Wednesday, May 4, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup May 4: NAEP: “a decade of test-driven school “reform” resulted in no academic progress.”

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3900 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, 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 and LinkedIn

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

Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup May 4, 2016:
NAEP: “a decade of test-driven school “reform” resulted in no academic progress.”



See guest PA Sec of Education Pedro Rivera next Sunday May 8 at 3:00 pm on EPLC's "Focus on Education" on PCN



Broken Pa. charter-school law must be fixed | Opinion
Express-Times guest columnist  By James Roebuck Jr. on May 03, 2016 at 12:00 PM, updated May 03, 2016 at 12:07 PM
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale recently said our state has the nation's worst charter school law. As Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, I agree. I have introduced legislation to reform this nearly 20-year-old law and bring much-needed accountability in performance and finances to these tax-funded, privately run schools.  The state law that authorized charters hasn't been reformed since it passed in 1997. It's just common sense to revisit a major law, especially when significant problems are apparent.  Some Pennsylvania charter schools are doing a good job of educating children and managing taxpayer dollars, but it's hard to miss the evidence of the need for reforming others.

Educators Call for Permanent Funding Formula
Advocates are asking for $400 million in new school funding.
Public News Service May 4, 2016
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Education advocates traveled to Harrisburg this week to tell lawmakers that schools need to be fully funded in the next state budget.  In the budget that was finally adopted for the current fiscal year, the Legislature did apply the bipartisan funding formula educators have requested for years. But Deborah Gordon Klehr, executive director of the Education Law Center, said the formula is only as good as the money that goes into it, "which is why we now need the General Assembly to take the next step and appropriate more dollars to go through the basic education funding formula in the next year."  The funding formula, which was put in place through the state's fiscal code, only applies to the current budget year, which ends June 30, but advocates want the formula to be made permanent.

Lawmakers: Schools should receive state funds in case of budget stalemate
Lancaster Online by SAM JANESCH | Staff WriterMay 4, 2016
If two Lancaster County lawmakers have their way, Pennsylvania schools will not suffer in the event of another budget deadlock in Harrisburg.  In 2015, when the state budget battle was just starting, a pair of Lancaster County lawmakers saw the writing on the wall and penned legislation to keep schools funded even if a state budget is delayed.  One year later — including nine months of starving public schools of most funding — that legislation is starting to make moves in the Capitol.  State Sen. Ryan Aument, R-Landisville, and state Rep. David Hickernell, R-West Donegal, introduced identical bills last spring that would allow schools to be funded at the same level as the previous year if a state budget is not passed by Aug. 15, a month and a half after the annual budget deadline.  Hickernell, whose bill was approved by a House committee this week, said schools would receive a first batch of emergency funds as the Legislature and the governor negotiate final spending numbers.  “We would not have to worry about schools closing, school districts having to borrow money when their subsidies are basically sitting in the state Treasury,” Hickernell said.  The idea faces opposition from Democrats who say keeping education funding flat is not realistic when payroll expenses and construction costs increase annually, said House Democrats spokesman Bill Patton.  “The school funding question is front and center every year, but this plan would make it harder to find common ground, not easier,” Patton said, adding that “the dynamic tension and urgency that occurs in budget talks usually leads to a resolution rather than a stalemate.”

Bethlehem Area looks at breaking down barriers for poor and minority students
Daryl Nerl Special to The Morning Call May 3, 2016
Bethlehem Area schools aim to achieve "excellence through equity."
BETHLEHEM — Race and family income should not be a predictor of how well a child performs in school, yet administrators in the Bethlehem Area School District understand that black, Hispanic and poor students often lag behind their peers.  A new report discussed Monday during the school board's Curriculum Committee meeting lays out a plan to address the issues that hold back students because of their socioeconomic status.  Among the suggestions is to evaluate the system of transportation that serves the district, which might hinder some students' ability to participate in before-school, after-school and weekend activities.  Another is to analyze fees and other costs that might be a barrier for economically disadvantaged students to participation in clubs, sports and other school-based activities and work to eliminate them.  Other suggestions include encouraging more students to stretch their abilities and personalize their academic experience by providing more support for them to do so, and making district schools more welcoming environments for minority and economically disadvantaged parents.  The 18-page report on the "Excellence through Equity" plan was the culmination of an effort launched a year ago by Superintendent Joseph Roy and Assistant Superintendent Jack Silva, who put together a committee of community and district stakeholders to research, debate and make recommendations.

Shenandoah Valley writes letter to governor, legislators on education funding
Republican Herald BY JOHN E. USALIS Published: May 4, 2016
SHENANDOAH — The Shenandoah Valley school board and district administration will send a message to Harrisburg that it is time to adequately fund education.  The need for proper funding of education programs, operations and other costs is something that rears its head at this time of the year when school districts are preparing their budgets for the next fiscal year, with the next one beginning July 1. Acting Superintendent Anthony P. Demalis, who is also the district’s business manager, knows all about deficits and watches them grow from year to year.  On April 27, the school board tentatively adopted the budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year with a real estate tax increase of 2.08 mills, which will bring in more than $140,000. Even with the increase, it will still be necessary to tap the fund balance, which Demalis said cannot continue forever.  At the beginning of the April meeting, Demalis read in its entirety a four-page letter that will be sent this week to Gov. Tom Wolf and members of the state legislature. The letter begins with an invitation to visit the school district.

The single-biggest increase in 2016-17 spending is the district's share of pension contributions, a rate that will jump from 25.84 percent this year to 30.03 percent next year. That equates to a roughly $1 million increase in district-paid, state-mandated benefits.
Franklin Regional to vote on budget that calls for tax increase
Trib Live BY PATRICK VARINE  | Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 11:00 p.m.
Franklin Regional school board members will vote May 16 on a proposed 2016-17 budget that includes a 0.75-mill tax hike.  A proposed budget developed at a school board workshop in March included a 0.83-mill hike.  Since then, a reduction in the district's contribution to the Northern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center, a $60,000 reduction in expected health care premiums, and a $320,000 boost in revenue from the 2015-16 state budget that became law in late March has improved the district's finances.  Finance Director Jon Perry estimated that the district will have a roughly $11 million general fund balance at the end of June. Of that, $2.7 million is expected to be put into a capital reserve fund and $1.2 million will go into a technology fund when the board votes on those measures in two weeks.

