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.

Taxes & Economy

The Occupy Movement’s Wrong Target

  • Priya Brannick
  • October 10, 2011

Now that the Occupy Wall Street movement has gone national, Pennsylvania is seeing its fair share of protests. While they’re still a ragtag, oddly camera-shy bunch with ill-defined…

Media

Read More: The Occupy Movement’s Wrong Target

Education

Lawmakers Can Save Students in Duquesne

  • Priya Brannick
  • October 5, 2011

Jake Haulk at the Allegheny Institute points out that Duquesne City School District spends almost $20,000 per student every year (state average is about $14,000). But less than…

Media

Read More: Lawmakers Can Save Students in Duquesne

Public Union Democracy

Prevailing Wage Reform Bills Pass Committee

  • Priya Brannick
  • October 3, 2011

Six bills to reform Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage law passed the House Labor and Industry Committee today, and will now go to the full House for a vote. The state’s 1961…

Media

Read More: Prevailing Wage Reform Bills Pass Committee

Taxes & Economy

Reading is Poorest City in U.S.

  • Priya Brannick
  • September 28, 2011

Just released Census Bureau figures show Pennsylvania’s poverty rate has climbed, rising to 13.4 percent in 2010 compared to 11.6 percent in 2007, when the recession first hit.

Media

Read More: Reading is Poorest City in U.S.

Education

Teacher Qualifications vs. Teacher Effectiveness

  • Priya Brannick
  • September 16, 2011

Teachers are an important factor affecting student performance, and teacher salaries make up the biggest chunk of public school spending. So ensuring that the best teachers instruct our kids should…

Media

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Public Union Democracy

Big Labor’s Stranglehold in Pennsylvania

  • Priya Brannick
  • August 31, 2011

Here’s a depressing, if unsurprising, statistic: In a new index assessing whether states favor government union bosses or taxpayers, Pennsylvania ranks 5th worst. The Competitive Enterprise Institute ranked…

Media

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Education

What Do France, Hungary and Pennsylvania Have in Common?

  • Priya Brannick
  • August 30, 2011

A Hungarian, a Frenchman and a Pennsylvanian walk into a bar…okay, so they may not have the same tastes in beer, but turns out they would have the same ability…

Media

Read More: What Do France, Hungary and Pennsylvania Have in Common?

Education

PSEA Behind Phony Grassroots Effort

  • Priya Brannick
  • August 17, 2011

In 2009-10, the PSEA spent more than $2.6 million on political activities and lobbying. By the next year, that figure had ballooned to $4.2 million, an increase of about 60%.

Media

Read More: PSEA Behind Phony Grassroots Effort

Taxes & Economy

Pennsylvania’s Cost of Government Day

  • Priya Brannick
  • August 15, 2011

By the calculation of Americans for Tax Reform, Pennsylvania just reached its Cost of Government Day. That is, it took the average Keystone worker until Aug. 15, or 227…

Media

Read More: Pennsylvania’s Cost of Government Day

Government Accountability

Government Transparency in Pennsylvania Becomes a Reality

  • Priya Brannick
  • July 13, 2011

The last few months saw immense partisan animosity and demeaning comments during numerous spats under the Capitol Dome.  But amid the fiscal fist fights over school choice, a natural gas…

Commentary

Read More: Government Transparency in Pennsylvania Becomes a Reality

Education

How Does Seniority Mandate Help Kids, Exactly?

  • Priya Brannick
  • July 7, 2011

Here’s a letter to the editor I sent to the Erie Times on furloughing teachers: National Education Association board member Sam Talarico unsurprisingly takes strong exception to the…

Media

Read More: How Does Seniority Mandate Help Kids, Exactly?

Public Union Democracy

Disappointing Results from State Union Contract Deals

  • Priya Brannick
  • July 5, 2011

So far, the Corbett administration has concluded new four-year contracts with Pennsylvania’s two largest state worker unions, which represent 55,000 government workers—and the taxpayers are the losers.  The deals with…

Media

Read More: Disappointing Results from State Union Contract Deals

Education

More Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying from School Districts

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 28, 2011

Public schools complain of underfunding, yet they are spending your tax dollars to lobby for more funding and against school choice, as property taxes skyrocket. The latest salvo comes from…

Media

Read More: More Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying from School Districts

Education

The End of Last In, First Out?

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 21, 2011

Last month the state Senate passed SB 612, which allows schools to furlough teachers for economic reasons, which is currently prohibited.  The House is preparing to vote on a…

Media

Read More: The End of Last In, First Out?