The Update: What’s Happening in Harrisburg and DC – April 25, 2022



PA charter schools have been allowed to operate without enough oversight or regulation for too long in the Commonwealth—and our public schools are suffering for it. See below how our assertions about charter school and private school regulations have been reaffirmed by the reputable Network for Education.

Also, take a look at our coverage around tax day discussing how to make taxation more fair, and how to use tax dollars for things that matter.

Thank you for supporting our work,

Stephen Herzenberg
Executive Director

New Report Affirms PA Charter School Policies Among Nation’s Worst

Statement | Marc Stier and Susan Spicka | 4/22/22
The Network for Public Education, an important national education reform organization, reaffirms what we at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center and Education Voters of PA have been saying: Pennsylvania’s charter school and privatization policies are among the worst in the nation. We hold neither charter schools nor publicly funded private schools accountable for providing a good education, and as a result, often they don’t. We do not ensure that public funds are not subject to waste, fraud, and abuse—and too often they are. We do not ensure that the supporters of school privatization efforts and charter schools are not using public funds to line their own pockets—and too often they do.

PBPC Statement on Earth Day 2022 regarding the environmental accomplishments of the Biden-Harris administration

Jeff Garis, coordinator of Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center’s federal advocacy campaign, the 99% Pennsylvania, released this statement in observance of Earth Day 2022:
“For more than half a century, Earth Day has served as an important opportunity for people and governments around the world to raise awareness about environmental challenges, to reflect on achievements in efforts to protect our natural resources, and to set goals for the future.
“The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center commends the Biden-Harris administration for championing the most ambitious climate agenda in history. Under President Biden’s direction, the U.S. rejoined the Paris Climate Accord and reestablished the nation’s role as a leader in the global fight against climate change. Over the past year, the president has continued to build on these commitments, setting the U.S. on a path of greater energy independence and climate protection.

Tell Your State Legislators to Support Brighter PA!

PA Budget and Policy Summit 2022

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Pennsylvania’s economy is recovering from the pandemic faster than most people expected. But many Pennsylvanians are still in need—and our state economy could be even stronger.

Governor Wolf and House and Senate Democrats have proposed the Brighter PA plan, a proposal to use $1.7 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to provide PA’s small businesses help to recover and everyday Pennsylvanians with the relief we need to pay rent and mortgages, afford childcare, access mental healthcare, pay off student debt, and more. The Republican-led General Assembly opposes it.  



Report suggests new ways for Pittsburgh to levy additional taxes without raising earned income, property taxes
Trib Live | 4/19/22

“A report prepared by the Pittsburgh Budget and Policy Center has proposed new ways for the city to bring in added revenue without raising property or earned income taxes.

In a presentation unveiling the findings of the report, Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of the Keystone Research Center, said that the solutions he presented ‘makes clear that Pittsburgh can take action now’ to create a ‘fair tax system.’

The current local tax system, he argued, is unfair because it doesn’t tax unearned income, or ‘income from wealth,’ including money coming from trusts, royalties, patents, capital gains and dividends.”

GUEST COMMENTARY: Is This Really Taxadelphia?
By Marc Stier | The Philadelphia Citizen | 4/21/22

“‘Philadelphia is one of the highest-taxed cities in the United States.’

But you knew that, right? It’s common knowledge. Everyone knows it. Everyone also knows that Philadelphia has been growing slowly because of its high taxes.

Beware of what ‘everyone knows.’ Sometimes ideas get repeated so often, they become common knowledge that turns out to be wrong.

The truth is that of the 30 largest cities in the United States, Philadelphia ranks 13th in tax revenue per person per year.”