Chesco schools ranked in nationwide education analysis
By Adam Farence, Daily Local News POSTED: 05/03/16, 7:41 PM EDT 
Of the nation’s 21,000- plus high schools reviewed by U.S. News & World Report, nine from Chester County received medals with Conestoga High School leading the way.  Partnering with the California based nonprofit, RTI International, schools meeting certain criteria based on items, such as academic performance and graduation rates, had the chance to earn a bronze, silver or gold medal.  Out of the nine high schools in the county to receive a medal, only Conestoga High School received gold.  Of the remaining eight, Bayard Rustin, West Chester East, Henderson, Avon Grove, Unionville, Great Valley and Kennett high schools received silver.
The Downingtown STEM Academy received bronze.

Soda tax again draws heat from Philly City Council
WHYY Newsworks BY TOM MACDONALD MAY 3, 2016
Philadelphia's proposed sugary drinks tax again bubbled up for discussion today during a City Council budget hearing.  Addressing the city's health commissioner, City Council President Darrell Clarke said he doesn't believe a tax on soda and other sugary drinks will generate enough money to support pre-K and other initiatives of the Kenney administration.  "If there are declining revenues, then we will ultimately get to the point where we will have to raise another tax to maintain particularly the level of service that you are proposing which is quite significant," Clarke said.  Councilman Al Taubenberger says he's afraid people will travel outside the city to stock up on sugary drinks.  "We don't live on an island," he said.  "People will actually go to Delaware County, to Montgomery County, to Bucks County, to Gloucester County to Kent County in Delaware to avoid this."  The debate continues with another round of public testimony later this week. City Council is expected to bring up the proposed tax before the end of June.

In the soda-tax fight, money's flowing from Big Soda like a Big Gulp
by Mike Newall, Inquirer Columnist Updated: MAY 1, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
Let's do the math.
In San Francisco, in 2014, the beverage industry spent $10 million to defeat a popular soda tax put in front of voters to raise money for city schools, health programs, and parks.
That comes out to about $11 spent by Big Soda for each resident of the Golden City.
In Philadelphia, the beverage industry, according to the latest spending numbers obtained by the Inquirer, has already poured more than $2.6 million into the avalanche of misleading ads (it's not a grocery tax!) blanketing our airwaves against the tax designed to fund universal pre-K programs, build community schools and repair crumbling recreation centers.
Here's the catch - this time around, the beverage barons only have to win over City Council. There are 17 Council members, so that comes out to about $152,000 in ad dollars each.

Push for sugary drinks tax in Philadelphia gets boost from Bloomberg
WHYY Newsworks BY KATIE COLANERI MAY 3, 2016
An effort to pass a tax on soda and other sugary drinks in Philadelphia is getting a boost from Michael Bloomberg.  The wealthy former mayor of New York City is chipping in for an ad campaign to promote the proposed 3-cents-per-ounce tax as a way to pay for early childhood education and other initiatives.  Philadelphians for a Fair Future, the pro-tax nonprofit, will not disclose how much Bloomberg is giving to the effort, but said the total ad buy is worth $825,000. A second funding source is the Action Now Initiative, a nonprofit bankrolled by Texas philanthropists Laura and John Arnold.   The commercial (which can be seen here) will run on broadcast television for at least the next three weeks starting Thursday. The campaign will also run radio ads.   It's far less than the more than $2.6 million the soda industry has shelled out so far for ads against the tax, but there could be more cash coming.

Bloomberg joins the sugary-drink-tax campaign
Inquirer by Julia Terruso, Staff Writer Updated: MAY 3, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is backing a campaign to pass a sugary-drinks tax in Philadelphia.  Bloomberg, who tried to ban over-sized sodas in New York as mayor, and provided millions of dollars to support successful soda-tax initiatives in Mexico and Berkeley, Calif., has contributed to the pro-tax nonprofit Philadelphians for a Fair Future, said the group's spokesman, Kevin Feeley.  The nonprofit is launching a $825,000 ad campaign starting Thursday on behalf of Mayor Kenney's plan to enact a three-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks.  Feeley declined to say how much money Bloomberg has contributed.  The ad campaign was also being supported with funds donated by the Action Now Initiative, a nonprofit focused on antiobesity and education issues funded by Houston billionaire couple John and Laura Arnold.  "It's wonderful to have the support of a nationally respected business leader," Kenney said in a statement, referring to Bloomberg. "I'm hopeful these ads will correct the misinformation that the soda industry is spending millions to spread."

Opposition spends big to block sugary-drinks tax
How much have groups for and against the soda tax spent so far on the fight?
Inquirer by Tricia L. Nadolny and Julia Terruso, STAFF WRITERS Updated: MAY 4, 2016 1:08 AM
The American Beverage Association poured $1.5 million into the fight against Mayor Kenney's proposed sugary-drinks tax during the month after the plan was introduced in early March, lobbying reports released Tuesday show.  And that was before the association took its message to television.  "We have and will continue to take the steps necessary to inform Philadelphians about the truth of this grocery-tax proposal," said Anthony Campisi, spokesman for the No Philly Grocery Tax Coalition, using the opposition's shorthand for Kenney's tax on sugary drinks.  The coalition has been largely funded by the beverage association.  The lobbying disclosures were released on the same day it was reported that Philadelphians for a Fair Future, a nonprofit supporting the proposed three-cents-per-ounce tax, is being backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  The group did not file a lobbying report for the first quarter of the year because it made no expenditures during that time, according to spokesman Kevin Feeley. It has since spent $825,000 on advertising that will run on broadcast TV, radio, and online starting Thursday and continuing for three weeks, Feeley said.
The antitax coalition has spent $2.6 million on airtime.

