News & Brews September 9, 2022

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School districts raised taxes, even though they didn’t need to

Did your school property taxes go up during Covid? You’re not alone. The Commonwealth Foundation’s Elizabeth Stelle writes, “Spurred by fears of massive revenue shortfalls, nearly half of Pennsylvania school districts raised property taxes during the pandemic. Here’s the catch: projected revenue loss never materialized. In fact, the state is still sitting on piles of COVID cash earmarked for ‘school reopening.'” All told, “Pennsylvania public schools received $6.7 billion in federal pandemic aid, with $4.27 billion still unspent. Districts now collectively hold $5.29 billion in reserve funds.” Read more here.

Pa. ranks 37th in education freedom report card

A new Education Freedom Report Card from the Heritage Foundation ranks Pennsylvania 37th among all 50 states and Washington D.C. for “education freedom.” The ranking looks at four categories: school choice, regulatory freedom, transparency, and return on investment for education spending. Pennsylvania ranked 29th in school choice, 31st in transparency, 33rd in regulatory freedom, and 38th in spending ROI.

In nursing home strike, deal reached with (some) workers

The AP reports that the union representing workers at four Pa. nursing homes have reached a tentative deal nearly a week after going on strike. Workers at 14 homes had joined the strike, which continues at the remaining 10 homes. Read more here.

Who’s running for Philly mayor?

With current Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney term-limited, would-be mayors are lining up in hopes of succeeding him. The Inquirer has the list of who’s running, along with who’s likely to run. Currently in the “running” column are Councilmembers Derek Green, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, and Cherelle Parker. Philly has a “resign to run” rule, meaning elected officials and government employees must resign their current office if they are running for another public office. As a result, the Inky says the exodus of councilmembers to run for mayor could actually delay mail-in ballots this fall.

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