Thursday, April 18, 2019

PA Ed Policy Roundup April 18: AG DePasquale investigating $110 million in taxpayer dollars paid to Lincoln Learning Solutions by PA Cyber Charter School


Started in November 2010, daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 4050 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, Governor's staff, current/former PA Secretaries of Education, Wolf education transition team members, superintendents, school solicitors, principals, charter school leaders, PTO/PTA officers, parent advocates, teacher leaders, business leaders, faith-based organizations, labor organizations, education professors, members of the press and a broad array of P-16 regulatory agencies, professional associations and education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

These daily emails are archived and searchable at http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.org
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg



Why, yes, spending more money on school does yield better results | Thursday Morning Coffee
PA Capital Star Commentary By  John L. Micek April 18, 2019
Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
It’s an eternal argument: If you spend more money on public education, will you necessarily get better results? Progressives have long argued that this is the case. If you don’t give districts adequate funding and adequate tools, then it doesn’t matter how dedicated the teacher, or how committed the parent or administrator, children will inevitably fall behind. Conservatives, meanwhile, have argued that more cash is useless without baked-in accountability measures for that spending — along with parental and community engagement. In a new op-Ed, exclusive to The Capital-StarMichael Churchill of The Public Interest Law Center says there’s no escaping it: “Pennsylvania districts with more resources are higher achieving.” Well, yeah. But read on: “Every year around state budget time, there is a fair amount of nonsense that attends the decision of how much money the state will give to our public schools. This obscures the central fact that a bold state funding investment is needed to make sure all Pennsylvania students can thrive. I hope this essay will provide a bit of clarity both for public officials and for the public at large.

AG begins probe into Lincoln Learning Solutions
Beaver County Times By Daveen Rae Kurutz Posted at 4:47 PM Updated at 4:47 PM
According to an audit of the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, more than $110 million of taxpayer dollars was paid to Lincoln Learning Solutions.
ROCHESTER — The state auditor general has ordered an investigation into public education funding being sent to Lincoln Learning Solutions. Eugene DePasquale said full accounting is needed for the millions of dollars of taxpayer money that is being paid to the Rochester-based nonprofit through cyber charter schools. “My audit of the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School found that more than $110 million of taxpayer money the school received was going directly to Lincoln Learning Solutions for curriculum services which were repeatedly delayed,” DePasquale said in a release Wednesday. “I want to see how much public funding this nonprofit receives, how much of it is spent on helping students, and how much goes to salaries and administrative costs.” Based on recent IRS forms, a substantial amount of Lincoln Learning Solutions’ revenues are from PA Cyber, DePasquale said. “Taxpayers deserve a full accounting of every education dollar going to this nonprofit corporation,” he said, noting that his office is requesting documents from Lincoln Learning. “I want to ensure that every available taxpayer dollar is going into the classroom, where it can most help students.” Lincoln Learning Solutions, which was formed in 2005, develops online curriculum for institutions such as the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. It was formerly known as the National Network of Digital School and was founded by former PA Cyber head Nick Trombetta.

Blogger note: Total cyber charter tuition paid by PA taxpayers from 500 school districts for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 was over $1.6 billion; $393.5 million, $398.8 million, $436.1 million and $454.7 million respectively. We will continue rolling out cyber charter tuition expenses for taxpayers in education committee members, legislative leadership and various other districts.
In 2016-17, taxpayers in House Majority Caucus Secretary Rep. Mike Reese’s school districts in Westmoreland & Somerset Counties had to send over $5.8 million to chronically underperforming cybers that they never authorized. #SB34 (Schwank) or #HB526 (Sonney) could change that.
Data source: PDE via .@PSBA
Links to additional bill information and several resources have been moved to the end of today’s postings

Conemaugh Township Area SD
$288,716.57
Greater Latrobe SD
$810,985.74
Hempfield Area SD
$1,782,875.00
Ligonier Valley SD
$1,467,647.04
Mount Pleasant Area SD
$973,980.02
North Star SD
$502,342.94

$5,826,547.31

Has your state senator cosponsored SB34?