Commentary: Funding pre-K doesn't solve problem of underfunded schools
Philly Daily News Opinion by George Bezanis Updated: MAY 4, 2016 — 3:01 AM EDT
George Bezanis is a social studies teacher at Central High School and serves as the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers' representative at the school. He is a leader of the union's Caucus of Working Educators.
AS A CAREER educator dedicated to improving our schools and ensuring that children in our poorest communities get the chance to succeed, I applaud Mayor Kenney for kicking off his term in office by seeking to expand educational opportunities for Philadelphia's most vulnerable children.  I have serious concerns, however, that the mayor's plan to expand universal pre-kindergarten to every Philadelphia child will not achieve what it is designed to do: putting tens of thousands of our poorest children on the path to academic success.  Kenney's proposal would effectively reinvent the wheel. Instead of providing additional resources for the Philadelphia School District's nationally recognized pre-K program (the largest in the city, serving about 9,000 3- and 4-years-olds) the administration wants to expand the use of private providers. This approach does a disservice both to students and to teachers.

Commentary: Pre-K now will mean benefits later
Inquirer Opinion By Tom Lengel Updated: MAY 4, 2016 — 3:01 AM EDT
Tom Lengel is head of Holy Child School at Rosemont.
I applaud Mayor Kenney's efforts to establish universal prekindergarten for all children in the School District of Philadelphia. Although the costs of this program are significant, the mayor seems to realize in ways that others can't or won't that investing in children at this initial stage of their formal schooling will pay for itself many times over.  There is abundant research supporting the notion that prekindergarten introduces and reinforces school readiness skills, such as learning to share, to wait one's turn, to identify letters by sight (a critical pre-reading skill), and, even more fundamentally, to make friends and interact with others of one's own age. Research also strongly supports the notion of early intervention: The sooner we identify learning, attentional, or emotional issues in children, the sooner we can remedy those issues and help each child meet his or her potential.

Commentary: Charters seek to fulfill promise to city's children
Inquirer Opinion By Naomi Johnson-Booker Updated: MAY 4, 2016 — 3:01 AM EDT
Naomi Johnson-Booker is the CEO of Global Leadership Academy Charter School in West Philadelphia.
Charter education in Philadelphia is a volatile business. Each day, the public perception of charter schools is clouded by the opposition hurling unfounded accusations and vocalizing in protest.  
There will always be opposition to change, that much is certain, but when change puts communities on a better path, why must the opposition be so fierce? In the bestselling book Who Moved My Cheese?, the author says that "if you do not change, you can become extinct."  When something is consistently broken, at some point, intervention must occur. Sadly, many of Philadelphia's public schools fall into this category.  With more than 70,000 students in charter schools and 20,000 on waiting lists to enroll, how can you deny the overwhelming demand for change? Philadelphia parents who are looking for educational choice aren't viewing charter management as an assault on the public school system. Instead, they are viewing this as an opportunity for their children to enjoy smaller class sizes, better teachers, and a safe learning environment.


“Much of the country still treats racially segregated schools and schools dealing with a high share of disadvantaged students as if they are simply part of the natural order of things, but that’s simply not the case, King said.  “The reality is that segregation is the result of policy choices, policy choices around schooling and around housing,” King said.”
Education Secretary John King Talks Integration, Diversity at EWA National Seminar
Education Writers Association Educated Reporter Blog MAY 2, 2016 ANDREW UJIFUSA OF EDUCATION WEEK FOR EWA
Racial diversity and the socioeconomic integration of schools can be powerful tools to help improve educational opportunities for students, but much depends on whether states and local communities prioritize them, Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. stressed in remarks here on Monday.  Speaking at the Education Writers Association National Seminar, King also highlighted what he said results from the “systematic lack of investment in high-needs communities” and how that impacts not just school funding, but also how communities tackle problems such as subsets of schools educating an extremely high share of students in poverty.  “There’s a new sense of urgency in the country of talking about race and class,” King told education writers.

In Wealthier School Districts, Students Are Farther Apart
Black and Latino students in economically prosperous cities are grade levels behind their white peers.
The Atlantic by EMILY DERUY  MAY 3, 2016
Some of the wealthiest, most-educated towns in the United States have the biggest academic-achievement gaps between white students and their peers of color. That is one of the depressing facts emerging from a wide-ranging new analysis of more than 200 million test scores of 40 million students from around the country between 2009 and 2013 by Stanford University researchers.  Comparing district-level data across states is complicated because not all students take the same tests. The researchers created a database that allows these comparisons, providing what they say is the most in-depth look at academic disparities across the country. They found wide disparities in prosperous university towns like Berkeley, California, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Evanston, Illinois—cities often heralded for driving economic development and opportunity. On average, black students score two grade levels lower than white students in their districts, while Latinos score one-and-a-half grade levels lower. The most and least socioeconomically disadvantaged districts are four grade levels apart.

 “There’s a huge need out there,” Knifong said, sitting in his office. “If you look outside my door here, we have our job board. We currently have six jobs for every student.”
Kitchens — it's where the jobs are
Marketplace By Bill Zeeble May 03, 2016 | 5:00 AM
With about 20 students in chef whites, it’s time to begin afternoon class at El Centro Community College in Dallas, Texas.  “You guys ever eat cold soup?” asked Chef James Knifong, instructor and apprenticeship coordinator. Some of his students — ranging in age from their early 20s to retirement — said “Yes.” Others, “No.”  “Like I mentioned yesterday,” Knifong said, “the big deal on cold soups — you’re going to need to adjust your seasoning, because when it’s cold, the flavors aren’t popping out like they will when it’s hot.”  Knifong, a CIA graduate – that’s the Culinary Institute of America – said what’s hot these days are chef and restaurant jobs. Government statistics show industry jobs will grow 12 percent in the next decade.  “There’s a huge need out there,” Knifong said, sitting in his office. “If you look outside my door here, we have our job board. We currently have six jobs for every student.”
Twenty-three-year-old Charlotte Zuber is one of the school’s 400 students. Thanks in part to her enrollment here, she’s in demand in different sections of a trendy downtown restaurant kitchen.

