The Edward H. Arnold Institute for Policy Studies

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 […]

To Better Protect Children, Outrage Must Bring Effective Action

  Pennsylvanians spend a great deal of time railing against real and conjectured faults of state government.  Yet, the relentless criticism often overlooks some of the most harmful deficiencies in performance.  Documentation of the saddest sort confirms this is certainly the case in regard to the flaws and overburdens afflicting the child protection system. Twenty […]

Citizen Interests Could Be Well-Served By A Statewide Media Source

  Freedom of the press is one of the bedrock, defining, and indispensable rights in our democracy.  Every year when media awards are handed out, Pennsylvanians are reminded there is a lot of top-shelf journalism practiced daily in communities large and small across our sixty-seven counties.  There are good reasons to be proud of our […]

In Defense Of General Education: Still Relevant And Necessary

Warning signs spread across our national landscape like invasive species.  The sharp decline in the sense of community.  The increasing unwillingness of many individuals to concede gray areas in public policy matters.  The prevalence of ad hominem attacks substituting for informed and civil discourse.  These troubling trends compound abundant worries over the challenges facing our […]

Federal Tax Complexity Makes Pennsylvania’s Flat Rate Income Tax Look More Appealing

  Complaining about taxes is part of our birthright and DNA.  What is subject to taxation, what the tax rates are set at, and what the money is supposedly squandered on are all matters of considerable contention through the years.  Pennsylvanians were prominent in the protests that sparked the American Revolution.  Independence did not quell […]