News & Brews April 13, 2021

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Senate committee holds hearing on education reform

Yesterday, the Senate Education Committee held the first of three scheduled public hearings on how the state can better serve the educational needs of children and families, particularly considering lessons learned over the past year. ABC27 has a short summary of the hearing, while Education Committee Chair Scott Martin provided a more in-depth report along with a link to the written testimony and video from the hearing.

Cyber charters creating ‘new paths for teachers and students’

The Commonwealth Foundation’s Kevin Mooney looks at the growth of cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania over the last year, noting their benefits not only for children but also for teachers. While the education bureaucracy fears the growth of the charter movement, the piece highlights the importance of focusing on serving children–not simply propping up the system.

Op-Ed: Small businesses showed compassion during shutdowns

Our friend Guy Ciarrocchi, president and CEO of the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry, has an op-ed in Broad + Liberty, noting that while many small businesses went above and beyond to help their employees during Gov. Wolf’s shutdowns, the Wolf administration has not shown any similar compassion to small businesses.

Op-Ed: Vaccine passports don’t belong in the birthplace of freedom

Sen. Doug Mastriano penned an op-ed in the York Daily Record slamming the idea of mandatory vaccine passports to carry out the daily affairs of life. In announcing legislation he’s introduced to ban discrimination on the basis of vaccine status, Mastriano writes, “If you want a vaccine, you should be able to get one….But it is important that the liberties of those who choose not to be vaccinated are protected.”

Vaccine appointments open today to (almost) all in PA ages 16+

Yesterday, the Wolf administration announced that beginning today, COVID vaccine appointments would be open to all Pennsylvanians ages 16 and over. This is about a week sooner than previously expected. Caveat: Philly is not included in this change and still plans to open its eligibility on Monday. It’s unclear how the breaking news this morning that the FDA and CDC are calling for a pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will impact the state’s new timeline.

On May 18, VoteYesPA to save lives and livelihoods

On May 18, voters can approve two proposed constitutional amendments that would restore a legislative check and balance on Gov. Wolf’s (and any future governor’s) emergency powers. Check out, which has resources including link to request a mail-in ballot, a VoteYesPA sign you can download and print, a sample email businesses can send encouraging others to vote yes on May 18, and more.

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