Has your state representative cosponsored HB526?

Pottstown, Other Districts Pleading For State Help
A Call to Action from Pennsylvania’s Urban School Superintendents
Sanatoga Post by Joe Zlomek | April 18, 2019
POTTSTOWN PA – Pennsylvania’s “school funding system is badly in need of repair” that must occur quickly to ensure the state’s workforce of the future receives a high-quality education now and in coming years, according to an opinion-editorial essay signed by Pottstown School District Superintendent Stephen Rodriguez and 11 colleagues. Titled “A Call to Action from Pennsylvania’s Urban School Superintendents,” the op-ed piece in part pleads for the state Legislature to solve school district funding inequities, address immediate hazards in aging school buildings that include lead, mold, and asbestos; restore state financial assistance for new school construction, and work on charter school funding reform. It was distributed Wednesday (April 17, 2019) to media outlets for publication. Here’s the superintendents’ statement in its entirety:

‘A People’s Budget:’ Activists rally at the Capitol for a higher minimum wage, free college, and better school funding
PA Capital Star By  John L. Micek April 17, 2019
A coalition of progressive activist groups rallied on the state Capitol steps on Wednesday afternoon to call for, among other things, a $15/hr minimum wage; free and affordable college; increased funding for K-12 public education, and assurances that Pennsylvania’s communities of color are counted accurately in the 2020 Census. The advocates represented Wednesday included the pro-immigrant groups CASA and Make the Road Pa., as well as ONE PA.

State Education Secretary visits Shenandoah Valley
Shenandoah Sentinel Staff Reports4/17/2019
SHENANDOAH - Shenandoah Valley students, officials, and staff had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with PA Department of Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera earlier today, as he visited the school as part of the "Schools that Teach" tour. In the roundtable discussion, which included Superintendent Brian Waite, both building principals, school board members, and students, Rivera highlighted a new program: the Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability program. "The plan calls for lowering the compulsory age for school attendance from 8 years to 6 years, raising the age at which students can drop out of school from 17 to 18, and increasing the minimum salary for teachers to $45,000," says a media release." “We know that children who start formal schooling by age 6 benefit in terms of language and literacy skills and are less likely to need remedial help in later years,” said Secretary Rivera, who was visiting the school as part of the governor’s Schools That Teach Tour. “They also learn critical social and emotional skills to help them interact in healthy ways with their fellow students.”  “For students in high school, a diploma is a prerequisite for success,” he added. “Governor Wolf understands that if we can keep kids in school and prevent them from dropping out early, they will develop the skills and credentials they need to succeed.”  The program was introduced in this year's budget proposal, and also focuses on recruiting and retaining qualified teachers by increasing the state minimum salary from $18,500 to $45,000, which is $5,000 short of Shenandoah Valley's median teacher salary as of 2015-16. The lowest paid teacher at Shenandoah makes $35,000, according to www.openpagov.org.

Tamaqua parents shocked that armed teacher policy has been quietly reinstated
WHYY/Keystone Crossroads By Jen Kinney April 18, 2019
Before Tamaqua School District Sophomore Madelyn Jones went to school on Wednesday, she asked her mom a question. “Is it really possible that teachers will be carrying guns in school tomorrow?” she said. When her mom said, ‘Yes,’ Jones hatched a plan. “I was like, ‘Just so you know, if I find out there is a gun in my classroom with my teacher, I am going to ask to leave that room immediately because I do not feel safe.’” Jones was referring to Tamaqua’s school security plan to arm teachers anonymously. Tamaqua was the first school district in Pennsylvania to pass a policy to let teachers carry guns, but the school board put the idea on hold in January pending the outcome of separate lawsuits from parents and teachers. But in the course of a school board meeting this week, board president Larry Wittig revealed that the policy is back in effect — and has been for several weeks, without public announcement. The news came after parent Cheryl Tennant-Humes, who splits her time between Schuylkill County and New Jersey and is running for the Tamaqua School Board, asked the board what she thought was an innocuous question: If contested policy is suspended, what is governing school security now? Wittig replied, “We suspended it pending the outcome of the litigation. Considering that both lawsuits are thrown out, we don’t consider it suspended anymore.”

