Friday, February 22, 2019

PA Ed Policy Roundup Feb. 22: Study by pro school choice Fordham Institute: “It was as if students at online charters in Ohio skipped 47 days of reading classes in a year and 136 days of math classes.”

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
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

Study by pro school choice Fordham Institute: “It was as if students at online charters in Ohio skipped 47 days of reading classes in a year and 136 days of math classes.”

Have a friend or colleague who would like to receive the PA Ed Policy Roundup? Have them send along their name, email address and affiliation

New data sheets profiling each of PA’s 500 school districts show that the state is underfunding schools across the state & that across a majority of districts local property taxes are still on the rise. How does your district stack up?
PASchoolsWork website February 2019

PSBA’s 2018 Pennsylvania School Facts and Figures is now available
Do you know how many students graduated in 2017 from Pennsylvania public high schools? 125,505 and 68% of these graduates are attending college (66%) or a non-degree postsecondary school (2%). These facts and many more can be found in the 2018 PA School Facts and Figures info sheet. It is designed to help school officials respond quickly to questions from the public and contains the most current statewide information available. To request a printed copy, contact Anne Herald, PSBA senior research specialist, at (800) 932-0588, ext. 3364, or

“Even if the governor’s proposal is adopted in full, only 11 percent of the state’s total appropriation to basic education funding — $705 million out of $6.5 billion — will be distributed through the state’s fair funding formula.”
Pa.'s budget must address glaring inequities in school funding | Opinion
Deborah Gordon Klehr, For the Inquirer Updated: 13 minutes ago
Gov. Tom Wolf recently proposed a budget for 2019-20 that includes increased education funding across the board — for basic education, special education, early childhood education, and career and technical education as well as for school safety and to boost teacher salaries. All of these are areas of great need, worthy of increased state support. The governor’s proposal of a 4 percent overall increase in state spending for public schools, or $479 million, is a positive step, building on the investments in education that he made in his first term. But the proposed funding isn’t enough and will not significantly change Pennsylvania’s ranking as the fifth-worst state in the country in terms of the meager share of education costs covered by state government. There is another shortcoming in the governor’s budget that is just as critical to address: equity. The proposal does not consistently focus investments on the students and school districts where the need is greatest. Pennsylvania is a state where the gaps between education haves and have-nots are enormous and growing: A recent analysis by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center found that the spending gap between a typical high-wealth and low-wealth district in the commonwealth widened from $3,058 per student in 2013 to $3,778 in 2017. In 2016, state legislators joined with Wolf to adopt a mechanism designed to help address the problems that led to Pennsylvania’s being labeled the most inequitably funded state in the nation.

Stronger together, Pa.’s ‘Fab Four’ women lawmakers make their mark on Capitol Hill
By  Allison Stevens Capital-Star Washington Bureau February 22, 2019
WASHINGTON — Last fall, four women from Pennsylvania won seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, breaking up the state’s all-male congressional delegation and making history in the process. The women, all Democrats, supported each other along the way, holding joint fundraisers, meeting up for margaritas, and consulting each other about how to manage joint media appearances — discussing everything from what to say to what to wear. They’re called the “Fab Four.” Now, two months into the first session of the 116th Congress, their bonds have intensified. “We’re all very different, but we do share the idea that we will go farther and succeed legislatively even better as we help one another,” said U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean, of the Montgomery County-based 4th Congressional District. Collaboration looks a little different on the U.S. Capitol grounds than it did on the Pennsylvania campaign trail. “We do not march in lock step by any means,” said Rep. Susan Wild, of the Lehigh Valley-based 7th District.“But we bounce ideas off each other and talk about issues. … If we’re proposing a bill, the first people we check in with are [each other].” Wild, Dean, and U.S. Reps. Mary Gay Scanlon and Chrissy Houlahan are the first women to represent the Keystone State in Congress since 2015, when ex-Rep. Allyson Schwartz retired.

