Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Budget gridlock impact on education

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Oct 20, 2015 9:00 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, October 20, 2015:

Funding for public education is a controversial issue in Pennsylvania.  There's no consensus on how much money individual school districts should be getting from the state, a funding formula and property taxes are all debated and have been for decades.

The state's 500 school districts often feel cornered and like there's not a whole they can do on those issues.

However, in the here and now what's even more frustrating for schools is waiting for Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican leaders in the State House and Senate to reach a state budget agreement.  The budget is now three-and-a-half months old and schools are either getting real concerned about their finances or are contemplating cost-cutting moves that go as far as closing schools.  All because there's no money coming from the state.

As part of WITF's Gridlocked project, Smart Talk studies how schools and students are being impacted by the budget impasse.

Appearing on the program are John Callahan, Senior Director of Government Affairs for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and Jeff Ammerman, Director of Member Assistance, Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials.

Also joining us are Dr. Jay Badams, Superintendent of the Erie School, which is asking the state for a $47 million no interest loan and Tim Eller, Executive Director of the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

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John Callahan & Jeff Ammerman

Published in News, Smart Talk

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-10-20 09:39

    Thomas emails:

    Our politicians are weak, lazy, and technically criminals. (budget is part of the PA state constitution.) The governor and the rest of our politicians need reamed out like a boss reams out an employee that shows up late... and drunk.

  • Lisa img 2015-10-20 09:53

    Sorry, budget impasse isn't why we are losing our best teachers. That loss was already being driven by lack of flexibility due to having to "teach to the test".

  • leahthurber img 2015-10-24 09:44

    Budget question is wide spread in the education system of the USA, not just in Pennsylvania. I think that the government must invest money in education, because it is one of the important tools in the creation of our society. Our future depends on our children, and to increase the education budget means to increase the level of education and to get a great chance to better our future society. I believe we should focus all our efforts on making education more quality, and affordable, with programs and additional resources that help students succeed in their learning process.

  • leahthurber img 2015-10-24 09:47

    Budget question is wide spread in the education system of the USA, not just in Pennsylvania. I think that the government must invest money in education, because it is one of the important tools in the creation of our society. Our future depends on our children, and to increase the education budget means to increase the level of education and to get a great chance to better our future society. I believe we should focus all our efforts on making education more quality, and affordable, with programs and additional resources that help students succeed in their learning process.

  • leahthurber img 2015-10-24 09:47

    Budget question is wide spread in the education system of the USA, not just in Pennsylvania. I think that the government must invest money in education, because it is one of the important tools in the creation of our society. Our future depends on our children, and to increase the education budget means to increase the level of education and to get a great chance to better our future society. I believe we should focus all our efforts on making education more quality, and affordable, with programs and additional resources that help students succeed in their learning process.

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