The fallout from the November election continues, but that’s not what we have our eye on this week.
Pennsylvania public schools have been in the spotlight recently for controversies related to mask mandates and fair funding. That’s not all that’s happening, though. The commonwealth’s ongoing map-drawing process continues with legislative reapportionment seeking public input.
Read on for what to watch for in the Keystone State this week.
Lines being drawn
The highly watched map-drawing process in the commonwealth continues this week. The Legislative Reapportionment Commission meets today for a public hearing to discuss citizen mapping efforts and how new maps can reflect public input. The commission received two sets of cleaned-up data from experts to examine reapportionment, including the newest census datasets and numbers counting prisoners as residents of their districts. Mapmakers can submit their first projected map by Jan. 12 at the latest.
Fair Funding Formula
A landmark case revolving around the school districts, advocates and parents suing the commonwealth over the state’s education funding formula began on Friday. The group is suing Gov. Tom Wolf, legislative leaders and the Department of Education over what they claim is a system that discriminates against students in districts with low incomes and property values. Advocates are also expected to rally to support so-called fair funding of education at the Capitol on Wednesday. The case and debate are expected to continue for several weeks.
School mask mandate
The ongoing controversy over mask mandates in schools isn’t going away anytime soon. Following the Commonwealth Court voting to throw out Gov. Tom Wolf’s state mask mandate for schools, the Wolf administration quickly filed an appeal to the state Supreme Court. While the Wolf administration and Secretary of Health Alison Beam argue they have authority under the law, some parents have been fighting for months claiming they have no jurisdiction over local schools. A request to lift the stay during the appeal was filed on Thursday as many school districts look to make their own decisions during the court process.