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

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.

MAY 12, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Growing Chorus says "Last-in, First-out" Must Go

Thousands of teachers go above and beyond mere job descriptions because they see teaching not simply as a profession but as a calling. If Governor Wolf carries through on his threat to veto a bill protecting these teachers, their jobs could be at risk.

MAY 9, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Pa. Senate Votes to Protect Great Teachers

In a victory for public school students and teachers, the state Senate today voted to end Pennsylvania’s last-in-first-out policy and finally give excellent teachers the protection their performance deserves.

MAY 4, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Obama, Wolf at Odds over Charter Schools

President Obama last week proclaimed May 1-7 “National Charter Schools Week,” praising charters for their “innovation” and calling on “[s]tates and communities to support high-quality public schools, including charter schools.” Yet, even as thousands of Pennsylvania students sit on charter waitlists, Gov. Wolf has taken every opportunity to undercut the state’s charters.

APRIL 13, 2016 | Policy Memo by ELIZABETH STELLE

Governor Wolf’s 2015-16 Budget Myths

Governor Wolf claimed the 2015-16 budget could not be balanced without significant tax hikes. But there are two ways exist to close a budget deficit: raise revenue or cut spending. Lawmakers closed the projected budget deficit by spending less—$3.8 billion less.

APRIL 11, 2016 | Policy Memo by JAMES PAUL

Education Spending Trends: April 2016

Pennsylvania’s FY 2015-16 budget was finalized in late March when Gov. Tom Wolf allowed HB 1801, a supplemental funding bill, to become law. This legislation appropriated an additional $3.1 billion for K-12 education—on top of nearly $8 billion that was signed into law in December 2015.

APRIL 11, 2016 | Policy Brief by JAMES PAUL

Education Savings Accounts

Education Savings Accounts (ESA) empower parents to design the best educational experience for their children.

MARCH 23, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Taxpayers Win As Wolf Allows Budget to Become Law

After keeping Pennsylvania in budget gridlock for 267 days while holding out for record-high tax increases, Gov. Wolf announced today that he will allow a no-tax-hike budget to become law.

MARCH 22, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Will Wolf Ignore Schools’ Pleas, Veto Education Funding?

Nearly one week after the legislature voted to send Governor Wolf a $30 billion state budget with record-high basic education funding, Wolf continues to dangle a veto threat while pushing schools closer to closure.

FEBRUARY 29, 2016 | Commentary by JAMES PAUL

School Funding Myths Debunked

Can Pennsylvania do better when it comes to educating our children? Absolutely. But playing “myths for money” will never lead to real solutions for families and students.

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