Here's what cyber charters cost Lehigh Valley taxpayers and why it's being called 'unacceptable'
By Sara K. Satullo | For | Posted February 21, 2019 at 08:15 AM
A new report has found cyber charter school reform could save Lehigh Valley taxpayers $11 million a year and save $250 million statewide. The report by the progressive advocacy group Education Voters of PA finds that reforming Pennsylvania's cyber charter school funding could save millions annually and improve student outcomes. Cyber charters are public schools that educate students online from home. Cyber schools are publicly funded and privately operated.  Under the state's 1997 charter school law, cyber schools are reimbursed as the same rates as brick-and-mortar charter schools despite having much lower operating costs. The report echoes familiar cyber charter school criticisms.  None of Pennsylvania's 15 cyber schools, which are authorized by the state, earned passing grades during the five years when the state issued School Performance Profile scores. Last year, the majority of cyber schools landed in the bottom five percent for educational performance in the state, according to Pennsylvania Department of Education data. "If cyber charter schools improved student educational outcomes in Pennsylvania, an argument might be made to justify paying them a premium above what it costs them to educate children,” the group's Executive Director Susan Spicka said. “Regrettably, this is not the case. Pennsylvania’s cyber charter schools are notorious for poor academic performance.” PA Coalition of Public Charter Schools Executive Director Ana Meyers called the report a "pile of one-sided garbage from an organization that is against parental choice and only wants more money for school districts even if it is against the best interest of the children."

Poll: Are Pa. taxpayers overpaying for cyber charter schools?
By Jim Flagg | For Updated Feb 21, 1:38 PM; Posted Feb 21, 1:11 PM
A study by Education Voters of PA, a progressive advocacy group, says cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania are receiving much more public tax support than they need to operate. Under state law, cyber schools receive the same reimbursement as brick-and-mortar charter schools, even though cybers offer learning over the internet and have lower operating costs. Pennsylvania’s 15 cyber charter schools receive taxpayer-supported tuition ranging from $7,300 a year for a regular student to more than $40,000 for a special education student, the report says. Scaling that back to $5,000 per regular student and $8,865 per special education student would save Pennsylvania taxpayers $250 million a year, the group says. The Lehigh Valley’s share of that savings is pegged at $11 million a year. The report cites the academic performance of the charters, saying none of those authorized by the state earned passing grades during the five years when the state issued School Performance Profile scores. In 2018 most of the cybers were in the bottom 5 percent for educational performance in the state, according to state Department of Education data. Ana Meyers, executive director of the PA Coalition of Public Charter Schools, called the report a slanted attack by a group working on behalf of public school districts, many of which have challenged tax money going to charter schools. Myers said cyber schools afford parents a needed choice, and could not exist on a per-pupil tuition of $5,000 a year. The schools must pay for students’ computers and online access, among other expenses, she said.

The Fordham Institute, a national education advocacy group active in Ohio, sponsored the study, as well as a similar one CREDO did for Ohio in late 2014. Fordham, a right-leaning organization, supports charters and school choice efforts, while also pressing for quality schools.
“The big problems are with online charter schools, which lag so far behind everyone that they wipe out any gains for charters overall. Online charters did worse in both reading and math - far worse in math - than other schools. It was as if students at online charters in Ohio skipped 47 days of reading classes in a year and 136 days of math classes.”
Charter schools haven’t improved in Ohio, Stanford researchers find
By Patrick O'Donnell, The Plain Dealer Updated Feb 19; Posted Feb 19
Ohio's charter schools haven't made any real educational gains the last few years, according to Macke Raymond, who leads Stanford University's Center for Research of Educational Outcomes.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Charter schools in Ohio haven’t improved in recent years, Stanford University researchers have found, despite all the recent debate, public scandals and efforts to make this state’s nationally-scorned charter schools teach kids better. “There is little to no progress in Ohio charter school performance,” concludes a new report released today by Stanford’s Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO), when comparing Ohio’s charters today to those 10 years ago, as well as those four years ago. Though charters here made progress in helping students learn to read over time - closing a small gap between them and traditional schools - they did worse in math and fell further behind. It would be a discouraging finding for charter backers, who have viewed the much-maligned sector as improving the last few years as tougher state laws have kicked in and some of the worst schools have closed. But many of those changes are still too new to have moved the numbers in the Stanford study. The report also gives charter backers a big win by making a major distinction between typical charter schools and online ones. Most charter schools - the “brick-and-mortar” schools where students come to a school every day - look great in the new findings, when they are compared to traditional public schools handling similar students. These charters helped students read better than traditional schools did with similar students, and barely did worse in math.

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.
Over the next several days we will continue rolling out cyber charter tuition expenses for taxpayers in education committee members and legislative leadership districts.

