Friday, February 3, 2012

Punxsutawney Tom readies another budget

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Friday, February 3, 2012
Punxsutawney Tom readies another budget
Delco Times Heron’s Nest Blog by Phil Heron, Editor
Gov. Tom Corbett was out at Punxsutawney yesterday for the Groundhog Day festivities.
As we now know, ol’ Phil saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter.
There’s a lot of people in education in this state who believe Corbett also saw his shadow, and that portends another brutal education budget.
Corbett will deliver his budget address on Tuesday. You can almost hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth among school board members across the county.
We will have a special report on Sunday as educators brace themselves for what could be another brutal budget season.

School districts brace for Corbett's education budget

Superintendents have been banking on flat funding, but the state deficit has them concerned.

By Steve Esack and John L. Micek, Of The Morning Call
10:27 p.m. EST, February 2, 2012
When Gov. Tom Corbett delivers his second budget to state lawmakers Tuesday, Lehigh Valley school officials will be looking beyond his speech to the fine print of his spending plan.
That's because they're still smarting over his first budget, which seemed like good news at first and then got progressively worse as educators learned more about it. Public schools took a $1.1 billion hit.

State's schools nervous

Trib Live By Chris Buckley, VALLEY INDEPENDENT, Thursday, February 2, 2012
With class sizes growing and costs mounting, Pennsylvania's public school officials are nervous that Harrisburg will slash spending for public education again this year.
Just a year after districts scrambled to make ends meet in the face of major cuts in general subsidies, school officials anxiously are awaiting Gov. Tom Corbett's planned budget unveiling Tuesday.

Pa. education secretary to hear concerns of Chester Upland officials, parents, students
By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Fri, Feb. 3, 2012, 3:01 AM
At the urging of a federal judge, Pennsylvania Education Secretary Ron Tomalis will meet with Chester Upland School District stakeholders to determine how to keep the schools open until June.

Rebuilding after the education storm
Philadelphia Inquirer Opinion By Anthony Hardy Williams, Posted: Fri, Feb. 3, 2012, 3:01 AM
Anthony Hardy Williams is a state senator representing Philadelphia and Delaware County.
When it comes to K-12 education in Philadelphia, I've long felt like an ignored weatherman. I have warned about the storm about to slam into us and the need for action to blunt its force. Now that storm is here.  The twin twisters of the astounding deficit facing the School District of Philadelphia and the upheaval under way at archdiocesan schools are proof that we are indeed in the midst of climatic change when it comes to how we educate children in this city. Yet this disruptive change need not scar us, or scare us.
Instead, it could prove to be the catalyst we need to start building the educational systems necessary if our children are to survive and thrive. That is, if we are brave enough, and honest enough, to embrace innovative solutions

Charter Schools: Follow the Money
American School Board Journal, February 2012, Stories by Del Stover
Two decades ago, not a single penny of taxpayer money was spent on charter schools. This year, public funding for charters will run into the billions of dollars. That’s a lot of money to invest in an education policy with still-unclear consequences for America’s public school system.
So, 20 years after the first charter school -- City Academy -- opened in St. Paul, Minn., it’s really quite astonishing to look at the momentum of the charter movement. In recent years, the number of charters nationwide has climbed by 400 to 500 annually; today, approximately 5,300 of these schools of choice serve more than 2 million students. An obvious question presents itself: What accounts for this growth?
Part of the answer is money. Private money.

Posted at 05:11 PM ET, 02/02/2012

Ellen DeGeneres: Public education’s new funding stream

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
Ellen DeGeneres just hosted on her television show a teacher from a Pennsylvania public school district that ran out of money — prompting unionized teachers to vote to work without pay — and handed her a $100,000 check for her school.
Twenty-two percent of American children live in poverty, and the emphasis of modern school reform ignores this fact. As long as this is the case, there aren’t enough $100,000 checks from famous people to go around.

February 9th: Rally in support of public education 7:00 pm Downingtown East HS
Senator Andy Dinniman, February 1, 2012
Public education has come under increasing attack in Harrisburg and it is time for the citizens of Chester and Montgomery (and Bucks, Berks, Lehigh and Delaware) counties to stand up and protect our schools both here and throughout Pennsylvania.
We are asking all those who value public education to come together for a meeting on Thursday, February 9, 2012, at 7 pm at Downingtown East High School, 50 Devon Drive (just off Route 113) in Exton.


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:

February 16: EPLC Philadelphia Budget Panel Breakfast 8:00 am
(note: there will be additional EPLC budget events throughout the state; details as they become available)
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel - 201 North 17th Street
Subject: Governor Corbett's Proposed Education Budget for 2012-2013

RSVP Required:


February 29th: at 6PM in the South Fayette High School Theater

Statewide kickoff meeting of PSEA's Partners for Public Education (PPE) Program

PPE is all about connecting parents, community leaders, elected officials, and teachers together for one goal - the support of public education.  State Senator Wayne Fontana, State Representative Jesse White, PSEA President Mike Crossey, along with members of the SFEA Representative Council, SF School Board, SF Administration, and SF Student Government will stand together to recruit parents and other interested parties add their voices to the chorus of those who care about public education.  


March 26th: Last day to register to vote in the April 24th PA Primary Election
You do have the power to change the direction of education policy in Pennsylvania
The last day to REGISTER before the primary is March 26 , 2012.  Make sure that you, your family and friends are all registered to vote in the April 24th Pennsylvania Primary.  Forward this reminder to any and all public education stakeholders.

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 3, 2011

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