PA School Vouchers, Financial Literacy [Pennsylvania Newsmakers]

hi welcome to Pennsylvania newsmakers and as always thanks for watching well an action-packed show we got an impending vote on my cell a shell we got Tom kensal from the school board’s going to talk about some innovative ideas to help failing schools and then our popular financial literacy update all that and more after these words this is Pennsylvania newsmakers a fast paced unrehearsed weekly discussion with and about the leaders who shape your world and now here’s your host Terry Madonna I welcome back where we’re going to get to it joining me as often is the case is stop Scott detriment may remember him from witf from public PA radio is with state impact he’s the energy guy that’s a good way you all things energy all right Scott let’s get right to it impending vote in the house on Marcellus Shale give us the update what should we watch for interesting dynamic shift of the Capitol all year Senate Republicans drove the boat on Marcellus Shale they led the charge and heard nothing from House Republicans at all on this issue all the sudden the Senate bill hits a snag and House Republicans come out with a measure by and large written with the aid of the Corbett administration that clears a committee last week and that is now the driving bill here in the capital by and large this measure house bill 1950 is the plan that Governor Corbett outlined in October a few new changes in their most pre-eminently this language that would supersede and preempt all local drilling ordinance that’s controversial it is yes this is for a long time the drilling industry has looked for a way to put consistency across Pennsylvania their point is they’re having to tweak their operations from Township to Township and having to kind of jump through all these local Hoops in order to drill in these townships the Scarnati plan this is the Senate bill written by Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati would have allowed municipalities to do whatever they wanted but if they had regulations over a certain limit they wouldn’t get any money this goes several steps further and says all local ordinances related to natural gas drilling wiped clean and this will be a statewide stand and that will have to be worked out a reconcile with the Senate eventually right that’s right you’ll likely see an upcoming vote in the House in the coming weeks on this measure impact fee oh I got I can’t let you come impact fee where we stand with that we’re about where we were last month on this measure it’s the Corbett plan that would it would not be a statewide fee it would give counties the option of imposing a fee and setting their own rates up to forty thousand dollars per well in the first year that would gradually decline to ten thousand dollars per well and that would be split up roughly a third would go to a counties a third would be doled out to municipalities and twenty five percent would go to the state and split between a bunch of different state agencies now if that passes the house that’s likely to pass the Senate the Senate actually make you know some senators would go for what they call a severance attacks on the cubic feet extracted as opposed just to each well you know attacks on each well which is the impact for you do I have that about right that’s right I’d say that there’s a they’re supporting both parties for some sort of broader tax but the problem is Governor Corbett has made it clear he would veto any bill that that kicks money into the general state government so leaders are saying well if it’s not a realistic option we’re going to focus on this fee it’s going to be close though because they have to get this passed soon the date for this House bill says counties we need to have this in place and collect it by April first and if that doesn’t happen by April first there’s no money in 2012 alright great update as always all right coming up we have tom gentle from the School Boards Association we’re going to talk about some innovative ideas what to do about failing schools coming up after these words this broadcast of Pennsylvania newsmakers is presented by the Pennsylvania Chamber of business and industry the statewide voice of business and by the Pennsylvania cyber charter school bringing educational innovation and freedom to the children of Pennsylvania this broadcast of Pennsylvania newsmakers is presented by reconnect PA org supporting a comprehensive transportation funding solution and by the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association business in Pennsylvania is our business I welcome back to the program joining me as Tom again so is the executive director of the PA school boards association Tom cancels organization is one of them one of those organizations I do some research for full disclosure on this program we don’t hide anything tomm welcome back all right look you all have come up with some different ideas for what to do about failing schools and there is no doubt that raising achievement among those schools is a high priority I mean I think everybody agrees to go through some of those things that you I think we ought to start by saying that most

