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Celebrating and Advocating for Career and Technical Education 

For the second year, PPC sponsored WITF's Spark Road Trip, which traveled to Dauphin County Technical School.

Career and technical education students attended from several career and technical centers in neighboring counties to listen to the broadcast and ask questions of panels of employers, school administrators/leadership, educators, and their peers.

CTE provides a unique combination of academic, technical, and hands-on skill-building that prepares students to either immediately enter the workforce or better define career plans to enter post-secondary education. In her remarks to the students, PPC President and CEO Kari King gave a brief civics lesson about how students can advocate for policymakers to increase funding for CTE in the state budget so that every student who wishes to attend a CTE program has access.  

Funding for CTE is complex and comes from federal, state, and local funding streams. Learn more about the CTE funding structure in Pennsylvania.

Policy Director Rachael Miller also spoke with Keystone State News Connection about the need for policymakers to increase investments in the Basic Education funding subsidy and the Career and Technical Education subsidy in the 2023-24 state budget.


House Passes Childhood Sexual Abuse Bills, Regular Order Pending

Last week, the state House of Representatives approved two bills in a special session by Speaker Mark Rozzi. The swearing-in of three newly elected Democrats from Allegheny County sealed Democratic control of the chamber, and rules to govern the special session were passed along party lines. Two bills passed to provide victims of childhood sexual abuse a two-year temporary window to file civil lawsuits against their abusers: HB 1 would modify Pennsylvania's constitution to create the statute of limitations freeze while HB 2 would provide the same two-year window without amending the constitution. Constitutional amendments must pass in consecutive legislative sessions and then be approved by a majority of Pennsylvania voters to become law.

The Senate shows no signs of taking up the House bills. Instead, Republicans with the majority prefer their own legislation (SB 1) that would amend the state's constitution to the two-year window for civil lawsuits, but also change Pennsylvania law regarding voter ID and limit gubernatorial power over regulations. The Senate is back in session this week with a light voting schedule, including a Senate Education Committee hearing on the teacher shortages in Pennsylvania.

In a shocking turn of events earlier today, Speaker Rozzi stepped down as speaker. On the last day of Black History Month, this action led to a vote where Rep. Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia) was elected the first woman and only the second Black lawmaker to be Speaker of the House in the chamber’s more than 200-year history. The House must vote on regular session operating rules before committee chairs and assignments can be announced, or any bills can be proposed and considered. The Democratic one-vote majority temporarily has also increased to two votes with the resignation of Rep. Lynda Culver (R-Northumberland). Culver won the Senate special election race to replace Sen. John Gordner (R-Columbia), who resigned last year.  

All eyes will now be focused on Gov. Josh Shapiro as he delivers his first budget address on March 7th. Watch for PPC's special budget address edition of the newsletter next week.  


Data Did You Know?


In Case You Missed It...

  • Spotlight PA takes a deep dive into how Shapiro admin can do more as rollbacks to food and health benefits loom in Pa. PPC Communications Director Carolyn Myers contributed to the story, saying, "We really want DHS to do everything possible to protect Pennsylvania children from getting caught up in red tape and losing their health insurance," she said. "And honestly, the administration has its work cut out for it."
  • A story by 90.5 WESA highlights a letter that PPC and stakeholders sent the Shapiro administration calling for DHS to improve staffing at County Assistance Offices and other administrative changes ahead of the monumental task of unwinding the Medicaid continuous coverage protection in place during the pandemic.
  • Last week, PPC joined advocates in the Capitol rotunda to discuss new polling data from Early Learning PA supporting early childhood care and education. The poll found that 98% of PA voters believe that early childhood education is important, and shows strong voter support for increased investments in early care and education programs like pre-k, high-quality child care and home visiting services. Read this editorial from the Daily Item highlighting the poll and our data analysis: Funding early childhood education is always money well spent.
  • OCDEL announced a change to Child Care Works base payment rates for providers due to the release of the 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey results. The new rates will maintain base payments in the 60th percentile, an increase to payments provided through ARPA funding that became effective in January 2022.
  • The IFO released a brief last week highlighting the anticipated Post-Pandemic Child Care Cliff when federal stimulus funding directed to the sector begins to wind down while child care providers continue to struggle to attract and retain staff.  
  • PennAEYC, with the Start Strong PA campaign, released a new report, Building a Financially-Stable, High-Quality Child Care System for Pennsylvania's Children and Families: Improving Subsidized Child Care Rate Setting, highlighting cost modeling as a more effective method than the currently used market rate survey in setting payment rates that meet the actual cost to provide high-quality care and education.
  • The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have released the schedule for budget hearings ahead of the 2023-24 state budget. Department of Education Acting Secretary Khalid Mumin will be before the House on March 20th and in the Senate on March 29th. DHS acting Secretary Val Arkoosh will face questions at back-to-back hearings in the House on April 11th and in the Senate on April 12th. See the full House schedule and  Senate schedule.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
200 North Third Street 13th Floor
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
(717) 236-5680

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