Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Sturla...believes as many as 50 districts are lined up behind Chester Upland on the critical list.”

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1000 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators and members of the press via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg


Parkland teachers, district reach new contract

By Marion Callahan, Of The Morning Call. 2:45 p.m. EST, February 22, 2012

Parkland school teachers have a new two-year contract with the district that will freeze their salaries for next year, reduce tuition reimbursements for teachers with graduate degrees and require higher contributions for health insurance.

The agreement, reached by the Parkland School Board and the Parkland Education Association Tuesday, institutes a salary freeze for 2012-13, preventing teachers from advancing any steps in their salary schedule based on years of service and education credits.

In the second year of the contract, 2013-14, teachers will receive a flat $1,250 increase, but they'll have to pitch in more for health costs.,0,180637.story


“Sturla warns that people should not believe it’s only troubled districts such as Chester Upland here in Delaware County that are in danger. He believes as many as 50 districts are lined up behind Chester Upland on the critical list.”

Delco Times Heron’s Nest Blog by Editor Phil Heron Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sturla takes on Corbett

Mike Sturla was in town yesterday.
He wants you to do him a favor. He wants you to go to the window, open it up and start yelling, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”
Sturla, a state rep from Lancaster County, is the chairman of the state Democratic Policy Committee. He was in town for a public hearing on Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget he hosted along with state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, of Upper Darby. You can read about that here.


“The federal Department of Education, which should be the strongest defender of public schools, is making the problem worse.”

A Perfect Storm Hits Public Schools

 Anthony Cody  
Guest post by Steven Sellers Lapham.
Note: Steven Sellers Lapham and Jack Hassard worked together on this post.
Public schools in America are under attack from many directions, and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) seems bent on delivering a lethal one-two-three punch. This decade will likely witness more neighborhood schools shutting down, crowded classrooms, excellent teachers fired, and children fobbed off to "online learning programs." Let's recall that Prince Edward County, Virginia, closed its schools 1959-64, creating a "lost generation" of children who were hobbled, as adults, by years of missed education. Today, a school district in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, cash strapped and unable to pay its teachers, is being kept open only by a federal court order.
We now face the prospect of a school closing because the local tax base has withered, the state government is under water, and the federal government has deemed the school to be unworthy of aid due to lackluster scores on high-stakes student tests. The federal Department of Education, which should be the strongest defender of public schools, is making the problem worse.

Basic Facts About Low-income Children, 2010
Children Under Age 18
National Center for Children In Poverty at Columbia University
Authors: Sophia Addy and Vanessa R. Wight, Publication Date: February 2012
This fact sheet, which is an update to the series based on the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS), describes the demographic, socio-economic, and geographic characteristics of children and their parents – highlighting the important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor children from their less disadvantaged counterparts.

When schools weren't public - or any good
Philadelphia Inquirer Opinion By Jonathan Zimmerman Posted: Thu, Feb. 23, 2012, 3:01 AM
Keep your government hands off our schools!
That's essentially what Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said last week during a campaign stop in Idaho.

February 29th: Partners for Public Education 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, State Representative Nick Kotik, Education Policy & Leadership Center Director Ron Cowell, 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.

SAVE THE DATE: March 8, 7 pm Lehigh County Legislative Forum on Public Education
Thursday, March 8th, 7:00 pm at Lehigh Carbon Community College, Community Services Center
All public education stakeholders are invited to this special event.  Join us on Thursday, March 8th at Lehigh Carbon Community College at 7PM for an evening with several key state legislators from Lehigh County and other education experts who will help explain local impacts. 
State Representatives and Senators representing surrounding school districts have been invited to attend and discuss their positions on public education as they head into negotiations over next year’s budget.  This event will be moderated by the League of Women Voters.

The Education Committee of the League of Women Voters of Chester County
March 19th LWV Chester County Public Meeting: The Real Impact of the Proposed State Budget on Public Education
PA Auditor General Jack Wagner
Monday March 19th 6:30 pm at Stetson Middle School, West Chester
Location: Stetson Middle School Auditorium
The Auditor General will speak to the public followed by Q & A Session.

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, friends, neighbors and co-workers are all registered to vote in the April 24th Pennsylvania Primary.  Ask your incumbent state representative and state senator for their positions on public education.  Let them know how important these issues are to you.  Forward this reminder to any and all public education stakeholders.

Budget Hearing - Department of Education
Monday, February 27, 2012  9:30 AM  Hearing Room 1 North Office Bldg.

Monday, March 5, 2012 10:00 AM  Room 140 Main Capitol
10:00 AM Department of Education
1:00 PM State System of Higher Education

Education Voters PA – Take action on the Governor’s Budget
The Governor’s proposal starts the process, but it isn’t all decided: our legislators can play an important role in standing up for our priorities.  Last year, public outcry helped prevent nearly $300 million in additional cuts.  We heard from the Governor, and we know where he stands.  Now, we need to ask our legislators: what is your position on supporting our schools?

At The Chalk Face - Education Talk Radio – Listen Anytime
Educated Educators Talking Education.
A new one hour talk show dedicated to education.  Hosts Tim Slekar and Shaun Johnson cover the biggest issues in education.  From standardized testing to No Child Left Behind.

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 22, 2012

District is slated to lose an additional $980,000 under the Governor’s proposed 2012-2013 budget

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