Tuesday, March 6, 2012

“if any of us are confused about whether or not education funding has gone up or down since Gov. Corbett took office, we could just ask the students, the citizens, the school districts of Pennsylvania.”

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1500 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, members of the press and a broad array of education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

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.

No letup seen as Pa. school pension costs soar
By Dan Hardy Inquirer Staff Writer, Posted: Mon, Mar. 5, 2012, 3:01 AM
Passage of Pennsylvania's education budget for 2012-13 is months away and the legislature likely will make significant changes to the spending plan Gov. Corbett proposed Feb. 7.
But it's almost certain that one very sizable proposed expense won't change: contributions to the Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS). Payments for 2012-13 from the state and school districts will rise steeply, by about 45 percent.



Legislature, state education secretary spar over Corbett's budget

Governor accused of using 'budgetary gimmicks' that obscure $100 million in cuts to school districts.

By Steve Esack, Of The Morning Call 6:35 p.m. EST, March 5, 2012

Budgetary semantics and spiraling pension obligations.

Those topics denominated a three-hour-and-15-minute House hearing Monday on Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed $8.2 billion spending plan for public education for next year.

The Republicans and Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee agreed that Corbett's proposal reduced 2012-13 spending by $100 million over current levels.

Education Secretary Ron Tomalis disagreed.



“Rep. Steve Samuelson, D-Northampton, said, “I might want to suggest that if any of us are confused about whether or not education funding has gone up or down since Governor Corbett took office, we could just ask the students ..., the citizens, ... the school districts of Pennsylvania.”

Disagreement exists over whether Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett's budget increases or decreases funding for schools

By JAN MURPHY, The Patriot-News  Published: Monday, March 05, 2012, 4:14 PM

There’s a disagreement over whether Gov. Tom Corbett’s 2012-13 state budget proposal includes an increase or decrease in spending for public schools.

State Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis told the House Appropriations Committee that it essentially comes down to what gets counted.



Education funding skews toward wealthy districts long term
Pottstown Mercury By Evan Brandt
ebrandt@pottsmerc.com Posted: 03/04/12 12:01 am
Since 2008, school districts with a low income population and high property tax rate, like Pottstown, have absorbed up to 10 times more of the $1.5 billion in cuts to state education funding than wealthier districts, according to a study released in the shadow of a state budget proposal which proposes even more cuts for Pottstown.

Budget numbers often depend on whose numbers they are
Pottstown Mercury By Evan Brandt ebrandt@pottsmerc.com

Legislator Agrees Cyber Funding Formula is Flawed
Milton Standard Journal By Tammy Burke, March 5th, 2012
Mifflinburg – It isn’t just school superintendents who are troubled by the idea of taxpayers footing for-profit enterprises to educate the Commonwealth’s children as it seems to be occurring with cyber charter schools.

“To meet the progress benchmark this year, 81 percent of students must score proficient or advanced in reading, a 9 percent increase over last year's target. In math, 78 percent must score proficient or advanced in math, an 11 percent increase.”
Southern Lehigh 'boot camp' aimed at boosting PSSA scores
Program is aimed at boosting standardized test scores
By Melinda Rizzo, Special to The Morning Call 10:29 a.m. EST, March 5, 2012
Southern Lehigh School District has developed a "boot camp" for high school juniors in an effort to increase Pennsylvania System of School Assessment scores.
The reading and math PSSA boot camp begins this week ahead of the tests, which run from March 12-23.

Cyber charter school to change name, focus

By Rachel Weaver, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW Tuesday, March 6, 2012
The Allegheny Intermediate Unit's cyber charter school is changing its name and focus to put greater emphasis on relevant subjects.  Educators are scheduled to announce today that STREAM Academy will replace PA Learners Online next school year, offering science, technology, research, engineering, arts and math courses.

Black Students Face More Discipline, Data Suggests
New York Times By TAMAR LEWIN Published: March 6, 2012
Black students, especially boys, face much harsher discipline in public schools than other students, according to new data from the Department of Education.
Although black students made up only 18 percent of those enrolled in the schools sampled, they accounted for 35 percent of those suspended once, 46 percent of those suspended more than once and 39 percent of all expulsions, according to the Civil Rights Data Collection’s 2009-10 statistics from 72,000 schools in 7,000 districts, serving about 85 percent of the nation’s students. The data covered students from kindergarten age through high school.

Arcadia University's Education Department presents:
Panel: Unpacking the PA School Budget: What Does This Mean for Me?
March 29, 2012 from 5:30pm to 8pm at Arcadia University
Website or Map: http://www.arcadia.edu/direct…
Join us for a panel discussion that will delve into details of the Commonwealth's School Budget as announced by the Governor in February 2012.  This event will tell you how the budget will affect your schools, community, and children.
Host:  Dr. Bruce Campbell, Coordinator, Educational Leadership Master's Program, Arcadia University
Moderator: Baruch Kintisch, Director of Policy Advocacy and Senior Staff Attorney, Education Law Center
Christopher McGinley, Superintendent, Lower Merion School District
Art Haywood, President, Board of Commissioners, Cheltenham Township
Nofre Vaquer, Director, ARC of Philadelphia
Hiram Rivera, Executive Director, Philadelphia Student Union
Dale Mezzacappa, Contributing Editor, Philadelphia Public School Notebook 
Dan Hardy, Contributing Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Please RSVP by March 12 to dressm@arcadia.edu

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.

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?


PSBA Sample Board Resolution regarding the budget

Please consider bringing this sample resolution to the members of your board.



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:


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