NRA seeks injunction to stop Pittsburgh from enforcing gun regulations
Trib Live by BOB BAUDER   | Wednesday, April 17, 2019 4:53 p.m.
The National Rifle Association has joined two other groups in seeking a preliminary court injunction in an attempt to stop Pittsburgh from enforcing a gun ban until the conclusion of lawsuits filed against the city by all three organizations. Four city residents with assistance from the NRA, along with Firearm Owners Against Crime and The Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League, filed suit last week in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court following Pittsburgh’s passage of three bills regulating the use of guns within city limits. They contend the legislation violates Pennsylvania law prohibiting municipalities from regulating firearms and the constitutional rights of gun owners. The NRA lawsuit sought a permanent injunction, which would prevent Pittsburgh from enforcing the ban after the court cases are settled. On Wednesday, the NRA filed a court motion for a preliminary injunction. All three lawsuits ask the court to declare the ban illegal. Firearm Owners Against Crime and the sportsmen’s league also sought preliminary injunctions.

Elanco school board's new restroom policy for transgender students is an invitation to be sued
Lancaster Online by THE LNP EDITORIAL BOARD April 18, 2019
THE ISSUE: The Eastern Lancaster County school board approved a new policy Monday night that calls for “what will most likely be a multimillion-dollar project replacing the boys and girls restrooms and locker rooms with secure, single-user, gender-neutral facilities districtwide,” LNP’s Alex Geli reported. But it also approved an addendum to that policy that reads: “We recommend that (wherever) we cannot provide private (single-user) facilities when changing or using the bathroom facilities, the students are to use the facilities based on their biological sex. Anywhere within the district that our system has not caught up with the renovations this will be in effect.” The vote came after several months of debate about how to accommodate a transgender student who identifies as male. Some district residents expressed dismay that the student had been permitted to use the boys’ restrooms and locker room at Garden Spot High School. And just like that, the Elanco school board invited a lawsuit. Its decision was so glaringly an invitation to litigation it should have come with an RSVP card. School board President Glenn Yoder said he is comfortable with the new policy. We can’t imagine he’ll be comfortable for long. Because while the board’s plan to install private changing and restroom facilities is sound, that addendum is not just awful, but unlawful. And Yoder must know it.

Two rejected charters submit revised applications to Philly Board of Education amid push for more oversight
In a February report, the Education Law Center found civil rights violations in several charters.
The notebook by Greg Windle April 17 — 4:29 pm, 2019
The Philadelphia Board of Education has received revised applications from two of the three charter schools whose applications it voted down earlier this year. Board members encouraged one, Joan Myers Brown Academy, to revise its application and reapply. That school would focus on dance. The other to try again is Tacony Academy at St. Vincent’s. Both of these charters would be operated by charter organizations that already run schools in the city. The board will vote on String Theory’s Brown Academy at its June meeting. It will consider American Paradigm’s Tacony Academy at its meeting in May.  And at its April 25 meeting, the board will vote to finalize the charter of Hebrew Public, which was revised and resubmitted last year, as well as vote on amendments submitted by other charter schools. One of those amendments would allow Laboratory Charter, which now has three campuses in Overbrook and Northern Liberties, to relocate at one site in East Falls. That application is expected to run into opposition from local residents. The flurry of activity is typical for Philadelphia, where one-third of students attend more than 80 charter schools. It shows that although the new board rejected the first three charter applications that it received, further charter expansion in the city is not off the table. But the state’s charter law has created what some legislators refer to as the “Wild West” of charter school regulation.  Other school boards around the state have viewed Philadelphia as being on the cutting edge of thorough oversight of charter schools. In recent years, the District has expanded its oversight, developing an annual evaluation and new frameworks for renewing charters. Half the charters in Pennsylvania are in Philadelphia. Whether charter school oversight goes far enough in the city depends on who you ask.

