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Roebuck: $110K in grants awarded to fund Clark Park project

Roebuck publishes new charter school reform report

(Apr 29, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 29 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, issued his 5 th consecutive report on charter and cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania. The report calls for strong reforms to charter schools. "We need to fix the problems with Pennsylvania's outdated charter school law,” Roebuck said. “They should be treated the same way as public schools since they receive taxpayer money.” The report is available online here . One highlight is an update on the performance of charter and cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania, including: For 2016-2017, the last year the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile (SPP) reported scores, based on a score of 100, the average SPP score for traditional public schools was 69.6, for charter schools 58.8 and for cyber charter schools 46.7. None of the 14 cyber charter schools had SPP scores over 70, which is considered the minimum level of academic success, and 10 of them had scores under 50. 51% of public schools reached a score of at least 70, while only 20% of brick-and-mortar charter schools reached that goal. There were only 10 high performing charter schools with SPP scores above 80 in 2016-17, a sharp drop from 28 high performing charter schools in 2012-13. 43 charter and cyber charter schools, nearly one in five, have closed due to academic and/or financial reasons, some due to fraud and financial irregularities. Read more

 

Briggs and Roebuck introduce bill to better fund colleges, make higher education more affordable statewide

(Mar 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 28 – As hundreds of college students rallied at the state Capitol for affordable higher education this week, state Reps. Tim Briggs and James R. Roebuck Jr. joined in their call for action. Briggs, D-Montgomery, and Roebuck, D-Phila., recently introduced legislation (H.B. 993) that would make Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities more affordable and accessible. Their bill would create a higher education funding commission that would look at ways to improve access to higher education and job training in the state, including the charge to develop a higher education funding formula. “Pennsylvania ranks 48th, or third worst, in America at funding colleges, technical schools and universities,” said Roebuck, who serves as Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee. “By underfunding our institutions, we are creating a crisis for our graduates. That needs to change, because everyone benefits from the skills and education gained by students at our public institutions of higher education. To secure these benefits, we must invest substantial public resources to aid these institutions and their students in this important work.” The lawmakers said their legislation would ensure that Pennsylvania’s institutions receive appropriate and adequate funding, in turn working to combat Pennsylvania’s student debt crisis. They said a higher education funding formula would help determine the best distribution of Read more

 

PLBC condemns divisive invocation given in the House Chamber

(Mar 26, 2019)

Members from Philadelphia and of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today condemned a divisive opening prayer delivered Monday in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Here’s a selection of quotes. Rep. Stephen Kinsey, PLBC chairman: “On a day that should have been celebrated, we found ourselves confused and mortified. The swearing-in of Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell as the first Muslim woman to ever serve in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives was overshadowed by the outrageous remarks made by the Republican member. This is disgusting behavior. I choose to celebrate the diversity of our caucus, and welcome Representative Johnson-Harrell with open, loving arms. I believe our Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said it best, ‘It was beneath the dignity of the House.’ There is no room for hate.” Rep. Donna Bullock, PLBC vice chairwoman: “It is unfortunate that prayer was used to intimidate and divide. As our state legislature becomes more diverse, as we elect more women, more people of color, and people of different faiths and experiences, our ability to work together for all Pennsylvanians will be tested. I pray that my colleagues come to understand that Pennsylvania's diversity is our strength, not the enemy.” Rep. Summer Lee, PLBC treasurer who represents a portion of Allegheny County: ”We want to foremost, recognize and celebrate the historic victory and swearing-in of Read more

 

House Democrats sponsoring bills to improve access to career & tech ed programs in Pa.

(Feb 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 19 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, today announced his support for a bipartisan package of legislation that would enhance the quality of career and technical education programs throughout Pennsylvania. This four-bill package aligns with the House Democrats’ Plan4PA to give students throughout the commonwealth a quality education that would jumpstart their careers in vocational and technical job fields. “As Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, I am committed more than ever to improving the delivery of Career and Technical Education programs to those who need them the most,” Roebuck said. “These past few years, numbers have risen to more than 67,000 Pennsylvania high school students being able to participate in CTE programs. This bipartisan package of bills – especially my two bills – would build upon the success we have already seen, while also giving stakeholders a voice to make much-needed changes.” In 2015, the House unanimously adopted H.R. 102 to establish the Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness. The subcommittee, co-chaired by state Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, made several recommendations that resulted in this package of legislation, including calling for a central database of resources. “Young Pennsylvanians contemplating career paths have access to a wealth of resources from Read more

 