In 2016-17, taxpayers in Senate Ed Committee member .@DaylinLeach’s districts had to send over $4.2 million to chronically underperforming cybers that locally elected school boards never authorized. SB34 (Schwank) or HB526 (Sonney) could change that.
Data source: PDE via @PSBA

Colonial SD
Lower Merion SD
Norristown Area SD
Radnor Township SD
Haverford Township SD
Upper Merion Area SD
Wissahickon SD

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

Uncharted territory: The legal landscape on policies arming teachers will be shaped by districts like Tamaqua
Sarah M. Wojcik Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call February 22, 2019
When the Tamaqua Area School District implemented the commonwealth’s first policy to arm teachers, leaders at the district knew they would be pioneers. But now, after facing two lawsuits from teachers and families opposed to this particular answer to school shootings, experts say the district also will be laying the legal groundwork for such policies across the state. The eyes of other school district leaders, elected officials and solicitors are now focused on Schuylkill County. “This is an extremely important issue,” said John Freund, an attorney with the Bethlehem law firm KingSpry who serves as solicitor for a handful of Lehigh Valley school districts. “We’re advising all of our clients to wait and see what happens here because the outcome is certainly uncertain.” According to the nonprofit Education Commission of the States, there are 21 states that explicitly give districts, school boards or schools the authority to decide whether weapons are allowed in schools, and nine states that have laws that give school employees permission to possess weapons. In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre in 2018, Florida passed legislation requiring districts to have a “safe-school officer” on staff — be it a police officer, private security or trained, armed employee.

“According to Regan, the escalator is a good idea because “it takes the politics out of it.” But that is exactly why there should be no escalator. The scholarship programs are politically controversial and should be the subject of regular debate. Lawmakers should be on record as voting for or against them. The programs already are insufficiently transparent. There is no way to know how many students receiving scholarships would have gone to private schools anyway, because the state government does not publish information on the wealth of families who receive the scholarships, or whether students previously had been enrolled in private or public schools.”
No ‘escalator’ for tax credits
State legislators should reject a bill that would provide for automatic increases in the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program.
About 50,000 Pennsylvania elementary and high school students attend private schools with scholarships funded through state government tax breaks. The Educational Improvement Tax Credit program and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit program have been expanded by the Legislature seven times since the law was adopted in 2001. Now, school choice advocates want to expand the tax break automatically every year without so much as a debate in the Legislature. Under the programs, businesses and individuals who donate to eligible programs may deduct an amount equal to between 75 percent and 90 percent of the donation from their state tax bills. An entity that contributes $1,000, then, would be able to deduct between $750 and $900 from a $1,000 state tax bill. State law caps the total amount of credits at $210 million a year. That means that the state government receives $210 million less per year in tax revenue than it otherwise would receive. On the other side of the ledger, state and local taxpayers do not bear the cost of public education for private school scholarship recipients. State Sen. Mike Regan, a York County Republican, has introduced a bill that would create an  “escalator,” providing for the tax credit cap to grow by 25 percent each year if scholarship contributors claim at least 90 percent of the tax credits available under the prior year’s cap. If that happened for five consecutive years, the cap would grow from $210 million to $641 million.

Judge’s order could foster deal to end Christian club’s lawsuit against school district over Bible handouts
A compromise seems to be in the works that could resolve a lawsuit by a student Christian club against Mechanicsburg Area School District.
Penn Live By Matt Miller | Updated Feb 21, 5:45 PM
An order a federal judge issued Thursday could contain the seed of a peaceful settlement of a Christian student group’s lawsuit against Mechanicsburg Area School District. The directive from U.S. Middle District Judge John E. Jones III gives the Christians In Action Club and district leaders 45 days to jointly rewrite a regulation which club members claim violates their rights to religious freedom by preventing them from distributing Bibles at school. Jones issued the order at the request of both parties in the case.Lawyers for the Independence Law Center sued the district early this month, claiming district officials were unconstitutionally barring the club from giving away Bibles during school lunch periods. District officials denied any religious discrimination. They claimed the Bible handouts were violating rules intended to control the distribution of written materials by students during school hours. The joint stipulation lawyers for the district and club asked Jones to approve temporarily bars the district from blocking the lunchtime Bible distributions while the sides cooperate to draft a new regulation. Whatever they devise must be presented to the school community within 45 days, the judge ruled.

