Featured News

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

Roebuck highlights positives in new state budget

(Jun 30, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said the new state budget is far from perfect but does contain some positive items. "The new budget does include $250 million more for K-12 education, including a $200 million increase in the basic education subsidy, although this still leaves state classroom funding for schools below the level of six years ago. We are still digging out from four years of Corbett-Republican cuts that hit lower-income districts like Philadelphia the hardest," Roebuck said. Roebuck also welcomed the new budget's 2.5 percent increase in funding for higher education, including two historically black universities in Pennsylvania, Cheyney and Lincoln universities, both located in the Philadelphia suburbs. The new budget package also includes larger increases for two scholarship programs. It provides a $163,000 increase, or 30 percent more, for the Bond-Hill scholarship program, which helps students at Cheyney and Lincoln, and a $288,000 increase, or nearly 19 percent more, for Cheyney's Keystone Honors Academy. ### Read more


2016 Summer Reading Games Program

(Jun 01, 2016)

The Summer Reading Program is a great way to encourage our children to continue reading throughout the summer months. During the program, children must commit to reading one hour each day, beginning Monday, June 27 through Friday, Aug. 5. Children in grades K-8 are eligible to participate. CHILDREN MUST REGISTER: Please call or stop by my office (4712 Baltimore Ave., 215-724-2227) or download the registration form by clicking here . You can also download a flyer and brochure about the program. Read more


Cheyney advocates say university is underfunded

(May 11, 2016)

When Pennsylvania Rep. James R. Roebuck Jr. was a college student in the mid-1960s, he took a course in state and local government taught by Professor Norville Smith at Cheyney University in Thornbury. He eventually earned his doctorate in history at the University of Virginia. Read more


Roebuck, Kinsey, Harris hear testimony on state funding for Cheyney University at House Democratic Policy Committee

(May 10, 2016)

House Democratic Policy Committee hear testimony on Cheyney University funding State Reps. Stephen Kinsey, Jordan Harris, and James Roebuck, all D-Phila., today heard testimony on state funding at Cheyney University during a House Democratic Policy Committee. Kinsey had some concerns about the university’s financial stability because of declining enrollment. “I am hoping that university officials could financially turn the school around because many students who are enrolled at the college come from Philadelphia and those students are primarily low-income,” Kinsey said. “It would be devastating if these college bound students would not have an opportunity to continue their education.’ Many students at the college believe that they are being punished for selecting certain major fields of study because of low class participation. Rep. James Roebuck, Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said, "I and several other members of the legislature have been working to raise awareness of the uniquely affordable opportunities available at Cheyney , in addition to our work to help the university achieve a sustainable future. Qualified Pennsylvania students can receive full scholarships for undergraduate education at Cheyney and/or for graduate school after their time at Cheyney." Rep. Jordon Harris said concerns about the university did not happen overnight but are the result of inadequate Read more


Roebuck, Kinsey, Harris to host House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on Cheyney U. state funding Tuesday in Philadelphia

(May 05, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, May 5 – State Reps. James Roebuck, Stephen Kinsey, and Jordan Harris, all D-Phila., today announced they will host a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on Cheyney University's state funding. The hearing will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 10 at PASSHE’s Mellon Independence Center, 701 Market St., Room 312, Philadelphia. Testifiers will include: Michael Coard, founder, Heeding Cheyney’s Call Robert Wright Sr., school board director, William Penn School District Nyrie Watson, student, Cheyney University Nicole Smith, student, Cheyney University The hearing is open to the public and media coverage is invited . Read more


Roebuck introduces bipartisan bill to provide more substitute teachers

(Apr 14, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 14 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, has introduced a bill (H.B. 1989) designed to increase the number of available substitute teachers in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania. "I'm pleased my bill already has bipartisan support. This legislation would allow retired teachers to return to the classroom to serve as day-to-day or long-term substitutes for up to 90 days without interruption of their state retirement benefit. This legislation would mirror current law that allows retired state employees to return to service for a certain period of time without affecting their state retirement benefits," Roebuck said. "Substitute teachers play a vital role in maintaining momentum and continuity in the classroom. When students’ regularly assigned teachers are unavailable due to illness, hiring shortages, or professional development needs, substitute teachers help fill in the gaps so student learning is not interrupted. "When substitutes are not available, many schools rely on other teachers to fill in during their prep periods – time that should be dedicated to thoughtful planning, professional collaboration or other academic preparation. When neither substitutes nor a teacher on a prep period are available, students must do without a teacher in their classroom for a day, a week or even longer. Without a pool of consistently available, qualified substitutes, Read more