Roebuck highlights PA Turnpike Commission summer fellowship program

(Jan 30, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 30 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., encourages college students and recent graduates to apply for a summer fellowship at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. “The PA Turnpike Commission is providing a tremendous opportunity to explore careers in transportation through their summer fellowship program,” Roebuck said. “Examples of successful projects in the past include the ‘Go Orange’ Campaign for Highway Safety, ‘Cashless-Tolling’ options, and ‘Turnpike 2040’, looking ahead to the future. These students are provided with one-on-one, mentored experiences with a good pay.” The Chief Executive Officer’s Intern Fellows Program for Diverse Groups is designed to attract and retain college juniors, seniors and recent graduates from underrepresented groups to careers in transportation through intern fellowships in the areas of engineering, administration, accounting, construction, information technology and maintenance with the Turnpike Commission. Roebuck said the turnpike CEO designates a high-level critical transportation issue and assigns a corresponding department to work alongside the interns as mentors. The department mentors assist the team to develop a solution, which is presented to the commission leadership, and eventually implemented. The fellowship serves to develop future transportation leaders through a strong emphasis on college disciplines in Science, Technology, Read more

 

Get free assistance with your Property Tax/Rent Rebate

(Jan 24, 2019)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2018 tax year are available – and my office staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2018 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The rebates normally are distributed by the Department of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more

 

Summer jobs - $13.56 per hour – for college students!

(Jan 10, 2019)

PennDOT will again sponsor an extensive Summer Maintenance Program for college students. The program runs May through August 2019 to supplement the permanent workforce. These students assist in completing summer maintenance work and sign upgrade services, provide maintenance and custodial services at roadside rest facilities, and perform laboring and flagging duties in maintenance organizations and highway worksites. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, enrolled full-time in college for the fall 2019 semester, and have a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license. The pay is $13.56 per hour. If you're interested, you should apply online AND you can also seek a recommendation from my office. If you are seeking a recommendation from me, please contact my office by Feb. 8. Remember, to be considered for this opportunity, you must apply online at www.employment.pa.gov to the PennDOT Summer Maintenance Program posting under the Open Jobs section of the website, even if you have worked for PennDOT before. Read more

 

Roebuck hosts successful sock drive

(Jan 09, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., hosted a sock drive from early November to Dec. 14 as a part of his “People for People” campaign. “It may seem like a small gesture, but these socks mean a lot to the people who receive them,” Roebuck said. “Not only are they given to children without them at our local schools during the coldest months, they are provided to the homeless, sick, and elderly in need too. This is a part of a much bigger plan to provide comfort and well-being to those in my community who suffer most. I love it when we can encourage people to come together within their own community for the betterment of others.” Approximately 700 pairs of socks were donated as a result of the drive. Children’s socks were divided up and given to school counselors at participating districts within the 188th Legislative District . The purpose is to allow children with no socks to have them in the wintertime. White socks were given to an organization that goes into the local homeless community offering foot care, such as clipping nails and addressing wounds. These clean, white socks are given after receiving care. Color socks were gift wrapped and donated to the state nursing home. They were given to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, with stories that they often remember that it is Christmas while unwrapping their socks. More information is available by calling Roebuck’s district office at Read more

 

Roebuck reappointed as Democratic chairman of Education Committee

(Jan 07, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 7 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., has been reappointed as the Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee for the 2019-20 session. “What a wonderful honor it is to have the privilege of chairing this committee once again. I always look forward to shaping our educational environment into one that helps foster growth and positive learning,” Roebuck said. “Over the years as chairman, I have established a good working relationship with the Republican House and Senate Education chairmen, and I believe that we will continue to work together in order to achieve more for our students and their futures. Specifically, I want to work on safety in our classrooms, ensuring that our students can focus on their studies and our teachers on teaching, rather than outside risks. Bullying is an increasing concern for parents and their children. We need progressive, student focused legislation that supports our children and their continued success in this fast-paced, technologically advanced market.” During the past year as the chairman of the Pennsylvania House Education Committee, Roebuck has fought for fair basic education funding; called for major investments in public schools; advanced legislation out of committee to improve access to career and technical education programs; hosted policy committee hearings on college affordability; introduced legislation pushing for free and affordable college options and charter school Read more

 

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Nov 01, 2018)

The 2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP – is accepting applications for heating assistance grants. LIHEAP offers cash grants of $200 to $1,000 that are sent directly to the utility company to defray heating costs for eligible households, and crisis benefits of up to $600 for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Remember: These are grants and do not have to be repaid. This season’s income guidelines for both LIHEAP cash and crisis grants are $18,210 for an individual, $24,690 for couples and increases for each additional person in the household. Please click here for more LIHEAP information. Please consider visiting my office if you need help filing a LIHEAP application. Besides my office, LIHEAP information is available by: Contacting local County Assistance offices by phone or in person. Calling the LIHEAP Client Helpline at 1-866-857-7095 or PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. Applying online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us . Read more

 

