Higher Education

Third and State This Week: Taking on Prevailing Wage, Loopholes vs. Budget Cuts and a Growing Menace

In a number of blog posts this week, we debunked the claims of advocates for repealing or scaling back the state's prevailing wage law. We also shared a chart comparing state tax breaks to budget cuts and posted a Friday Funny featuring the scariest movie trailer this year — on the growing menace of corporate tax loopholes.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and wages, Mark Price published Part 2 and Part 3 of his series fact-checking inaccurate claims about Pennsylvania's prevailing wage law. Part 1 ran last Friday. Mark also explained that to save 50% on public construction projects from repealing prevailing wage, workers would have to pay to work. Finally, Stephen Herzenberg made the case that employing low-wage, low-skill workers on small and medium-sized state-funded construction projects, with no benefit to taxpayers and negative impacts on local economies, is a dumb policy.
  • On the state budget, Chris Lilienthal shared a chart detailing funding cuts that could be restored by closing tax loopholes.
  • In the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on young workers in the Great Recession; a profile of a pacemaker-dependent child who was denied health care by the state; and the fallout from cutting state support for pre-k and higher education.
  • And the Friday Funny featured a video from Ed Voters that begins: "There's a growing menace and it's coming after you and your family. The horror ... the corporate tax loophole!"

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Morning Must Reads: Cutting Support for Pre-K and Higher Ed & Trouble in Altoona

Topping the headlines this morning: state budget cuts mean fewer providers of high-quality pre-kindergarten in York County.

The YWCA York plans to close two of its early learning centers located in East Manchester and York townships for financial reasons, according to Deb Stock, CEO...

Third and State This Week: Being Fair to Business, Prevailing Wage Facts and a Little Health Care Irony

This week at Third and State, we fact-checked inaccurate claims on prevailing wage and blogged about closing corporate tax loopholes, growing the state's budget pie and an irony in the Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Plus a recap of what leading economists had to say about the February job numbers and, of course, the Morning Must Reads.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and wages, Mark Price posted the first of a three-part series fact-checking inaccurate claims about Pennsylvania's prevailing wage law. The other two posts will be published on Monday and Tuesday.
  • On state budget and taxes, Sharon Ward shared her Pittsburgh Post-Gazette letter to the editor saying that to be truly fair to all businesses Pennsylvania needs to close corporate tax loopholes. Chris Lilienthal highlighted an event this week in Harrisburg that featured pie and a "close the loopholes" message for lawmakers.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal shared an editorial from the Harrisburg Patriot-News noting a little irony in the Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act.
  • With the national jobs report for March due out next week, intern Jheanelle Chambers recapped what D.C.’s leading economists had to say about the February job numbers.
  • And in the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on massive public-sector job losses after the 2010 election, articles on accounting scandals and differing views of how to rebuild the economy, and stories on pensions and crony capitalism. Finally, Chris Lilienthal highlighted news stories on the likely impact of proposed state cuts to health care and other services, including treatment for people trying to overcome addiction.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Citizens Deliver Pie to Lawmakers with Message to Close Loopholes

With a pie in one hand and a list of tax loopholes in the other, Pennsylvania citizens delivered a message to state lawmakers this week — we can restore cuts that have hurt seniors, children and families without raising taxes. By closing loopholes and delaying tax cuts for corporations, lawmakers can enact a better budget.

Pie Day was hosted on Monday by Better Choices for Pennsylvania, a coalition of organizations working for a responsible state budget. Volunteer pie deliverers stopped by each lawmaker’s office to drop off a pie and a handout contrasting existing tax loopholes with funding cuts that could be restored by closing the loophole. In each case, additional revenue could help fund vital services without raising taxes.

Third and State This Week: Bigfoot, Preventative Care and Health Reform Turns 2

This week at Third and State, we set the record straight about welfare spending in Pennsylvania and explained why it makes sense for insurers to cover preventative health care. We also blogged about property taxes rising as a result of state budget cuts, the second birthday of the Affordable Care Act, and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On health care and public welfare, Sharon Ward explained why a recent report on welfare spending in Pennsylvania is a lot like Bigfoot, finding something in the Department of Public Welfare that just doesn't exist.
  • On health care, intern Jheanelle Chambers explained why it is important for health insurance to continue to cover preventative care, which increases both the quality and the length of people's lives. Chris Lilienthal had a post on the positive impact that the Affordable Care Act (which turns 2 today) is having on the lives of millions of Americans.
  • On higher education, Chris Lilienthal shared a chart from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center showing that if the Governor's 2012-13 budget proposal is enacted, Pennsylvania will spend twice as much on prisons as on colleges and universities.
  • And in the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on state budget cuts driving school districts to raise property taxes and cut staff, and some good news for Pittsburgh and Chester County.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Spending Twice as Much on Prisons as on Universities

It is no secret that Governor Tom Corbett has proposed deep cuts to higher education institutions in Pennsylvania for the second year in a row.

But just what do those cuts mean? Well, we have two charts at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's web site that speak louder than words when it comes to funding cuts for colleges and universities.

Third and State This Week: Math Teachers Getting Pink Slips, Take the Money and Run, and Revenue Update

This week, we blogged about math teachers getting pink slips, a "take the money and run" philosophy on business subsidies, state revenues in February, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On education, Mark Price explained why laying off math teachers, as some districts are doing to address funding shortfalls, is very bad decision that risks harming our long-term economic growth. Michael Wood highlighted a New York Times article on the impact of state cuts to public higher education across the country.
  • On economic development, Mark Price was humming the Steve Miller Band's "Take the Money and Run" when he heard about the closing of a battery company's Lehigh Valley operations, after the facility opened in 2008 with $4 million in business subsidies from the state.
  • On the state budget, Michael Wood wrote that February's General Fund revenue collections took a turn for the better in Pennsylvania.
  • And in other Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price blogged about top incomes and adultBasic, the economic anxieties of the 1% versus the 99%, and water privatization in Harrisburg.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

'Cutting Training for Jobs the Economy Needs Most'

When you have a moment, check out this New York Times article on the impact of state cuts to public higher education across the country — and the impact they are having on our economy. These types of short-sighted cuts, like the 20% reduction in higher education funding proposed by Governor Corbett this year, put us in a worse position today and down the road.

Third and State This Week: adultBasic One Year Later, What Works in PA and Income Inequality

This week, we blogged about "What Works in Pennsylvania," the one-year anniversary of adultBasic's end, income inequality and cuts to higher education, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal wrote about a year of struggle for the Pennsylvanians who lost their adultBasic health care coverage this time last year.
  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward sat down with Tony May of Triad Strategies to discuss the 2012-13 state budget and shared a video of the interview. Chris Lilienthal also shared a video from the Campaign for What Works illustrating a key message for lawmakers: "Pennsylvania works when our state budget supports what works."
  • In the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price blogged about how cuts to higher ed funding contribute to income inequality, transit cuts and job training, how high unemployment is straining the safety net, and a roundup on closing tax loopholes, preventative care and health reform.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Morning Must Reads: The Inequality Governor Strikes Again

One of the factors driving the increase in inequality prior to 2000 was the growing gap between the wages of colleges graduates and everyone else.

Therefore, a straightforward policy to limit the rise in inequality would open the door to college attendance for the children of low-income adults. However, as the figure to the right illustrates, gifted but low-income children are much less likely to complete college compared to similarly gifted but high-income children. In fact, these gifted, low-income children are as likely to complete college as the least academically gifted, high-income children. 

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