In what is probably very bad news for Gov. Tom Corbett, a new study suggests that Pennsylvania’s economy is … not good.
There are several local reports out about Tom Ridge’s “reversal” on gay rights, following a BuzzFeed story in which the former governor is quoted criticizing his own party’s alienating “self-righteousness” on LGBT issues. OK, that’s fine, but lets not treat this stance like it’s some recent shift!
Yesterday, state rep. Mark Cohen sent a letter to the mayor and the governor asking that Ed Rendell be considered to replace Pedro Ramos as the head of the School Reform Commission. Inquirer education reporter Kristen Graham thinks the chances of that are “nonexistent,” but Rendell himself seems surprisingly open to the idea.
Inspired by Governor Chris Christie’s decision to withdraw his appeal to same-sex marriage in New Jersey, Philadelphia State Representatives Brian Sims and Steve McCarter, are calling on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett to follow Christie’s lead. In a press release sent out moments ago, Sims said:
Is Tom Corbett a socialist?
Crazy question, of course, for a Republican governor perhaps best known for suggesting Pennsylvania’s unemployed workers prefer receiving state benefits to actually hunkering down and finding a job. But consider two facts:
Philly Democratic party chairman Bob Brady has swung his considerable political weight behind Democratic gubernatorial front-runner–and his colleague in Washington–Allyson Schwartz. Here’s what he had to say.
Yesterday’s announcement that Gov. Corbett would release $45 million in education spending was met with both relief and confusion. Since disclosing the money’s existence in spring—the $45 million came from the forgiveness of a loan by the federal government—Corbett has leveraged it as one of his main bargaining chips, promising its return to the city only when his notoriously vague demands for ”academic reforms” had been met. Immediately after Superintendent William Hite issued a directive yesterday that principals do not have to use seniority as the sole determining factor in making hiring decisions, Corbett announced that his office would make the money available.
“Significant progress has been made that allows me to confer with my secretary, and we have decided to release the $45 million,” he told a press conference yesterday.
Thanks to the Corbett administration’s release of $45 million in state funds, the school district can now hire back 400 laid-off staff, including teachers, secretaries, counselors, and assistant principles.
[Update 12:44 pm] This may be why Corbett released the money. Axis Philly reports: “With little fanfare, Superintendent William Hite imposed new work rules on district teachers today, ending the practice of filling vacancies through seniority.”
[Original 12:03 pm] And now for some surprising and welcome news: Governor Corbett will release $45 million in state funds his administration had been withholding from the cash-strapped School District of Philadelphia. He says he is satisfied with the district’s progress after receiving a letter yesterday from Superintendent William Hite assuring him that the schools were enacting substantial reforms. Previously, the governor had said he wouldn’t release the funds until the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers made certain concessions. [Inquirer]
The good news is: Gov. Tom Corbett finally released $45 million the state owed to Philly public schools. The bad news? Lots of damage has been done to Philadelphia schools that could’ve been avoided if he’d just released the money six weeks ago. Morale is horrible. It’s possible a child died because she lacked access to school nurses. Teachers have been stranded with little in the way of assistance.