Superintendent William Hite: Philly schools need diverse curriculum and diverse teachers | Opinion
William Hite, For the Inquirer Updated: February 21, 2019 - 11:00 AM
William R. Hite is the superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia and a member of Chiefs for Change, a diverse, bipartisan network of state and district education chiefs.
Earlier this month, in these pages, Philadelphia writer Ernest Owens argued that we should cancel Black History Month and instead “recognize black history — and its people — all year round.” I take Mr. Owens’ point, and while I don’t believe that we should cease to embrace February as a month dedicated to honoring and celebrating the many accomplishments of African Americans, I do agree that “schools must diversify their curriculums to acknowledge the existence of black people routinely,” not merely during one month of the year. As superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, I am proud to say that we are doing just that. We’re working to ensure that our students are exposed to rich, challenging instruction that honors their diverse backgrounds and experiences. Our city’s schools serve a wonderfully diverse student population: as of this year, nearly half our students are African American, roughly one fifth are Hispanic, 14 percent are white, nearly 9 percent are Asian American, and several thousand identify as having multiple racial and ethnic backgrounds. This diversity is not unique to Philadelphia; indeed, America’s public schools are more diverse than ever, especially in large cities, where students of color represent the vast majority of the student population. I believe this growing diversity is a strength, that the varied backgrounds and experiences of our students can contribute to richer and more meaningful learning experiences. 

Anthony Williams moves closer to challenging Jim Kenney, using Local 98 ties to taint the Philly mayor | Clout
Inquirer by Chris Brennan, Updated: 58 minutes ago
Three moves by State Sen. Anthony H. Williams this week suggest he is creeping closer to challenging Mayor Jim Kenney in the May 21 Democratic primary. First, Williams has people circulating nomination petitions, collecting the 1,000 signatures from Democratic voters he needs by March 12 to get his name on the ballot. Second, Williams declared that he will not accept campaign donations from Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers after that union’s leader, John J. “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, City Councilman Bobby Henon, and six other union officials were indicted three weeks ago. Third, that statement, which said, “The current political environment is seriously tainted by allegations of undue influence and corruption that has reached into City Hall and are casting a shadow over the Mayor’s Office," was issued by the “Williams Exploratory Committee.” That’s new.

Blogger note: Anthony Williams has been a favorite of the Students First PAC, which has contributed millions in his failed previous bids for Governor and Mayor. Williams has been a leading proponent of school vouchers…..
Reprise 2012: Will a PAC Pick Philly’s Next Mayor?
Students First is very interested in City Council.
PhillyMag by PATRICK KERKSTRA· 7/6/2012, 7:30 a.m.
The pro-privatization Students First PAC has been a huge player in state politics from the moment it emerged in 2010 flush with cash, much of it from three local businessmen who together founded Susquehanna International Group, a global investment company. Students First gave State Sen. Anthony Williams—a leading Democratic proponent of school vouchers—a staggering $3.65 million for his failed gubernatorial run. And ever since, the PAC has showered smaller sums on state representatives and senators receptive to the organization’s goal of sweeping education reform.

Reprise 2013: Powerful Pro-School-Voucher Group May Have Violated State Law [Updated]
PAC with ties to Jeffrey Yass connected to John McDaniel's case.
PhillyMag by SIMON VAN ZUYLEN-WOOD· 2/26/2013, 7:59 p.m.
Students First PAC, a pro-school-voucher group backed by three managers of Bala Cynwyd-based Susquehanna International Group, may have violated state election law. Susquehanna’s Jeffrey Yass, an ardent charter and voucher advocate, and two like-minded associates, first got into the political game in 2010, pouring an unprecedented $5 million from Students First into State Senator Anthony Williams’ campaign for governor. Yass and his family have continued to push for vouchers since then. The possible violation is related to a Students First* campaign donation funneled to a Philadelphia state senate candidate last spring with the help of embattled former city employee John McDaniel.

Reprise 2010: Anthony Williams gets another big infusion of cash
By Tom Infield, Inquirer Staff Writer, Posted: May 13, 2010
The amount of money they had given already was historic for Pennsylvania - and now, it's more.
Joel Greenberg, Arthur Dantchik, and Jeff Yass - all executives at the Susquehanna International Group L.L.P. of Bala Cynwyd - started over the winter by indirectly giving $1.5 million to State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams' Democratic campaign for governor. The cash allowed Williams, who belatedly entered the race in February, to pour out a Niagara of TV ads leading up to Tuesday's primary. The three businessmen, who are involved in international finance, did not stop there. A political-action committee largely bankrolled by the trio gave an additional $975,000 last month to the Williams campaign. The PAC also paid a $200,000 TV bill for Williams. Now comes word that the same PAC - called Students First - has chipped in an additional $515,000. On May 3, according to campaign-finance reports filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State, Williams was down to his last $127,000. Three days later, last Thursday, Students First contributed $515,000.