public schools are doing a really good job I mean ninety-four percent of them made adequate yearly progress which is a very high bar to be reaching but we do have some schools that are struggling and you know me there’s proposals for vouchers to help those schools which we’ve rejected and the public overwhelmingly as we found in our polling is rejected but what we’ve said is what can we do and we’ve looked at the research we’ve actually talked to administrators of schools around the country that have been successful in turning around performance and it’s some of those things that you might really suspect is things like attracting the best teachers into those schools it’s focused professional development it’s early childhood education programs that are clearly effective and a lot of other investments of what we’re saying is let’s talk about the things that actually work vouchers will only help a few kids potentially and we know they don’t really work yeah some of these recommendations i know you have we it says create specifically focused comprehensive school improvement teams now we need to get too far into the woods i mean Oh is there a is that something that’s doable and workable given the current sure I mean physical climate we have some outstanding school administrators in this state and of course many who have recently retired from public education we know we’re losing a lot of people out of public schools right now if we can pull some those folks together send them into some of these schools to really work with them on effective practices to help turn things around those kinds of investments have paid off in other places we should be doing that here that’s a much better use of our resources and vouchers ever would be yeah I often had this sort of it may be a crazy idea you’ll tell me if it’s crazy it’s okay won’t be the first time someone told me so my ideas are crazy I often thought why don’t we have a big education summit and get all the stakeholders you know into a big three or four-day conference and say okay let’s sit down and go through some of the things we know that work and see if we can all work together to make you know get them heads of parents organizations you know the teachers unions and you folks and and superintendents organisms is that is that create completely crazy I don’t think it’s crazy but you’re if you’re being crazy I’ll be blunt I think what we’re finding is this debate often refers to the poorest kids and the lowest performing schools but I don’t think it’s really about that I think it’s about a lot of other things there’s a lot of money as you know behind this effort to push vouchers if we were really serious about turning around these relatively small handful of schools that are not working we could do the kinds of things you’re talking about certainly the things we’re talking about in our paper you know one of the things that always struck me and it’s in some of the reports that you’ve issued over the years has to do with sort of changing relationships with parents I’ve always been impressed that you know kids get dropped off at school you know they may be you know need meals they may go home do you know with parents missing and I mean and schools are always expected to do everything right that’s good I mean let’s grown it’s gotten worse it correct well I mean look I mean families are struggling for a lot of reasons economically and otherwise and we know that a lot of these kids do not have the kinds of supports that many other children have but that means schools have to work a little harder to engage parents and define community support and again there have been some outstanding examples around the country of schools that have invested communities that have come together to support these kinds of programs good after school programs as we know can be very very helpful those are the kinds of recommendations we put on our paper which is of course on our website all right we’re going to run to a break when Quebec I want to ask Tom about the funding particularly early childhood was a big emphasis for a number of years we’ll find out if it is now and what he thinks ought to be done all the studies show that early childhood education is very important to progressing through school and staying in school and learning we’ll be back with Tom kensal and a moment this broadcast of Pennsylvania newsmakers is brought to you by Pennsylvania credit union Association Pennsylvania credit unions where people are worth more than money to find a credit union that is right for you check out I belong o RG and by the Energy Association of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania’s energy information source this broadcast of Pennsylvania newsmakers is presented by the state system of higher education 14 state-owned universities the state system is the largest provider of higher education in Pennsylvania and by the hospital and health system Association of Pennsylvania working towards a healthy Pennsylvania I welcome back with Tom kensal he’s the head of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association he’s the executive director anyway we’re talking about all things education look what we know all the studies have shown

support early childhood it’s going to pay dividends in the long run where do we stand in this state with early childhood education well I think we’ve made some remarkable strides in this regard and this has become a really a bipartisan effort i have to say both Governor Rendell Governor Corbett have been very strong supporters of early childhood education which really interesting to me Terry is the business community in this state is spending a lot of time and effort to promote funding for early childhood they really kind of have gotten it they understand the importance of investing early because you can’t waste those early years of the child’s development all right the other thing that you know we’ve talked a lot of you know we’ve had supporters and opponents of the voucher plan on this program we’ve also had you know folks who support cyber charter schools and in the school choice legislation there’s also some aspects of it that deal with charter schools and some concerns about who gets to create them what are the regulations that apply to them where does that stand in the current legislation that