Priya Brannick

Senior Fellow

Priya Brannick is a Senior Fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation.

Priya has a Master of Arts in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University and graduated magna cum laude in 2002 with a degree in journalism from Texas Christian University. Before joining the Commonwealth Foundation, she was an international affairs journalist for WORLD Magazine and the Communications Director for the Institute on Religion and Public Policy.

Priya’s primary research areas include education reform and labor policy. Her expertise has been featured in various media outlets including: KDKA, WITF, WHYY, the Patriot News, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, amongst others.

A native of Zambia, Africa, Priya has lived, worked, and traveled across the United States (and still admits to a strong fondness for soccer). She is deeply passionate about America’s founding principles, crafting sound public policy to better people’s lives, and ballroom dance.

Education

6 Trends in Public School Spending

  • Nathan Benefield, Priya Brannick
  • June 24, 2013

The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently updated files from public schools’ annual financial reports and enrollment reports. Here are six key trends from those data.

Memo

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Education

Happy National Employee Freedom Week, America

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 24, 2013

National Employee Freedom Week is about informing workers about their rights and empowering them to exercise their freedoms.  Ultimately, there are ways for workers to leave the Hotel California. We…

Commentary

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Education

Cyber Schools Receive Less Per Student

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 3, 2013

Pennsylvania cyber schools receive on average about 20 percent less revenue per student than school districts spend. Like other public charter schools, cyber schools receive funds only when families choose…

Media

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Education

Cyber Schools: 1% of Education Spending

  • Priya Brannick
  • May 31, 2013

In 2010-11, public cyber schools cost $319 million out of $25 billion on PreK-12 spending—just 1% of Pennsylvania’s total public education spending. Cyber vs. School District Spending, 2010-11 Total Per-Student…

Media

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Education

Cyber School Funding in Pennsylvania

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Priya Brannick
  • May 30, 2013

Cyber schools currently spend significantly less per student than school districts and only represent about 1% of spending on public education. Discrepancies in cyber school funding are the result of…

Memo

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Education

Charter School Rescues Students, Community

  • Priya Brannick
  • May 29, 2013

What does a neighborhood do when its surrounding school districts are underperforming, or downright violent and failing? Where can the kids go? In the Pittsburgh area, many students find refuge…

Media

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Education

From Cyber School to West Point

  • Priya Brannick
  • May 17, 2013

Hannah Tuffy, 20, is one of the first cyber school students to be accepted at the prestigious U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The accomplished Scranton native credits her success…

Media

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Education

How Cyber School Saved Rachel

  • Priya Brannick
  • May 2, 2013

In second grade, Rachel Coleman vividly remembers classmates teasing her about her high test scores and ability to learn at a sixth-grade level. “You’ll never get a husband!” girls taunted…

Media

Read More: How Cyber School Saved Rachel

Regulation

Mailbag: Pennsylvania’s Pension Crisis

  • Priya Brannick
  • April 10, 2013

Several readers wrote in with questions on my Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed from Sunday, “Pension Crisis is Going to Hit Hard.” Here are answers to some of the most common…

Media

Read More: Mailbag: Pennsylvania’s Pension Crisis

Public Union Democracy

Union Poured Member Dues into Defeating Liquor Privatization

  • Priya Brannick
  • April 3, 2013

They’re a familiar sight in the state Capitol, wearing mustard-colored T-shirts emblazoned with their union’s logo. Now the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported on how United Food and Commercial Workers…

Media

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Healthcare

Will Medicaid Expansion Boost Pennsylvania’s Economy?

  • Priya Brannick
  • March 29, 2013

A new study commissioned by the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania predicts that if the state expands Medicaid, the program will produce $3.2 billion in annual growth over…

Media

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Regulation

Privatization Could End “Pay-to-Play”

  • Priya Brannick
  • March 15, 2013

“A culture of greed, corruption and political influence that is beyond imagination,” is how State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan described the latest Pennsylvania Turnpike scandal, which has led to…

Media

Read More: Privatization Could End “Pay-to-Play”

Education

Do Cyber Schools Spend Too Much?

  • Priya Brannick
  • March 13, 2013

With the House Education Committee set to consider new legislation on reducing cyber school funding, the discussion has turned again to how much cyber schools “actually” cost and…

Media

Read More: Do Cyber Schools Spend Too Much?

Education

Cyber Proposal Undermines Cherished School Option

  • Priya Brannick
  • January 29, 2013

The Matunis girls are just two of some 32,000 students statewide who are thriving at cyber schools.  New legislation unveiled in Harrisburg, however, could do serious damage to cyber…

Commentary

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Education

New Bills Constitute Attack on Cyber Schools

  • Priya Brannick
  • January 25, 2013

Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) and a trio of legislators today unveiled a package of bills aimed at reducing cyber school growth and limiting the popular schools’…

Media

Read More: New Bills Constitute Attack on Cyber Schools

Public Union Democracy

Union Politics Hinder Prosperity

  • Priya Brannick
  • January 16, 2013

Businessman Jerry Shenk argues in today’s Harrisburg Patriot-News that tough economic realities forced lawmakers to reexamine union privileges in their traditional strongholds of Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana—and that Pennsylvania…

Media

Read More: Union Politics Hinder Prosperity

Education

California School Parents Make History

  • Priya Brannick
  • January 10, 2013

The win didn’t come easy, but parents at Desert Trails Elementary School in Adelanto, Calif. finally prevailed this week in putting the failing school under new charter school management, becoming…

Media

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Education

What’s Behind Pennsylvania’s D+ on Education?

  • Priya Brannick
  • January 9, 2013

StudentsFirst, a bipartisan education reform group, released report cards for all 50 states evaluating individual state education laws and policies—and the news wasn’t good for Pennsylvania,…

Media

Read More: What’s Behind Pennsylvania’s D+ on Education?

Regulation

PA Tax Loophole Funds Frackaphobic Film

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Priya Brannick
  • January 3, 2013

There’s a memorable line in Promised Land, the new Matt Damon movie opening Friday about a gas drilling company buying land rights in a declining farming community. One…

Media

Read More: PA Tax Loophole Funds Frackaphobic Film