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

Cyber Schools Under Unfair Attack

  • Priya Brannick
  • July 27, 2012

Last week, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on Pennsylvania’s cyber schools advanced some common myths and omitted some critical facts about how these popular schools do academically, and how they are…

Media

Read More: Cyber Schools Under Unfair Attack

Public Union Democracy

Union Bosses Fight to Stay Relevant

  • Priya Brannick
  • July 12, 2012

Labor unions are so livid that the Democratic Party is having its national convention in North Carolina—a right to work state, and the country’s least unionized—that they are staging…

Media

Read More: Union Bosses Fight to Stay Relevant

Public Union Democracy

Unions Spent $4 Billion Nationally on Politics Since 2005

  • Priya Brannick
  • July 10, 2012

Labor unions spend four times more than originally estimated on politics and lobbying, reports the Wall Street Journal, making them a formidable behemoth in state and national elections. In…

Media

Read More: Unions Spent $4 Billion Nationally on Politics Since 2005

Education

Child Rescue Plan Underway, EITC is Lifeline

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 29, 2012

As we come down to the wire in the Pennsylvania legislature’s 2012 session, the Senate revealed the latest details (subscription required) of how an expanded opportunity scholarship program would…

Media

Read More: Child Rescue Plan Underway, EITC is Lifeline

Education

2 Minutes Can Save Children

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 25, 2012

Meet Willie and Penny, two typical school students in Pennsylvania. Willie is a student from Philadelphia who attends one of the state’s worst violent, failing schools, where students are…

Media

Read More: 2 Minutes Can Save Children

Education

Attack on Charter Schools Shoddy and Misguided

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 21, 2012

School districts across Pennsylvania are in a budget crunch, due to a combination of overspending, ballooning pension costs and a loss of $1 billion in federal stimulus…

Media

Read More: Attack on Charter Schools Shoddy and Misguided

Education

Spending Crisis Forces Mom to Surrender Child

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 15, 2012

If lawmakers were in any doubt about how dire Pennsylvania’s education crisis has become, they need only look to Harrisburg mother Taisha Bartow and her 5-year-old daughter, Alayaisha.

Media

Read More: Spending Crisis Forces Mom to Surrender Child

Education

Lawmakers & Businesses Can Rescue Students Now

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 14, 2012

If lawmakers were in any doubt about how dire Pennsylvania's education crisis has become, they need only look to Harrisburg mother Taisha Bartow and her 5-year-old daughter, Alayaisha.

Commentary

Read More: Lawmakers & Businesses Can Rescue Students Now

Education

What’s in the Property Tax Elimination Bill?

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 13, 2012

This week, the House Finance Committee tabled HB 1776 until the fall to have further discussion. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Cox, would eliminate school property taxes and…

Media

Read More: What’s in the Property Tax Elimination Bill?

Education

Why Public Opinion is Turning on Teachers’ Unions

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 7, 2012

Gil Spencer of the Delaware County Times penned a perceptive column yesterday on the waning popularity of teachers’ unions—and how an angry public is wising up to the unions’…

Media

Read More: Why Public Opinion is Turning on Teachers’ Unions

Education

Why Families Like Cyber and Charter Schools

  • Priya Brannick
  • May 23, 2012

Nine-year-old Ashley Matunis and her sister, 6-year-old Anna (pictured right), are typical girls who enjoy pizza and pretzels. They are also typical of the kind of students who attend cyber…

Media

Read More: Why Families Like Cyber and Charter Schools

Education

How to Fix What’s Broke in Education

  • Priya Brannick
  • May 22, 2012

Harrisburg Patriot-News columnist Nancy Eshelman rightly sounded the alarm Sunday on Pennsylvania’s public education system: It’s the same old story. Every spring, threats of higher taxes, slashed programs…

Media

Read More: How to Fix What’s Broke in Education

Education

Philadelphia School District Faces the Budgetary Music

  • Priya Brannick
  • May 1, 2012

It doesn’t take an advanced degree to figure out that something’s rotten in the school district of Philadelphia—or that school choice is the antidote. More than half of…

Media

Read More: Philadelphia School District Faces the Budgetary Music

Public Union Democracy

Prevailing Wage Pummels Another School District

  • Priya Brannick
  • April 25, 2012

We’ve reported before about how Pennsylvania’s outdated prevailing wage law imposes needless extra construction costs on local governments and school districts across the commonwealth, hurting taxpayers. The law requires…

Media

Read More: Prevailing Wage Pummels Another School District

Public Union Democracy

Six Ways Prevailing Wage Increases Taxpayers’ Costs

  • Priya Brannick
  • April 2, 2012

This week, the Pennsylvania House is set (yet again) to consider basic reforms to Pennsylvania’s outdated prevailing wage law, which mandates that union-scale wages be paid on taxpayer-funded construction projects…

Media

Read More: Six Ways Prevailing Wage Increases Taxpayers’ Costs

Education

It’s Good to be the King (of Charter Schools)

  • Priya Brannick
  • March 16, 2012

We blogged last month about HB 1973, a bill that would gut funding for cyber schools.  Now it turns out there’s a bill—recently introduced to the House Education Committee—that…

Media

Read More: It’s Good to be the King (of Charter Schools)

Public Union Democracy

Big Bucks for Government Union Bosses

  • Priya Brannick
  • March 8, 2012

Union bosses frequently criticize corporate CEOs and government leaders for supposedly taking home hefty pay at workers’ expense. Just this week, protesters picketed House Majority Whip Stan Saylor’s office…

Media

Read More: Big Bucks for Government Union Bosses

Public Union Democracy

Construction Workers Picket Rep. Saylor

  • Priya Brannick
  • March 6, 2012

No sooner did we release research documenting the iron grip of Pennsylvania’s labor unions on the commonwealth’s taxpayers than they obliged us with a case-in-point on union bullying tactics.

Media

Read More: Construction Workers Picket Rep. Saylor

Public Union Democracy

How Unions Put the Squeeze on Pennsylvanians

  • Priya Brannick
  • March 5, 2012

We’ve talked before about how passing meaningful reform on anything from school choice to prevailing wage has been stymied not by a Democrat vs. Republican fight in Pennsylvania’s legislature, but…

Media

Read More: How Unions Put the Squeeze on Pennsylvanians

Government Accountability

The Squeeze: Government Unions’ Grip on Pennsylvanians

  • Priya Brannick
  • March 5, 2012

Pennsylvania's government unions wield tremendous political influence and advance policies that harm the commonwealth's taxpayers, children, and even their own members. Pennsylvania is a forced union state, meaning even workers…

Report

Read More: The Squeeze: Government Unions’ Grip on Pennsylvanians

Public Union Democracy

Rent Seeking: Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage Musical

  • Priya Brannick
  • March 1, 2012

“Rent” isn’t just a depressing musical about New Yorkers facing AIDS. It’s also a term economists use to describe the benefits special interests win for themselves in the political…

Media

Read More: Rent Seeking: Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage Musical