Pennsylvania: Court Rules that Charter Is Not Tax-Exempt
Diane Ravitch’s Blog By dianeravitch April 17, 2019 //
Judge Madelyn S. Fudeman upheld a ruling by the Berks County Board of Assessment Appeals denying I-LEAD Inc. an exemption from property taxes.
The building at 401 Penn St., which houses the I-LEAD Charter School, is assessed at $9.7 million, according to Berks County property records.
The property was placed on Berks County’s September upset tax sale for four years of unpaid property taxes totaling $2.8 million; the unpaid years spanned 2014-17.
The property’s owner, I-LEAD Inc., Philadelphia, was ordered to pay a bond of $500,000 to be removed from the tax sale list, which it did in December…
In her ruling, Fudeman takes I-LEAD Inc. to task, saying it appears to be more of a for-profit operation.

Harrisburg School Board votes down resolution to comply with state auditors
Penn Live By Christine Vendel | cvendel@pennlive.com Today 5:30 AM
Three weeks after the state Department of Education told Harrisburg School District officials they needed to “fully cooperate,” with state-hired auditors “without delay,” the district is still refusing to allow access to its electronic finance system. A majority of the Harrisburg School Board on Monday voted against a resolution to comply with the demands of a March 27 letter from the state Department of Education signed by Secretary Pedro Rivera. Board member Judd Pittman introduced the resolution and said he can’t figure out why the district administration would refuse to cooperate with a firm hired by the state to audit the district after a series of financial scandals. He noted previous annual audits had revealed material weaknesses in the school district’s practices that had not been corrected.

State lawmaker proposes reforms amid Penn Hills School District's financial woes
MATT MCKINNEY Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mmckinney@post-gazette.com APR 17, 2019 5:13 PM
Nearly three months after a grand jury report detailed the causes of Penn Hills School District’s crippling financial outlook, Democratic state Rep. Anthony DeLuca on Wednesday proposed a package of bills aimed at preventing other school districts from suffering the same fate. The six measures arose from recommendations in an Allegheny County grand jury report released in February that found that former Penn Hills school board and district officials showed poor leadership and mismanagement in borrowing to build two new schools without sustainable plans to repay the debt. Officials said the legislation would boost oversight and tighten rules on school district borrowing. “Taxpayers should not be expected to bail out any school district because of poor decisions of school board members who only want to play politics and use it for their personal use,” Mr. DeLuca, who represents Penn Hills, said during a news conference Wednesday morning.

APPS Philly School Board Finance & Facilities Committee Meeting Notes: April 11, 2019
Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools by Karel Kilimnik
Present: Co-chairs Lee Huang and Leticia Egea-Hinton and Committee member/Board President Joyce Wilkerson; Committee member Wayne Walker participated telephonically; Board member Chris McGinley attended; Board members Julia Danzy and Maria McColgan entered after the meeting began. Huang began by thanking community members for their feedback. He invited the public to attend the District Budget meeting to be held on Thursday April 25 at 4 PM prior to the regularly scheduled Board Action Meeting. Huang stated that the Lump Sum Budget was posted on the website after being approved at the March 28 Action meeting. (APPS contends that that vote is not valid because it was taken in a private meeting from which the public was excluded following a disruption of the Action Meeting in the auditorium.)