Senior prescription program expanded to help more people

(Oct 23, 2018)

Our seniors deserve better. I voted to help give them relief from medication costs with PACE programs. Putting families first is all part of the House Democrats’ Plan for Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Roebuck shredding event will help residents avoid identity theft

(Oct 02, 2018)

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE State Rep. James Roebuck D-Philadelphia www.pahouse.com/Roebuck Roebuck shredding event will help residents avoid identity theft PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 2 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., is holding a paper shredding event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 27 at his district office, located at 4712 Baltimore Ave. Roebuck said he organized the event in an effort to give residents the opportunity to dispose of personal documents they no longer need in a secure manner, helping to avoid identity theft. “By bringing any unneeded documents that contain personal information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card statements and applications, medical records, banking statements, canceled checks, income tax information, insurance records and retirement or pension fund information, people can ensure that they are better protected against identity theft,” Roebuck said. “All these types of documents should be shredded, and not simply thrown out.” According to a 2016 identity fraud study , identity theft is one of the biggest concerns in and out of the workplace, with identity fraud affecting 13.1 million U.S. consumers and costing them a total of $15 billion in 2015. Shredding documents is fundamental to protecting the identities of those that have entrusted others with their data and personal information. Residents who have questions Read more

 

8/9/18 – House Bill 2444 – Philadelphia

(Aug 10, 2018)

Materials from House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing hosted by State Rep. Jim Roebuck. Read more

 

Roebuck, Policy Committee discuss free college tuition legislation (with video)

(Aug 09, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 9 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing at Temple University on the PA Promise Act, his legislation that would provide free tuition for students attending Pennsylvania’s community colleges, state system universities, and state-related institutions. Roebuck was joined by Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and state legislators from across the commonwealth. The committee discussed H.B. 2444 , which would remove substantial financial burdens on students and their families and make college more affordable. “Free tuition makes sense. The success is proven. The pressures of getting into a good college can be stressful. The overwhelming cost that comes with it should not be one of them,” Roebuck said. “Graduates should be able to concentrate on getting good jobs and starting families, not be concerned with drowning in debt for years to come. And it is our duty to help create that reality.” Sturla added, “Pennsylvania families are afforded the right to an excellent and thorough public education in their state constitution, but when it comes to higher education many of students are still unable to afford it. As policymakers, we must understand that investments in education are the key to move our state forward. Having people ready to fill the jobs that businesses and corporations are offering will create an enormous economic opportunity Read more

 

Roebuck to hold Policy Committee hearing on college affordability Thursday in Philadelphia

(Aug 06, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 6 – As part of the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA, state Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on the PA Promise Act, legislation that would provide free tuition for students attending Pennsylvania’s community colleges, state system universities, and state-related institutions. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9 at Temple University, Shusterman Hall, 1834 Liacouras Walk, 19122. Roebuck requested the hearing to gather insight on innovative ways to reduce the financial burden on Pennsylvania’s students and their families, and provide support for the state’s community colleges and universities. Roebuck will be joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: 10 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks 10:10 a.m. Mark Price, labor economist, Keystone Research Center 10:40 a.m. Panel from higher education: Dr. Chae Sweet, dean of liberal studies, Community College of Philadelphia Dr. Ivan Turnipseed, professor and coordinator – hotel, restaurant and tourism management, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania Mark Rimple, professor, music theory and composition, and APSCUF chapter president, West Chester University of Pennsylvania 11:20 a.m. Closing remarks The meeting is one in a series being held across the state on the House Read more

 

PHEAA hosting student loan repayment Twitter chat

(Jun 22, 2018)

If you, or someone you know, is currently a student loan borrower or is paying back a student loan, I encourage you to participate in PHEAA’s Twitter chat on Monday, June 25 at 1 p.m. You can ask questions and learn about different repayment options, how to establish repayment goals, how to set and stick with a manageable budget, avoiding delinquency and other information. To participate in PHEAA’s Twitter chat, follow @PHEAAaid and use the hashtag #RepaymentReady. Read more

 

Roebuck honoring nine students with leadership awards

(Jun 08, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, June 8 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, has announced the nine student recipients of the 2018 Jim Roebuck Leadership Awards. The students all live in and attended school in the 188th Legislative District. All school principals were sent a letter and nomination form and asked that they and their faculty select a student for the honor. Each student received a certificate and a cash award. "The award is designed to recognize students who have displayed outstanding leadership abilities and who might not otherwise be recognized for their achievements," Roebuck said. "I aim to maintain a good working relationship with the schools in my legislative district and it is my hope that all students will continue to do their best." The 2018 recipients are: Alyxandra Jackson-Hall, Avery D. Harrington Elementary School Stephen Walicki, Penn Alexander School Alexander Morrow, The Workshop School Tahir Naseem Hennie, Saint Francis de Sales Catholic School Tiguida Kaba, Henry C. Lea Elementary School Dahmere Town, Paul Robeson High School Zoie Jackson-Lawrence, Jubilee School Gregory James Viola, Home of the Merciful Savior for Children with Cerebral Palsy Rebecca Brima, Mastery Charter School – Harrity Elementary Roebuck noted the students were presented with their award during their respective graduation ceremonies. ### Read more

