Tuesday: Here They Come


State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) is holding hearings today on the Hispanic invasion. John L. Micek at Capitol Ideas has posted a fascinating breakdown of some of the facts surrounding this crisis-for-some. *-UPDATE: P-G
(Las Palmas, the Mexican grocer in Brookline which opened in 2009 seems to be doing well. No reports yet on whether or not they’re putting french fries in the tacos. Legal immigration is one thing, but they have to be willing to assimilate.)
Super Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) is reportedly holding a (a) Town Hall Meeting clear on the other side of the state on Sept. 1st. If I’m reading that correctly, that’s three days notice to plan a visit to Jim Thorpe, PA — which sounds absolutely lovely, but it doesn’t leave a lot of time to pack and write a little speech.
It looks like Rick Santorum (R-Your Body) is seriously lining up to take down Rick Perry and try to become the natural, notable cultural conservative willing to play attack dog, and to one day testify that Mitt Romney has “steel in his spine”. He’ll even score sympathy points for his problems with Dan Savage, and who doesn’t love milking those? Nonetheless, we’re not sure whether that pairing wouldn’t exacerbate more problems than in solves.
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The Allegheny Institute wonders whether the Pittsburgh School District (amidst the many other changes it is making right now) moving seven teachers from classroom instruction to “making students feel safe and welcome” is a useful or cost-effective idea.
From the School District website:

Learning Environment Specialists are teachers who demonstrate strength in positive classroom management, leadership and peer coaching skills. Learning Environment Specialists will be classroom teachers in high-needs schools, have a reduced teaching schedule and will participate on school teams, possibly leading teams, to ensure that school-based goals for a positive teaching and learning environment are being met. (PPS)

“High-needs schools” and “teachers who demonstrate strength in” seem to be the operative phrases there.
If it’s true that the City of Pittsburgh actually leads the nation in poverty rates among working-age racial minorities and young minority children, and if it’s true that growing up in poverty and amidst much poverty can lead to a sticky situation as far as schooling — then it’s hard to see any reason for bafflement here. We’ve got to try something to get these kids feeling more positive about school, right? It sounds like these teachers’ roles will be to teach the merits of personal responsibility among children who were especially likely to have missed those memos.
What do our buddies at the A.I. advocate in its place, we are left wondering? Charter school vouchers for everyone, but no special resources for acclimating and acculturating the students, or even for steering all of them into appropriate schools to redeem those vouchers? What?
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It is two days until September 1, the deadline for handing in our financial homework to the state. Is it going to be submitted on time by the appropriate administrative officer with all of the T’s crossed and I’s dotted correctly? Do we think the state will try to take notice of any possible distinctions between pension obligations and pension liabilities? Or are we going to sail right through the 50% funding threshold into comfortable waters — before being gifted with a new, strengthened form of Super Oversight? In the City of Harrisburg, they’re talking about yet another kind of state takeover just because our state can — and seems amped for the challenge.
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