News & Brews June 1, 2023

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Media reports on teachers’ leaving jobs miss the mark

You may have seen recent stories in the Inquirer and/or Associated Press on a study that purports to show that teachers in Pa. are leaving their profession at higher rates. But not so fast. The Commonwealth Foundation’s Nathan Benefield set the record straight, noting that the teacher turnover rate is actually incredibly low. In fact, the 7.7% quit rate among teachers (noted in the study) “is barely different than past years.” What’s more, based on monthly data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “the annual quit rate among all jobs was 25.6% in 2022. Thus, teacher turnover is very low relative to other occupations.”

Watch replay: Press conference on Pa. budget reserves

There was a problem with the live-stream link I shared yesterday to watch the press conference on Pennsylvania’s budget reserves. At the presser, GOP Appropriations Chair Seth Grove (York County) and state Treasurer Stacy Garrity “advocated for bringing the Commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund up to the national median … [and] shared that Treasury’s investment income estimate for the current fiscal year has increased to $437 million.” Watch the video of the press conference here, or click here for the summary news release.

VP Harris to visit Philly on Tuesday

Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Philadelphia on Tuesday to meet with union leaders and “participate in a moderated conversation” with the SEIU’s international executive board. The visit comes as the Biden administration has worked hard to highlight its union ties.

Secret meetings of board overseeing opioid settlement money raise concern

A few weeks back, I shared a Spotlight PA story about the more than $2.2 billion Pa. is slated to receive in opioid settlement money. Well, it appears the board overseeing the money met in secret for months, raising questions about required transparency. Spotlight PA reports, “Board members selected a bank to administer the funds, discussed how counties are allowed to spend money, and waived a requirement for counties to file spending reports with the trust this year, according to recently released meeting minutes….  All of that and more was done outside of the public view — even though the court order creating the trust requires it to operate under Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act.”

How Pa.’s U..S. reps voted on debt ceiling deal

Yesterday, after weeks of wrangling and debate, the U.S. House voted 314-117 for legislation raising the debt ceiling. All Pa. reps except Republican Rep. Scott Perry and Democrat Rep. Summer Lee voted in favor of the deal. See the roll call vote here. The measure now heads to the U.S. Senate.

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