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

JUNE 18, 2015 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Education Commission Proposes Smarter, Student-Based Spending

The Commonwealth Foundation has long advocated for an education funding formula based on student enrollment and student need. This afternoon, the Basic Education Funding Commission released a report that aligns with those objectives.

JUNE 12, 2015 | Policy Memo by JAMES PAUL

School Spending Update, 2013-14

The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently released new expenditure and revenue figures for the 2013-14 school year. This memo presents trends in school spending, revenue, pension contributions, district fund balances, and property tax increases.

JUNE 1, 2015 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Testimony: Natural Gas Tax Costs Jobs, Threatens Family Budgets

Today, Commonwealth Foundation Vice President of Policy Analysis Nathan Benefield will testify before the Senate Environmental Resources Energy Committee and Senate Finance Committee on the impact of Gov. Wolf’s proposed natural gas severance tax.

JUNE 1, 2015 | Testimony by NATHAN BENEFIELD

Natural Gas Severance Tax

Testimony of Nathan A. Benefield

The industry and related jobs in drilling communities aren’t the only ones who would be harmed. All Pennsylvanians would pay the burden of a new extraction tax. About $181 million of the severance tax cost would be borne by families earning less than $100,000, according to the IFO.

MAY 29, 2015 | Poli-Graph by JAMES PAUL

Just the Facts: Education Spending

Do we spend enough money on education? How much do we need to increase funding to improve results? How does Pennsylvania compare to the rest of the nation? These questions are discussed every year during budget negotiations. We crunched the numbers, and here's what you need to know about education spending in Pennsylvania. For

MAY 19, 2015 | Policy Points by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Education Spending & Academic Achievement

Increased education spending has not led to improved academic performance. This is reflected in SAT scores and NAEP results, as well numerous studies at the state, national, and international level. To improve academic performance, policymakers should pursue a student-based funding formula, mandate relief, and expanded school choice.

MAY 11, 2015 | Policy Points by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Release Time: Diverting Public Resources to Unions

In Pennsylvania, government unions enjoy a number of legal and political privileges. Among these government-granted privileges is the practice of “release time,” which permit government unions to utilize public resources to support their private operations.

MAY 5, 2015 | Commentary by JAMES PAUL

Wolf's Education Doctrine

Governor Wolf has wasted little time crystalizing his vision for public education—and it doesn’t look promising for families supportive of school choice. If his first few months are any indication this much is certain: Wolf is hostile to schools of choice, cozy to union interests, and wedded to the educational status quo.

MARCH 30, 2015 | Commentary by JAMES PAUL

Our Undemocratic Teachers' Unions

Is American democracy under assault? That’s a question often asked when businesses exert political influence, unelected bureaucrats misuse power, or reporters engage in slanted storytelling. It’s time to add public-school unions to the list: These undemocratic interest groups dominate America’s urban education system to the detriment of students across the nation.

MARCH 18, 2015 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Stunning Violence in York City Signals Need for Meaningful Reform, not More Funding

March 18, 2015, HARRISBURG, Pa.—Would you send your child to a school district that teaches 8 percent of the county’s students yet accounts for 87 percent of its student assaults? In 2012-13, York City School District tied for second-lowest in academic performance in the state. New research reveals that York City is also one of the most violent school districts i

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The Commonwealth Foundation is Pennsylvania's free-market think tank.  The Commonwealth Foundation transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.