News & Brews October 27, 2023

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DEP secretary resigns

Pa. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Rich Negrin is resigning for health reasons but will remain on medical leave until his resignation takes effect on Dec. 9, according to Gov. Shapiro’s office. The Inquirer reports, “Negrin and [the] DEP did not respond Thursday to requests for comment. Shapiro’s office did not offer further comment about Negrin’s resignation. It’s unclear why Negrin requested medical leave.”

Op-Ed: ‘Dispelling the myths of cyber charter school funding’

Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School CEO Bryan Hayden writes in the Tribune-Democrat that he “often encounter[s] misinformation about cyber charter schools and their funding.” He notes that cyber charter schools are public schools, and their “programs and finances are monitored by the state.” He further notes that cyber charters “are reimbursed approximately 75% of what a school district calculates it spends per student, while 25% remains in the district.” Hayes writes that proposed legislation, while containing positive transparency measures, would drastically cut charter funding and “prevent cyber charter students from being afforded the same opportunities as other public school students.”

Op-Ed: ‘Unions are hurting taxpayers, Pa. economy’

Commonwealth Foundation Senior Fellow of Labor Policy David Osborne has an op-ed in PennLive noting that “the impact of UAW’s strike is nothing compared to the economic damage caused by public sector unions and their executives in Pennsylvania.” He writes that “government unions increase spending by state and local governments by anywhere from $127 billion to $164 billion annually. And, unfortunately, those costs fall directly on taxpayers, strike or no strike.” For example, newly negotiated government union contracts in Pa. are “expected to cost taxpayers an additional $3.2 billion over the life of the contract.”

Rep. Summer Lee votes against pro-Israel resolution

Pa. Democrat U.S. Rep. Summer Lee was one of just 10 members of Congress to vote against a resolution supporting Israel against Hamas terrorists. Lee, who has been criticized repeatedly for her anti-Israel views, instead is one of many progressives calling for a ceasefire. The resolution passed 412-10-6, with nine Democrats and one Republican voting against it, and six Democrats voting present.

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