Featured News

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

'Wild West' charter school spending, lack of openness spotlighted in Roebuck report

(Sep 30, 2015)

State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., today released a report on Pennsylvania charter schools that spotlights what he called the "Wild West" spending or borrowing practices of some, as well as a general lack of openness from the tax-funded, privately run schools. "For example, as a news report disclosed recently, charter schools in Philadelphia alone have racked up nearly $500 million in debt, often at rates of 8 or 8 1/2 percent. Taxpayers ultimately fund all of it, including millions of dollars in consulting and legal fees and questionable building costs," said Roebuck, Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee. Read more

 

Roebuck: Cheyney U. of Pa. still has full scholarships available; Aug. 1, 2015 is deadline to apply

(Jul 16, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, July 16 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., said Cheyney University of Pennsylvania still has full scholarships available for the fall term for qualified Pennsylvania students. The deadline to apply for the program, the Keystone Honors Academy, is Aug. 1. Roebuck, Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said: "Making higher education affordable and accessible is one of my priorities, and I'm pleased that this state-owned university located in suburban Philadelphia is making these opportunities available. I urge high school graduates who may qualify to look into this immediately. "I also want to make sure students and their families are aware of the Bond Hill program that provides full scholarships to some Cheyney graduates to pursue graduate school." More information about the Keystone Honors Academy and the Bond Hill program is available at http://is.gd/cheyney or on the university's main web page, www.cheyney.edu . Roebuck said the university also has extended its general admissions deadline to Aug. 5. ### Read more

 

Roebuck: Cheyney U. of Pa. still has full scholarships available; Aug. 1 is deadline to apply

(Jul 16, 2015)

State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., said Cheyney University of Pennsylvania still has full scholarships available for the fall term for qualified Pennsylvania students. The deadline to apply for the program, the Keystone Honors Academy, is Aug. 1. Roebuck, Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said: "Making higher education affordable and accessible is one of my priorities, and I'm pleased that this state-owned university located in suburban Philadelphia is making these opportunities available. I urge high school graduates who may qualify to look into this immediately. Read more

 

Roebuck: Help All Pa. Students

(Jun 29, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jim Roebuck says it’s time to restore cuts to the public education system so that a child’s education no longer depends on their zip code. Roebuck adds the GOP budget plan doesn’t go far enough in bringing back the teachers, staff, extracurricular programs, and classes cut by the previous administration. He warns that the crisis facing Philadelphia public schools could easily spread to the rest of the state, so the time is now to fix public education funding in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Roebuck: GOP budget fails Philly students; Wolf has plan to help

(Jun 27, 2015)

State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., said the Republican budget that passed the House today would fail Philadelphia students whose schools were among the hardest-hit by four years of cuts. "Philadelphia students and their families – and families across the state – would benefit from Governor Tom Wolf's budget plans that would restore $400 million of the Corbett-Republican cuts to education," Roebuck said. "Instead, the new Republican budget would provide only a net $8 million more for education, just 2 percent of what Governor Wolf's plan would do. Read more

 

Roebuck: Education Funding Report a Start

(Jun 18, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. James Roebuck talks about the findings from the Basic Education Funding Commission report released this morning. The House Democratic Education Committee Chairman feels that public education can't improve until funding cuts are restored and a formula for funding schools is created. Read more

 

Roebuck invites west Philly to free June 19 HIV testing, health screenings

(Jun 11, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, June 11 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., invites west Philadelphia residents to a free HIV testing and health screening event from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 19 at his office, 4712 Baltimore Ave. "To promote public health and awareness of HIV, I will host a van at my office where you can receive free HIV testing and free health information – as well as free health screenings by trained nursing students," Roebuck said. "No appointment is necessary, and there's no need to bring an insurance card – just bring identification." Roebuck said key reasons to get tested include: Almost one in five Americans who have HIV don't know it. Early intervention means a healthier life: If you do have HIV, the key to living a healthy life is being diagnosed early. Knowing your status protects you and your partner, even if you are both positive. Knowing your status lets you make informed decisions, including steps you can take during pregnancy. It lets you ask the right questions to take control of your health. Knowing your status helps you get the most out of your doctor visits. For more information, please call Roebuck's office at 215-724-2227. ### Read more

 

