Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pitt. Diocese letter to parents: lobby for vouchers or lose tuition aid. Whoops.

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Pitt. Diocese letter to parents: lobby for vouchers or lose tuition aid.  Whoops.

Asst. Superintendent. Bowes' email began by saying "we must be relentless in our efforts to help pass school choice this year.  I am asking you to inform parents that have received tuition assistance that they must contact their legislators and return the contact form attached to you in order to receive a grant next year. I then want you to return these contact forms to me. This way we can insure that a solid effort is being carried out by our diocese."
Pittsburgh Diocese 'corrects' tuition letter

Assistance not contingent on lobbying of legislators
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
By Mackenzie Carpenter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Principals in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh were told last month that parents who received tuition assistance had to lobby state legislators to pass a school voucher bill -- and document it -- or lose their funding.
Whoops. Nevermind.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11333/1193297-298.stm#ixzz1f5S8aQAb


A September 29, 1995 Post Gazette notice recognized Dr. Bowes as the diocesan spokesperson for then Governor Ridge's voucher plan and a board member of the. REACH Foundation, a leading proponent of school choice.  He still serves on the REACH board of directors.



Not even WPIAL's elite can elude state's ax

By Jeremy Boren, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, November 26, 2011
No matter which high school wins Saturday night's WPIAL Class AAAA football championship at Heinz Field, neither one looks much like a loser.  Upper St. Clair and North Allegheny are at the top of Pennsylvania's academically elite public school districts with dominant standardized math, reading, science and writing test scores, comfortable class sizes, negligible dropout rates and affluent communities.
But school board members from the two Allegheny County districts worry that maintaining or deepening cuts to state education subsidies could jeopardize their off-field statistics, make property tax increases unavoidable and endanger extracurricular activities.

Read more: Not even WPIAL's elite can elude state's ax - Pittsburgh Tribune-Reviewhttp://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/highschool/s_769133.html#ixzz1f1WBP6G2

"The Philadelphia students said they liked Harriton's library - some of them have no libraries at their schools - and the fact that every student gets his or her own laptop. They liked all the languages, all the AP courses, all the activities and creative outlets offered at Harriton."
City students visit a suburban high school
By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer, Posted: Mon, Nov. 28, 2011, 3:01 AM
To five teenagers from Philadelphia high schools, Harriton High looked like something from a movie, a school from a world very far away from theirs.

"The Supreme Court, in reversing a 2009 Commonwealth Court order, ruled that school districts do not have to reimburse cyber charter schools for 4-year-old kindergarten pupils if the district doesn't offer kindergarten education for 4-year-olds."

PA Supreme Court limits 4-year-old cyber tuition payments

Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2011 10:00 pm
Beaver County Times By Bill Utterback butterback@timesonline.com
A state Supreme Court decision issued this week could save area school districts some money by reducing kindergarten tuition costs to cyber charter schools.
The Supreme Court, in reversing a 2009 Commonwealth Court order, ruled that school districts do not have to reimburse cyber charter schools for 4-year-old kindergarten pupils if the district doesn't offer kindergarten education for 4-year-olds.
Slippery Rock Area challenged the state Department of Education over a $1,716 payment to Midland-based Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School for a 4-year-old kindergarten student in 2006.

Many cyber schools fail to meet state standards

Updated: 11/28/2011 11:00:22 AM EST
Fewer of the most popular cyber charter schools in York County met state standards on the PSSAs last year than the year before, even as they collectively fared better on their reading and math scores.

Published Online: November 23, 2011
Funding a Problem for Va. Virtual Schools
Education Week By Chelyen Davis, The Free Lance-Star, Va. (MCT)
Last year, Virginia legislators passed a law allowing private companies and school districts to run virtual school programs.
But how to fund those virtual schools remains a thorny issue.
A study released last week says Virginia should develop a different method of funding virtual schools, rather than using the existing model in which funding goes to school districts.

Older towns beset with 'brutal' property-tax rates
By Anthony R. Wood, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Mon, Nov. 28, 2011, 3:01 AM
The $2,400 annual property-tax bill on the house that Howard Blackson Jr. and his daughter own on Mulberry Lane in Darby Borough, Delaware County, would be typical of a $200,000 house in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County.

Finland puts bar high for teachers, kids' well-being

By Erin Richards of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 26, 2011

Over the past decade, students in Finland have soared on international measures of achievement. They've continued to post some of the best scores in the developed world in reading, math and science, according to a respected international exam. The country has one of the narrowest gaps in achievement between its highest and lowest-performing schools, and on average spends less per pupil than the United States.



Here's the national voucher agenda – get the camel's nose under the tent; sell them as "a lifeline for poor kids in failing schools" and then expand them to everyone….think it won't happen here?

Ohio Lawmakers Devise New Way to Screw Public Schools

Cleveland scene magazine


Grumpy voters who defeated more than half of all school levies on the ballot in Ohio earlier this month aren't going to be happy to learn about the legislature's latest gimmick to yank school funding and necessitate — yes! — still more levies.
It recently introduced HB 136, which would make vouchers to attend private schools — currently promoted as a lifeline for poor kids in failing school systems — available in all Ohio school districts to families with incomes up to $95,000. The amount of each voucher, ranging from $3,500 to nearly $5,800, would be subtracted from the home district's state funding.



Franklin and Cumberland County Legislative Forum on Public Education

Thursday, December 1, 2011 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (ET), Shippensburg, PA

Co-sponsored by The Shippensburg University Teacher Education Department and Education Matters in the Cumberland Valley.

RSVP here: http://franklinandcumberlandcountylegislativeforum.eventbrite.com/


Lawrence A. Feinberg
Keystone State Education Coalition
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

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