A brief filed this week in Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court by a Harrisburg think tank argues the school-funding system the court recently found unconstitutional must change to provide educational choice.
In the amicus curiae filing, the center-right Commonwealth Foundation (CF) notes it has frequently studied K-12 education spending in the Keystone State since CF’s founding 35 years ago. The foundation’s analyses have determined that increases in spending don’t necessarily improve learning outcomes. CF posits policymakers should consider this finding in light of the recent court ruling deeming numerous districts underfunded and instructing a new system that funds them more bountifully.
Even as Pennsylvania’s public-sector unions suffer net losses of members and dues, these groups continue to ramp up political donations, according to a new analysis by the Harrisburg-based Commonwealth Foundation (CF).
According to the free-market nonprofit, spending from Keystone State government unions like the Pennsylvania State Education Association and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 13 totaled $6.34 million in the 2011-12 campaign cycle. That amount steadily rose over all gubernatorial and presidential cycles and reached a record $20.2 million in 2021-22.
Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro asked the state General Assembly members on Tuesday to support his requested $45.9 billion budget, which would increase spending by approximately 4 percent over current outlays.
The governor insisted he based his plan for Fiscal Year 2023-24 on “conservative” revenue estimates. And he did include some provisions appealing to anti-taxers and free-marketers including nixing the state cell-phone tax, a move he estimates would save Pennsylvanians $124 million annually.
Republicans lost their majority in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives last year, but on Tuesday GOP members voiced their hope that the state might still curb state spending and lighten the tax burden with which the commonwealth saddles residents and businesses.
With that goal in mind, House Appropriations Committee Minority Chairman Seth Grove (R-York) led a roundtable discussion with several state fiscal-policy experts.
As July begins, Pennsylvania enters into Fiscal Year 2022-23 without an FY 22-23 budget.
Republicans who control the General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf have yet to agree on all facets of the spending plan. Altogether, the governor has proposed allotting $43.7 billion in taxpayer money in the next budget cycle, a figure that Republicans have said is too high.
Pennsylvania’s economy will have modest real economic growth but also a dip in tax revenues in the next fiscal year as one-time boosts fade away, according to the latest revenue estimates from the Independent Fiscal Office.
The estimate for fiscal year 2022-23 does not assume a recession will hit, but does assume inflation will still be a problem, which cuts away at real gains in areas such as wages and salaries.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly has moved another step closer in creating a scholarship program for students in underperforming schools to transfer elsewhere.
HB2169, narrowly passed in the House in April, would grant a $6,800 Lifeline Scholarship to students in the bottom 15% of the lowest-performing schools and allow them to use the money on tuition, tutoring, and other educational expenses.
A report released this week by the Commonwealth Foundation (CF), a Harrisburg-based think tank, underscores the drawbacks of lavish government spending for ordinary Pennsylvanians.
Inflation and the economic policies that fuel it have already weighed on the minds of Americans for months. Federal spending during the COVID-19 pandemic has skyrocketed to create a debt nearing $30 trillion, equating to 133 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product and amounting to $239,000 per taxpayer.