you know is moving and we’ll see how far it goes but is before the legislature is actually several kind of versions floating around right now we ought to say for your viewers charter schools are public schools are just independently operated right now they have to be created by school boards so that’s one question do school boards remain the only ones that can authorize or do you allow everybody else a lot of other groups to create them universities museums and so forth the big issue with charter schools really two of them one is funding because that those dollars come right out of local school district budgets and our costs don’t typically drop very much even though some students may leave the other is oversight and accountability and I think there is some growing support to have more accountability on charter schools we’ve done studies that have looked at the performance of charter schools some are doing a good job I don’t learn and we’re spending a lot of money for an experiment that’s not always work so your point is there needs to be accountability and you’re happy with what looks like we’ll be in the legislation that if it is adopted not suggesting it will be that will allow public schools to have the ability to admit to create them there needs to be accountability at least from a school board perspective it’s through an elected all right before I let you go any any update on where the vet the school choice bill stands in the legislature right now well the Senate has approved the bill sent it to the house but you know the house has some differing views about its priorities we were talking about Marcellus Shale there are a lot of other issues that are pending right now but the governor has made it very clear he’s pushing hard there’s a lot of money flowing to a lot of candidates and a lot of lobbyists running around the Capitol on behalf of sort of the Pro voucher movement so that could move at any time but we don’t necessarily expect the house to vote on it immediately all right yeah thanks for coming you know if you have an update give us a call and we’d love to have you come back and talk about it all right we’ll be back a financial literacy update after these words this broadcast of Pennsylvania newsmakers is presented by Highmark Blue Shield changing the way health plans work for business with a variety of plan options for employers and more choices for employees information is available at highmark com have a greater hand in your company south and by the Pennsylvania health care association the future of long-term care hi welcome back to the program for our popular financial literacy update joining me as often is the case as Mike wish now is the senior VP with a Pennsylvania credit union Association and Bill lavage is the CEO of service first federal credit union these titles are too long but I can’t say anything about titles Michael I got the longest title in the world all right look let’s um Mike I want to start with you the need for financial education I mean maybe greater than ever a we’re in this recession money is tight and it looks like borrowing is going up a little bit consumers borrowing is going up after it went down talk about adults and parents and the need for financial education as kids move forward in life well clearly financial education starts at the earliest stages we’ve learned that you have to introduce financial concepts probably pre-kindergarten and hopefully that’s occurring in the home to start we’re also taking it to the schools at every level beginning in kindergarten with wants and needs and ending with economics at the senior level but I like this one percentage that you have in a survey that you did fifth I didn’t do that survey by the way fifty fifty three percent of parents agree that their child thinks money grows on trees you believe that yes I do you think money grows on trees I guess go ahead we been to the same thing that Mike’s talking about Terry a couple of us were sitting around years ago noticing credit card abuse was increasing people were

defaulting on their loans more frequently we were closing checking accounts and asked the question where where did I learn that where do you learn that I didn’t learn it at home I didn’t learn it at school so we decided to go to the school itself we opened a branch and included in that branch we do sessions with the teachers in house education yeah well the other thing that sort of struck me as interesting and Mike I don’t think you and I have chatted about this in the years that we’ve done this update and that has to do with whether a student should have a budget seventy-six percent of parents said their high school students their high school student does not have a budget right and go can have absolutely a high school kitchen are you telling me something I didn’t have a budget well I didn’t have any money now they have money yeah I mean as a cohort reddit cards maybe they may have credit cards but but as a cohort teenagers are spending literally two billion dollars a year in the US so yeah a budget is a plan and it sets your priorities if you want that car if you want whatever it is and I know built a bill is involved in going into schools as he said and it’s going to be you know maybe a little bit gracious but he just won a national award his credit union service first for the work that they do and I know you guys do some stuff with budgeting right yeah we do Mike and thanks for giving me credit but it was basically the staff at service first we teach budgeting we at all levels you mentioned pre-kindergarten we started kindergarten up through senior in high school grade 12 interest rates on credit cards how to maintain a good credit rating so that when you want to buy a car or a home it’s there and it’s