A Strategy for Low School Taxes: Smart Growth

photo credit: loop_oh via photopin cc How can we best keep taxes as low as possible while maintaining excellent schools in our district?  A key part of any balanced, responsible answer to this question is the need for better regional planning and smart growth policies in our boroughs and townships.  Uncontrolled growth creates more costs […]

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Some Much Needed Good News About School Funding

photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc A poll of Pennsylvania voters completed just last week shows strong support for public education in our state– including support for restoring adequate funding to the schools.    More than three quarters of voters (77%) are concerned about school funding cuts, and public school funding is the #1 most […]

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Corbett’s $250 Million Education Sinkhole

photo credit: horslips5 via photopin cc When is a sinkhole a firm plot of land?   When Governor Corbett shares his view of the education-funding landscape. Corbett tells us his current state budget proposal delivers, “a record amount of state funding into basic education” (a healthy landscape).  The reality, however, is that Corbett’s budget creates a $250 […]

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Public Education as an Engine of Economic Development

Many economists have conducted studies on the role of public schools in driving a community’s economic prosperity.  The data show that the quality of our schools help make us more economically competitive: excellent schools spur local entrepreneurship and attract state, regional, and national businesses; they lead to higher wages in the community, which in turn […]

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Some Principles of Fiscal Responsibility

photo credit: EricGjerde via photopin cc The East Penn School District, like any large bureaucracy, generates its share of waste and inefficiencies.   As I’ve met community members in this campaign, teachers, custodians, maintenance staff, and others who work in the district have all shared with me specific examples of waste in the East Penn […]

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Education: A Basic Right

One of the questions I was asked last night at the school board candidate’s forum was whether or not I believed education was a basic right of everyone.   My answer was a simple and unequivocal YES. I suspect most people would agree with me, at least in principle.  But this principle has a number […]

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Do You Value Your Home?

photo credit: JefferyTurner via photopin cc Many of you have already seen the article I wrote for the new publications Emmaus Life and Lower Macungie Life.  The message of the article is simple: Our home values are closely tied to the quality of our schools.  This may not be the most important reason to support […]

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Lehigh Valley Residents Look at Schools First

I am on the executive board of the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium (LVRC), which conducts social science research relevant to the local community.  We recently completed a study of Lehigh Valley residents, asking them about what factors they consider most important when making housing choices.   The result of over four dozen focus groups involving […]

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