Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives Education Committee Tuesday issued a letter opposing new regulations Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has imposed on the state’s charter schools.
All 15 Republicans on the committee voted to authorize the letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) while all 10 Democrats voted against it. Majority Chairman Curt Sonney (R-Erie) said the panel is not voicing opposition to every new rule on the list published last month but merely those that frustrate reputable charter schools’ ability to operate.
Pennsylvania Senate Minority Appropriations Chairman Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia) announced Monday he aims to achieve the largest public-school funding boost in state history this year.
Basic education funding has already seen a record-setting four-percent spending increase for the current fiscal year, with $7.07 billion in state-taxpayer dollars now going to public schools. (About twice that amount also gets allotted to schools annually from local property-tax revenues.)
Two popular school-choice programs for Pennsylvania students would get regular annual funding increases – expanding access to thousands of families – under legislation a state Senate committee approved yesterday.
Sen. Mike Regan’s (R-Dillsburg) bill would automatically raise allocations to the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) by 25 percent each year, provided at least 90 percent of obtainable scholarships have been utilized the year before. Regan estimated his funding rise would amount to $100 million more annually—about 0.3 percent of what the commonwealth spends on public education. His measure passed the Senate Education Committee by a party-line vote of seven to four and awaits a vote of the full chamber.