worked very well the teachers the students the administration are all very thankful that we’ve done and you have like you’re in now 190 according in seven years you’ve had his program 193 school districts I take it and what they’re 500 thus far so you’re what about a third person yeah yeah for some 110,000 students you say correct I’ve gotten said this is something from a credit union credit unions are partnering more and more bill and service first we’re pioneers in that field more and more credit unions are going into schools there are now 40 in school branches across Pennsylvania but it’s not just the branches it’s the curriculum it’s what’s taught right now now the question I have is are you doing this as in formal classroom settings are they are you taking them into the curriculum in school is that after school how does it actually work cancer that Terry yes it’s all of those it slowly we were fortunate to work with the curriculum for instance in life skills we teach the credit card information in driver’s education is where we get the class and we teach them how to buy a car and what you need to know and what to watch out for when you’re financing so it is embedded in the curriculum we also do some outside the curriculum sessions where parents and students are welcome to attend and learn about finances now to go back onto this business so let’s go to talk you know basically here to parents and college students I was I was interesting to find out that fifty-five percent of college students acquire their first credit card during their first year in college and eighty-three percent of college students have at least one credit card so we are talking about a very rapid move from you know no credit cards perhaps or living you know the parent maybe the parents are paying with credit card while they’re in college but this is a takes on some pretty big responsibility oh absolutely Terry and honestly that fifty five percent number has gone down from prior years in part because the legislature here in Pennsylvania passed the law that doesn’t allow the credit card companies on to the college campuses at orientation and giving out free beer mugs and hats and towels and whatever but yeah absolutely eighty percent have credit cards yeah i mean i noticed that yeah the opening day of school not so much where I am now but at Millersville when I was there you would go out and not at franklin and marshall but that maybe just haven’t noticed it but they’ll go in and they’ll be you know sign up for this card sign up for that cart and and the point is that before you start doing this ad what what they should know right correct correct because when we first did a session on credit cards at the high school i was there we asked the class how many people had credit cards half the class went up these were seniors in high school we asked how many of you that have credit cards know what the interest rate is one person raised his hand so that’s the need for the education yeah before you go what you’re you are having a reality fair what’s that about yeah we are having a reality fair november 16th at the Capitol public is welcome to come and observe what it is is we are getting

kids from about 12 or 13 school districts academic middle they’re going to have an experiential learning experience where they’re going to get a salary a job that they choose they’re going to get taxes taken out they’re going to get a credit score they’re gonna have to go around a job for a million dollars can I get a million-dollar that’s interesting because a lot of them want to be professional athletes oh okay we’re want to be done for 10 or 12 million well not in the first year it’s not but it really is a reality yeah and they have to go and they have to make that budget as bill said and they have to make it work they have to choose their housing and all that kind of stuff and your experience you know that hands-on is really sinks in it is and they don’t anticipate the outside expense like okay the problems coming up but you spent all your money on pizza and CDs DVDs oh now what’s sort of fascinating I mean I noticed that a lot of young people don’t carry cash I mean they you know not even for an emergence they use the plastic for a 75 Center a dollar and a quarter and who knows as we move forward it may be the you know your droid or your iPhone the Upstate now and that just makes it so much easier to keep track but it also seems to me makes it just easier to spend you just hold a phone up and right I think you’re right i mean i know that when I have to dig into my pocket and pull out some green money it feels different then when I’m just in the car all right we have about a minute left where does we stand on these bank transfers a lot of the credit card companies are walking walking back from the fees where does all that stand with either one of you all start Mike briefly for years credit unions have had less fees I don’t know of any credit union our area that is now charging for the debit cards the way the banks are so it’s always been credit unions are the undiscovered financial institution right with the highlight on those fees though it’s becoming more predominant and we’ve seen a bunch of people switch over Mike might accidentally 30 seconds that walking back from work and me yeah I mean clearly since bank of america came out with its five dollar fee people have been looking at credit unions nationwide there’s been 650,000 people switched leading up to bank transfer day another 40,000 on bank transfers all right coming up on PA newsmakers we’re going to have an all-star panel also we’re trying to get Governor Corbett on for a special interview over thanksgiving weekend thanks for watching this edition of PA news makers and stay well you