News & Brews January 22, 2024

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Timing of union president’s retirement announcement raises questions

Amid the news stories of Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan’s upcoming retirement and the imminent ascension of Arthur Steinberg to the role (Steinberg claimed “Anyone could have run.”), it turns out that maybe there’s more to the story. KYW News Radio reports, “Jordan announced he would retire from his position following the conclusion of his current term on June 30. He didn’t tell members about his plan to retire until just after the deadline to file to run for union leadership…. Jordan’s move precluded a challenge to Steinberg from anyone who might have been waiting for Jordan to retire before taking a run at the presidency. So Steinberg, who would have been one of the few people who knew Jordan’s plan to retire, will be the next president by default. He will take the helm on July 1.” So much for giving union members a voice.

Pa. (and nat’l.) pundits react to DeSantis withdrawal

After Fl. Gov. Ron DeSantis ended his presidential bid and endorsed Donald Trump yesterday, Pa. GOP political operatives weighed in. Among them were consultant Chris Nicholas, who said, “He [DeSantis] himself this week expressed some regrets about how he began his campaign and how he handled the media outreach.” And national GOP operative Mike DuHaime, who had supported Chris Christie, said, DeSantis’ “best days were before the campaign started. The more people got to know him, the worse he did.”

It’s National School Choice Week! 

This week, educational choice advocates around the country will celebrate National School Choice Week. In Pa., hundreds of students are expected to attend a school choice event at the state Capitol tomorrow from 11:00-12:00, hosted by the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, “to raise awareness of the K–12 education options for Pennsylvania families, while providing an opportunity for community and state stakeholders to hear directly from families about how school choice has helped them learn and succeed.” Click here for details. Then on Saturday, Pa. Families for Education Choice will hold a school choice fair in Pittsburgh from 12:00-3:00. “More than 30 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, and private schools, will have booths and tables.” Click here for details.

Perry gets primary challenge

Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, who already has well over a handful of Democrats vying for the chance to run against him in November, is about to get a Republican primary challenge as well. John Henry Newman of Carlisle, a self-described “Eisenhower Republican,” plans to launch his campaign today. Best I can tell, Newman has never held or run for public office. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong here). Per his website, “During his career, John Henry Newman has been a teacher, administrator, and scientist at two colleges in Pennsylvania and universities around the Nation….”

Op-Ed: Let’s build on consensus 

Republican state Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (York County), co-chair of the Basic Education Funding Commission, writes that despite disagreement over new taxes and spending, the two reports issued by members of the commission agreed on some things. “I am hopeful now that both reports are publicly accessible, my colleagues in both chambers will take up the recommendations that have bipartisan consensus,” she writes. “But before anyone jumps into the deep end of suggesting billions of new tax dollars for education, you better think of how you will pay for that. Harrisburg officials cannot do what politicians in Washington, D.C. can do, print more money. We have an annual budget that must be balanced each year. Washington does not and has not balanced its budget in decades.”

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