When it comes to class sizes, Philadelphia School District’s numbers don’t add up

By   /  July 28, 2014  /  Education, Issues, News, Pennsylvania, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

Japanese_high_school_classroom

Philadelphia school and city officials say the district will be forced to lay-off teachers and possibly grow class sizes as large as 40 when students return in September, unless the state and city provide additional funding.

But the district’s numbers don’t seem to add up.

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Vermont forced to make surprise budget cuts after revenue downgrade

By   /  July 25, 2014  /  Economy, News, State Budgets, Vermont  /  No Comments

REVENUES GOING DOWN: Gov. Peter Shumlin announced his administration would recommend 4 percent cuts in spending after economists downgraded the state's revenue forecast for fiscal 2015.

Gov. Peter Shumlin and Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding on Thursday said they have begun recommending emergency cuts to Vermont’s 2015 budget after sagging fiscal year 2014 revenue forced a downgrade in the state’s financial outlook.

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Former VT deputy secretary of administration: State’s economy ‘stagnant’

By   /  July 14, 2014  /  News, State Budgets, Taxes, Vermont  /  No Comments

CONFLICTING VIEWS: Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding (left) and former Deputy Secretary Tom Pelham (right) don't see eye-to-eye on Vermont's economic outlook.

While leaders of the Gov. Peter Shumlin administration continue to talk of economic recovery, Vermont’s former deputy secretary of administration says 2014 annual revenue shows the state’s economy has become “stagnant.”

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Senate backs higher cigarette tax to pay for Philly schools

By   /  July 1, 2014  /  Budget and Spending, Issues, News, Pennsylvania, State Budgets, State Government, Taxes, WatchBlog  /  No Comments

CIGARETTE TAX: The Philadelphia School District says it needs revenue from a new tax on cigarettes, or schools won't open in September. It's unclear whether they will get what they seek.

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent
Smokers in Philadelphia soon could be paying extra taxes to support the city’s schools.
The state Senate on Monday approved an amendment that would allow the City Council to impose a $2 per-pack tax on cigarettes to generate an estimated $83 million for the cash-strapped School District of Philadelphia. School district [...]

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State Senate takes symbolic step on pensions, further reforms left waiting

By   /  July 1, 2014  /  Finances, Issues, News, Pennsylvania, Pensions, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

NO CHOICE: Under HB818, private insurers cannot offer plans that include abortion coverage on the state health exchange.

The state Senate on Monday approved a bill to create a new pension system for state officials, but it’s a symbolic step that will do virtually nothing to address Pennsylvania’s $50 billion unfunded pension debt.

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Philly schools to get $39M boost in House-passed budget, yet want more

By   /  June 27, 2014  /  Accountability, Education, Issues, News, Pennsylvania, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

AP file photo

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent
The cash-strapped School District of Philadelphia would receive a modest increase in state funding next year under the provisions of a budget bill approved this week by the state House.
The Republican-crafted budget attempts to close a $1.4 billion deficit without raising taxes. That means most items in the budget are [...]

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