A budget impasse, the public weighs in, PSSA results, and a really important election this year
The budget is still not done, so schools are still not funded – the impasse continues; the Auditor General weighs in and the public has some opinions about it too. New PSSA test results are in – but what do the results tell us? And – believe it or not there is a REALLY IMPORTANT election this year!
Governor Wolf continues to hold firm on his proposal for a responsible, balanced budget that will begin to get school funding back on track by restoring $410 million in state funding to school districts in this year’s budget and imposing a severance tax on Shale gas that will provide a source of new recurring revenue for schools. Education Voters is part of a statewide coalition, the Campaign for Fair Education Funding, which released a new report HERE on how restoring $410 million in state funding would impact Pennsylvania’s school districts.
A budget impasse is confusing, and seems like a mess (okay – it is a mess) but we applaud the Governor for taking a stand – Pennsylvania needs a good budget, not just any old budget that doesn’t properly fund schools (we saw how THAT worked out).
Furthermore, regular people aren’t supporting the legislative hold out! A recent Franklin and Marshall College poll demonstrates public support for the budget proposed by the Governor, with 54% of registered voters considering the legislature responsible for the budget impasse while just 29% believe Governor Wolf is the problem. (READ MORE)
Fiscal watchdog (and champion for a healthy public education for all of PA’s children), PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, is justifiably concerned about additional costs that school districts will incur as a result of the budget stalemate in Harrisburg. (READ MORE)
Dramatically lower PSSA scores are making headlines throughout the Commonwealth — not because PA’s students have changed or are doing worse. Instead, scores have dropped because the test students took in the spring was brand new and based on new state standards (“PA Core Standards”) adopted in Pennsylvania last year. These PSSAs were very different; the format and content of the tests were new and some content was tested a full grade or more earlier than on previous PSSAs. But if the test is different, what does that mean for students, educators and school performance?
2015 Elections. Really!!
Pennsylvania elects judges to the State Supreme Court, and there are currently 3 (out of 7) seats to fill, so mark your calendars for Tuesday,November 3rd. Justices of the court are elected for 10-year terms (and then face only “retention votes” after that). The people elected this year will decide on key issues like redistricting and … school funding. Click HERE to learn more about the candidates for Supreme Court Justice.
If you need to register to vote, you can go HERE to register online at the new voter registration site!
There is a lot going on now that will impact our public schools. Thank you for your support of public education–and stay tuned!