Signe Wilkerson nails it in this political cartoon…
Pennsylvania Cyber Charters
Philly.com by Signe Wilkinson Updated: January 16, 2019 - 5:00 AM
Plugged in for Profits But Not for Learning
Blogger note: below is a co-sponsorship memo from last year that was introduced by newly appointed House Ed Committee Chairman Curt Sonney (4-Erie). Curious to see whether it might be reintroduced this year…..
PA House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session
“…if a student lives in a school district that offers a full-time cyber education program but still chooses to enroll in a cyber charter school, the student or the student’s parent or guardian must pay the cyber charter school a per-student amount calculated in accordance with the charter school funding formula set forth in the Charter School Law.”
Not one of Pennsylvania’s cyber charters achieved a passing School Performance Profile score of 70 in any of the five years that the SPP was in effect.
Here’s a reminder of what school districts are spending on cyber charter tuition:
Total cyber charter tuition paid by PA taxpayers from 500 school districts for 2013, 2014 and 2015 was over $1.2 billion; $393.5 million, $398.8 million and $436.1 million respectively.
@PASchoolsWork: Delaware County Unites for Education; Public Meeting
Delaware County Intermediate Unit 200 Yale Avenue, Morton, PA 19070 Sat, February 2, 2019 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
At the event, you will:
The problem really hit home for Dave Krieger — the now-former editorial page editor of the Daily Camera in fast-growing Boulder, Colorado — when a lawyer friend sent in a letter to the editor questioning what was happening at his hometown newspaper. The attorney said he didn’t understand why the price of his subscription was just jacked up 20 percent when the actual paper kept showing up with fewer and fewer pages. Krieger knew exactly why, but at that moment it dawned on him that most citizens in Boulder didn’t know what he knew: That the newspaper’s shrinkage was the direct result of a distant Wall Street hedge fund that — through its investment vehicle with the Orwellian-like dishonest name of Digital First Media — had since 2013 been sucking money in full vampire-squid mode out of the Daily Camera’s newsroom revenue stream. Much of the cash that formerly paid reporters, editors and photojournalists instead went into the pocket of billionaire Randall Smith as Smith added to his collection of multi-million-dollar mansionsaround Palm Beach and the Hamptons (said at one point to be 18 — that’s not a typo — and counting). “The daily paper is the community’s storyteller,” Krieger, a 60-something veteran of a half-dozen newsrooms, thought to himself, “and we’ve never told this story.” So Krieger sat down to write an editorial pleading for help, and what happened next was truly astounding. Randall Smith read it, saw the error of his ways, sold his mansions, and moved into a modest ranch house as he used the real-estate proceeds to hire a small army of investigative reporters that has begun exposing corporate greed and venal politicians from Key West to Kalamazoo. Ha ha, just kidding ... everything in that last sentence was made up.
Another Philadelphia-area school district has joined an emerging trend of cash-strapped schools questioning why some highly-profitable organizations should be let off the hook when it comes to paying property taxes. Upper Moreland School District is challenging the property-tax exemption of Jefferson Health’s new Asplundh Cancer Center, arguing that the facility does not meet the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s standard for exemption. The appeal in Montgomery County’s Court of Common Pleas is no guarantee of victory, but it challenges the longstanding tradition of exempting large, profitable health systems from the property tax net. The legal challenge comes at a time when school districts are desperate for more property tax collections as state funding only covers a fraction of their expenses. When Tower Health bought five hospital from the for-profit Community Health Systems Inc. in 2017 for $418 million, school districts in Pottstown, Phoenixville, and elsewhere were not ready to grant a property tax exemptions on the facilities just because their new owner qualified as a nonprofit under the federal law. Those cases are still in court.
The opening of a new library this month at Bache-Martin Elementary in Fairmount has been reported as a feel-good story – one about a community pulling together to fund and build something that most students in Philadelphia haven’t seen in years. The occasion was considered so momentous that Mayor Kenney, City Council President Darrell Clarke, and U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans were there to celebrate what the Inquirer headline proclaimed to be a “miracle.” But there is nothing miraculous about communities having to fend for themselves in providing the necessary resources for Philadelphia students. A true miracle would be the District making a commitment to bringing back libraries and librarians in all schools. A “Hunger Games” mentality has seeped into our collective consciousness. Teachers create GoFundMe accounts for supplies and school trips. Elementary students write letters to local politicians to plead for new playground equipment. High school seniors reach out to community donors to put books and furniture in an underused classroom to create a school library. Movie and sports stars select schools to receive new playgrounds, local politicians and District officials show up for the ribbon-cutting, and the news stories celebrate yet another charitable event, as we witness the continual underfunding of the city’s public schools.
HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf took the oath of office Tuesday for a second term as Pennsylvania government’s chief executive, urging “faith” in the state’s ability to rise above ideological divides to fix problems together while embracing tolerance and diversity.
In his speech outside the state Capitol, the mild-mannered Democrat noted that his administration, working with a Republican-led legislature, was able to achieve major policy changes in the last four years, including legalizing medical marijuana, relaxing the state’s iron grip over alcohol sales, and beginning to rein in public pension costs.
SAYLORSBURG, Pa. — In this rural mountain town, no matter how long ago you moved in, you’re still an outsider. Be it a transplant from New York or Jersey lured by cheap property here in the ‘90s or one of the most wanted men in the Middle East. Fethullah Gülen, the 80-year-old Turkish leader of a religious offshoot of Islam, has lived in exile in this pastoral slice of the Pocono Mountains for two decades. He spends his days praying, writing, and entertaining visitors on a 26-acre property on Mount Eaton Road that previously served as a family-run resort for hunters and a summer camp for Muslim youth from New York.
Cloaking Inequity Blog Posted on January 15, 2019 by Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig
Join A Movement that Supports our Schools & Communities
PA Schools Work website
Our students are in classrooms that are underfunded and overcrowded. Teachers are paying out of pocket and picking up the slack. And public education is suffering. Each child in Pennsylvania has a right to an excellent public education. Every child, regardless of zip code, deserves access to a full curriculum, art and music classes, technical opportunities and a safe, clean, stable environment. All children must be provided a level chance to succeed. PA Schools Work is fighting for equitable, adequate funding necessary to support educational excellence. Investing in public education excellence is the path to thriving communities, a stable economy and successful students.
Build on finance, policy, board culture skills at PSBA’s Applied School Director Training
Four convenient locations in December and January
Take the next step in your professional development with Applied School Director Training. Building upon topics broadly covered in New School Director Training, this new, interactive evening event asks district leaders to dive deeper into three areas of school governance: school finance, board policy and working collaboratively as a governance team. Prepare for future leadership positions and committee work in this workshop-style training led by experts and practitioners. Learn how to:
Dec.11, 2018 — Seneca Valley SD
Dec. 12, 2018 — Selinsgrove, Selinsgrove Area Middle School
Jan. 10, 2019 — Bethlehem, Nitschmann Middle School
Jan. 17, 2019 — State College
Cost: This event is complimentary for All-Access members or $75 per person with standard membership and $150 per person for nonmembers. Register online by logging in to myPSBA.
NSBA 2019 Advocacy Institute January 27-29 Washington Hilton, Washington D.C.
The upcoming midterm elections will usher in the 116th Congress at a critical time in public education. Join us at the 2019 NSBA Advocacy Institute for insight into what the new Congress will mean for your school district. And, of course, learn about techniques and tools to sharpen your advocacy skills, and prepare for effective meetings with your representatives. Save the date to join school board members from across the country on Capitol Hill to influence the new legislative agenda and shape the decisions made inside the Beltway that directly impact our students. For more information contact .
PSBA Board Presidents’ Panel
Nine locations around the state running Jan 29, 30 and 31st.
Share your leadership experience and learn from others in your area at this event designed for board presidents, superintendents and board members with interest in pursuing leadership roles. Workshop real solutions to the specific challenges you face with a PSBA-moderated panel of school leaders. Discussion will address the most pressing challenges facing PA public schools.
Annual PenSPRA Symposium set for March 28-29, 2019
Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association Website
Once again, PenSPRA will hold its annual symposium with nationally-recognized speakers on hot topics for school communicators. The symposium, held at the Conference Center at Shippensburg University, promises to provide time for collegial sharing and networking opportunities. Mark you calendars now!
We hope you can join us. Plans are underway, so check back for more information.
2019 NSBA Annual Conference Philadelphia March 30 - April 1, 2019
Pennsylvania Convention Center 1101 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19107
Registration Questions or Assistance: 1-800-950-6722
The NSBA Annual Conference & Exposition is the one national event that brings together education leaders at a time when domestic policies and global trends are combining to shape the future of the students. Join us in Philadelphia for a robust offering of over 250 educational programs, including three inspirational general sessions that will give you new ideas and tools to help drive your district forward.
Save the date: PSBA Advocacy Day at the Capitol in Harrisburg has been scheduled for Monday April 29, 2019
Save the Date: PARSS Annual Conference May 1-3, 2019
Wyndham Garden Hotel, Mountainview Country Club
Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools