July 11, 2015 |
On Thursday morning in the pouring rain, Peter Sagal set out to run the streets of Philadelphia with 19 people in tow. Sagal, who is host of NPR's Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me , was in town to do a show at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts that night. But that morning, he went to the WHYY studios to get in a run, a city tour, and help fund-raise a little bit, too. "It's totally selfish of me because people want me to come out and hang with the donors," said Sagal, a multi-marathoner who also writes a column for Runner's World magazine.
July 6, 2015
ISSUE | PA. BUDGET Agencies stymied The stalemate between the General Assembly and Gov. Wolf, if not resolved quickly, could have long-lasting effects on health and human-services providers who protect individuals throughout the commonwealth ("Wolf vetoes entire GOP budget," July 1). An extended budget impasse will reduce providers' ability to effectively make program and investment decisions. Providers may have insufficient cash to provide services, pay staff, and meet day-to-day expenses.
July 6, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf and the Republican-controlled legislature filed out of the Capitol last week without a deal on the budget - and without an end in sight to their impasse. Hanging in the balance are local governments and nonprofit organizations that provide services ranging from helping adults learn to read to assisting victims of domestic abuse. All could see their funding dry up in the next few weeks, leaving them scrambling to cobble together contingency plans as the July 1 start of the new fiscal year came and went without a budget deal.
July 4, 2015 |
Gov. Wolf vetoed a plan Thursday to privatize the state liquor industry, as his standoff with Republican legislators over the state budget continued. The Democratic governor also vetoed an education funding bill that applied a new formula for distributing aid to school districts. The actions came days after Wolf vetoed the $30.1 billion budget passed by the Republican-controlled legislature, leaving Pennsylvania without a spending plan at the start of a new fiscal year. The vetoed liquor bill would allow private retailers to sell wine and liquor, which now can be sold only at State Stores.
July 1, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Third-grade teacher Elaine Blackmon took a deep breath and made her best sales pitch. "What's good for Philadelphia public students is good for students across the commonwealth," Blackmon told an impassive assistant to Rep. Martin Causer (R., McKean). "We're asking him to reconsider Gov. Wolf's budget. " Blackmon was among hundreds of people who descended on the state Capitol on Monday to lobby lawmakers deep in negotiations to pass a state budget. Among them were more 100 teachers, nurses, and other members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, sporting red T-shirts and making their case for more funding for city schools.
June 29, 2015 |
Why does the education-funding formula now being debated in Harrisburg matter? Pennsylvania is one of just three states in the country that lack such a formula, a situation that has led, experts say, to the single most inequitable system of allocating education dollars in the nation. But that might change if a proposal by a bipartisan commission created during the Corbett administration is adopted. In virtually every state, legislated formulas govern how education dollars are divvied up, often solving for differences in districts' ability to pay for their students' educations.
June 28, 2015 |
TRENTON - The $33.8 billion budget Gov. Christie signed into law on Friday includes $2.5 million for Cooper University Hospital to provide emergency medical services in Camden, delivering a decisive setback to one of the current providers, which has protested the takeover and is considering legal action. Christie's action came a day after the Legislature overwhelmingly approved a bill that would give Cooper the authority to operate paramedic services in the city, currently provided by rival Virtua Health System.
June 27, 2015 |
Fred White used to have trouble getting to medical appointments. The 79-year-old, who lives alone in Kennett Square and uses a wheelchair, had to ask his neighbors and friends to drive him. But he did not want to bother them, and public shuttles were not convenient for him. Now he gets rides through a Kennett Area Senior Center program. Volunteers in the Neighbors in Action program, which began in 2009 and serves 191 people, also deliver groceries, perform minor home repairs, offer companionship, and provide other services designed to help seniors stay in their homes.
June 26, 2015
SINCE HE WAS SWORN in as governor in January, my husband and I have been crisscrossing the state, visiting schools, meeting with teachers and administrators, and talking with students in the classroom. We have seen the same thing in school after school and classroom after classroom: motivated students and dedicated teachers who simply don't have the resources they need to succeed. At King Elementary School in Lancaster, I heard about how some textbooks in the library are more than 30 years old because they don't have the funds available to replace them with updated versions.
June 24, 2015
ISSUE | SCHOOL FUNDING All fall down on job Although I share the view that it's City Council's responsibility to provide adequate and consistent funding for Philadelphia schools, more attention should be given to the state legislature's role in creating the problems the School District faces ("Indecent proposal," June 17). Since the late 1990s, the legislature has ducked its responsibility for adequately funding the pension fund it created and manages. To correct this oversight, the legislature has passed the responsibility for addressing pension fund obligations to local districts - which in turn have had to dramatically increase taxes and/or reduce operating costs and programs.