Roebuck Rallies For Community Colleges

(Apr 05, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. James Roebuck joined Pennsylvania community college students, trustees, faculty, and staff at the Capitol to advocate for an increased funding level in the 2016-17 fiscal year budget as part of the Community Colleges' annual Lobby Day. Read more


Roebuck welcomes Pa. universities, community colleges' 'reverse transfer'

(Mar 31, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 31 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., welcomed Wednesday's signing of a "reverse transfer" agreement between Pennsylvania's 14 community colleges and the 14 State System universities. The initiative will allow students who have earned at least 60 total credits to apply for an associate’s degree from the community college where they started. "In many cases, receiving an associate's degree could immediately increase the student’s earning potential, even as he or she continues working toward a bachelor’s degree or another certification or credential at a State System university. This reverse transfer agreement could be especially helpful for students called to military service, for example," said Roebuck, Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee. Under the agreement, students who began their postsecondary education at any community college in Pennsylvania and earned a minimum of 45 credits before transferring to any State System university can participate in the new program. Eligible credits may include those earned through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Credit by Exam and the military. A student must have enrolled at a State System university within five years of leaving the community college and have earned at least 15 additional credits at a State System university to be considered for the program. Their State Read more


Roebuck: Wolf temporarily ends budget crisis, problems remain

(Mar 29, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 29 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., said Gov. Tom Wolf was right to end the Pennsylvania budget crisis temporarily by allowing an inadequate Republican budget to become law Monday without his signature. "While the budget impasse is temporarily over, the problems that caused it remain. Schools in Philadelphia and across the state will receive funding for the fiscal year that ends June 30, but the budget is basically just a stopgap because it leaves in place most of the 2011-15 Corbett-Republican cuts to education and social services," said Roebuck, Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee. "Pennsylvania still faces a deficit, and it will become increasingly clear in the coming months that the state has to reach a bipartisan compromise to pay its bills. Governor Wolf has already compromised and it's time for Republicans to meet him halfway. We still need a budget that puts people above politics." ### Read more


Roebuck hosting 'Report to the People' meeting Tuesday

(Mar 20, 2016)

State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., invites west Philadelphia residents to three events he will host this fall, starting with his "Report to the People" meeting about the state budget, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13 at the Kingsessing Recreation Center, 5100 Chester Ave. "I hope you'll bring your neighbors and your questions, too," Roebuck said. Read more


Roebuck testifies before City Council Education Committee

(Mar 02, 2016)

State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, testified Monday before the City Council Education Committee. Roebuck focused on three main areas: • Returning control of the city school district to the residents of Philadelphia; • The need to restore state funding for the school district and a new state basic education funding formula that better serves the children of Philadelphia; and • Improving the public schools through community schools. Read more


Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office

(Feb 15, 2016)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my 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 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more


PACE prescription programs benefit seniors

(Feb 10, 2016)

PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more


Roebuck: Wolf right to prioritize restoring school, social service funding

(Feb 09, 2016)

State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said Gov. Tom Wolf is right to prioritize restoring education and social service funding in his new budget proposal. Read more


CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind

(Jan 29, 2016)

Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more


Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Jan 01, 2016)

Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more


PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2015)

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more


Roebuck votes for budget that begins restoring school, social service funding

(Dec 23, 2015)

State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., voted today for a compromise budget that begins restoring funding for Philadelphia students, whose schools were among the hardest-hit by four years of cuts. "Philadelphia students and their families – and families across the state – stand to benefit from restoring $350 million of former Governor Corbett's cuts to education. I wish it had not taken this long to end the budget impasse, but this compromise budget will begin restoring vital funding for our schools and social services," said Roebuck, Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee. Read more


Roebuck: We Must Heed Cheyney’s Call

(Nov 10, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. James Roebuck is joined by hundreds of students to demand the Commonwealth do more to help Cheyney University – America’s oldest historically Black institution of higher education – as it struggles to survive in a time of budget crisis and faltering student enrollment. Read more


Roebuck hosting free document shredding event Oct. 24

(Oct 16, 2015)

State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., invites west Philadelphia residents to a free document-shredding event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at his district office, 4712 Baltimore Ave. "This will help people to protect themselves from identity theft by safely disposing of unneeded documents that contain personal information, such as Social Security numbers, bank or credit card account numbers, credit card applications, canceled or unused checks, insurance and income tax records and pension information," Roebuck said. Read more