Seventeen years ago, the city and School District of Philadelphia filed suit against Pennsylvania, accusing it of failing to provide sufficient education funding in violation of the state Constitution, which obligates the state legislature to “provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education.”
It didn’t work. Commonwealth Court rejected the suit, and the state Supreme Court in 1999 refused to hear an appeal.
Now school funding advocates are looking for a rematch. A potentially momentous lawsuit was filed in Commonwealth Court this morning, claiming that the state has “adopted an irrational and inequitable school financing arrangement that drastically underfunds school districts across the Commonwealth and discriminates against children on the basis of the taxable property and household incomes in their districts.”
One of many striking elements of this suit is that the School District of Philadelphia — which would be among the greatest beneficiaries of a successful lawsuit — is not among the plaintiffs.
If you believe most of the pollsters, Tom Corbett is down by double digits, though a new poll released on Monday claims the gap between Corbett and challenger Tom Wolf is only 7 points. But whatever the outcome of the election, Corbett has a winner with this campy Halloween ad. Read more »
Gov. Tom Corbett has asked Commonwealth Court to reconsider its ruling that state’s controversial Voter ID law unconstitutionally restricts voting rights. “Gov. Tom Corbett’s general counsel, James Schultz, said in a statement Monday that the administration disagrees with the ruling and that Mr. Corbett has always favored encouraging people to exercise their right to vote,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. “‘The requirement of a photo ID in no way infringes upon this right, especially in today’s environment where an ID is essential to do just about anything,’ Mr. Schultz said. ‘The administration has gone to great lengths to ensure that citizens are afforded the opportunity to get an ID in the unlikely event they do not have one.'”
Two things were immediately apparent Saturday night at Temple University’s Performing Arts Center, where five of the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates participated in a forum. One, they all think Corbett SUCKS. Two, there’s a pretty good chance our next governor is from the Philly area. Katie McGinty’s from the Northeast and lives in Wayne, Allyson Schwartz resides in Jenkintown, and Rob McCord makes his home in Bryn Mawr.
State police crunched some numbers and figured out they were spending more to protect Suzanne Cawley than–get this–than they were for Jim Cawley! Wait, who and who? Exactly.
From July through the end of September, the state police paid $81,000 in travel expenses to protect Suzanne Cawley, or $20,000 more than for her husband’s detail. The reason: Suzanne Cawley resumed working in May as a full-time real estate agent in New York City, a job that required her to spend several days at a time out of state.
Nobody really knows who the Lieutenant Governor is, let alone what he does, so it makes sense that protection of his more-anonymous wife would be relaxed. In fairness, it was the Cawleys themselves who requested this relaxed treatment, citing their own fiscal responsibility. Now, if only the Corbetts themselves were more conscious of the problematic tripsthey were taking. [Inquirer]
Radio station WITF reports that Terry Mutchler, the state’s open records chief, slammed Gov. Tom Corbett Monday during a speech to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. At issue: Corbett’s remarks—since apologized for—comparing gay marriage to incest between a brother and a sister.
Kenya: Training ground for all our most successful political leaders. Former Rendell DEP Secretary John Hanger has just been profiled in the Inky, where it was revealed that–gasp!–he was born in Kenya. (“Hanger was born in Kenya, immigrated to the United States from Ireland at age 12 in 1970, and became an American citizen in 1977.”) In all seriousness, this man actually was born in Kenya. Which means the inevitable truthers will have to pretend he was actually born in America and is lying about his birthplace to secure Pennsylvania’s communist/anti-colonialist vote.