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Education week-in-review: Ghost teachers and the ghost of Jim Crow

By   /  April 24, 2015  /  Education, Education Blog, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin  /  No Comments

Education Watchdog_square-01 (1)

From taxpayer-funded ghosts in Philadelphia to a flawed study trying to scare people by invoking the ghost of Jim Crow, it’s been a frighteningly busy week in education.

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Watchdog Podcast: In Our Backyards — Small town nepotism and an open records battle

By   /  April 24, 2015  /  Accountability, Ethics, Local Government, Pennsylvania, Podcast, Watchdog Radio  /  No Comments

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Eric Boehm chats with Watchdog reporter Andrew Staub, who authored a multi-part investigative series on nepotism in the small town of Throop, Pennsylvania.

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Week in Review: Plenty of scary news for Pennsylvania taxpayers

By   /  April 24, 2015  /  Pennsylvania  /  No Comments

School District of Philadelphia

Halloween’s still a long way off, but we’re already telling ghost stories here at PA Independent.

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Injunction ‘takes the teeth out of’ union’s attempt to organize PA home-care workers

By   /  April 24, 2015  /  News, Pennsylvania  /  No Comments

Photo courtesy of The Fairness Center

An attempt to organize home-care workers across Pennsylvania hit a speed bump Thursday when a Commonwealth Court judge issued an order that would bar a union — if chosen to represent the workers — from coming to any terms with Gov. Tom Wolf.

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County’s fiscal watchdog sues county and police department to get access

By   /  April 23, 2015  /  Accountability, Budget and Spending, Finances, Government Waste, Local Government, Local News, Misuse of funds, News, Pennsylvania, Politics & Elections, Transparency, Wasteful spending  /  No Comments

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Police in Allegheny County say there’s no need for an auditor to keep tabs on how they’re spending the public’s money.
While she’s confident she has that authority, a judge will now decide.

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Close enough for government work: This town reveals the problem with family and politics

By   /  April 23, 2015  /  Commentary, Ethics, Open Records, Pennsylvania, Power Abuse, Transparency  /  No Comments

SECRETIVE ABOUT SALARIES: Throop officials tried to keep salary records under wraps, but the state Office of Open Records ruled against the borough.

Watchdog.org was able to muster the resources to see the project through — including lawyers familiar with the ins and outs of open-records laws, the money to pay them and a reporter who simply refused to give up. But it shouldn’t take determined reporters, skillful lawyers and months of back-and-forth to get the public basic information about how their government works.

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