Roebuck to introduce strong, bipartisan Pa. charter school reform bill

(Jun 10, 2015)

HARRISBURG, June 10 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, will introduce a bipartisan bill that would carry out strong charter school reforms. "This bill would make the reforms our students and taxpayers need. It has bipartisan support from the start, so it's more likely that Governor Wolf can and would sign it into law instead of vetoing it. The legislature and governor have a lot to get done this year and we need to work together," Roebuck said. "There are charter schools that are innovative and provide a good education, but we must have the tools to deal with the bad apples, and we shouldn't overpay for the good ones. Our children and taxpayers deserve better." In March, the House passed a charter-school bill (H.B. 530) on party lines. Roebuck said that bill falls short on needed reforms and oversight, would override local control and would cut Wolf out of a proposed school funding commission. Roebuck's new bill includes: Setting a tuition rate of $5,950 for each non-special-education cyber charter school student, based on the highest-spending comparable high-performing online education programs offered by Pennsylvania intermediate units. This resembles what Wolf proposed in his budget. "This bill would return $160 million to school districts, which are largely funded by property taxes. That is a much better deal for students and Read more

 

Policy Committee examines PHEAA program for disadvantaged students

(May 26, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, May 26 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., and House Education Committee Democratic Chairman Jim Roebuck, D-Phila., today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing at Drexel University on the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency’s Act 101 program, which provides higher education opportunities for the disadvantaged. The state-funded Act 101 program allocates money to Pennsylvania schools to provide services to academically and financially disadvantaged students to assist them so they can complete postsecondary study. “It was enlightening to hear firsthand from administrators that this program works and is needed in the community,” Kinsey said. “Everyone deserves an opportunity when it comes to education, and thanks to the Act 101 officers and the program itself, Pennsylvania is delivering on that promise.” Roebuck added, "Act 101 was created to help thousands of disadvantaged Pennsylvanians pursue higher education, and we want to make sure it fulfills that goal.” House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, said: “Every young adult deserves access to a quality post-secondary education. Representatives Roebuck and Kinsey understand that and I commend them for working hard to make sure students continue to have access to PHEAA's Act 101 program.” More information about the Act 101 program is available online at http://pheaa.org/Act101 . Read more

 

Kinsey, Roebuck to host policy hearing on higher-education opportunities for disadvantaged students May 26

(May 21, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, May 21 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., and House Education Committee Democratic Chairman Jim Roebuck, D-Phila., will co-host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency’s Act 101 program, which provides higher education opportunities for the disadvantaged. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 26 in the Bossone Research Center Atrium, 3rd Floor at Drexel University, 3140 Market St., Philadelphia. The state-funded Act 101 program allocates money to Pennsylvania schools to provide services to academically and financially disadvantaged students to assist them so they can successfully complete postsecondary study. The current agenda is as follows: 2 p.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 2:10 p.m. Panel from Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency: Christine Zuzack , vice president of state grant and special programs Ashley Ruth , public affairs technical assistance specialist 2:50 p.m. Panel Two: Antoinette Torres , associate vice provost of enrollment management, Drexel University Robert Miedel , Act 101 director, La Salle University Donna Dickinson , Act 101 director, King’s College Tom Thomas, Act 101 director, Wilkes University 3:30 p.m. Panel Three: Jerome Dean , Act 101 program graduate, Shippensburg University Act 101 students 4 p.m. Closing Remarks The Read more

 

Roebuck to introduce Wolf blueprint for school changes

(May 12, 2015)

HARRISBURG, May 12 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, will introduce legislation to carry out Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed changes to the state school code. "After four years of cuts and underfunding of K-12 and higher education, Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly elected Governor Wolf to put us back on the right track in education. I'm proud to work with the governor and House leadership to introduce this blueprint of necessary changes to the school code to help our kids," Roebuck said. Wolf has proposed a $400 million increase in the basic education subsidy to K-12 schools -- the largest in Pennsylvania history – to restore Accountability Block Grant and Educational Assistance Program funds cut under the Corbett administration. Under this plan, school districts would receive reimbursement for about 10 percent of their mandatory charter school tuition payments. Also, more resources would be made available to help close the funding gap that resulted from cuts in the basic education subsidy dating to the 2010-11 school year. Roebuck said House Democrats' main budget bill will also include Wolf's proposed $100 million increase in the Special Education Subsidy to further Pennsylvania’s transition to the formula enacted in 2014, "which was made possible through the hard work of the bipartisan legislative Special Education Funding Commission. My bill would Read more

