Did you know Spotlight PA is a nonprofit? Learn more about our nonpartisan journalism »
Skip to main content
Main content

School voucher studies show mixed results

Plus, Friday's SCOTUS rulings through a PA lens.


We've been challenged to raise $10K for Spotlight PA
this Independence Day to unlock a $10,000 matching gift.

Don't miss this chance to support Spotlight PA's unmatched reporting for PA and get your gift DOUBLED.


The logo of PA Post, a free daily newsletter delivering the top news from across Pennsylvania every day.

A daily newsletter by The logo of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative journalism for Pennsylvania.
Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen

Monday, July 1, 2024
Today: Budget watch, sweeping SCOTUS decisions, Dauphin emergency, East Palestine interference, tax trouble, and a Medicare explainer.
State budget talks continue with the June 30 fiscal deadline now in the rearview mirror. Lawmakers return to Harrisburg today. 

Private school vouchers — you may remember them from last year's budget impasse — are still on the table. Spotlight PA has a rundown of how they work, and the lessons available from existing research.
In other budget news: Spotlight PA reports success may be within reach for Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro's call for more funding for an affordable housing program that offers grants to municipalities to build and repair homes and provide rental assistance to low-income families.

"We will not let a repeat of 2020 occur."

Walter Zimolong, one of two attorneys representing the Lancaster County Board of Elections in a lawsuit over mail ballots who were also part of efforts to overturn 2020 election results in Pennsylvania, per LNP (paywall); Zimolong posted the above quote on X in June after meeting with RNC officials, including Lara Trump, about an “election integrity game plan” for 2024
Support Spotlight PA's unique investigative journalism and for a limited time, your gift will be DOUBLED.
We have just 6 days to raise $10,000 for Spotlight PA and unlock a $10,000 matching gift. Help us win this Independence Day challenge and vital financial support for our independent, nonpartisan journalism.

Make a gift now »

You can also give via PayPal or Venmo, or you can send a check to: Spotlight PA, PO Box 11728, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728.

Thank you to those who have given so far, including Lisa W., who said, "We need investigative journalism - it's our only hope for keeping the powerful from overwhelming the little guy." Join Lisa & give now »
A woman in Berks County shares what local news coverage she wants to read as part of a Spotlight PA study
Berks County residents are extremely frustrated with the diminished capacity of the local newspaper and they are concerned about a lack of access to trustworthy information in their community, according to a groundbreaking study released today by Spotlight PA.

In response to the findings, Spotlight PA is planning to launch a new regional reporting bureau in Berks County to be supported primarily by people living and working in the region. Read the full story, and then support the effort »
The T-1 steam engine ready for its first run from the new train station in Nesquehoning, Carbon County, via Karen A. Send us photos by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania
A large locomotive spews smoke from its stack.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.
SCOTUS RULINGS: The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favor of a former Lebanon County police officer charged in the U.S. Capitol riot, complicating hundreds of such cases; the court also blocked a federal "good neighbor rule" meant to protect states like Pennsylvania against out-of-state pollution; and it ruled that cities can enforce bans on sleeping outdoors, a case watched closely by officials, advocates, and unhoused people from Pottstown to Harrisburg to Pittsburgh.
Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.
JUDICIAL EMERGENCY: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has declared a judicial emergency in Dauphin County. Months of clerical chaos culminated in the sudden departures of the county's clerk of courts and two deputies Friday. The state's high court characterized the abrupt vacancies as an attempt to thwart contempt proceedings related to a consequential recordkeeping backlog, per PennLive (paywall).
  • New errors at Westmoreland register's office, via TribLIVE.
Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.
OFFICIAL ADMONITION: Norfolk Southern tried to undermine the federal probe into last year's East Palestine train derailment, a top National Transportation Safety Board official said last week. According to Politico, the chair of the NTSB: accused the railroad of dragging its feet on releasing information, abusing the investigations process, “manufacturing its own evidence,” and trying to smear the board’s reputation.
  • NTSB renews concerns about detectors, tank cars, via AP.
Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.
CAPITOL BRIEFS: The state House has passed a bill that would dramatically expand Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania, despite "objections about trespassing provisions and new restrictions on hunting in state parks," the AP reports. The House also passed a reform bill aimed at third-party pharmacy benefit managers that supporters hope will prevent more closures of small pharmacies statewide, per TribLIVE.
  • GOP looks to speed PA Holocaust curriculum bill, via WITF.
Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.
TAX TALK: Read takeaways from Spotlight PA's recent event on Pennsylvania's outdated property tax assessments and how they affect Pennsylvanians. Among the highlights: some counties are way behind on updating property values; individual assessment disputes deepen disparities; the state legislature could step in, but hasn’t; and outdated assessments flout the state constitution's tax uniformity rule.
🤔 FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS: Think you know your news? Prove it with this week's Great PA News Quiz: Canceled VP debate, state budget deals, legal pot, and a boycott bill.

JURY DUTY: Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner reported for jury duty last week, The Inquirer (paywall) reports. He was asked about his experiences as a crime victim — including a violent mugging 15 years ago. He said he could remain "totally impartial" but ultimately wasn't chosen. 

MEDICARE Q&A: There are significant tradeoffs between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage. In our How We Care weekly newsletter, an expert explains the difference. Sign up for How We Care here.

WATER TALK: Join us on Thursday, July 18 from 6-7 p.m. ET on Zoom for a live panel on Pennsylvania’s private water industry, how it's regulated, and how communities are affected when service is subpar.

OLD MONEY: Advocates warn Pennsylvania is "woefully" behind neighboring states when it comes to supporting historical preservation projects. WHYY reports on a state Senate proposal that would change that.

IN MEMORIAM: Beloved Pittsburgh food cart vendor Gus Kalaris has died at 92, via WESA. Kalaris sold flavored ice balls, popcorn, and peanuts in Allegheny Commons Park for decades, or since "your dad was a lad."

Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag. Answers submitted by 5:30 p.m. on issue date will be countedPlease include your first name and last initial.

Friday's answer: Commentary

Congrats to our weekly winner: Sarah P.
Congrats to our daily winners: Eric F., Bob C., Stacy S., Jane R., Karen W., Richard A., Elizabeth G., Don H., Jody A., Vicki U., Jon W., Kimberly D., Michael T., Alan B., Susan N.-Z., Beth H., Elaine C., Perry H., Stanley J., William Z., Morgan B., Barbara F., Annette I., Wendy A., Tom M., Judith D., Maloy S., Jeff F., and Jeffrey F.
Like PA Post? Share it with a friend.

Love PA Post? Support it with a tax-deductible gift.

Forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan & nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds the powerful to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania.

For sponsorship inquiries, email membership@spotlightpa.org.

Copyright © Spotlight PA, All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
PO Box 11728
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728


You're receiving this email because you subscribed to PA Post, a daily newsletter by Spotlight PA.

This email was sent to: <<Email Address>>

Receiving too many emails from Spotlight PA?

To change your newsletter subscriptions and frequency, you can update your preferences.

To stop receiving fundraising messages, you can update your preferences and select "Opt out of Fundraising."

To stop receiving ALL EMAILS from Spotlight PA, including all of our investigations and newsletters, you can completely unsubscribe here.