Governor Wolf has outlined a clear vision for increasing public education spending, but he’s been quiet about how to ensure those dollars are used to actually improve outcomes for kids.
We don’t need to speculate about his vision. Two episodes provide clear evidence that he is bullish on spending but bearish on accountability:
- York: Upon taking office, Wolf opposed the recovery plan for York City School District, which called for sweeping changes. Instead, the Department of Education hired a Boston-based firm to conduct a diagnostic audit (to the tune of $140,000). The audit was completed in July, and yet there has been very little progress towards implementing any of its recommendations.
- Wilkinsburg: This fall, this small district in Allegheny County struck a deal to transfer students from their low-performing high school to another low-performing high school in Pittsburgh. The deal was contingent on a significant infusion of state dollars to assist in the transition. Many local leaders and school reform groups urged the parties to commit to measures that would improve the school. Instead, the Governor approved a $3 million blank check.
Check out our first one-pager to find out more about the short-falls of the York City School District’s turnaround and how another state has gotten it right.