Center for Educational Excellence

The Center for Educational Excellence strives to implement reforms that create greater incentives for schools to respect parents and students as customers; encourage continuous quality improvement, parental involvement, and respect for teachers as professionals; and use taxpayers’ resources more efficiently.




Research Items

SEPTEMBER 14, 2016 | Policy Memo by JAMES PAUL

Answering Questions about Education Savings Accounts

What are Education Savings Accounts -- and how can they help children in Pennsylvania?

SEPTEMBER 13, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

In School Funding, Pa. High Court Must Not Usurp Legislature

As the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court hears a challenge to the state’s school funding formula today, at issue is the power of the judiciary as well as the truth about Pennsylvania’s education funding.

AUGUST 30, 2016 | Commentary by JAMES PAUL

Charter Reform: Get it Right

Over the next nine months, many students will have their lives transformed for the better. But for thousands of other children, this time of year is defined by disappointment. They are trapped in schools that don’t meet their needs—effectively held hostage by a system that limits choice and opportunity.

AUGUST 16, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Trapped: 5 Ways Union Contracts Trample Teachers’ Rights

As students across Pennsylvania head back to school, government unions that are supposed to speak for teachers are instead trampling their rights in order to advance the union leaders’ agenda. A review of labor contracts in Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts shows five ways these collective bargaining agreements trap teachers—and cost taxpayers:

JULY 22, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

DNC in Philly: Top 5 Ways Big-Government Policies Are Killing the Host City

Philadelphia

As all eyes turn to Philadelphia next week for the Democratic National Convention, just steps from the Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphians are suffering from high taxes, union-controlled public schools, and a government-run liquor monopoly.

JUNE 16, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Is Your School Hoarding Cash? 42% of Districts Hold Questionable Reserves

School district reserves total $4.3 billion statewide. When cries for more school funding—and property tax increases—are constant, how much is too much to hold in reserve?

JUNE 14, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

'Underfunded' Pa. Schools Spend Nearly $16,000 Per Pupil

Contradicting the claim that Pennsylvania underfunds its school system, public school spending hit an all-time high in the 2014-15 school year, approaching $27.4 billion—or $15,854 per student—according to the latest state Department of Education data.

JUNE 8, 2016 | Policy Memo by JAMES PAUL

School Spending Update, 2014-15

Pennsylvania school districts spent approximately $27.4 billion in 2014-15. This represents a $1.3 billion increase from 2013-14, despite a 12,000 student decrease in average daily membership.

JUNE 7, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Ghost Teachers Bill Advances in State House

Today, the state House Education Committee advanced HB 2125, which would strictly limit teachers’ unions’ ability to pluck teachers from the classroom to work full-time for the union while remaining on the public payroll.

MAY 18, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Wolf Sacrifices Great Teachers for Union Approval

Gov. Tom Wolf today chose to side with teachers’ union leaders over high-performing teachers by vetoing the Protecting Excellent Teachers Act (HB 805). The bill, championed by Rep. Stephen Bloom, would have ensured that during furloughs, teachers are retained based on performance rather than on the number of years they have been teaching.

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New Labor Contracts Will Add to Taxpayers' Burden

September 28

New union contracts will make state government more expensive, according to two analyses released by the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO). The IFO projects contracts negotiated by the Wolf Administration with the state’s two largest unions—AFSCME and SEIU—will cost taxpayers an additional ...