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PNS Daily Newscast - April 19, 2018 


A contentious Farm Bill heads to U.S. House for debate. Also on our rundown: gaps cited in protections for small-business employees and nonprofit volunteers; plus power out for much of Puerto Rico; and some warning signs, that increased youth activism may not correspond to voter turnout.

Daily Newscasts

Public News Service - PA: Disabilities

There are more than 270,000 children in special-education classes in Pennsylvania. (ernestoeslava/Pixabay)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Two dozen disability-rights groups, child- and education-advocacy organizations have signed on to a letter asking lawmakers to increase funding for special education. The more than 270,000 students in special education in Pennsylvania are legally entitled to additional supp

Down syndrome can be diagnosed as early as 10 weeks into a pregnancy. (jarmoluk/Pixabay)

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Civil-liberties advocates call a bill passed Monday by Pennsylvania's House Health Committee "unconstitutional and unenforceable." House Bill 2050 would make it a crime to perform an abortion based on a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Elizabeth Randol, legislative director for t

Education Savings Accounts would give public education money to families to pay private school tuition. (Jason Pope/Flickr)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Education advocates say bills pending in the General Assembly to create Education Savings Accounts would further defund public education in the state. Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 1717 would allow parents to pay private school tuition with public money. The stated goal is

House Bill 59 would impose work requirements and premiums on Medicaid recipients in Pennsylvania. (Jason Burmeister/Flickr)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Fiscal analysts say a bill that could pass the General Assembly this week would force some Pennsylvanians off Medicaid. An amendment buried in House Bill 59, one of the bills being considered to implement the state budget, would impose work requirements and add new premiums

The majority of older Pennsylvanians want to live independently, at home, as they age. (Tunstall/Flickr)<br />

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania has made some improvements in meeting the long-term care needs of seniors and people with disabilities, but there's a long way to go, a new report says. A 2017 national scorecard from AARP, the Commonwealth Fund and the SCAN Foundation ranks the Keystone State 36th

A Pittsburgh school district argued if an object is capable of inflicting bodily injury, it is a weapon. (marcelaarrubla0329/Pixabay)

PITTSBURGH – A recent court ruling means schools will have to change a practice that has led to mandatory expulsion of students. The case centered on an incident involving a ten-year-old-girl in a Pittsburgh school who scratched a boy with a pencil after he touched her sexually. The school ca

House Bill 97 continues a financial incentive for charters to underserve severely disabled children. (amslerPIX/Flickr)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Legislation to reform charter schools in Pennsylvania could come up for a vote any day now, but education advocates say the bill doesn't fix the problem. House Bill 97 could be the first major reform of the state's charter-school law since it was enacted 20 years ago. But,

Charter schools often collect $10,000 more than they spend on a student with disabilities, according to the Pennsylvania School Board Assn. (Dscot018/Wikimedia Commons)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Public education advocates are asking legislators to fix a state law that currently gives charter schools more special-education funding than they spend on students with disabilities. The amounts the charter schools receive for special education are based on an average of wha

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