“Today’s twelfth graders have spent nearly their entire education under No Child Left Behind’s test-nearly-every-kid-every-year requirements.  Most states and districts piled on their own exam mandates to the point that a recent survey found that a typical urban student was administered 112 standardized tests in her public school career.  Yet, the newly released National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores for twelfth graders found that reading results, a measure that has remained consistent over the years, were the same in 2015 as they were in 2002. NAEP math scores are flat compared with 2005, the earliest reported date for that exam.  That means that a decade of test-driven school “reform” resulted in no academic progress.”
What the new NAEP test scores really tell us
Washington Post By Valerie Strauss May 3 at 11:45 AM 
Newly released 2015 results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, for high school seniors paints a dismal picture of student progress, assuming you put stock in test scores as a true measure of achievement. Seniors made no improvement in reading achievement and their math performance has dropped since 2013 — and there has been stagnation in the results for many years. As my colleague Emma Brown wrote here, scores on the 2015 reading test have dropped five points since 1992, the earliest year with comparable scores, and are unchanged in math during the past decade.  NAEP is sometimes referred to as the nation’s report card because it is seen as the most consistent measure of U.S. student achievement since the 1990s. It is administered every two years to groups of U.S. students in the fourth and eighth grades, and less frequently to high school students  What does this all mean? Here’s a post explaining it by Monty Neill, executive director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, known as  FairTest, a nonprofit organization that works to end the misuses of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, educators and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally sound.

Testing Resistance & Reform News: April 27 - May 2, 2016
FairTest Submitted by fairtest on May 3, 2016 - 1:46pm 
With news reports from fully half the 50 states, including the predictable collapse of yet another new, computerized exam administration system, it is clear that the assessment reform movement is spreading across the country as testing season peaks.

Education Bloggers Daily Highlights 5/4/2016

STATE OF THE EDUCATION BEAT 2016
Education Writers Association Report May 1, 2016

“NATIONAL ANTHEM “SING-A-LONG”
When: September 9, 2016, 10:00 am PST/1:00pm EST
Where: Schools across America
Sponsor: American Public Education Foundation (APEF)
The National Anthem “Sing-A-Long” is a movement to teach K-12 students the words, meaning,
music and history of the Star-Spangled Banner. This annual event is held each year on the
second week of September to honor 9/11 families, victims and heroes and celebrate the historic
birthday of the National Anthem on September 14. Those who join the “Sing-A-Long” are singing in unison at the exact same time at multiple sites across the U.S. The APEF has also created a robust, companion curriculum recognized by numerous State Departments of Education, available online at www.theapef.org (see the “Educate” tab) for free download.
The Foundation hopes to have the support of the Alabama Department of Education as we
commemorate the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 this year. Teachers are encouraged to sign up
before the end of the school year at www.theapef.org. Also online is a "how-to" guide on
holding an event at your school and sample press release. If you do not wish to hold a full
ceremony at the school, your students can simply stand up and sing at 10 am PST/1:00pm EST.
The Star-Spangled Banner Movement is a simple, elegant way to honor 9/11 while also teaching students how the world came together in the days, weeks and months after the September 2001 terrorist strikes. The APEF also offers a host of other free educational material on its website, including polls, contests and grant information.

Join the Pennsylvania Principals Association at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, at The Capitol in Harrisburg, PA, for its second annual Principals' Lobby Day.
Pennsylvania Principals Association Monday, March 21, 2016 9:31 AM
 To register, contact Dr. Joseph Clapper at clapper@paprincipals.org by Tuesday, June 14, 2016. If you need assistance, we will provide information about how to contact your legislators to schedule meetings.
Click here for the informational flyer, which includes important issues to discuss with your legislators.

2016 PA Educational Leadership Summit July 24-26 State College
Summit Sponsors: PA Principals Association - PA Association of School Administrators - PA Association of Middle Level Educators - PA Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development 
The 2016 Educational Leadership Summit, co-sponsored by four leading Pennsylvania education associations, provides an excellent opportunity for school district administrative teams and instructional leaders to learn, share and plan together at a quality venue in "Happy Valley." 
Featuring Grant Lichtman, author of EdJourney: A Roadmap to the Future of Education, Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera (invited), and Dana Lightman, author of POWER Optimism: Enjoy the Life You Have... Create the Success You Want, keynote speakers, high quality breakout sessions, table talks on hot topics and district team planning and job alike sessions provides practical ideas that can be immediately reviewed and discussed at the summit before returning back to your district.   Register and pay by April 30, 2016 for the discounted "early bird" registration rate:

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC), a statewide children's advocacy organization located in Harrisburg, PA has an immediate full-time opening for an Early Learning and K-12 Education Policy Manager.  PPC's vision is to be one of the top ten states in which to be a child and raise a child. Today, Pennsylvania ranks 17th in the nation for child well-being. Our early learning and K-12 education policy work is focused on ensuring all children enter school ready to learn and that all children have access to high-quality public education. Current initiatives include increasing the number of children served in publicly funded pre-k and implementing a fair basic education formula along with sustained, significant investments in education funding.

Interested in letting our elected leadership know your thoughts on education funding, a severance tax, property taxes and the budget?
Governor Tom Wolf, (717) 787-2500

Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Turzai, (717) 772-9943
House Majority Leader Rep. Dave Reed, (717) 705-7173
Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. Joe Scarnati, (717) 787-7084
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Jake Corman, (717) 787-1377

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup May 3: 200 Ed Advocates at Capitol: Make Funding Formula Permanent; Increase BEF by $400M

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3900 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, 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 and LinkedIn

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

Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup May 3, 2016:
200 Ed Advocates at Capitol: Make Funding Formula Permanent; Increase BEF by $400M



See guest PA Sec of Education Pedro Rivera next Sunday May 8 at 3:00 pm on EPLC's "Focus on Education" on PCN



“Ultimately, ensuring that every student has a high-quality education is not just a federal responsibility, it’s a state and local one, too,” King said. “Pennsylvania, I think, has not invested adequately in public schools for some time.”
Pennsylvania has underfunded schools, U.S. education official says
Ellwood City Ledger By Daveen Rae Kurutz Calkins Media Tuesday, May 3, 2016 4:00 am
BOSTON -- Pennsylvania isn’t pulling its weight when it comes to funding education, U.S. Secretary of Education John King said Monday.  When asked about special education being an “unfunded federal mandate” by a Philadelphia-based reporter during the 2016 Education Writers Association national seminar, King said the financial burden of educating all students doesn’t fall solely on the federal government.  “Ultimately, ensuring that every student has a high-quality education is not just a federal responsibility, it’s a state and local one, too,” King said. “Pennsylvania, I think, has not invested adequately in public schools for some time.”
He pointed to the nine-month budget impasse that caused most Beaver County schools to take out loans to pay bills and make payroll. Last year, the Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding Commission recommended the state change how it funds its 500 districts based on wealth, local tax rates, enrollment and geographic placement, among other factors.  State officials agree that Pennsylvania's funding formula needs revamping. State Department of Education spokeswoman Nicole Reigleman said it's a problem that has been haunting the state since the previous administration.