 

Roebuck: New national report spotlights Pa. charter school problems; Report says waste, fraud and abuse may total $1.4 billion nationwide

(Apr 29, 2015)

HARRISBURG, April 29 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said a new national report shows the need for strong charter school reforms in Pennsylvania like the legislation he plans to introduce soon. The report by the Center for Popular Democracy and the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools is titled "The Tip of the Iceberg: Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud, And Abuse." It covers more than $200 million in alleged or confirmed financial fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in charter schools. The report says standard forensic auditing methodologies suggest the real total is closer to $1.4 billion, but that much "will go undetected because the federal government, the states, and local charter authorizers lack the oversight necessary to detect the fraud." Roebuck said: "Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are unfortunately well-represented in this report. In Harrisburg, House Republicans have passed a charter school bill (H.B. 530) that falls short on needed reforms and oversight and would override local control to make it even easier to start charter schools – a dangerous combination for kids and taxpayers. House Democrats will continue to stand for greater accountability and transparency in these privately run, publicly funded schools. Fortunately, the Senate and Governor Tom Wolf still have the opportunity to do better, and the governor's budget proposes serious Read more

 

Protect your privacy at shredding event

(Apr 09, 2015)

Are you concerned about identity theft? I will sponsor a document shredding event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 18 at my constituent service office, 4712 Baltimore Ave. Residents of the 188th District will be able to bring personal financial documents that are no longer needed, and any other papers with confidential information, such as account numbers and signatures – including: • Documents containing Social Security, credit card and bank account numbers • Credit card applications • Canceled or unused checks • Insurance and income tax records • Bank and credit card statements • Pension information Please do not bring digital or electronic media, such as computer discs, CDs and DVDs. Documents will be shredded on site. If you have a question about this event, please call my office at 215-724-2227. Read more

 

Roebuck: House GOP charter-school bill trying to wish away Gov. Wolf

(Mar 04, 2015)

HARRISBURG, March 4 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said the charter-school bill House Republicans passed today (H.B. 530) doesn't contain much reform and deserves a "D" grade. "There's very little reform in this partisan charter-school bill and in fact, some of its provisions would actually take Pennsylvania backwards. It would weaken local control of charters, which are public schools and funded with tax dollars," Roebuck said. "One major way the bill would weaken local control is by stacking the state charter school appeals board, which has generally been even-handed and approved about 50 percent of the charter school applications that reach it. The bill's $4 million in savings for Philadelphia would probably be wiped out by hundreds of millions of dollars in new costs for charter schools. "Keep your $4 million and give me a board that will be fair! "This bill could also cost local property taxpayers money and jobs by giving charter schools right of first refusal on unused school properties that the community might want to put to another use, such as locating a new business there. "Governor Wolf's budget proposes reasonable limits on cyber charter school payments that would return $160 million in savings per year to school districts -- permanently. This House Republican bill would only provide about $24 million in savings Read more

 

Conservatives forgot to count Phila. charter schools

(Feb 09, 2015)

A recent Pennsylvania Independent report about the hold-harmless provision of Pennsylvania school funding contained a drastic error. Critics of Philadelphia's school funding claimed public schools' enrollment has dropped 25 percent since 2002. That is false – the real change is a drop of about 5.5 percent. The larger figure leaves out publicly-funded charter schools and cyber charter schools. The money for those schools comes out of state and local funding for Philadelphia public schools, just as it does in the rest of Pennsylvania. By state law, charter and cyber charter schools are public schools. That is why I will continue to press for reforms in how they are funded – taxpayers shouldn't be forced to overpay for them by an estimated $365 million per year , at the expense of students in other public schools. I doubt conservative supporters of charter and cyber charter schools meant to suggest an end to their state and local tax funding. However, that is what leaving those public schools out of the totals implied. State Rep. James Roebuck D-Philadelphia Democratic chairman, House Education Committee Read more

 

