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June 12: The Tipping Point

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👂 What We’re Hearing. “If your decision to elevate Rep. Perry to this committee stands, he will be on the very committee that oversees the FBI while he is directly under investigation by this very agency. This in and of itself amounts to a disqualifying conflict of interests.” – Rep. Chrissy Houlahan

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Top Story

1. 538 Model Says Pennsylvania is 2024 ‘Tipping Point’

“The website formerly known as “FiveThirtyEight” published its official forecast model for the 2024 presidential election and declares Pennsylvania as the “tipping point” at this point of the campaign.

As of this morning, President Joe Biden is projected to win the Keystone State 57 times out of 100 in its model run, while former President Donald Trump wins 43 times in the simulation of the 2024 presidential election.

“The 2024 presidential election starts out in our forecast as a toss-up. While former President Donald Trump has a lead in most key swing states, they are close enough that a small amount of movement — or the polls being a little too favorable to Republicans — could result in President Joe Biden’s reelection.”” (PoliticsPA)


Poll: Trump-Biden Within MOE; Casey By Six Over McCormick. “In Pennsylvania, a state President Joe Biden narrowly won over former President Donald Trump in 2020, only two points separate the candidates among registered voters statewide. Support for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West, and Jill Stein is in single digits. Chase Oliver receives less than one percent. In contrast, Democratic incumbent Bob Casey leads his Republican opponent, David McCormick, by six points.” (Marist Pennsylvania Poll

Houlahan Asks Johnson To Reverse Perry, Jackson Appointments To House Intel Committee. “Perry, who is under federal investigation, would be a “threat to intelligence oversight,” Houlahan wrote in a letter shared with the Capital-Star. ” (Penn Capital-Star)

Map: Voter Registration by Congressional District. “Here are the latest voter registration numbers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by congressional district.” (PoliticsPA)

PA, Other State Governments Try To Prepare For The ‘Silver Tsunami’ “More Americans are about to be 65 years old than ever before. A record number will hit the milestone this year – about 4.1 million. But it’s just one of many waves in the “silver tsunami,” a metaphor often used to describe the aging of America.” (City & State)



2. State Lawmakers Eye Compromise As Clashing Higher Education Funding Plans Take Shape

“While lawmakers agree that Pennsylvania’s higher education system needs to change, Republicans and Democrats this month have advanced conflicting proposals on how to do it.

The Republican-led Senate passed several pieces of their “Grow PA” package Tuesday with near-unanimous bipartisan support for two proposals. Those bills would create new post-secondary education grant programs and expand pre-existing ones to help students afford schooling and career training while boosting the state’s workforce.

House Democrats have advanced Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro’s “blueprint” to restructure the state’s system — combining community colleges and state-affiliated schools under one governing umbrella. Introduced in both chambers last week, the House’s version was referred to its Education Committee on Monday.” (LNP)


Higher Ed Reform Plan Encouraging Students ‘To Put Down Their Roots Here’ Passes PA Senate. “The Pennsylvania Senate on Tuesday passed a package of bills that invest in college students in hopes of getting them to stay in the state after graduation and fill jobs where there are critical workforce needs.” (PennLive)

Scholarship Bills Meant To Entice College Students Into Shortage-Plagued Occupations Pass PA Senate. “Four Republican bills conveying significant changes for Pennsylvania higher education – including one that would tie state money sent to Pitt to “performance-based metrics” – got final approval from the state Senate Tuesday.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • PA Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Overhaul Higher Education. (WESA)


Jay-Z Enters One of Pennsylvania’s Messiest Political Fights. “A series of events intended to get Philadelphians to support using taxpayer money to fund private school vouchers is bankrolled by an unexpected figure: billionaire rapper Jay-Z.” (Spotlight PA)

Dozens of Black Pastors Ask Shapiro To Embrace School Choice. “Black Pastors United for Education, the nonprofit group, urged Gov. Josh Shapiro to “make education a non-partisan issue, boldly dismiss the politics that prevent progress, and comprehensively fund and secure educational freedom and opportunity.”” (The Center Square)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Pennsylvania Charter Schools Hit Hard In Proposed Funding Formula

Commonwealth Charter Academy

“A bill altering the state’s public school funding formula passed the lower chamber Monday, spawning both fanfare and consternation among lawmakers.

While supporters call the plan a victory for students held back by economic disparities, critics point out that 64 of the bill’s 87 pages focus on cutting financial support and tightening regulations for charter schools to save money.” (Broad + Liberty)


PA Senate Dem: School Choice Backers Support White, Christian Nationalist Goals. “Sen. Lindsey Williams, minority chair of the state Senate Education Committee, accused voucher supporters of sharing the goals of the so-called Christian Nationalism movement: having “a country that favors evangelical Christian beliefs over all other beliefs.”” (DV Journal)

Philly’s Mayor and Superintendent Are Asking Harrisburg To Come Through On State Education Budget. Three Takeaways. “Philadelphia schools have a $1.4 billion gap between the state funding they receive and what experts say they need to adequately educate all students, adjusted for need.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

PA Turnpike to Remove All Toll Booths, Overhead Gantries Planned. “The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved $50 million in contracts last week to tear out all remaining toll booths and replace them with overhead gantries.” (Tribune-Review)

Podcast: Women in Pennsylvania Politics. “Women in Pennsylvania politics – a historic race between two female candidates for Treasurer, the impact of women in the state legislature, and the voting power of women across the Commonwealth.” (Voices of Reason)

Podcast: Voter-Rich Greater Philadelphia. “We begin a two-part look at the political landscape in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania, the nation’s fifth largest.” (Talk It Out)



4. What’s On Your Mind


1 Education Thing

5. What Is Your School District’s Graduation Rate?

The School District of Philadelphia

“Another high school graduation season is wrapping up for an estimated 119,000 fourth-year students in Pennsylvania. But there are 136,000 students who should be eligible for graduation, meaning that almost 17,000 students will miss the mark this year, based on the latest statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The department publishes annual data on four- and five-year graduation rates for almost every public school system in the state — 495 out of 500 districts are represented in the current release. (Our) map shows how the 495 districts’ 2023 graduation rates compare with the three-year average.” (Allentown Morning Call)


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  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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