Centennial preliminary budget has 4 percent tax increase
Bucks County Courier Times By Chris English  Posted Feb 21, 2019 at 3:00 PM
The preliminary budget allocates $743,575 for various capital improvements at schools around the district and increases curriculum spending by $300,000. The Centennial School District will spend $743,575 on various capital improvements at its schools, and boost curriculum spending by $300,000 under a preliminary 2019-20 budget recently passed by the school board. The $125.4 million budget includes a 4 percent property tax increase. Among the capital improvements scheduled for next school year are $325,000 for replacement of the gymnasium bleachers at William Tennent High School in Warminster, and $37,500 for added security and safety technology — including more surveillance cameras — at all six district schools. Under the district’s five-year capital improvements and major maintenance plan, the synthetic turf field at Tennent is scheduled to be replaced in the 2020-21 school year at an estimated cost of $500,000. Curriculum enhancements for 2019-20 include reading and writing workshops at both the elementary and secondary levels and a phonics program at the elementary level. There are no staffing additions or cuts planned as of now, school district Chief Financial Officer Christopher Berdnik said, though he added “there are always shifts as we adjust to specific enrollment levels and student course selection.” Berdnik said the board has authorized administrators to apply to the state for special education and pension expenses that, if granted, would allow the district to impose a property tax increase of as high as 4 percent for next school year. Officials said the eventual increase might not be that high. Centennial’s normal maximum allowable tax increase for 2019-20 under the state’s Act 1 Index, without the exceptions, is 2.3 percent.

North Penn School Board votes ahead 2019-20 budget, possible tax hike
LANSDALE — The North Penn School Board has taken the next step toward preparing their 2019-20 budget. The board has voted to adopt a preliminary draft budget, and seek state permission for two tax increases above the state limit. "We're not taking the exceptions — we're simply leaving it open as an option," said board member Christian Fusco. Earlier this month the school board saw the first draft of a proposed 2019-20 budget, with expenses of roughly $275 million and a deficit of roughly $14 million in projected expenses over revenues. Several components have not been factored into the first draft, according to Director of Business Administration Steve Skrocki, including any potential tax increase for the upcoming year. The limit set by the state's Act 1 of 2006 would be a 2.3 percent increase in district real estate taxes for 2019-20, which could help cut the deficit by generating roughly $4.1 million in new revenue. North Penn could also qualify for two exceptions from Act 1, one for special education costs that could bring in an additional $1.56 million, and a second for retirement costs that could add just over $48,000.  The 2.3 percent tax increase would equal a rise of $87 in the taxes paid by the average district resident, and adding the two exceptions would total a 3.19 percent tax increase or a rise of $121 over current levels.

2019 State of Education report now online
PSBA Website February 19, 2019
The 2019 State of Education report is now available on 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.

The Game Plan: A Regional Strategy for Strengthening Pennsylvania's Workforce  Wed. Feb. 27th 8:30 am Bala Cynwyd
by Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) Wed, February 27, 2019 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM EST IHeartMedia, Inc, 111 Presidential Boulevard #100 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Do businesses leaders think they have the skilled workforce they need to keep Southeast PA growing? Is the Commonwealth providing students with a quality of education that will prepare them to meet the business needs of tomorrow?
Join our panel of experts, including Todd Carmichael, CEO of La Colombe; Mike Diaz, CEO of Semper Utilities; Philip Jaurigue, Chairman & CEO, Sabre Systems, Inc; Lin Thomas, Chairman and CEO, Supra Office Solutions, Inc.; Rachel M. Wilner, Senior VP and Regional VP, TD Bank and Tomea Sippio-Smith, Education Policy Director of PCCY. The event will coincide with the release of PCCY’s much anticipated report: A New Game Plan: A Regional Strategy for Strengthening Pennsylvania's Workforce.

