebanon, Lancaster and Perry counties, free and reduced lunch eligibility has risen by an average of 11… More

Teacher-layoff bill advances in Pennsylvania House

A bill that would end seniority-based teacher layoffs was voted 14-9 out of the House Education Committee today. It is an issue that has come up repeatedly. In the previous session, such a bill was voted out of committee but did not advance in the House… More

Capitolwire: ‘Protecting excellent teachers’ bill gets approval from House Education Committee

Reprinted with Permission By Christen Smith, Staff Reporter, Capitolwire HARRISBURG (May 4) — A bill designed to prevent newly-hired teachers from becoming the first staff laid off when school districts implement furloughs made its way out of committee Monday. The House Education Committee voted 14-9 on House Bill 805, sponsored by Rep… More