News & Brews March 1, 2021

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Wolf aims to cut education funding for charter school students

Under the guise of “reform,” on Friday Gov. Wolf again took aim at charter school students, proposing cuts that will strip $229 million from these students. He claimed his plan has “broad” bipartisan support, a claim for which we’re still seeking evidence (anyone?). Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman issued a stinging rebuke of Wolf’s scheme, calling it “tone deaf” to the needs of parents and students. Corman stated, “There are 40,000 students on charter school waitlists in Philadelphia, another 10,000 waiting for a seat in the Lehigh Valley and this school year more than 25,000 students enrolled in public cyber charter schools. Parents want more choices but Wolf only cares about political posturing and special interests.”

May the vaccine odds be ever in your favor?

Some seniors across Pennsylvania feel like they’re on the set of the Hunger Games when it comes to trying to get a COVID vaccine. PennLive summarizes the vaccine movie plot, which reads more like a horror flick than an example of government competence, as younger seniors are pitted against older seniors “in a race that can favor the swiftest with a computer.”

With district schools still closed, are Philly Catholic schools a blueprint?

With the “open v. closed” feud raging, WHYY points out that Philadelphia’s Catholic elementary schools have been open full-time, in-person, since the school year began. Could they be an example for how public schools could do the same?

Could transportation funding woes lead to public/private partnership?

It’s no secret PennDot has some financial issues–to put it mildly. Their recent pitch to toll nine bridges across the state hasn’t quite gotten a warm reception (and understandably so). The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette took a look at the issue, asking whether it’s possible to resolve the crisis before next year’s elections. One option on the table: public-private partnerships. You’ll recall a public-private partnership was explored more than a decade ago for the PA Turnpike. Instead, thanks to power, patronage, and politics, we got Act 44 and 13 years (and counting) of toll hikes.

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