“The $150 million in additional funding for basic education that was included in this year's recently finalized state budget barely put dent in the need districts have to educate all students to meet the state standards.   If the state continues to limit funding increases to the level approved in this year's budget, infants in their cribs today will be out of high school by the time we achieve a fully funded and fair public school funding system," said campaign member Joan Benso, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.”
Public school advocates call for bigger investment in education
Advocates who are part of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding gathered at the Capitol on Monday to call on state lawmakers to invest $400 million more in basic education in the 2016-17 budget and to distribute the money using the state's new school funding formula
By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on May 02, 2016 at 5:14 PM, updated May 02, 2016 at 8:34 PM
With the 2016-17 state budget-making season now upon us, a coalition of advocates from across Pennsylvania came to the state Capitol to call on lawmakers to increase the state's investment in public education by $400 million.  Rallying for more education funding in 2016-17 Parents, grandparents, school board members and administrators, and public officials gathered in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday to call for $400 million more in public school funding to be driven out through the state's new funding formula.  And the Campaign for Fair Education Funding advocates want that money distributed using what they hope will become a permanent education funding formula that was used for the first time this year. It distributes dollars based on factors that include student enrollment and need.  Among those participating in the rally were school board members and administrators, parents, grandparents, a mayor and others who said dramatic increases in education are needed to close the gap between the wealthiest and poorest school districts, which is widest of any state in the country.

“The two big things we’re pushing for are to obtain $400 million in additional funding in the upcoming year and to disburse it according to the fair-funding formula that has bipartisan support,” said the 40-year-old Yeadon resident after the rally.”
Delco school board members rally for more state funding
By Patti Mengers, Delaware County Daily Times POSTED: 05/02/16, 10:12 PM EDT
Barely a month has gone by since the long-overdue 2015-2016 state budget passed without Gov. Tom Wolf’s blessing, but representatives of the education community are wasting no time in lobbying legislators for what they feel is fair funding in the 2016-2017 budget due July 1.  More than 200 school board members, administrators and municipal officials assembled in the rotunda of the state Capitol in Harrisburg Monday afternoon for a rally organized by the Campaign for Fair Education Funding, a coalition that includes more than 50 advocacy organizations.  Among the speakers at the rally that began at 12:30 p.m. and lasted for half an hour was Rafi Cave, vice president of the William Penn School District School Board who attended the event with school board President Jennifer Hoff.

“CFEF calls for $400 million more in school funding to be pushed through the state’s new fair education funding formula which was approved last month.”
State educators, parents and advocates call for equitable funding
A group of over 200 people from across the state traveled to Harrisburg to push for more funding for public schools in Pennsylvania.  The Campaign for Fair Education Funding (CFEF), an education public interest group in Pennsylvania gathered local school officials, parents and advocates at the state’s capital to demand from lawmakers a focus on the education funding as they begin to look at the next budget.  "An equitable basic education funding system is good for students and the state's economy, but if the state continues to limit funding increases to the level approved in this year's budget, infants in their cribs today will be out of high school by the time we achieve a fully-funded and fair public school funding system in Pennsylvania," said Joan Benso, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children in a statement.  It was not until March that Harrisburg finally agreed to pass the budget that was supposed to fund the state through June. A nine-month impasse between legislators and Gov. Tom Wolf led to a severe delay in funding for the state’s public schools amongst other things. Wolf broke the stalemate saying it was time to “move on.”

“The Campaign for Fair Education Funding called on the Legislature and Wolf to spend an additional $400 million on education and distribute the new money via a formula built on annual weighted measures that rely on U.S. Census records and data from the state revenue and education departments, among others.”
Budget season starts in the Pennsylvania state Capitol
Steve EsackContact Reporter Call Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — The voices of schoolchildren on tour echoed through the Capitol. The cadence of lawmakers passing budget and education bills rose in committee rooms. The calls of advocates seeking more classroom money played in the Rotunda.  Those noises could mean only one thing: Monday was the public start of spring budget season in Harrisburg.  As tours wove through the ornate rooms of the Capitol in the morning, the House Education Committee passed two bills Republicans say would lessen the chances that a protracted budget fight would hurt schools, but Democrats say would make the budgeting process worse.  At midday, a coalition of school advocates urged the Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to spend more money on schools and to distribute the funds fairly.  By afternoon, the House took another step toward setting up a final vote on the first budget bill for the 2016-17 fiscal year that begins July 1. That final House vote could come Tuesday or Wednesday and if a bill is approved, it would move on to the Senate, which does not return to session until next week.  The House budget bill is a carbon copy of the current budget, and serves as a legislative place holder for the final budget that will be negotiated behind closed doors later this spring and summer — if the players stick to the traditional timeline.

Advocates want a permanent education funding formula
WITF Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | May 2, 2016 3:17 PM
The state's been distributing some money for public schools a bit differently for almost a year now.  Advocates say more funding should be allocated this way going forward, as they see it as a way to bring more equality to basic education.  $150 million was pushed through the newer funding formula this fiscal year.  Advocates say an additional $400 million should follow the same route next year, and the formula should become permanent.  It's meant to send more money to rural and poorer districts, using factors like the poverty level, the percentage of students who aren't fluent in English, and the amount of taxable land in a district.  Joan Benso with the Campaign for Fair Education Funding says they want to create an even playing field.  "Every school district, every school district, regardless of their local community wealth, should have adequate resources to ensure that their children can achieve to our standards," says Benso.

