Good stuff happening in the Keystone State!
Governor Josh Shapiro removed the requirement of a bachelors degree from the bulk of state government jobs. In a highly competitive job market, the governor made a common sense BRILLIANT decision.
”His move opens up 92 percent of state government jobs — approximately 65,000 positions — to anyone with “the relevant work experience and skills-based training, regardless of their educational attainment.” Job postings will emphasize experience over education.” NYT
Here is the NYTimes article without a paywall.
Here is the concluding paragraph:
”Expanding the terms for who can get hired is a change that would reverberate far beyond individual jobs and job seekers. It would bring a greater degree of openness and fairness into the labor market and send a message about government’s ability to adapt and respond to the concerns of its citizens. In a country where a majority of people do not have bachelor’s degrees, policies that automatically close off jobs to so many people contribute to the perception that the system is rigged against them.
A healthy democracy recognizes and promotes opportunity for everyone. Americans need to hear that message.”
The second story about education is even more important and potentially more powerful.
Please read this: ”Judge deems Pennsylvania’s school funding system unconstitutional”
Say what? A judge has finally said what I have been moaning and groaning about for decades. Funding school budgets via property taxes is a recipe for inequality. Zip code funding of education is fundamentally wrong - discriminatory and IMO, dysfunctional. It is highly unlikely that will change anytime soon. But there certainly are ways for states to level the playing field. It could involve requiring towns and counties to share revenue. And/or it could involve providing state funding to balancing out the funding inequity. The bottom line: EVERY kid in America has a fundamental right to the same amount of K-12 educational opportunity. And that means the same amount money spent per child. Otherwise, we continue to under fund the kids who could be some of our future leaders, entrepreneurs and business leaders. We are not tapping our entire gene pool. We are not competitive globally.
A judge declared Pennsylvania’s school funding system unconstitutional Tuesday, a historic decision that should transform the way the state funds public education.
The lawsuit filed by multiple school districts, parents, and advocacy groups in 2014 argues the state’s funding of K-12 education is inadequate to the point that it violates its constitution.
Commonwealth Court Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer, a Republican, agreed.
Jubelirer said petitioners demonstrated “manifest deficiencies” between low- and high-wealth districts over the course of the more than three-month trial, which wrapped almost a year ago.
“Students who reside in school districts with low property values and incomes are deprived of the same opportunities and resources as students who reside in school districts with high property values and incomes,” Jubelirer wrote in her 786-page decision.
“As a result of these disparities, petitioners and students attending low-wealth districts are being deprived of equal protection of law.”
Jubelirer said in order to comply with its constitution, Pennsylvania must provide the resources necessary for all students to access a “comprehensive, effective, and contemporary” system of public education and a “meaningful opportunity to succeed academically, socially, and civically.”
Wow. Just wow. I am having really good feelings about Pennsylvania. A state I have never paid much attention to. But maybe President Biden’s good karma (he’s from Scranton) has been spreading through the state.
I hope the other states are watching these developments and are inspired to make the changes that Governor Shapiro and Judge Jubelirer have had the courage to make. Kudos, Pennsylvania!
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Wow! Thanks for the heads up on Pennsylvania schools! I saw the same inequities in Virginia, having moved from a wealthy county to a poor county. I hope it catches on!