 

Roebuck Keeping the PAPromise

(Jun 06, 2018)

As Democratic Chairman of the Pa. House Education Committee, state Rep. James Roebuck joined colleagues to introduce the PA Promise Legislation that would make college free or more affordable for students, give them a better chance to succeed in the workforce and ultimately strengthen the state’s economy. Read more

 

Roebuck, Harris and Sen. Hughes introduce legislation pushing for free and affordable college for Pa. college and university students

(Jun 06, 2018)

HARRISBURG – June 6, 2018 – State Reps. James Roebuck and Jordan Harris, both D-Phila., joined Sen. Vincent J. Hughes, D-Phila./Montgomery, to introduce legislation for the Pennsylvania Promise initiative, a program that would make college free and affordable to many students across the state. The legislators were joined by guests from the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) President Ken Mash, dozens of APSCUF members, a student and other members of the House and Senate announcing Senate Bill 1111 and House Bill 2444. “Helping our students should be priority number one,” Senator Hughes said. “I’ve heard from far too many college students who are struggling to make ends meet. They’re starving and some can’t maintain stable housing throughout the school year. They need something like PA Promise to make college reality.” The bills would: Cover up to four years of tuition and fees for any recent high school graduate enrolled full-time at one of the Commonwealth’s 14 public community colleges. Cover up to four years of tuition and fees for any recent high school graduate with a family income less than or equal to $110,000 per year at one of the 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education or a state-related university. Cover room and board for any recent high school graduate with a family income less than or equal to $48,000 per year at a Read more

 

State audit confirms Roebuck’s call and plan for charter school reform

(May 25, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, May 25 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., today said a recent state audit of Aspira Inc.’s management of charter schools proves his point that charter school reform is crucial in Pennsylvania. “The findings by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale mirror what I’ve been saying all along, that charter schools lack financial accountability,” said Roebuck, Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee. “The legislation I introduced last year would specifically address the core problems found in this report while protecting taxpayer dollars.” Roebuck’s bill (H.B. 1199) takes aim at conflicts of interest in tax-funded payments for charter school leases. The auditor general’s office previously identified millions of dollars in questionable lease reimbursement to charter schools. Roebuck also introduced legislation (H.R. 578) that called for the State Board of Education to conduct a comprehensive study, evaluating the successes and failures of charter school entities over the past 20 years. “We need to see what’s working and what’s not because, at the end of the day, it’s the children and taxpayers who are being reprimanded for these avoidable mistakes,” Roebuck said. “It is abundantly clear in the auditor general’s audit that charter school management groups like Aspira are not working. It’s past time for a comprehensive overhaul of Read more

 

Roebuck publishes new charter school reform report
Apr 29, 2019

Briggs and Roebuck introduce bill to better fund colleges, make higher education more affordable statewide
Mar 28, 2019

PLBC condemns divisive invocation given in the House Chamber
Mar 26, 2019

House Democrats sponsoring bills to improve access to career & tech ed programs in Pa.
Feb 19, 2019

Roebuck highlights PA Turnpike Commission summer fellowship program
Jan 30, 2019

Get free assistance with your Property Tax/Rent Rebate
Jan 24, 2019

Summer jobs - $13.56 per hour – for college students!
Jan 10, 2019

Roebuck hosts successful sock drive
Jan 09, 2019

Roebuck reappointed as Democratic chairman of Education Committee
Jan 07, 2019

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open
Nov 01, 2018

Senior prescription program expanded to help more people
Oct 23, 2018

Roebuck shredding event will help residents avoid identity theft
Oct 02, 2018

8/9/18 – House Bill 2444 – Philadelphia
Aug 10, 2018

Roebuck, Policy Committee discuss free college tuition legislation (with video)
Aug 09, 2018

Roebuck to hold Policy Committee hearing on college affordability Thursday in Philadelphia
Aug 06, 2018

PHEAA hosting student loan repayment Twitter chat
Jun 22, 2018

Roebuck honoring nine students with leadership awards
Jun 08, 2018

Roebuck Keeping the PAPromise
Jun 06, 2018

Roebuck, Harris and Sen. Hughes introduce legislation pushing for free and affordable college for Pa. college and university students
Jun 06, 2018

State audit confirms Roebuck’s call and plan for charter school reform
May 25, 2018