Global portal puts Philly students in the same room with people from distant and troubled lands
Inquirer by Kathy Boccella, Updated: April 17, 2019- 4:03 PM
With her white kitten scurrying around the room, Mira Bakri pulled up a chair and started telling three high schoolers from Conshohocken’s AIM Academy about her life and work in conflict-torn Gaza City, where she teaches high-tech coding skills to Palestinian youths amid their daily struggles for fresh water or electricity. At times, though, the white kitten dominated the conversation, especially after her feline-adverse student Ruba Akram entered through a side door. The teacher tried to put her pet out through the same door, but it kept coming back as an anxious Akram sheepishly told the Philly-area teens that “it’s a phobia, … [the cat’s] very cute.” Akram, Bakri, and her four-legged friend were 5,750 miles away, inside the Palestinian territory — though it felt like they were in the room with the Philadelphia-area students and their teacher, Amy Holt Cline. They met inside a device called the Portal, a small inflatable room with a large video screen designed to foster vivid face-to-face interactions among people who’d find it impossible to connect in real life.

Philly’s Latinx girls need more mental health support | Opinion
Angela Calderon, For the Inquirer Updated: 17 minutes ago
Angela Calderón is a senior at El Centro de Estudiantes.
Growing up in North Philadelphia in a Latino household, we never talked about mental health. But I knew something was off when, at age 15, I stopped wanting to go to school and was feeling depressed. Like many kids, I turned to my mom first — telling her I wanted to talk to somebody. But the Latino community faces a lot of stigmas when it comes to our mental health. As a community, only 20 percent of us who have symptoms of a psychological disorder will talk to a doctor about our concerns and, even worse, only 10 percent of Latinos will contact a mental-health specialist, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health. That’s why it should come as no surprise that my mom’s response was, “you’re just having a bad day. I have bad days, too.” But I wasn’t just having a bad day. Soon enough, I was skipping school on a regular basis and feeling sad all the time. At my school, Hispanic girls were treated as if we were crazy or bipolar and that it was normal for us to be “spicy.” My school lacked diversity and the counselor, who was a white lady, didn’t understand what I was feeling and kept pushing me to determine the “problem” in my life, as if this were my fault. But my childhood and home life were good; I just needed to talk to somebody. Recently, I worked with the National Women’s Law Center on its newly released report to figure out a way forward for Latinx students dealing with mental-health issues because, unfortunately, the situation is dire. Currently, 46.8 percent of all U.S. Latina high school girls felt persistently sad or hopeless to the point of being unable to engage in usual life activities, according to a 2017 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Why it’s so hard to get playgrounds in Philly’s public schools
WHYY; The Why - Air Date: April 17, 2019  Listen 12:05
Two-thirds of Philadelphia’s public schools don’t have playgrounds, many of them in neighborhoods where lower-income kids of color live — although that’s slowly changing. WHYY health and science reporter Nina Feldman has spent months looking at why it can be so difficult to build playgrounds in city schools, and why research says these spaces are so beneficial to children and their neighborhoods. And it turns out, the community has plenty to say on this issue. Nina joins us on this episode of The Why.

An open letter to Betsy DeVos, from two leading public education advocates
Washington Post Answer Sheet By Valerie Strauss Reporter April 17 at 3:35 PM
At a recent hearing on Capitol Hill, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testified before the House Education Committee and had a brief discussion with Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.) about charter schools. Here's how some of it went:
STEVENS: So your budget proposes to eliminate billions of dollars in K-12 programs, from professional development for teachers and principals, to after school programming, to mental health services, and one of my personal favorites: STEM education. And obviously, we’ve heard you talk about some of the hard decisions that you’ve had to make. Yet, somehow, you found $60 million for an increase in the federal charter school program. I just really wonder if charter schools are the answer here, whereas it really should be the Title I funding. A recent report by the Network for Public Education found that more than $1 billion in charter school program funds have been given to support charter schools that never opened or they’ve closed -- they kind of abandoned the children and families. Since 2010, 25 schools in Michigan that have received $1.7 million in charter school funding just never even opened. And the Inspector General found waste, fraud, and abuse due to the frequency of school closures in the charter school program. Can you just explain for me the mark of effective programs here, and can you justify the proposed increase for the charter school program, and on what measures or studies you have been using?
DeVOS: Let me first comment on the study you’re referring to. I’m not sure you can even call it a study. We’re looking more closely at it of course, and anything that is truly waste, fraud, or abuse we will certainly address. But the reality is that the study was really funded by and promoted by those who have a political agenda against charter schools. And the other reality is that there are currently over one million students on wait lists for charter schools in the country. So, we want to see more charter schools, not fewer. More students that can access options that are right for them, not fewer.
The report to which they refer is “Asleep at the Wheel,” published in March by the Network for Public Education, a group that advocates for policies supporting publicly funded school districts. It says the U.S. government has wasted up to $1 billion on charter schools that never opened, or opened and then were closed because of mismanagement and other reasons. The report said the U.S. Education Department has not adequately monitored how its grant money has been spent by Republican and Democratic administrations.


