The Edward H. Arnold Institute for Policy Studies

Tantalizingly Close, Yet Still As Far Away As Ever

That phrase pretty much sums up the recent legislative history of a proposed constitutional amendment to reduce the size of the General Assembly, the second largest among states, as the critics constantly remind us.  For decades, proposals to cut the number of state legislators have been introduced with fanfare.  Then they fizzle.  Things changed during […]

Low Voter Turnout A Long-Running Problem Not Easily Remedied

Commentators have no trouble spotting and no hesitation denouncing the various afflictions wracking the body politic in our state and nation.  Devising effective remedies that people are willing to enact and follow has a much higher degree of difficulty to it. The recent Pennsylvania primary election featured conditions that were presumed to be catnip to […]

Why Holocaust Remembrance Matters

For those who share a deep appreciation for history, the combination of pivotal events and powerful intellects and captivating personalities who shaped our nation and way of life, this cannot be said to be the best of times. Many of us are numbed by the succession of surveys showing how little familiarity young people have […]

State University Faculty Are An Appreciating Asset

Ken Mash, President of the state university faculty union (APSCUF), discusses these issues on Behind the Headlines Recent news stories make crystal clear that the fourteen universities constituting the State System of Higher Education are confronting a thicket of tough problems, brought to the fore by a disturbing drop in enrollment at most campuses. Two […]

Marveling At The Museum Of The American Revolution

As teachers, parents, and schoolkids know, spring is prime season for fieldtrips.  Recently, three decidedly older kids picked an April Saturday for a foray to Philadelphia to take in the Museum of the American Revolution.  The history-loving trio included Charlie Greenawalt, Senior Fellow at the Susquehanna Valley Center, Ed Arnold, Chairman of the Board, and […]

Townships Demand Immediate Leadership from State to Address Volunteer Firefighter Crisis

The volunteer fire company is a long and cherished tradition in our commonwealth, dating back to 1736 when Ben Franklin founded the nation’s first all-volunteer force to fight blazes in Philadelphia. For nearly three centuries, communities have relied on volunteer fire companies to protect property and save lives. Today, this volunteer model is in jeopardy.   […]

Constitution Day Should Be Prominent Among Our Civic Celebrations

As much as present day politics seem in nasty turbulence, there have been more tumultuous times in our national experience.  The recently marked 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a grim reminder.  His passion and moral clarity for civil rights and equal justice have taken on even greater meaning […]

Will The State Supreme Court Next Impose An Education Funding Map?

             That the reconstituted Democrat-controlled state Supreme Court would invalidate the Republican-crafted congressional district lines approved in 2011 was not a complete shock to political observers.  Nor was it altogether surprising that the justices would then dictate parameters of their preferred remedy.  But arrogating responsibility for imposing a new map, in conflict with language in […]

Youth Deserve Ability To Make An Informed Decision About Their Future

Unfortunately, the growing divide between the military and society was apparent in February when a teacher’s inaccurate and misinformed statements about the quality of America’s armed forces made national headlines. As a U.S. Army officer for more than 30 years, I can tell you our nation’s military services are among the most respected organizations in […]

Revamping The Redistricting Process Might Be Progress, But No Guarantee Of Greater Pennsylvania Influence In Congress

In the late 1970s, when Pennsylvania still had a comparatively healthy complement of 25 congressmen, a statewide magazine sized up the capabilities of the men then serving.  The judgment was not equivocal.  For anyone believing that era represented some sort of political golden age, the report delivered the disillusioning evaluation: “Pennsylvania’s Dismal Congressional Delegation.”  This […]