With two months left in year, districts finally get state budget figure
By Mark Guydish - mguydish@timesleader.com POSTED ON MAY 2, 2016 BY TIMESLEADER
With two months left in the fiscal year, the state education budget is finally final(ish), and area districts know how much money they can expect from Harrisburg. The good news: Luzerne County school districts ended up with bigger increases in state money under the funding formula used by the Legislature than they were going to get under the formula Gov. Tom Wolf intended to use.  The bad news, of course, is that districts had to spend 10 months not knowing what they were going to get as Democrat Wolf and the Republican-controlled Legislature battled over the numbers.  That battle seemed to end March 28 when Wolf allowed the Legislature’s final proposal to pass without his signature, but the money hit a roadblock on the way from Harrisburg to local coffers. Wolf planned to dole out the money using a formula create by his administration, and the Legislature balked, contending he had to use a new formula drawn up by a bipartisan commission.  The Legislature sent Wolf a new “Fiscal Code” that spelled out how money would be spent, and it used the bipartisan formula for any education spending increase over last year’s budget. Wolf again let the proposal pass without signing it, but districts still had no clear idea what they would get.  That changed Monday when the Department of Education released spreadsheets showing how much districts would get from three primary sources: Basic Education Funding, the much smaller Right To Learn grants, and Special Education Funding.

Final school budget favors York County
York Daily Record by  Angie Mason, amason@ydr.com5:25 p.m. EDT May 2, 2016
After disagreement over the distribution of funds, new numbers have been released.
York County school districts will fare better in state funding for 2015-16, to the tune of nearly $4 million, than they would have if funds were given out the way Gov. Tom Wolf had wanted.  The state education department posted updated state budget information on Monday, showing how new 2015-16 school funds will be distributed.  About $150 million more in statewide basic education dollars will be given out using a new funding formula recommended by a state commission. That formula was designed to create a more fair system statewide and considers factors such as district wealth, local tax levels, district enrollment and more.  olf supports that formula but had not wanted to use it for 2015-16. He'd planned to distribute the additional funding differently, saying he wanted to restore budget cuts districts had experienced in the past.

Blogger note: If anybody knows which, if any of the spreadsheet links on this site actually contain final numbers – please enlighten me. Thanks!
PA Department of Education Website – Education Budget

DePasquale warns of costs of Pa. budget stalemate
Why Newsworks BY MARY WILSON MAY 1, 2016
The state's top fiscal watchdog says another budget impasse would lead to a "backdoor tax increase" in Pennsylvania.  Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Thursday that if lawmakers and the governor allow another lengthy budget stalemate to take place without "dealing" with the state's projected structural deficit, the commonwealth will receive another credit downgrade, hiking the cost of borrowing.  "Every road project, every school construction project, every time a school district or the state want to take out a loan ... that money will not go as far," said DePasquale at a press conference in the Capitol.  Pennsylvania has received multiple credit downgrades over the past few years. Rating agencies have cited the state's growing pension debt, the use of one-time money sources to balance its budget, and, more recently, partisan gridlock.

John Finnerty | Next budget battle may be worse than the last, says auditor general
Tribune Democrat By John Finnerty jfinnerty@cnhi.com May 2, 2016
State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale speaks Thursday, April 7, 2016, at The Tribune-
HARRISBURG – As bad as the budget situation has been, there have always been a few states in worse shape.  Maybe not for long, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale warned this week.  If Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers can’t get together to bridge the gap between the state’s collections and the money it spends, DePasqaule said the state’s credit rating will slip.  That means public dollars won’t stretch as far when the state or school districts borrow to pay for construction.  Pennsylvania now has an AA-minus bond rating - the same as California and Michigan - from Standard & Poor’s.  Illinois, New Jersey and Kentucky are the only states with lower ratings from the agency.  Standard & Poor’s dropped Pennsylvania’s bonds to their current level two years ago, citing concerns about pension liabilities.  The rating was AA for at least a decade before that, according to an analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts.  The nine-month budget impasse that ended in March left no long-term strategy to pay the state’s bills.  The next budget, due in just two months, must include plans to bring the state’s income in line with the money it spends, DePasquale told reporters Thursday.

“Gov. Wolf still wants a broad-based tax increase to raise enough money to close the deficit and increase funding for public schools. Republicans who control the Assembly still say that tax increases should be a last resort and that a mix of cuts and smarter budgeting would produce a good plan.”
Bill would fund schools through another budget impasse
Inquirer and Post Gazette by Karen Langley and Angela Couloumbis, HARRISBURG BUREAU Updated: MAY 3, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
HARRISBURG - The next state budget is not due for two months, but after last year's gridlock, legislators on Monday took a step toward preventing a repeat of the stalemate that kept school funding bottled up for months.  Returning after a two-week recess, members of the House Education Committee approved a bill that would keep school funds flowing if a budget is not enacted by Aug. 15 - six weeks after the next fiscal year starts July 1.  The governor's office and Republican legislative leaders were not admitting the need for such an insurance policy. One opponent suggested the measure might lessen the pressure to pass a spending plan on time this year.  But one thing is certain: Neither side appears to have moved away from the hard-and-fast positions staked out during the historic impasse.

April PA State Revenue Down $24.8 Million From Estimates, Still Up For Year
PA Capitol Digest by Crisci Associates MAY 2, 2016
Pennsylvania collected $3.7 billion in General Fund revenue in April, which was $24.8 million, or 0.7 percent, less than anticipated, Secretary of Revenue Eileen McNulty reported Monday.
Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $25.9 billion, which is $122.6 million, or 0.5 percent, above estimate.

“Given that this measure doesn't force schools to do anything, Rep. Greg Vitali, D-Delaware, commented on the House floor, "It's a bill about nothing. That's very Seinfeld-esque."
Bill that lets 'God' back in school on its way to state Senate for consideration
The state House on Monday passed legislation that allows schools to post the national motto, "In God We Trust," as well as the Bill of Rights in classrooms and other locations in their buildings.
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com    Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on May 02, 2016 at 6:28 PM
While its fate remains uncertain in the Senate, the state House on Monday voted 179-20 to allow public schools to post the national motto in classrooms or other locations within their buildings.  The last time the House sent a similar bill to this one over to the Senate it died due to inaction.  Like the one it passed in the last legislative session, the legislation doesn't make the posting of "In God We Trust" a requirement to be posted. Rather it is intended to expose students to the phrase that carries historical significance while allaying concerns that some school officials had about whether it was permitted to post a slogan that has religious overtones in public school buildings.  The legislation was amended to include allowing the Bill of Rights to be posted  in schools as well.

