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

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.


Wolf Doubles Down: Highest Spending Increase in 25 Years

Today, Gov. Tom Wolf doubled down on his tax-and-spend agenda, proposing a $3 billion spending increase—a 10 percent bump, the largest in 25 years—requiring broad-based tax increases of $850 per family of four.

FEBRUARY 8, 2016 | Policy Memo by JAMES PAUL

Pennsylvania Education Spending Trends

Pennsylvania school districts spent $26.1 billion in 2013-14, an all-time high, according to the latest data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This represents a $600 million increase from 2012-13. Districts spent $15,019 per student in 2013-14, up from $14,621 in 2012-13

FEBRUARY 8, 2016 | Policy Memo by BOB DICK

Redesigning Government to Balance State and Local Budgets

Pennsylvania taxpayers shoulder the 15th highest state and local tax burden in the country. Consequently, the Keystone State has seen an exodus of working people. Unsustainable growth in state government spending has fueled this high (and growing) tax burden.

FEBRUARY 2, 2016 | News Availability

Myth vs. Fact as Wolf Announces Education Plans

The reality is, state taxpayers are already paying enough for public education. The governor and lawmakers must find smarter ways to spend this money, not keep asking for more.

Total Records: 256