Finance - January 17, 2014

Breaking news: Pa. judge strikes down Voter ID law

Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley struck down that law that requires Pennsylvania voters to show approved identification before voting in elections.  The law has been embroiled in controversy since being enacted in February 2012. Judge McGinley said the mandatory photo requirement “places an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote.”  The decision will allow for an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  Since the barring of the enforcement of the law, voters may have been asked for identification when voting but do not have to produce it unless it is their first time voting at a new polling place. 


Auditor General to review PA Department of Education

Yesterday, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced that his office would be conducting a comprehensive performance audit of the Pennsylvania Department of Education; examining its oversight of schools. The audit will determine if the department has the “structure, staff and resources to fulfill its oversight of schools” over a period of time, beginning on July 1, 2010.   DePasquale told the Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board that they’re trying to determine “why there are so many gaps in accountability with public schools, with charter schools and cyber charters.”  In his first year as Auditor General Depasquale’s office audited more than 300 schools; the findings ranged from minor infractions to at worst, “wasted money that should have gone toward classroom education.”  He cited high salaries and buyout packages for some superintendents and many issues with a program that partially reimburses charter schools for rental costs.  Some charter schools were not entitled to all of the reimbursement funding they were receiving because of “circular lease arrangements.”  The Auditor General’s office has audited specific programs within the Department of Education in the past but this audit will have a much broader scope.  Timothy Eller, spokesman for the department, said they welcomed the audit.