Pittsburgh Public Schools to vote on protection measures for transgender students
Trib Live BY ELIZABETH BEHRMAN  | Monday, May 2, 2016, 11:30 p.m.
The Pittsburgh Public Schools board plans to vote June 22 on a districtwide policy that would protect transgender students from discrimination.  If it is approved, the district plans to implement the policy by next school year.  The board, during a nonvoting meeting Monday night, discussed a draft of the policy posted on the district's website last month. It would provide guidance to teachers and students about students who identify with a gender other than their sex at birth. The eight-page policy would allow all students to use the bathrooms, wear the clothing and use a name appropriate to their gender identity.  District employees would not be required to notify the student's parent about the child's transition.  “I'm glad to see that Pittsburgh Public Schools continues to do what's right by law and protect all students,” board member Sylvia Wilson said.  Transgender rights have been a controversial topic across the country following the passage of laws in some states that require citizens to use bathrooms that correlate with their biological sex.  Last month, the Springfield School Board in Montgomery County became the first in Pennsylvania to pass a formal policy on transgender students and the Lower Merion School District, also in Montgomery County, had a first reading of its policy.

Commentary: Phila. behind peer cities in education funding
Inquirer Commentary By Max Weiss and Wendell Pritchett Updated: MAY 3, 2016 3:01 AM EDT
Max Weiss, a graduate of Julia R. Masterman School and a former teacher, is a third-year student at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. weissmax@pennlaw.upenn.edu
Wendell Pritchett, a presidential professor of law and education at Penn Law, is a former member of Philadelphia's School Reform Commission. pritchet@law.upenn.edu
Over the past five years, the funding crisis in the School District of Philadelphia has become well known to everyone in the region, as well as many people across the country. As a result of cuts in state and federal funding during the summer of 2011, the district faced a deficit in excess of $600 million for fiscal 2012. In preparing the fiscal 2013 and 2014 budgets, the School District faced gaps in excess of $300 million.  While the district has secured funding (mostly from the city) to reduce these gaps, it has been forced to lay off several thousand people and eliminate many important programs. In 2011, the total staff of the district was 23,943. In 2015, the staff had decreased to 16,833.  Children, parents, teachers, advocates, School District leaders, and local officials might disagree on many aspects of the public school system in Philadelphia, but they all agree that the declines in state and federal support have crippled the district's ability to educate our children.

Report: Local School Funding: A Comparison of Philadelphia and Other Major Cities Over the Past Decade
Authors Max Weiss University of Pennsylvania Law School ‘Wendell E. Pritchett Presidential Professor of Law and Education University of Pennsylvania Law School 16 April 2016

“It’s real simple,” Demalis said. “The PSERS (Public School Employees’ Retirement System) retirement rate is jumping to 30.03 percent. That is how much of the salary goes into retirement that we’re paying. It was 25.84 percent. That increase is $351,835, so pretty much all of our budget increase is PSERS. There are other pieces of the pie going up and down, but that is the biggest piece. At least 60 percent of our millage is to cover the deficit in special education. By deficit, I mean the difference of the special education expense versus the special education subsidy, and that’s by law.”
Shenandoah Valley OKs tentative budget
Republican Herald BY JOHN E. USALIS Published: May 3, 2016
SHENANDOAH — The Shenandoah Valley school board tentatively adopted its 2016-17 fiscal year budget that includes a real estate tax increase of 2.085 mills to deal with a deficit due to pension cost increases and lack of funding from state and federal sources.  The proposed general operating budget plan of $18,124,150 includes an increase of $346,599, or 1.95 percent, over the budget in the current fiscal year — $17,777,551 — that will end June 30.  Real estate taxes will increase from 54.89 to 56.975 mills. Each mill brings in about $73,000.  “At this point this is tentative. It is not the final budget,” district Acting Superintendent/Business Manager Anthony P. Demalis Jr. said. “The budget as proposed, and it will probably end up changing somewhat, is 1.95 percent higher than last year.”  Demalis said there are expenses that have increased in which the school district has no control.

“The proposed budget, which represents a 4.5 percent increase from last year's budget of $51.5 million, includes $1.6 million for increases in the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement and $800,000 in salary increases, he said.”
Penn-Trafford adopts tentative budget containing tax increase
Trib Live BY MARY PICKELS  | Monday, May 2, 2016, 9:27 p.m.
Penn-Trafford School Board on Monday adopted a $53.8 million tentative budget with a 2.4-mill increase in real estate taxes for 2016-17.  The increase would bring the millage rate to 80.25 in Westmoreland and 16.92 in Allegheny County.  The district raised taxes 1 mill last year. One mill will bring in $275,000 in tax revenue.  “Even though you may not like what you end up hearing tonight, I think we're in a lot better position than a lot of other districts because we've used a lot of foresight over the years to put ourselves in a position where the budget remains at a reasonable level,” schools Business Manager Brett Lago said during his presentation.  “We don't have any extravagant spending. We've maximized our revenues, and we've faced some challenges in terms of what both the state and federal governments have done to us in terms of our funding levels,” Lago said.  The preliminary budget for 2016-17 was presented on the same day that the district received its latest state update on the 2015-16 budget, he said.

Riverside School District in a budget bind
Times Tribune by KATHLEEN BOLUS, STAFF WRITER Published: May 3, 2016
The Riverside School District will continue to look for ways to balance its 2016-17 budget a week after voters turned down a referendum to raise taxes in the district.  Over the next three to four weeks, the board and administrators will reach a final budget despite receiving final state subsidy amounts for the 2015-16 school year from the state Department of Education only on Monday, Superintendent Paul Brennan said.  “We’re looking for answers in other areas,” he said. “The scraping and clawing with our budget is at a new intensity.”  On the April 26 primary election ballot, the district asked taxpayers from Moosic and Taylor if they’d approve hiking school district real estate taxes by an additional 4.47 mills, or 3.93 percent. A mill is equal to $1 in tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value.  A “yes” outcome could have resulted in an increase of as much as 8.93 mills, or 8.16 percent, during the 2016-17 school year. More than 90 percent of ballots cast — about 3,370 voters — were against the tax increase, while 308 were in favor, according to unofficial results.  Seeking the yes vote was another way for Riverside to explore options to balance its budget, Mr. Brennan said.  Riverside is still able to raise taxes 4.46 mills for the 2016-17 school year under the state’s Act 1 Index, which limits the amount a district can raise property taxes.

