Pennsylvania Education Secretary Steps Down

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced on Friday that his Secretary of Education Noe Ortega is stepping down and that Wolf’s Deputy Chief of Staff Eric Hagarty will replace him.

The administration said Ortega will be presently dedicating his free time to his family and mulling potential next career steps. 

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State Rep. Gleim Proposes Anti-Indoctrination Measure for Pennsylvania Schools

Barbara Gleim

State Rep. Barbara Gleim (R-PA-Carlisle) announced to fellow lawmakers on Monday that she will soon introduce a measure to bar Pennsylvania teachers from championing their personal political convictions in the classroom.

Gleim stated that her proposal is an important step toward reaffirming anti-discrimination principles as outlined in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion or sex in education.

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Pennsylvania Senate Democrats Push for Public-School Funding Increase

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.)

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State Senate Committee Votes to Expand Pennsylvania Education Tax Credits

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. 

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Open Schools Advocate Schillinger Running for Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor

Clarice Schillinger, who last year helped to elect school directors across the state to get kids back into the classroom, announced this week she is running as a Republican for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor.

For the Franklin County native who now lives in Montgomery County with her husband and children, Schillinger and her family felt firsthand the impact of schools closing in her own Hatboro-Horsham School District in reaction to COVID-19. She started the Keeping Kids in School PAC to endorse school-board candidates and formed Back to School PA PAC to provide financial support to school-director campaigns across Pennsylvania.

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