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Pittsburgh Tuesday takes

Tribune-Review
| Monday, November 24, 2014 9:00 p.m

Quack it up, Pa. GOP: Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, opposes a lame-duck session of the Pennsylvania Legislature because it might pass measures in contravention to Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s agenda. Mr. Costa says the “ill-conceived idea would empower … an unaccountable governor.” But last time we checked, Tom Corbett remains the governor until Jan. 20. And if the GOP can find the courage (and the votes) to finally pass stalled liquor and pension reforms, more power to them and, by proxy, the people of Pennsylvania.

Promise fading?: A+ Schools notes that the percentage of seniors in Pittsburgh Public Schools with the modest 2.5 grade point average sufficient to qualify for the Pittsburgh Promise college scholarship program now has fallen for three straight years. And the drop is startling — 10 percentage points in two years alone. This does not bode well for a program supposedly designed to bolster achievement.

Promise alternative?: The Allegheny Institute’s Jake Haulk says a far better bang for Pittsburgh Promise bucks would be to take half the money donated to the program and make it available for scholarships to K-12 students “who want to get out of the failing public schools.” After all, treating the problem at its root would be the smart thing to do — especially given that the Law of Diminishing Returns now has set in.

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