Lawmakers examine new education funding scheme

Lawmakers examine new education funding scheme

While House Bill 1552 sits on the Governor’s desk, the Education committee had a hearing regarding a new Basic Education Funding formula.

A new proposal, drafted by Rep. David Parker (R-Monroe), will look to implement new ideas to benefit schools burdened by hold harmless provisions even though the Basic Education Funding Commissions formula has only been around for one fiscal year.

Thursday, May 26, 2016/Author: Kyle Maguire
House Education Chair: 95 percent of school districts able to stay open until October

House Education Chair: 95 percent of school districts able to stay open until October

As Pennsylvania’s state budget impasse continues to drag on into the start of the school year and districts begin to plan for contingencies in case the stalemate continues, House Education Committee Chairman Stan Saylor (R-York) said Monday that around 95 percent of Pennsylvania’s school districts will likely to survive until October without state funding.

“Statewide I have not seen a school district that can’t open [on time],” he told a small group of reporters following Monday’s Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon featuring Education Sec. Pedro Rivera. “I think the school districts as a whole, the majority—I mean great majority—I’m going to say 95 percent of them probably can survive into October without taking a loan, possibly.”

He added those that are more financially distressed might have to go out for a line of credit a little sooner.

Currently, he noted school districts have already started to collect property taxes and other sources of their own revenue.

Monday, August 24, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Educators, administrators pan state assessments at House hearing

Educators, administrators pan state assessments at House hearing

The House Education Committee held a marathon hearing Wednesday getting input on state education assessments from frontline players who deliver and develop the tests. Most testifiers panned the state assessments as costly, unnecessary, and misapplied.

The committee’s aim was not to take testimony on any specific bill, but to get a ground-level understanding of what the tests do, how they’re viewed, and whether students are prepared for them.

“What we wanted to hear today is what exactly we Pennsylvania are required to do in terms of testing as far as the federal government requirements are concerned, what’s been going on at PDE and the Board of Education, but also to hear from different teachers, superintendents, and board members as to exactly what’s going on in each of the districts,” said Chairman Stan Saylor (R-York). “Let’s hear from individuals who are involved in the testing day in and day out to give us an explanation.”

It was noted the topic of state assessments has drawn a lot of interest lately, particularly in terms of preparedness for the exams after the adoption of Pennsylvania CORE standards in 2013.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

House property tax reform plan passes key House floor vote

Tuesday, the House approved a measure by Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York) that would raise Pennsylvania’s income and sales tax while providing dollar-for-dollar property tax reduction.

The proposal was adopted as an amendment to Rep. Matt Gabler’s (R-Elk) House Bill 504 by a 109 to 86 vote that crossed party lines.

The proposal calls for increasing Pennsylvania’s personal income tax by 0.63 percent to 3.7 percent while raising the sales and use tax a full percentage point to seven percent in order to earn an estimated $5 billion in additional revenue to be dedicated to property tax relief. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Compromise Saylor property tax reform amendment could be considered by House next week

Compromise Saylor property tax reform amendment could be considered by House next week

According to Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York), prime sponsor of the lead property tax reform proposal in the House, his legislation will hopefully be considered by the full House as an amendment to a bill on the House floor sometime next week.

“We have so many moving parts now in trying to get to a compromise with the governor, I think it’s easier to just do it on the floor,” he told The PLS Reporter.

At the end of April, Rep. Saylor’s House Bill 860 was pulled from consideration in the House Finance Committee as the Wolf administration requested more time to work with Rep. Saylor on the bill.

Since that time, Rep. Saylor reported he has met with the Wolf administration a number of times on working toward a compromise proposal.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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