News & Brews September 29, 2021

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House rejects school choice amendment

Yesterday by a 94-105 vote, the House rejected an amendment that would have allowed families to take their education dollars elsewhere if they disagree with the COVID policies of their assigned public school. Eighteen Republicans joined all Democrats in voting against funding students rather than government systems. Click here for a full list of those Republicans, and click here for the official vote tally.

Q&A with GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill McSwain

Broad + Liberty caught up with former U.S. Attorney and current Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McSwain and his wife, Stephanie, to learn more about his background and his campaign’s focus. Read the interview here.

House committee approves school curriculum transparency bill

On a party-line vote, yesterday the House Education Committee approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Andrew Lewis (Dauphin County) that would “require public school districts to publish on their websites the actual curriculum that will be taught for each grade and for each subject area, so parents can review the lessons and textbooks in advance of the school year.” The bill comes as many parents have no idea what their children are being taught. The measure now heads to the full House.

Joint hearing this morning on liquor chain supply issues

On the heels of the recent booze rationing by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), the Senate Law and Justice Committee and the House Liquor Control Committee will hold a joint hearing today on the supply chain disruption. The hearing, which begins at 9 am this morning, can be live-streamed here. (Meanwhile, I still eagerly await the day when we’ll have a hearing on abolishing the PLCB. Now THAT will be a wonderful day.)

Charter schools gain popularity in PA

The Delaware Valley Journal (DVJ) reports that from 2020 to 2021, charter school enrollment in PA increased 15.5 percent while public school enrollment dropped by 3.2 percent. In real numbers, charter school enrollment now stands at 169,252 students. This increase comes even as Gov. Wolf is seeking to cut funding for charter schools. And speaking of charters, it appears that in a single day, Rep. Martina White (Philly) visited more charter schools than Gov. Wolf has visited during his entire tenure as governor. The DVJ notes that White hosted a charter tour on Monday. Read about it here.

Where do Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate candidates stand on fracking?

E&E News, which covers energy and environmental issues, dives into the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania to look at where the various candidates stand on banning fracking. Notably but not surprisingly, on the Democrat side, there’s a divide on the issue. Read the story here.

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