Established in 2006, the Keystone State Education Coalition is a growing grass roots, non-partisan public education advocacy group of several hundred locally elected, volunteer school board members and administrators from school districts throughout Pennsylvania. Our mission is to evaluate, discuss and inform our boards, district constituents and legislators on legislative issues of common interest and to facilitate active engagement in public education advocacy.
Vouchers vs. EITC/ NAACP SB1 Letter to Senate// Halftime K/ 4 day week/ New Catholic School
Dinniman: Compromise is the key on House, Senate school choice bills (video)
Published: Wednesday, May 04, 2011, By Eric Boehm, PA Independent
As school choice advocates celebrated the 10th anniversary of a major state policy victory Tuesday, they are looking ahead to more victories in the coming months as school choice initiatives advance in the state House and Senate with the support of Gov. Tom Corbett.
Some Republicans see it as an easier task than passing vouchers.
By John L. Micek, CALL HARRISBURG BUREAU
11:01 p.m. EDT, May 4, 2011Republicanswho control the state House are moving ahead with plans to expand a decade-old program that they say could be a more politically palatable alternative than full-blown school choice via vouchers.
The House could vote as soon as Monday on an expansion of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit, which gives tax breaks to businesses that donate to scholarship organizations. Those organizations, in turn, give tuition assistance to families who send their children to private or parochial schools.
Supporters of the program, which is sometimes referred to as "backdoor vouchers," call the law a proven model for expanding school choice in the state because, unlike vouchers, the law does not take public money out of already cash-strapped school districts.
Is it halftime for kindergarten? Youngest students could lose most under proposed state budget cuts
Thursday, May 05, 2011
By Mary Niederberger, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Clairton schools superintendent Lucille Abellonio started her career as a preschool and kindergarten teacher in New York City, and during her 40 years in education, she has watched the importance of early childhood education grow, particularly in poor, urban districts such as Clairton.
"Studies have shown that preschool and all-day kindergarten not only lead to success in first grade, but in the long run, those students are more likely to continue their education, have jobs and own their own homes," Ms. Abellonio said.
Yet, one of her last acts as Clairton superintendent could be to eliminate full-day kindergarten in the district, which, under Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed education budget, stands to lose about $263,000 that was used to expand its kindergarten from half day to full day.
A Cristo Rey Network Catholic High School is being planned to open in September 2012 in Logan at the former Our Lady of Hope parish school.
"There are 24 schools like this across the country, and their mission is to take underprivileged kids and get them into college," said John McConnell, chairman of the board of St. Joseph's Prep and one of the new school's organizers. "Ninety-nine percent go on to college. We know it works." Cristo Rey schools offer a college-prep, Catholic education to low-income, urban students who attend school four days a week and work the fifth day to help pay tuition, McConnell said.