August 9, 2016 |
Sitting in his office one afternoon last week, Mayor Kenney said all of the praise he had received for a successful first seven months on the job was making him a bit uneasy. "Being Irish, I don't like that," Kenney quipped. "Because then that means something bad is going to happen. " Two days later, the FBI was swarming the home and office of one of Kenney's closest political allies, electrical union leader John Dougherty, in an investigation a source said touches on the union's financial support of Kenney's mayoral campaign.
July 18, 2016
Tom Wolf is governor of Pennsylvania During the 2016-17 budget season, we accomplished three important priorities that I believe are critical to moving Pennsylvania forward. Working with the legislature, I secured increased funding for our schools and resources to battle the commonwealth's opioid epidemic, and greatly reduced our deficit. Funding our schools has always been a top priority for me. In this budget, I was able to secure an additional $200 million in basic education funding, as well as a $30 million increase for early-childhood education; a $20 million increase for special education and a $10 million increase for early intervention; and a nearly $40 million increase for higher education.
July 13, 2016
Gov. Wolf says he will allow a $31.5 billion spending bill to become law without his signature, but it can't rightly be called a state budget because the legislature hasn't decided how to pay for it. It could be described as half a budget, a spending plan to nowhere, or another mostly empty gesture from Harrisburg. But it isn't a budget, and it won't be until lawmakers agree on the taxes and other revenues that allow the state to function. Intentionally or not, the Democratic governor has stepped out of the Republican-controlled legislature's way and is allowing it to race toward a brick wall of its own construction.
July 3, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - The Republican-controlled House and Senate left the Capitol building Friday - possibly for the entire holiday weekend - without having resolved how they are going to pay for the $31.5 billion budget they have sent to Gov. Wolf. After hours of closed-door talks, leaders in the chambers sent their members home, a sign that they are still wrangling among themselves and with the Democratic governor over how much in new revenue is necessary - and what taxes are needed to raise it - to bolster the spending plan they approved with impressive majorities earlier in the week.
June 18, 2016 |
The city's bold policy move to solidify a revenue source to invest in our young children and our neighborhoods creates exciting new opportunities for Philadelphia. This new funding will launch an effort to guarantee all children in the city access to a high-quality early education and strengthen their start in life. It will also jumpstart the Rebuild initiative to revitalize parks, libraries, and recreation centers so that Philadelphians have safe and engaging places to learn, play, and come together.
March 20, 2016
A quarter of Philadelphia's residents live in poverty, and too many of its children grow up in dangerous neighborhoods and attend struggling schools. Even after decades of antipoverty efforts and education reforms, these problems persist with maddening certainty. Mayor Kenney's bold plan to provide prekindergarten education in the parts of the city that need it most would give more of the youngest Philadelphians a better chance to succeed. Studies since the 1960s have shown that early-childhood education helps more students graduate from high school, go on to get and keep good jobs, and contribute to their communities.
March 12, 2016 |
The commission formed to study universal pre-K in the city is weighing whether to include Mayor Kenney's sugary drink tax in its final recommendations report. The independent commission, which began work in June, published a first draft in February that offered no proposals for how to fund pre-K, but did outline a breakdown of the benefits and costs of adding 10,000 quality pre-K seats. On Tuesday, at the commission's monthly meeting, members of the administration who are on the commission said the report should include the three-cent-per-ounce tax. Meeting attendees said conversation grew heated with some members not wanting the tax included in the proposal.
March 9, 2016 |
The William Penn Foundation will commit a one-time, $15 million grant to improve and expand quality pre-K facilities in Philadelphia. The announcement marks the first major philanthropic investment in pre-K since Mayor Kenney announced his goal to make such care accessible to all city 3- and 4-year-olds. "This means an organization like William Penn is confident that this is the right initiative and we're the right people to do it," Kenney said. The grant is projected to create space for 1,500 preschoolers in quality centers by 2021.
January 21, 2016 |
First, Mayor Kenney handled the important business: reading a picture book called My Friends to a group of spellbound 4-year-olds. Next, he talked about what he calls one of the biggest priorities of his administration: opening prekindergarten seats to "as many children as we can reach. " Kenney and Pedro Rivera, Pennsylvania's top education official, traveled Tuesday to a Northeast early-childhood education center to tout the recent release of state funds that will pay for 1,500 new prekindergarten seats.
July 21, 2015
PHILADELPHIA'S future is dependent on the future of its children. Most parents know that. And most parents - rich, poor and middle-class - want a better life for their children. They also know, in their gut, that the path to that better life is an education. There is a vast aspiring class of parents in this city who spend an enormous amount of time and effort seeking a good education for their kids. They join the admissions lottery at charter schools. They sometimes move to be in the catchment area of a good public school.