NEWS RELEASE: PSBA releases recommendations for ESSA implementation in Pennsylvania
An Every Student Succeeds Act Study Group (ESSA), convened by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA), has released recommendations on how the new ESSA should be implemented in the commonwealth. ESSA was signed into law in December 2015 and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). A report with recommendations was developed by a diverse group of more than 80 school directors, school administrators and subject experts.
All states, including Pennsylvania, are now in the process of crafting new state plans that are expected to be submitted for approval to the U.S. Department of Education in Fall 2016 and take effect beginning in 2017-18.  “We are pleased to make these recommendations on behalf of the participants of the study group,” said PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains. “The study group, all education experts, had very thoughtful and probing conversation around ESSA implementation. We strongly encourage the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to take these recommendations into consideration as it moves forward with the state’s plan.”
The ESSA has been heralded by many for returning accountability to the states. These changes mean that individual states will bear more responsibility for implementing the law and its new requirements. PSBA convened the study group to begin the process of making recommendations to PDE, Gov. Tom Wolf and the General Assembly.
The report is the result of several weeks of discussion and preparation by study group members, culminating in a two-day meeting held March 2-3, 2016, during which attendees reviewed and discussed the new law in subgroups from four perspectives: assessment, schools identified as being in the “bottom 5%,” educator effectiveness, and charter school issues and solutions.
Within these topics, subgroups developed key areas of recommendations. The full list of recommendations and details for each can be found in the full report online. The goal of the study group and PSBA is that the recommendations will be taken into consideration as PDE begins convening its own study groups on April 28. Highlights from each group are listed below:


Kansas Supreme Court Says Schools Could Close If System Doesn't Change
NPR Morning Edition by Sam Zeff May 2, 2016
In 13 states, parents and school districts are suing, saying schools aren't getting enough money to serve the needs of students.  In no other state are the courts more baked in to school funding than in Kansas, though.  There, the state Supreme Court will hear arguments on the latest funding case within the next week. If justices don't approve of the legislators' fix to the system, the court could shut down public schools on June 30.  One of the plaintiffs in that case is the Kansas City school district. "I understand that people want to paint us as money-grubbing mongers," says district Superintendent Cynthia Lane.  "But really what we want is adequate resources to do the job we know how to do."  Lane's students are poor: 80 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Most, she says, live in homes without computers or books. That's why her district is suing the state.

A teacher’s reading assignment for legislators — and there will be a test
Washington Post By Valerie Strauss May 2 at 11:30 AM 
Stuart Egan is an English teacher in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system in North Carolina. He has taught all grades and levels of high school English, and currently teaches AP English Language and Composition and Shakespeare 101 and 102. On his blog,Caffeinated Rage, Egan writes often about the assault on public education by legislators in his state who have lowered teachers’ pay, cut per-pupil spending, removed due-process rights for some teachers as well as class size requirements, among many other things. In the following post, he gives a literary assignment to North Carolina lawmakers for some reading over the summer. His hope is that these policy-makers will come to better understand people who don’t live or look like they do.

Teacher protests close most Detroit schools again Tuesday
Washington Post By Emma Brown May 3 at 7:39 AM 
More than 90 of the city’s roughly 100 public schools are closed Tuesday, according to the district’s Facebook page. About 46,000 students attend the city’s schools, and the second day of closures left some parents scrambling to find alternatives for their children.  The Detroit Federation of Teachers is seeking to pressure state lawmakers to pass a bailout plan for the city’s troubled school system. Without action at the statehouse, the district has said it won’t be able to pay teachers over the summer. That would leave some teachers, who receive their salaries throughout the year, unpaid for their work during the school year.


Join the Pennsylvania Principals Association at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, at The Capitol in Harrisburg, PA, for its second annual Principals' Lobby Day.
Pennsylvania Principals Association Monday, March 21, 2016 9:31 AM
 To register, contact Dr. Joseph Clapper at clapper@paprincipals.org by Tuesday, June 14, 2016. If you need assistance, we will provide information about how to contact your legislators to schedule meetings.
Click here for the informational flyer, which includes important issues to discuss with your legislators.

2016 PA Educational Leadership Summit July 24-26 State College
Summit Sponsors: PA Principals Association - PA Association of School Administrators - PA Association of Middle Level Educators - PA Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development 
The 2016 Educational Leadership Summit, co-sponsored by four leading Pennsylvania education associations, provides an excellent opportunity for school district administrative teams and instructional leaders to learn, share and plan together at a quality venue in "Happy Valley." 
Featuring Grant Lichtman, author of EdJourney: A Roadmap to the Future of Education, Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera (invited), and Dana Lightman, author of POWER Optimism: Enjoy the Life You Have... Create the Success You Want, keynote speakers, high quality breakout sessions, table talks on hot topics and district team planning and job alike sessions provides practical ideas that can be immediately reviewed and discussed at the summit before returning back to your district.   Register and pay by April 30, 2016 for the discounted "early bird" registration rate:

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC), a statewide children's advocacy organization located in Harrisburg, PA has an immediate full-time opening for an Early Learning and K-12 Education Policy Manager.  PPC's vision is to be one of the top ten states in which to be a child and raise a child. Today, Pennsylvania ranks 17th in the nation for child well-being. Our early learning and K-12 education policy work is focused on ensuring all children enter school ready to learn and that all children have access to high-quality public education. Current initiatives include increasing the number of children served in publicly funded pre-k and implementing a fair basic education formula along with sustained, significant investments in education funding.

Interested in letting our elected leadership know your thoughts on education funding, a severance tax, property taxes and the budget?
Governor Tom Wolf, (717) 787-2500

Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Turzai, (717) 772-9943
House Majority Leader Rep. Dave Reed, (717) 705-7173
Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. Joe Scarnati, (717) 787-7084
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Jake Corman, (717) 787-1377