January 10: East vs. West

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Top Story

1. East vs. West: How Geography — And Politics — Play Into How PA Funds Its Schools

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh: Five charts and two families at the center of the school choice debate - WHYY

“In Pennsylvania’s school funding dilemma, there’s a little-known mechanism that pits the western half of the state against the east.

And although it’s controversial, it will likely remain untouched as Gov. Josh Shapiro and state lawmakers work this year to develop a new funding formula to divvy up more than $8 billion in state funding between the state’s 500 school districts.

Political party doesn’t determine where lawmakers stand on the issue, a provision in the current funding system, known as hold harmless, which dictates how 71% of state funding is spent and prevents districts with shrinking student populations from losing funding. Only geography does — western school districts tend to benefit from it, while districts in the eastern part of the state, and particularly in the populous and growing Philadelphia region, lose out on millions of dollars and have to raise property taxes to keep up.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


PA’s Poorest School Districts Were Slated For A Funding Boost. State Aid Went To School Construction Instead. “Pennsylvania’s poorest districts won’t receive $100 million in new money to help fill vacancies and reduce funding deficits after lawmakers diverted those dollars to school construction projects.” (Spotlight PA)

‘Spirited’ Debates Ahead For Pennsylvania Education Policy. “Legislators on both sides of the aisle expect some friction over the state’s education policy in 2024. With issues like a teacher staffing shortage and last year’s judicial ruling around public school funding, the pressure — and the attention — is on.” (The Center Square)

President Biden To Visit Allentown Area Friday To Tout Economic Successes, White House Says. “The time and place of the visit have not yet been released, but Allentown officials have been made aware of the visit.” (Allentown Morning Call)

Dave McCormick-Led Hedge Fund Shed Hundreds Of Jobs After Pocketing State Money. “Dave McCormick, an extremely wealthy hedge fund manager running as a Republican for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, has built much of his political persona around his record of creating jobs. McCormick’s claims about his work at online auction startup FreeMarkets have already wilted under scrutiny. ” (HuffPost)



2. Shapiro Administration, OpenAI Launch First-in-the-Nation Generative AI Pilot for Commonwealth Employees

AI pilot program launched for Pa. workforce - LVB

Governor Josh Shapiro and OpenAI, one of the nation’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) research and deployment companies, announced that the Commonwealth’s Office of Administration will lead a first-of-its-kind pilot program of ChatGPT Enterprise – a keystone OpenAI product featuring enhanced cybersecurity measures – to help Commonwealth employees understand where and how generative AI tools can be safely and securely leveraged in their daily operations.

The pilot is the Commonwealth’s first-ever use of generative AI tools for state government employees, and its findings will help guide the wider integration of this technology into state government operations to enhance productivity and empower the Commonwealth’s workforce.” (PoliticsPA)


Pennsylvania Government Workers Will Start Using ChatGPT In Test Program. “The state of Pennsylvania will deploy OpenAI’s enterprise ChatGPT service in a pilot program to help state employees do administrative work.” (The Verge)

Just Say ‘No’. “Governor Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania seems to have worked out what ought to have been entirely obvious to everyone lo these many years: That the easiest way to defeat the silliest people within our society is simply to tell them “No.” (National Review)

PA-09: Waldman Files For Congressional Seat. “Amanda Waldman, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2022, will take lessons learned from that experience into 2024 as she has filed a statement of candidacy for the 9th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House.” (PoliticsPA)

Rep. John Schlegel To Seek Second Term In PA House. “Schlegel, 69, of Cornwall, was first elected in 2022 to the 101st House District seat formerly held by Republican Frank Ryan.” (PennLive)

HD-13: Luna Mounts Campaign For Southern Chester Seat. “Hoping to bring a new generation’s perspective to his neighbors, Cristian Luna announced his run for the 13th Legislative District seat in Harrisburg.” (PoliticsPA)


