Sunday, October 23, 2011

Voucher Heads Up – SB1 Scheduled for Senate Education Committee Vote on Tuesday, Oct. 25th

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Voucher Heads Up – SB1 Scheduled for Senate Education  Committee Vote on Tuesday, Oct. 25th
We have been advised that the Senate Education Committee will be considering the voucher bill, SB1 at their meeting scheduled for 10 am on Tuesday morning.  Senators Piccola and Williams are expected to offer an amendment which will be ready for circulation to the committee on Monday.  The meeting will be held in Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

Students First PAC contributions to Senate Ed Committee members total $5,278,213
According to the Pennsylvania Department of State Campaign Finance Website at http://www.campaignfinance.state.pa.us/pages/CampaignFinanceHome.aspx, the Students First PAC has contributed $5,278,213 to Senate Education Committee members in support of taxpayer funded tuition vouchers.

Contact Members of the Senate Education Committee about SB 1

MEMBERS OF PENNSYLVANIA SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE WITH SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND STUDENTS FIRST PAC CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS


"As a result of a 40 percent reduction to the Accountability Block Grant that is used for pre-kindergarten funding, 420 children lost their pre-kindergarten services through Pittsburgh Public Schools and 45 staff positions were cut…"
Many condemn cuts to education made by the state
Saturday, October 22, 2011
By Taryn Luna, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
To make up for its share of the $1 billion in budget cuts that the state dealt education last year, the Bethel Park School District dropped 13 teaching positions and cut the hours of five full-time teachers in half.

Annville-Cleona raises concerns over vouchers

Starting with Corbett, public-school reform will change education from now on, one board member said
Lebanon Daily News, By BRAD RHEN, Staff Writer
Updated: 10/21/2011 12:07:57 PM EDT
ANNVILLE - Public-school reform measures proposed recently by Gov. Tom Corbett would drastically change the face of public education in Pennsylvania forever, an Annville-Cleona school board member told his fellow members Thursday night.
Joe Zimmerman, a teacher in the Baltimore City School District, said there are "forces in Harrisburg" who continually pound against the "violent and failing schools in Pennsylvania."
"What really do the representatives and the senators look for for public opinion?" Zimmerman asked. "Do they represent us, or do they represent organizations who give them the most money, like in campaign contributions? All you got to do is do a little research, and you'll see who got $20,000 and who got $50,000, and you'll see who are the loudest proponents of school choice."

GUEST COLUMN: Corbett budget cuts, voucher plan will weaken Pennsylvania's public schools

Published: Friday, October 21, 2011, 4:44 AM
BY W. GERARD OLEKSIAK, Pennsylvania State Education Association
I spent more than 30 years in the classroom as a special education teacher. Every day I worked with students who needed smaller classes, individualized attention and appropriate accommodations.

State slow to provide information on PSSA probe
by Benjamin Herold, for the Notebook and WHYY/NewsWorks, October 21
Pennsylvania's inquiry into suspicious state test score results appears to have slowed to a crawl.

Scholastic Magazine, This Week in Education Blog, October 21, 2011 Author: Alexander Russo 

#ESEA Update: Harkin-Enzi Makes It Out Of Committee

Wow.  Late on Thursday Senator Harkin sent out a press release touting the passage of the #ESEA rewrite by the Senate education committee stating that "Tonight is a victory – both for our nation's children and for bipartisanship." 

Senate Panel Approves Bill That Rewrites Education Law

New York Times By SAM DILLON, Published: October 21, 2011
Legislation rewriting the No Child Left Behind education law finally gained traction this week, and the Senate Democrat whose committee passed the bill said on Friday that progress became possible because lawmakers were irritated by the Obama administration's offering states waivers to the law's key provisions.

Making the Grade – Virtual  Town Hall Meeting on November 1st to Discuss New Teacher Evaluation Process
PA Partnerships for Children and the PA Association of Intermediate Units are hosting a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on the new teacher evaluation process which was piloted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) earlier this year.   As PDE prepares to commence phase two of the pilot, you might be interested in hearing from the superintendents, principals and teachers who participated in the first phase. The town hall meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 1 at 7:00 pm at one of the Intermediate Units in your area.  The event will be video linked to 28 other locations across the state.
If you are interesting in attending, you can pre-register at the following link http://makingthegrade.paiunet.org/PAIUnet_Reg_Form.asp
The agenda with panelists can be accessed here: http://www.papartnerships.org/publication_files/mtg-nov-1-agenda.pdf

House Education Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Clymer and State Auditor General Jack Wagner are among those who have indicated that they plan to participate in this event.

RSVP for Bucks County PTO Legislative Forum on 10/27

Thursday, October 27, 2011 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM Warminster, PA

William Tennant High School, 333 Centennial Road, Warminster, PA 18974
Please RSVP at: http://buckslegislativeforum.eventbrite.com/
(the above is a corrected link)
Pennsylvania has passed a state budget that cut over $900 MILLION from public education, and as the new school year begins we're starting to see the effects of these cuts on our kids and our communities.  Especially now, we need our legislators to make public education a priority to help strengthen our troubled economy and ensure a brighter future for all Pennsylvanians!
All public education stakeholders are invited to this special event.  Join us on Thursday, October 27th at William Tennent High School in Warminster from 7PM to 10PM for an evening with key state legislators from Bucks County.  Every legislator representing the Bucks County school districts is invited to attend and discuss their positions on public education and take questions from audience members.
Talking about our priorities with our elected officials and hearing their views on issues that are important to the community is a vital part of democracy!   Don't miss this important conversation!

Education Voters Video Contest - DEADLINE 10/30

Education Voters Institute of Pennsylvania (EVI) is conducting a video project to highlight both the impact of cuts to critical programs that serve kids, and the importance of education to our communities and our economy.


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