Roebuck invites west Philly residents to "Going Beyond 'the Dream'" event

(Jan 13, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 13 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, invites west Philadelphia residents to join him at a Dr. Martin Luther King Day event Monday morning at West Philadelphia High School, 49th and Chestnut streets. The "Day of Consciousness Raising: Going Beyond 'the Dream'" program will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, after a coffee reception from 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. The event is sponsored by the West Philadelphia High School student government and the 188th Legislative District Education Committee. The event will feature a panel discussion with students and alumni of the school and guests, including Roebuck and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell. It will also include performances by students. "I invite everyone to come and hear students and community members share their views on how to move our neighborhood forward," Roebuck said.  For more information, please call Roebuck's office at 215-724-2227. ### Read more

 

Roebuck: New session begins; School funding must be a top 2015 priority

(Jan 06, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, was sworn in today for a new term representing west Philadelphia's 188th Legislative District. "As we begin a new session, I look forward to working to improve education in Pennsylvania, and that has to include restoring more of the school funding that has been cut during Governor Corbett's four years,” Roebuck said. “Philadelphia has been especially hard-hit by those cuts, but the impact has been statewide. Governor-elect Tom Wolf begins his term Jan. 20, and school funding has to be a top priority along with dealing with the $2 billion deficit Governor Corbett is leaving behind. We already know there are common-sense ways to generate funding, such as a reasonable tax on gas drilling and closing corporate tax loopholes." ### Read more

 

Hope for Hannah legislation becomes law

(Dec 28, 2014)

Pennsylvania's children have a new protection thanks to Hannah's Law, named after Hannah Ginion of Bristol Township, who suffered from the rare genetic disorder called Krabbe disease. Hannah passed away on Dec. 28, 2014. Read more

 

Employment Center

(Dec 20, 2014)

Welcome to my Employment Center. You will find everything you need for a successful job search from start to finish. I am committed to helping constituents in the 188th District find new opportunities to improve their lives and I hope you find this information useful. I also welcome your feedback on how this page has helped you in your own search. Read more

 

Beware IRS phone scams

(Nov 29, 2014)

Recently, my office received information about phone calls received statewide in which an individual claimed to be from the IRS and demanded payment on taxes owed. Please be aware – this phone call is a scam, and the IRS will NOT initiate first contact with you on the phone about taxes owed. Always be wary of unsolicited phone calls in which an individual claims to represent a business or government entity and aggressively demands payment. The IRS does not operate this way and will always send official correspondence through the mail to make its first contact with you. Read more

 

'Wild West' charter school spending, lack of openness spotlighted in Roebuck report
Sep 30, 2015

Roebuck: Cheyney U. of Pa. still has full scholarships available; Aug. 1, 2015 is deadline to apply
Jul 16, 2015

Roebuck: Cheyney U. of Pa. still has full scholarships available; Aug. 1 is deadline to apply
Jul 16, 2015

Roebuck: Help All Pa. Students
Jun 29, 2015

Roebuck: GOP budget fails Philly students; Wolf has plan to help
Jun 27, 2015

Roebuck: Education Funding Report a Start
Jun 18, 2015

Roebuck invites west Philly to free June 19 HIV testing, health screenings
Jun 11, 2015

Roebuck to introduce strong, bipartisan Pa. charter school reform bill
Jun 10, 2015

Policy Committee examines PHEAA program for disadvantaged students
May 26, 2015

Kinsey, Roebuck to host policy hearing on higher-education opportunities for disadvantaged students May 26
May 21, 2015

Roebuck to introduce Wolf blueprint for school changes
May 12, 2015

Roebuck: New national report spotlights Pa. charter school problems; Report says waste, fraud and abuse may total $1.4 billion nationwide
Apr 29, 2015

Protect your privacy at shredding event
Apr 09, 2015

Roebuck: House GOP charter-school bill trying to wish away Gov. Wolf
Mar 04, 2015

Conservatives forgot to count Phila. charter schools
Feb 09, 2015

Roebuck invites west Philly residents to "Going Beyond 'the Dream'" event
Jan 13, 2015

Roebuck: New session begins; School funding must be a top 2015 priority
Jan 06, 2015

Hope for Hannah legislation becomes law
Dec 28, 2014

Employment Center
Dec 20, 2014

Beware IRS phone scams
Nov 29, 2014