Diane Ravitch Speaking at Penn State Harrisburg April 25th at 7:00 p.m.
777 West Harrisburg Pike, Harrisburg, PA
Mukund S. Kulkarni Theatre, Student Enrichment Center
Join Diane Ravitch as she presents "The End of the Faux Reform Movement." Ravitch is the author of the national bestseller "Reign of Error The Hoax of the Privatization Movement" and the "Danger to America’s Public Schools." There will be a book signing opportunity after the event.
For more information, contact Dr. Hannah Spector at hms22@psu.edu.

“When the CAB overrules these local school board decisions, it is de facto, deciding the expenditure of local school taxes and directing the payment of locally collected taxes to an entity other than the school district over which the school board has very limited control. Further the board is overriding decisions made by duly elected local officials who are charged with ensuring the infrastructure of the public education system and the welfare of Pennsylvania’s students.”
PCCY Calls for Moratorium on PA Charter School Advisory Board Proceedings
PCCY calls for a moratorium on proceedings of the Pennsylvania Charter School Appeal Board (CAB) until all board members are duly appointed and serving in four-year unexpired terms. (sign the petition below) Pennsylvania’s constitution gives school boards the power and obligation to impose taxes and oversee the expenditure of those taxes for the purpose of providing a free and appropriate education.  State law circumscribed that constitutionally defined power in 1997 when the legislature created the CAB and empowered it to decide if a local school board’s rejection of a charter application or renewal was appropriately decided within the confines of the 1997 new Charter School Law.  As such, when the CAB decides that a school board has not appropriately rejected a charter school applicant, it can override the local school board’s decision and give the charter school a green light to open or continue to operate unless and until the school district challenges the CAB decision in Commonwealth Court.

Support REAL cyber charter school funding reform to protect Pennsylvania taxpayers & save at least $250 million
Education Voters PA Petition
TO GOVERNOR WOLF AND MEMBERS OF THE PA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Because of Pennsylvania's broken funding system for cyber charter schools, home and business owners in every corner of the commonwealth are paying higher school property taxes in order to fund expensive advertising campaigns for cyber charter schools, including billboards, radio and TV ads, mailers, and more. They are paying higher property taxes to fund shareholder profits for private cyber charter school management organizations, exorbitant salaries for their administrators, and, in the case of a high-profile fraud case, a personal airplane and vacation homes for a cyber charter CEO. State lawmakers and Governor Wolf can end this wasteful spending by supporting REAL cyber charter school funding reform that, at a minimum, will match the tuition school districts pay to cyber charter schools with the actual cost of educating students at home on a computer. Please sign and share this petition calling on Governor Wolf and your state lawmakers to support REAL cyber charter school funding reform that will save at least $250 million in taxpayer money each year. It is time for them to stand up to the special interests that are profiting off of our children.

