Monday, February 13, 2012

Capitolwire: Corbett says 'We reduced education funding if you look at it as a whole'

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Capitolwire: Corbett says 'We reduced education funding if you look at it as a whole'
2/10/2012 Peter L. DeCoursey, Bureau Chief, Capitolwire
MT. JOY (Feb. 9) -- Gov. Tom Corbett, two days after chiding critics for saying he cut state funding for the K-12 public basic education formula, made an admission.
He said his administration had cut overall state funding for K-12 public schools in the current budget.

In successive budgets, the state of Pennsylvania has indicated that it is apparently not able to adequately fund constitutionally mandated public schools.  Here comes another full court press to have taxpayers bailout financially struggling religious schools.
Need a refresher on PA state law?
Pennsylvania Constitution and Vouchers
Reading the piece below, I would submit that we need to act now if we don’t want to see public education reduced to test prep centers of last resort in the next 20 years.  LAF
Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office of Catholic Education
Catholic Schools Matter Winter 2012 Newsletter, February 10, 2012
If school vouchers are enacted and EITC funding is increased, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia can redistribute its funding to support middle-income families, allowing all families who desire a Catholic education the ability to choose one for their children. We must act now if we don’t want to see Catholic education disappear entirely in the next 20 years.

Since standardized test results showed no increase in student achievement for voucher students in Milwaukee, Pennsylvania voucher evangelists have been harping on violent schools as a reason to give public tax dollars to unaccountable private and religious schools for a few kids.  If they are genuinely concerned about the safety and well being of children why are they silent on these budget cuts?
Parents decry school safety cuts
Philadelphia Tribune by  Damon C. Williams Thursday, 09 February 2012 13:59
Cuts to public school programming, a shortage of nurses and the recent dismissal of more than 90 security personnel equal the last straw for Parents United For Better Schools and its president and founder, Veronica Joyner.


Stand Up for Public Education:

Hundreds Come Out to Support Public Education in Chester County

Senator Andy Dinniman Press Release WEST CHESTER (February 10)
More than 400 residents attended last night’s meeting at Downingtown High School East to discuss Gov. Corbett’s proposed cuts to all levels of public education, their impact on local schools, universities and communities, and the future of public education in Pennsylvania.

Discussing solutions for school budget cuts
Published: Friday, February 10, 2012
UWCHLAN -- State Sen. Andy Dinniman convened a public meeting to host a discussion about the decrease in state funding of local public education in Pennsylvania.
Dinniman, D-19th, of West Whiteland, said the meeting at Downingtown High School East on Thursday night was a way to discuss with residents the decrease in state funding of local public education and its impact on local schools and universities.

WHAT WORKS: Finding 'What Works' in Education

Online Platforms Can Connect Educators with Proven Interventions

Center for American Progress By Kristina Costa | February 9, 2012
These “what works” platforms are in their infancy but they represent a promising step toward evidence-based public decision-making in education. Presented below are several that the Obama administration and Congress should examine as they negotiate federal spending on education in the FY 2013 federal budget beginning in October this year.
The Center for American Progress late in 2011 hosted representatives from a number of “what works” platforms alongside several primary and secondary education researchers and Department of Education employees to gauge the efficacy of these platforms. Let’s first look at each of them and then examine their promise and limitations.

Settlement talks ongoing for Chester schools
Published: Monday, February 13, 2012
Delco Times By JOHN KOPP,, @DT_JohnKopp
The attorney representing state Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis said Friday the Department of Education is in the process of receiving and analyzing financial information requested at Thursday’s settlement conference.

Stephen Dyer 10th period blog FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2012
Ohio Judge: White Hat Charter Management Company is a Public Entity, Must Reveal Records
A Franklin County Judge has ruled that White Hat Management, the state's largest operator of Charter Schools, must explain to the Charter Schools it runs how it's spending the money meant for the school.

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/13/2012
Ravitch: Why states should say ‘no thanks’ to charter schools
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
This was written by education historian Diane Ravitch, a research professor at New York University and author of the bestselling “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” a critique of the flaws in the modern school reform movement. Ravitch was an assistant secretary of education in the administration of former president George H.W. Bush. This first appeared in the Montgomery Advertiser .
By Diane Ravitch
Former D.C. school chancellor Michelle Rhee has sent her followers to Alabama to promote charter schools, but Alabama should say “no, thanks.” The District of Columbia is no model for school reform.  The National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is the gold standard of education testing, shows that Washington D.C. has the biggest achievement gap between black and white students in the nation, double the size of Alabama’s. Alabama should not take lessons from one of the nation’s lowest performing districts.
Charter schools haven’t helped other states and they won’t help Alabama. Here are the reasons why:

“If you can't shut down the science, the new science-deniers appear to be saying, you should shut down the (public) schools.”
The new anti-science assault on US schools
In a disturbing trend, anti-evolution campaigners are combining with climate change deniers to undermine public education
The guardian by Katherine Stewart,, Sunday 12 February 2012 09.00 EST
They are back. There are six bills aimed at undermining the teaching of evolution before state legislatures this year: two each in New Hampshire and Missouri, one each in Indiana and Oklahoma. And it's only February.

The Big Money Behind State Laws
New York Times Published: February 12, 2012
It is no coincidence that so many state legislatures have spent the last year taking the same destructive actions: making it harder for minorities and other groups that support Democrats to vote, obstructing health care reform, weakening environmental regulations and breaking the spines of public- and private-sector unions. All of these efforts are being backed — in some cases, orchestrated — by a little-known conservative organization financed by millions of corporate dollars.

“In other words, those who teach children with the greatest needs are likeliest to get a bad evaluation and eventually to be fired.”
Obama Grants Waivers to NCLB and Makes a Bad Situation Worse
The Daily Beast by Diane Ravitch, Feb 10, 2012 12:00 AM EST
The president correctly sees that No Child Left Behind forces teaching to the test. But so do his solutions to that problem.
Secretary Arne Duncan is right about the No Child Left Behind law: It is an unmitigated disaster. Signed into law a decade ago by President George W. Bush, NCLB is widely despised for turning schools into testing factories.

If you have not already, there is still time to register for the
Thursday, February 16, 2012, Breakfast - 8:00 a.m.  Program - 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel - 201 North 17th Street
"Southeastern PA Breakfast Series"
SUBJECT: Governor Corbett's Proposed Education Budget for 2012-2013
Overview of the Proposed Budget Will Be Provided By:
Representative of the PA Budget and Policy Center 
Ron Cowell, President, The Education Policy and Leadership Center
Michael Churchill, Of Counsel, Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
Shelly Yanoff, Executive Director, Public Citizens for Children and Youth
Alex McNeil, Senior at Temple University and Founder of Project E.D.U.
Superintendent of Schools From a District in the Philadelphia Region 
Please feel free to share this with your friends and colleagues. Registration is free, but everyone must RSVP at

February 14th Valentine’s Day Harrisburg 12:00 pm

Rally in support of public education

Dear Gov. Corbett, Fall Back In Love With Education.

Uploaded by PhillyStudentUnion on Jan 31, 2012

February 14th Valentine's Day Rally at the Harrisburg Capitol

Rally at 12pm in the Harrisburg Capitol Rotunda

1:36 YouTube Video:

More info, registration, sponsor bus seats for students at:

More info:

PA House Democratic Caucus Website
As districts consider their preliminary budgets and we await the Governor’s February 7th budget announcement, the PA House Democratic Caucus has begun daily tracking of press coverage on school district budgets statewide:


Latest Updates on Chester UplandFebruary 13, 2011

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