Around The Commonwealth

3. A Ray of Hope for the 2024 Elections from Pennsylvania

Frequently Asked Q&A About Election Integrity in Pennsylvania

“For a generation or more, Americans have been advised every four years that the next election will be the most important in our lifetime. In 2024, that may finally be true. The future of our democracy is at stake, and it’s critical that the election is administered fairly, without undue influence from election deniers in positions of power—especially in swing states like Pennsylvania.” (The Bulwark)


To Boost PA’s Election Power, Lawmaker Hopes To Change 2028 Primary Date. “While the attempts to move the 2024 primary are over, Rep. Keith Greiner is trying to move the 2028 primary up.” (WESA)

Excelitas Technologies To Bring Company Headquarters And 250 Jobs To Strip District, Gov. Shapiro Announces. “Excelitas Technologies Corp., a top photonics technology company, plans to set up its new headquarters in the Strip District and create at least 250 local jobs in the next four years, Gov. Josh Shapiro announced Tuesday.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Pittsburgh Is Top Ten for Job Seekers While Philly Can’t Make Top 100. Why? “The Eagles may fly, and the Steelers may stink, but when it comes to jobs, Pittsburgh is kicking Philly’s economic aspirations. The question is, why?” (DV Journal)

Why Pittsburgh Has ‘The Most Extreme Embrace’ Of Fossil Fuel Lobbyists, Per Report. “Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney is one of five powerful lobbying firms across the state named in a recent report by environmental research and advocacy organization F-Minus that found that Pittsburgh — more than any other big U.S. city — is entangled in “the most ‘extreme embrace’” of fossil fuel lobbyists. ” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Forget William Penn. Let’s Finally Rip Down This Philadelphia Monument. “Whatever your political point of view, we can all agree this thing is downright ugly.” (Philadelphia Magazine)

‘Why Not?’: Young Lancaster Natives Step Up To The Plate To Try Their Hand At Politics. “Today, members of a new generation of under-30 politicos are standing up to represent their peers.” (LNP)



4. What’s On Your Mind

  • Trump’s Unholy America To Collide With MLK. (Will Bunch)
  • Why Republicans lose in Pennsylvania: They make bad choices. (Frank DeVito)
  • Elise Stefanik Will Say Anything To Be Trump’s Vice President. (Gene Collier)
  • The Evil of Two Lessers. (Cal Thomas)
  • Freedom, Democracy Are Here To Stay — Reflections On Politics In 2024. (Bruce Ledewitz)
  • Learning Cursive Is Good, But Kids Really Need To Know How To Type For The Modern World. (Jake Miller)
  • The Only Fair Local Share Of School Funding. (Gwen Shapiro)
  • Pennsylvania Needs Regulatory Reform. (Elizabeth Stelle)
  • Pennsylvania’s Byzantine System Of County Government. (Seth Higgins)
  • New Hydrogen Hubs Will Transform Pennsylvania. (Jeff Kotula)


1 Thing

5. Buffalo Sauce Boycott Sweeps Through Pittsburgh As Steelers Gear Up For Bills

BEST Buffalo Chicken Wing Sauce Recipe - Insanely Good

“Some Pittsburgh restaurants are taking the extreme measure of boycotting Buffalo sauce and other Buffalo-related products until the Steelers take on the Bills in Sunday’s wild-card playoff game.

Buffalo dipping sauce will not be sold at select McDonald’s locations across the Pittsburgh region until after the game.

“I’m shutting down the Buffalo sauce this week — just like the Black and Gold are going to stop the Bills on Sunday,” Meghan Sweeney, owner/operator of McDonald’s through Cranberry-based Tri County Management said on Tuesday.” (Tribune-Review)



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By: Steve Ulrich
Title: January 10: East vs. West
Sourced From: www.politicspa.com/january-10-east-vs-west/130421/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=january-10-east-vs-west
Published Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2024 13:21:33 +0000

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I'm a writer for lifestyle publications, and when I'm not crafting stories, you'll find me cherishing moments with my family, including my lovely daughter. My heart also belongs to my pets—Sushi, Snowy, Belle, and Pepper. Besides writing, I enjoy watching movies and exploring new places through travel.