News & Brews July 25, 2023

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Lawmakers will not appeal school funding ruling

State lawmakers will not appeal the Commonwealth Court ruling that found Pennsylvania’s system of funding public education is unconstitutional. The deadline to file an appeal was this past Friday. The Inquirer reports, “It’s unclear how the state might reform its system…” Indeed, the court ruling itself noted that reform does not need to be “entirely financial,” and “[t]he options for reform are virtually limitless.”

Senate committee to hold hearing today on educational opportunity

This afternoon at 2:30 p.m., the Senate Education Committee will hold a “hearing to discuss student opportunities for success.” Among those scheduled to testify are parents and public and private school officials. Click here for the agenda, livestream, and copies of some of the written testimony.

Casey, Fetterman back override of Pa. election law

Pa.’s two U.S. Senators—Bob Casey and John Fetterman—are backing a revived version of the failed “For the People Act,” which would basically impose a federal takeover of state election law. The Delaware Valley Journal reports that among the provisions of the bill is a prohibition of voter ID, even though nearly 80% of Americans support some form of voter ID requirement.

Op-Ed: ‘Why I support options for children in Pa.’s underperforming schools’

Republican state Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (Berks and Montgomery counties) sets the record straight on the school choice program Gov. Shapiro has threatened to veto. Pennycuick writes, “This program does not take one dollar away from public education and represents less than 0.2 percent of our state’s budget. In fact, the Senate has committed a historic $1 billion of new funding towards public schools, including basic and special education.” She urges Shapiro to “reconsider his position and support thousands of students whose lives will be changed with the implementation of” the scholarship program.

And lastly, a dose of education funding reality

From the Commonwealth Foundation: “Adjusting for inflation, per-student revenue increased nearly 150% over the past four decades.” Check out the graph here.

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