Radio Times

Survey says PA schools struggling; then, the Orie sisters in power, in trouble

May 24, 2012


Pennsylvania state Sen. Jane Orie, left, and her sisters state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, second from right; and Janine Orie, right, listen as their brother Jack Orie, center, reads a statement to the media outside a magistrate's office in Pittsburgh after Jane and Janine turned themselves in Wednesday, April 7, 2010. The two surrendered to face charges of theft of service and other charges for allegedly using the senator's staff to do campaign work on behalf of Joan. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Hour 2

An annual survey of Pennsylvania school districts (pdf) found that schools are in financial crisis and are planning deep cuts to education programs. Things like summer school, Advanced Placement classes, tutoring, music, gym, arts education and full-day kindergarten are all on the chopping block in districts throughout the commonwealth.  The survey, conducted by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials and the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, also found class sizes growing and schools postponing hires and new purchases for items like textbooks. Last year school districts received $900 million less in federal and state funding and this year Gov. Tom Corbett is making even deeper education cuts.  We’ll talk with JIM BUCKHEIT, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, about the new report and what it means for students in the state.

Then, the tangled tale of Western Pennsylvania’s most powerful sisters, the Ories. Jane Orie was elected four times to the state Senate. Her sister Joan Orie Melvin, was elected to Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. And their sister Janine ran their campaigns, and managed Melvin’s office. But Jane just resigned her Senate seat and faces sentencing after being convicted of using her legislative staff to do campaign work. Janine and Joan face similar charges, with the state Supreme Court kicking Joan off the bench last week. Joining us to help explain the rise and sudden fall of Western PA’s powerful Orie women is JON DELANO, Money & Politics editor for KDKA-TV CBS News in Pittsburgh.

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