News & Brews June 17, 2024

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Public safety: 1, Larry Krasner: 0

On Friday, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner lost his bid for the Commonwealth Court to stop a law that requires the state attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to handle crimes on Philly’s mass transit system. (See the court’s ruling here.) Also on Friday, Attorney General Michelle Henry announced the appointment of Philadelphia lawyer Michael Untermeyer as the special prosecutor.

As enrollment falls, Philly schools ‘gamble’ on higher spending

The74 reports, “The Philadelphia school district is 18,000 students smaller than it was a decade ago, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at its $4.5 billion budget for next school year.” Indeed, the district is “dipping into reserves to cover an $88 million deficit.” Per a new paper, this is part of a bigger problem among larger school districts: Even as “enrollment nationally fell 2% between 2013 and 2023, the number of teachers rose 11% and per-pupil spending continued to climb.”

Philly parents on why they use school choice 

The Inquirer caught up with several Philadelphia parents—including one public school teacher—who opt to send their children to private schools using Pennsylvania’s tax credit scholarship programs. As one parent says, “I shouldn’t be limited to my neighborhood school or limited to a certain type of school because I live in a certain area code.” It’s worth noting that because of arbitrary caps on these programs, thousands of students are shut out of the program (and shut in their failing schools) each year.

Here’s what Rep. Deluzio thinks of Trump supporters

Democrat U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio (Allegheny County), whose race against Republican challenger state Rep. Rob Mercuri is considered the only competitive U.S. House race in western Pa., is coming under fire for a comment he made calling Trump supporters a “horde of budding blood-and-soil fascists.” The comment came on a 2020 podcast where Deluzio—not yet a congressman—was a guest. Mercuri called on Deluzio to resign, but Deluzio is apparently fine with his original comment and responded by once again calling Trump supporters fascists. Isn’t civil discourse fun?

House GOP committee to hold tax cut hearing

This afternoon at 1:00 p.m., the Pa. House Republican Policy Committee will hold the second in a series of hearings on the proposal to reduce the state’s personal income tax from 3.07% to 2.8% and eliminate the gross receipts tax on electricity. Read more here, or click here to watch the livestream at 1:00 p.m.

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