Electing PSBA Officers – Application Deadline is May 31st
Do you have strong communication and leadership skills and a vision for PSBA? Members interested in becoming the next leaders of PSBA are encouraged to submit an Application for Nomination no later than May 31 to PSBA's Leadership Development Committee (LDC).
The nomination process: All persons seeking nomination for elected positions of the Association shall file with the Leadership Development Committee chairperson an Application for Nomination (.PDFon a form to be provided by the Association expressing interest in the office sought. The Application for nomination shall be marked received at PSBA Headquarters or mailed first class and postmarked no later than the application deadline specified in the timeline established by the Governing Board to be considered timely-filed.” (PSBA Bylaws, Article IV, Section 6.E.). Application Deadline: May 31, 2019
Open positions are:

Success Starts Here is a multi-year public awareness campaign sharing positive news in PA public education.

Calling all Norristown parents, educators, leaders & stakeholders! Join us for Norristown Parents & Students for Education on Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Norristown Public Library.
Together we can harness the power of all to make a difference in our schools and communities! Hear from the experts and learn how to advocate! Free breakfast & givewaways. Don't miss out!
Sponsored by Norristown Men of Excellence, The Urban League of Philadelphia & PA Schools Work.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/norristown-parents-students-for-education-tickets-59590097586

PSBA: Nominations for the Allwein Society are welcome!
The Allwein Society is an award program recognizing school directors who are outstanding leaders and advocates on behalf of public schools and students. This prestigious honor was created in 2011 in memory of Timothy M. Allwein, a former PSBA staff member who exemplified the integrity and commitment to advance political action for the benefit of public education. Nominations are accepted year-round and inductees will be recognized at the PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference, among other honors.

PSBA: 2019 State of Education report now online
PSBA Website February 19, 2019
The 2019 State of Education report is now available on PSBA.org in PDF format. The report is a barometer of not only the key indicators of public school performance, but also the challenges schools face and how they are coping with them. Data reported comes from publicly available sources and from a survey to chief school administrators, which had a 66% response rate. Print copies of the report will be mailed to members soon.

All PSBA-members are invited to attend Advocacy Day on Monday, April 29, 2019 at the state Capitol in Harrisburg. In addition, this year PSBA will be partnering with the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units (PAIU) and Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) to strengthen our advocacy impact. The focus for the day will be meetings with legislators to discuss critical issues affecting public education. There is no cost to attend, and PSBA will assist in scheduling appointments with legislators once your registration is received. The day will begin with a continental breakfast and issue briefings prior to the legislator visits. Registrants will receive talking points, materials and leave-behinds to use with their meetings. PSBA staff will be stationed at a table in the main Rotunda during the day to answer questions and provide assistance. The day’s agenda and other details will be available soon. If you have questions about Advocacy Day, legislative appointments or need additional information, contact Jamie.Zuvich@psba.org  Register for Advocacy Day now at http://www.mypsba.org/
PSBA members can register online now by logging in to myPSBA. If you need assistance logging in and registering contact Alysha Newingham, Member Data System Administrator at alysha.newingham@psba.org or call her at (717) 506-2450, ext. 3420

Pennsylvania schools work – for students, communities and the economy when adequate resources are available to give all students an equal opportunity to succeed.
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.
http://paschoolswork.org/

Save the Date:  PARSS Annual Conference May 1-3, 2019
Wyndham Garden Hotel, Mountainview Country Club
Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools
https://www.parss.org/Annual_Conference


PSBA Tweet March 12, 2019 Video Runtime: 6:40
In this installment of #VideoEDition, learn about legislation introduced in the PA Senate & House of Representatives that would save millions of dollars for school districts that make tuition payments for their students to attend cyber charter schools.
http://ow.ly/RyIM50n1uHi 

PSBA Summaries of Senate Bill 34 and House Bill 526

PSBA Sample Board Resolution in Support of Statewide Cyber Charter School Funding Reform

PSBA Sample Board Resolution in Support of Senate Bill 34 and House Bill 256

How much could your school district and taxpayers save if there were statewide flat tuition rates of $5000 for regular ed students and $8865 for special ed.? See the estimated savings by school district here.
Education Voters PA Website February 14, 2019


Has your state representative cosponsored HB526?

Any comments contained herein are my comments, alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or organization that I may be affiliated with.