Pisciottano chairs roundtable discussion on improving mental health for high school students

(16 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, March 3 – State Rep. Nick Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, brought together school professionals, mental health advocates, human services professionals and legislators for a discussion on how resources can be allocated to better serve Pennsylvania students, during a PA House Democratic Policy Committee hearing today. Strengthening teachers and support staff was a natural part of the discussion that highlighted how the pandemic has exacerbated existing systemic issues with providing services to students, teachers and staff. “Our high school students have had to overcome so many challenges during the pandemic, including virtual schooling, a lack of real social interaction and constant disruptions to daily life during the most turbulent periods of growing up. It’s imperative we do all we can to support their mental health needs as they mature into young adults,” Pisciottano said. “This policy hearing was very helpful in hearing from a variety of experts on how state and local officials can best help students and work with our schools to give them the tools they need moving forward.” Michael Fiore, school social worker/home and school visitor for Council Rock School District, and Dr. Mike Ghilani, superintendent of West Jefferson Hills School District, shared the struggles students face and their efforts to make swift changes to policies and procedures that have had lifesaving impacts on students. Ghilani shared a tragic case Read more

 

Mental Health in High Schools - Testimony

(19 hours ago)

Testimony from 3/3/21 House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on Mental Health in High Schools hosted by state Rep. Nick Pisciottano Read more

 

Mental health of students the focus of Wednesday’s virtual House Democratic Policy Committee hearing

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, March 2 – State House Rep. Nick Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, will host a virtual hearing to discuss the mental health of students during the current pandemic. The hearing will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 3. To view, the media and public can tune in to www.pahouse.com/policycommittee or the committee’s Facebook page -- @PADemPolicy. Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Pisciottano will be joined by committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and Democratic Policy Committee members to focus on the mental health of our high school students, notably during the current pandemic. This meeting is part of a weekly series focused on education, ensuring a quality education for all Pennsylvania children. Read more

 

Reforms needed to address Charter Crisis

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, March 2 – The charter school crisis has only worsened through the COVID-19 pandemic and a public hearing hosted by state Rep. Mary Isaacson examined the statewide impact on public schools. "Our Pennsylvania Constitution requires that we provide for and maintain a thorough and efficient public education system," said Isaacson, D-Phila. "That constitutional mandate doesn't disappear when there's a global pandemic. COVID-19 has had a huge impact on school districts' budgets throughout our commonwealth, presenting new challenges to meet the constitutional mandate. Being able to have a discussion now with administrators on the front lines of dealing with the impact of COVID-19 and the charter school funding crisis was an important step in working toward solutions." The committee heard testimony from Uri Monson, CFO for the Philadelphia School District, and superintendents statewide including Dr. Shane Hotchkiss, Bermudian Springs School District and chair, Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators Legislative Committee; Ken Berlin, Wattsburg School District, Erie County; Richard Scaletta, General Mclane School District, Erie County; Dr. Brian Bliss, Solanco School District, Lancaster County; David Burkett, Fannett Metal School District, Franklin County; and Jim Estep, Mifflin County School District. “Testifiers were economically and geographically diverse, yet they could agree that the current approach Read more

 

House Democratic Policy Committee: funding and consistency would improve student outcomes

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, March 2 -- State Reps. Liz Fiedler and Rick Krajewski hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing Monday to highlight how an education budget focused on the people could best impact Pennsylvania students, especially the neediest populations. The committee heard testimony from a panel of pre-k advocates, including Shalonda Spencer, director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Trying Together; Damaris Alvarado-Rodriguez, CEO of Children's Playhouse Early Learning Center; and De’Wayne Drummond, president, Mantua Civic Association Parent Engagement Specialist, Head Start at Philadelphia School District. The panel shared concerns regarding workforce retention, low pay and the need for additional funding so they can increase pay for workers. The panel also described the devastating mental and emotional toll COVID-19 has taken on them, and on childcare center workers and families. They called for renewed investment in the care and education of Pennsylvania’s youngest residents. “I am deeply invested in the equitable education of Pennsylvania’s children from birth on up. As a mother, it’s personal for me and as a legislator, it’s my mission to ensure our children have access to high-quality care and education,” Fiedler explained. “We must draw a line and refuse to let some children be viewed as less valuable than others by the General Assembly. That starts by valuing the labor of the Read more

 

The COVID/Charter Crisis - Testimony

(1 day ago)

The COVID/Charter Crisis - Testimony Read more

 

COVID/Charter Crisis focus of Tuesday’s virtual House Democratic Policy Committee hearing

(Mar 01, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 1 -- House Democratic Policy Committee Vice Chair Mary Isaacson, D-Philadelphia, will host a virtual hearing to discuss the charter school crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The hearing will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 2 . To view, the media and public can tune in to www.pahouse.com/policycommittee or the committee’s Facebook page -- @PADemPolicy. Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Isaacson will be joined by committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and Democratic Policy Committee members to examine the impact charter school enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic has had on public school budgets. The meeting is one in a series collecting information that will help Pennsylvania better recover from COVID-19 and improve access to quality education. Read more

 

