June 6, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - Philadelphia leaders launched a full-court press Tuesday on the General Assembly, seeking support for funding to cover the projected $304 million school budget shortfall. At separate news conferences, Mayor Nutter and City Controller Alan Butkovitz called on lawmakers to find money to stave off the school funding crisis as they head into the frenzied final lap toward the June 30 budget deadline. "We cannot and will not let the students down," said Nutter, who was joined by School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. and representatives of charter schools in a show of support for all public schools.
June 6, 2013 |
On a mobile device? Click here to view the video. WASHINGTON - Michelle Obama experienced a rare face-to-face encounter with a protester late Tuesday - approaching the activist and threatening to leave a fund-raiser if the person did not stop interrupting her speech. Obama was addressing a Democratic Party fund-raiser in a private home in the Kalorama neighborhood of Northwest Washington when Ellen Sturtz, 56, a lesbian activist, interrupted her remarks to demand that President Obama sign an antidiscrimination executive order.
June 5, 2013 |
Amid state and federal wrangling over transportation funding, transit leaders meeting in Center City said growing public support should mean more money for trains, buses, and subways. "The people of the nation are way ahead of some of their elected leaders," Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff said Monday, citing a new survey for the American Public Transportation Association that showed 74 percent of respondents supported using tax dollars to "create, expand and improve public transportation.
June 5, 2013
EARLIER this year, Gov. Corbett proposed a $90 million increase in aid to basic education. This week, in their version of the budget, the House Republicans added $10 million to the pot. Combined, they amount to a 1 percent increase. The phrase "a drop in the bucket" comes to mind. These increases do little to restore the deep cuts the Corbett administration has made to education funding over the past three years. As the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center recently noted, state aid to basic education is still $800 million below what it was before Corbett took office.
June 4, 2013
By David Bradley As the School District of Philadelphia faces the prospects of unprecedented budget cuts, the image that comes to me is that of a massive storm ready to devastate our city's schools. The effects will be disastrous. In the short term, city schools will be stripped to the most elemental services - one principal, one teacher for every classroom, each room packed to the blackboards with the maximum number of students. Assistant principals, guidance counselors, art, music, sports, and extracurriculars - gone.
June 2, 2013 |
The mutual fund industry is forever trying to build a better mousetrap - with mixed results. Index funds were once a novelty, but pioneers such as Vanguard 500 brought about a new standard for low costs, tax efficiency, and solid performance. Target-date funds, too, were once the next big thing, but losses as high as 45 percent during the 2008 crash gave the category a black eye. The latest contender to be a better mousetrap is known as the risk-parity fund. Just four years after its debut, the new breed of funds has already attracted nearly $30 billion in assets - $16 billion of that in the last year, according to Lipper.
June 1, 2013
By Tom Gilbert and Kelly Mooij For more than half a century, New Jersey voters have repeatedly demonstrated overwhelming support for open space, farmland, and historic preservation funding, passing 13 out of 13 ballot measures since 1961. Moreover, recent surveys indicate that support remains strong today. A survey last month of 600 registered likely voters found that 75 percent support dedicating one-fifth of 1 cent of state sales-tax revenues to fund open space and preservation programs.
June 1, 2013 |
TRENTON - State Sen. Barbara Buono is struggling to raise money for her gubernatorial campaign, but thanks to a liberal group that does not have to disclose its donors, there's no shortage of attack commercials against Gov. Christie. Commercials funded by One New Jersey seem aimed as much at damaging Christie's prospects as a presidential candidate in 2016 as at unseating the Republican in Trenton this year, political analysts say. The group, run by consultants who have worked for Democratic candidates and labor organizations, has been on the air since April with ads criticizing Christie for vetoing a bill to increase the minimum wage and opposing the restoration of a higher tax rate for high earners.
May 31, 2013 |
DETERIORATED ROADS and bridges are bumping up the cost of the daily commute for drivers in Philly and around the state, but state funds continue to be lacking, a new report says. TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group for the trucking and highway industries, released the report yesterday at the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, saying that inadequacies in Pennsylvania's roadways cost drivers $9.4 billion annually. That number was nearly $1.8 billion in the Philadelphia region alone, where traffic congestion made up more than half the total costs, according to the report.