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

Busting Charter School Funding Myths

  • Priya Brannick
  • December 27, 2012

Charter schools are under fire again this month, following renewed criticism from Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner on how the schools spend and save their funding.

Media

Read More: Busting Charter School Funding Myths

Education

More Strikes, More Staff, No Solution

  • Priya Brannick
  • November 19, 2012

If you thought the Chicago teacher strike was bad—spawning strikes elsewhere in Illinois—you should take a look at Pennsylvania. Mother Jones has compiled a fascinating map of teacher strikes…

Media

Read More: More Strikes, More Staff, No Solution

Regulation

Pennsylvania’s Tax Burden Ranks 10th (Again), but Pension Bomb Ticking

  • Priya Brannick
  • November 16, 2012

Last week, America kept its president and Congress, and Pennsylvania’s legislature stayed largely the same too. There’s another thing that Pennsylvanians can count on—ranking 10th in the United States for…

Media

Read More: Pennsylvania’s Tax Burden Ranks 10th (Again), but Pension Bomb Ticking

Education

Pa. Teachers Unions Among America’s Most Powerful

  • Priya Brannick
  • October 31, 2012

Pennsylvania’s teachers unions rank fourth among all U.S. states in their strength and influence, according to a report released this week from the Fordham Institute. We trail only Hawaii,…

Media

Read More: Pa. Teachers Unions Among America’s Most Powerful

Public Union Democracy

Unions Allowed to Stalk, Harrass, Threaten with WMDs

  • Priya Brannick
  • October 19, 2012

In August we told you about a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report that was pretty embarrassing for Pennsylvania. The report highlighted special protection for labor unions on activities that…

Media

Read More: Unions Allowed to Stalk, Harrass, Threaten with WMDs

Education

Teachers Union Worse Than Hollywood Portrayal

  • Priya Brannick
  • October 17, 2012

Pennsylvania State Education Association President Mike Crossey takes issue with the film “Won’t Back Down” for not matching “real-life experience” on teachers unions. He’s right—in real…

Media

Read More: Teachers Union Worse Than Hollywood Portrayal

Education

Top 5 Charter School Myths

  • Priya Brannick
  • October 15, 2012

Session days in the Pennsylvania legislature are dwindling, but the assembly still has time to pass essential reforms to how charter schools are run. The valuable reforms contained in…

Media

Read More: Top 5 Charter School Myths

Education

“Won’t Back Down” Captures Heart of Education

  • Priya Brannick
  • October 2, 2012

“Won’t Back Down” is a movie about education that fittingly begins and ends with a close-up of a child reading aloud. Education debates in America frequently whirl…

Media

Read More: “Won’t Back Down” Captures Heart of Education

Education

7 Education Facts Unions Don’t Want You to Know!

  • Priya Brannick
  • September 25, 2012

Pennsylvania is reeling from the Friday release of student test scores for 2011-12, which show declining student performance in our public schools. Kids did worse on the Pennsylvania System…

Media

Read More: 7 Education Facts Unions Don’t Want You to Know!

Public Union Democracy

Mailbag: Why Not Pay for Unused Sick Days?

  • Priya Brannick
  • September 17, 2012

Our post last week highlighting WGAL’s story on government workers receiving hefty payouts for unused sick days sparked a lively discussion. Here’s a question that popped up frequently: Do…

Media

Read More: Mailbag: Why Not Pay for Unused Sick Days?

Education

How Pennsylvania Teachers Salaries Stack Up

  • Priya Brannick
  • September 12, 2012

If the Chicago teachers union walk-out on school children or the WGAL story on sick-time pay has you wondering about teacher salaries in Pennsylvania, you’re in luck. Our…

Media

Read More: How Pennsylvania Teachers Salaries Stack Up

Education

“Mighty” Teachers’ Union Strikes Chicago

  • Priya Brannick
  • September 10, 2012

Some 25,000 members of the Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU) went on strike today, leaving 400,000 students out of school and parents scrambling to find safe places for their children to…

Media

Read More: “Mighty” Teachers’ Union Strikes Chicago

Education

Is Caring for Your Kids Criminal?

  • Priya Brannick
  • September 4, 2012

Hamlet and Olesia Garcia are facing criminal charges in Montgomery County for enrolling their daughter in the suburban Lower Moreland Township school district when they appear to live in…

Media

Read More: Is Caring for Your Kids Criminal?

Education

Public School Failures Leave Graduates Unemployable

  • Priya Brannick
  • August 31, 2012

William Marsh would like to hire a couple of good workers for his steel bar manufacturing company in Warminster, Pa. But he has a problem: He can’t find good…

Media

Read More: Public School Failures Leave Graduates Unemployable

Healthcare

Medicaid Myth #2: Medicaid Expansion Helps Poor

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Priya Brannick
  • August 30, 2012

Yesterday, we began a series on the many myths surrounding Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s plan to reform Medicaid. We started with the myth that Ryan would gut Medicaid,…

Media

Read More: Medicaid Myth #2: Medicaid Expansion Helps Poor

Public Union Democracy

Indiana: Ending Forced Unionism Creates Jobs

  • Priya Brannick
  • August 29, 2012

It’s been only six months since Indiana became the 23rd right to work state in America, but it is already seeing a surge in business activity. Indiana adopted right…

Media

Read More: Indiana: Ending Forced Unionism Creates Jobs

Education

Opportunity Scholarships a “Choice for a Better Future”

  • Priya Brannick
  • August 24, 2012

This week, the Times-Herald of Montgomery County published my letter to the editor on underperforming schools and why Pennsylvania’s new opportunity scholarships matter: In “Norristown School…

Media

Read More: Opportunity Scholarships a “Choice for a Better Future”

Taxes & Economy

Raising Taxes on “the Rich,” And Everybody Else Too

  • Priya Brannick
  • August 20, 2012

Bernard Hinault, five-time cycling champion of the Tour de France, once grumbled that the French government taxed the rich so heavily, the state had claim to three pumps of…

Media

Read More: Raising Taxes on “the Rich,” And Everybody Else Too

Education

Hundreds of Pa. Schools Taking Opportunity Scholarships

  • Nathan Benefield, Priya Brannick
  • August 20, 2012

Since our last update on the new Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) program, the Pa. Department of Education and Department of Community and Economic Development have compiled additional information…

Media

Read More: Hundreds of Pa. Schools Taking Opportunity Scholarships

Public Union Democracy

Union Leaders Misrepresent Pension Reforms

  • Priya Brannick
  • August 15, 2012

CF Senior Fellow Rick Dreyfuss testified yesterday before the Pennsylvania House about how to make our public pensions current, affordable and predictable, proposing a five-step plan for doing…

Media

Read More: Union Leaders Misrepresent Pension Reforms

Education

PSEA Blows Smoke Over Political Spending

  • Priya Brannick
  • August 6, 2012

School board members at the West Chester Area School District are negotiating a new contract with teachers, and rightly questioning why the district deducts union dues from teachers’ paychecks, when…

Media

Read More: PSEA Blows Smoke Over Political Spending