People's Education Budget - Testimony

(Mar 01, 2021)

Testimony from a hearing on the People's Education Budget, hosted by Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler and Rep. Rick Krajewski. Read more

 

The Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color

(Mar 01, 2021)

A House Democratic Policy Committee on the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. Read more

 

Fiedler, Krajewski to host hearing focused on Pa.’s education budget

(Feb 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 -- State Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler and Rick Krajewski, both D-Phila., will host Monday’s House Democratic Policy Committee meeting on the state’s early childhood and k-12 education budget. The hearing will be held at 3 p.m. March 1. The public and media may tune in at www.pahouse.com/policy or the committee’s Facebook page --@PADemPolicy. Media inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro will join Fiedler, Krajewski and House Democratic colleagues for a look at how the education budget should take a fair and equitable approach that provides quality educational opportunities regardless of zip code. This hearing is part of the People’s Budget project which includes public hearings on environmental policy, education and infrastructure. The committee hopes to generate legislative policy that upholds Pennsylvania’s constitutional obligation to provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the commonwealth. Read more

 

Mental Health in Schools

(Feb 25, 2021)

Mental Health in High Schools Read more

 

The COVID/Charter Crisis

(Feb 25, 2021)

The COVID/Charter Crisis Read more

 

A People's Budget: Education

(Feb 25, 2021)

Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People - Education Budget Read more

 

A People's Budget: Education

(Feb 25, 2021)

Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People - Education Budget Read more

 

Environment Budget (s) - Testimony

(Feb 25, 2021)

Testimony - Joint House and Senate House Democratic Policy Committee - Environment Budget Read more

 

Snyder, House Democratic Policy Committee discuss Powering PA: 21st Century Energy Jobs at Wednesday hearing

(Feb 24, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 24 -- Pennsylvania’s diverse energy portfolio and creating job opportunities in the sector was the focus of today’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing hosted by state Rep. Pam Snyder. “While the energy environment has certainly changed over the last few decades, it’s imperative we learn as much as possible about future challenges - as well as future careers - in the energy sector,” said Snyder. “Today’s hearing was informative and gives our committee the information we need to continue to work with industry and energy officials to provide family-sustaining jobs, while also ensuring a safe and reliable energy supply for all Pennsylvanians.” Zach Smith of CONSOL Energy highlighted what the company is doing to embrace new technologies and new markets to facilitate a sustainable future for the energy source that would sustain current mining jobs and promote new opportunities in downstream manufacturing. Jackson Kusiak and Micah Gold-Markel of Solar States shared that Pennsylvania is lagging behind neighboring states and that investment in the diversified energy sector could generate hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs. Gold-Markel highlighted that diversity could improve power resiliency and protect Pennsylvania from facing outages as seen in Texas as a result of recent winter storms. Joe Morinville of Energy Independent Solutions included compelling testimony on how solar agriculture could Read more

 

Powering PA: 21st Century Energy Jobs - Testimony

(Feb 24, 2021)

Powering PA: 21st Century Jobs - Testimony Read more

 

COVID Safety and Recovery in Public Transportation at the center of House Democratic Policy Committee hearing

(Feb 23, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 23 -- Chairman Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, said the House Democratic Policy Committee heard compelling testimony about public health and safety efforts in public transportation during today’s hearing. “The vitality of our public transit systems is important to our commonwealth’s success. People need to get to work safely and on time. It’s also a key factor in business development decisions when companies are making decisions on where to set up shop,” Bizzarro explained. “COVID has created unimaginable challenges and communities across the commonwealth have been resourceful in keeping things operating as safely as possible.” The committee heard testimony from Leslie Richards, general manager of SEPTA, and Katharine Kelleman, CEO of the Allegheny Port Authority. Both shared regional transportation funding concerns. Richards, former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, shared the need for additional funding mechanisms to ensure they have the dollars needed to maintain public safety efforts and protect vulnerable populations. “Today’s discussion highlighted the need to invest in infrastructure that would put Pennsylvanians to work and improve public transit,” said Bizzarro. “Our recent hearing on the National Infrastructure Bank could provide solutions to the concerns today’s testifiers brought to light and I look forward to continuing to advocate for projects Read more

 

Snyder, House Democratic Policy Committee to discuss Powering PA: 21st Century Energy Jobs at Wednesday hearing

(Feb 23, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 23 – Job opportunities in the energy industry will be the focus of Wednesday’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing, according to state Rep. Pam Snyder, host of the discussion. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24. The public and media are encouraged to tune in virtually at www.pahouse.com/policy or the committee’s Facebook page -- @PADemPolicy. Snyder, along with Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, will be joined by House Democratic colleagues to learn more from testifiers on ongoing efforts to create and maintain employment opportunities that pay family-sustaining wages, and develop educational and training opportunities that improve the commonwealth’s financial and environmental outlooks. The hearing is one of many the committee intends to host that reinforce this session’s objectives of COVID recovery, creating jobs and delivering affordable training, infrastructure, education, economic fairness, and community development. Read more

 

Health and Safety in Public Transportation - Testimony

(Feb 23, 2021)

Health and Safety in Public Transportation - Testimony Read more