Join PA Schools Work For a Webinar at Noon on Feb. 26!
Do you know how the Governor's proposed budget will impact your school? Do you know how you can effectively advocate for as much funding as possible? Grab a sandwich and join PA Schools Work on February 26 at noon as we unpack the Governor's budget and learn how to be an effective advocate for our schools and students.
What You Need to Know to be an Effective Advocate
During this hour, PA Schools Work's seasoned experts will walk you through the Governor's proposed budget allocation for education and what it means to you and your school. During this hour, we will also hone in on the tools and tips you need to ensure that you are making the biggest impact with your advocacy efforts. Join us to make sure you are equipped with all you need to know. Knowledge is power!

PSBA Members - Register for Advocacy Day at the Capitol in Harrisburg Monday April 29, 2019
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  Register for PSBA Advocacy Day now at
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 or call her at (717) 506-2450, ext. 3420

Board Presidents’ Panel
Learn, discuss, and practice problem solving with school leader peers facing similar or applicable challenges. Workshop-style discussions will be facilitated and guided by PSBA experts. With the enormous challenges facing schools today, effective and knowledgeable board leadership is essential to your productivity and performance as a team of ten.
Locations & Dates
Due to inclement weather, some dates have been rescheduled. The updated schedule is below.
Feb. 28, 2019 — St. Marys Area High School (Section 2)(Rescheduled from Jan. 31)
Mar. 28, 2019 — Crawford Cty CTC (Section 1)(Rescheduled from Jan. 30)

PSBA Sectional Meetings - Ten convenient locations in February and March
School safety and security is a complex, multi-perspective topic impacting school entities in dramatic ways. This complimentary PSBA member meeting featured in ten locations will offer essential updates and information on Safe2Say reporting, suicide awareness related to student safety, school climate, and emergency preparedness planning. Representatives from the Attorney General’s office, PEMA, and a top expert in behavioral health will be presenting. Updates on legislation impacting your schools will be presented by PSBA staff. Connect with the experts, have your questions answered, and network with other members.
Locations and Dates
Section Meetings are 6-8 p.m. (across all locations).
Register online by logging in to myPSBA.

Open Board Positions for 2019 PA Principals Association Election
Thursday, January 10, 2019 9:05 AM
Margaret S. (Peg) Foster, principal, academic affairs, in the Crestwood School District, has been appointed by President Michael Allison to serve as the chairperson of the 2019 PA Principals Association Nominations Committee to oversee the 2019 election. Her committee consists of the following members: Curtis Dimmick, principal in the Northampton Area School District; Jacqueline Clark-Havrilla, principal in the Spring-Ford School District; and Joseph Hanni, vice principal in the Scranton School District.   If you are interested in running for one of the open board positions (shown below) in the 2019 election, please contact Stephanie Kinner at or (717) 732-4999 for an application. Applications must be received in the state office by Friday, February 22, 2019.

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.

Indiana Area School District Safety & Security Symposium March 15, 2019
Indiana Area School District Website
Background: It’s 2019, and school safety has catapulted as one of the top priorities for school districts around the country. With an eye toward providing educators with various resources and opportunities specific to Pennsylvania, the Indiana Area School District -- in collaboration with Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA Representative Jim Struzzi, and as well as Indiana County Tourist Bureau-- is hosting a FREE safety and security symposium on March 15, 2019. This safety and security exchange will provide information that benefits all stakeholders in your education community: administrators, board members, and staff members alike. Presenters offer valuable resources to help prepare your organization to continue the discussion on safety and security in our schools.  Pre-registration is required, and you will be invited to choose the breakout sessions that you feel will have the most impact in your professional learning on these various topics, as well as overall impact on your District’s systems of operations. Please take time to review the various course breakout sessions and their descriptions.  Don’t miss this opportunity to connect and learn.
How to Register: Participants attending the Safety Symposium on March 15, 2019, will have the option to select a maximum of 4 breakout sessions to attend on this day.  Prior to the breakout sessions, attendees will hear opening remarks from former Secretary of Education - Dr. Gerald Zahorchak.  We want to empower the attendees to exercise their voice and choice in planning their day!  Please review the various break out session descriptions by clicking on the "Session Descriptions" on the right-hand side of this page.  On that page, you will be able to review the sessions offered that day and register for the symposium.

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:  PARSS Annual Conference May 1-3, 2019
Wyndham Garden Hotel, Mountainview Country Club
Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools

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.