Friday, March 2, 2012

Legislators join Partners for Public Education forum calling for action on public school cuts

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1000 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


PSBA Sample Board Resolution regarding the budget

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


Monday March 5th – Call to Action - Mark Your Calendar!

Please forward this information to any and all public education stakeholders.

Education Voters Pennsylvania, joined by several education advocacy groups, will hold a "Statewide Call to Action for Education" on Monday, March 5.  Tell the Governor and your state legislators "No more cuts to education!"  For more information on how you can participate, visit


West Shore School District teachers offer pay freeze in exchange for saving programs

By MONICA VON DOBENECK, The Patriot-News  Published: Thursday, March 01, 2012
Teachers in the West Shore School District said in a statement today that they are willing to accept a pay freeze, "but need assurances that those sacrifices will be put to good use."
That means  restoring the librarians, middle school language program and high school Latin the district has proposed cutting in order to make up a $3.6 million budget gap.
"The association genuinely believes that teachers and the school board can work together to meet the needs of our district, our students and our community," said Monica McNelis, West Shore Education Association president.


“Ron Cowell, a former state legislator and director of the Education Policy and Leadership Center, said Pennsylvania ranks 46 out of the 50 states in terms of state education funding on a per capita basis.”
Legislators join Partners for Public Education forum calling for action on public school cuts

By Mary Niederberger, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Thursday, March 01, 2012
Three state legislators urged a crowd of about 150 at South Fayette High School on Wednesday to make their voices heard in Harrisburg in order to reverse state cuts to public education.
State Sen. Wayne Fontana and state Reps. Jesse White and Nick Kotick, all Democrats, were speakers at the first forum held by the Partners for Public Education, an organization sponsored by the Pennsylvania State Teachers Association. Partners for Public Education works to inform residents of public school districts about the effects of the $860 million in funding cuts to public schools last year and the additional $100 million in cuts proposed in Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's 2012-2013 budget.

Read more:

Partners for Public Education Website:


Action Alert: Special Education Votes in March

Make a phone call today to improve special education for students with disabilities in Pennsylvania!  Call or e-mail your state senator before March 6 and ask for a vote in favor of Senate Bill 1115.  Even in this tough year, we are close to making historic progress for children with disabilities.

Additional info:


Reform Special Education Funding Website

There are approximately 40 organizations supporting special education funding reforms in Pennsylvania


The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center

PBPC hosted its annual Pennsylvania Budget Summit in Harrisburg on February 23, 2012

The summit provided an in-depth look at the state and federal budget plans and what they mean for communities and families across Pennsylvania.  Agendas, bios, packet materials and Powerpoint presentations are posted on their website below.


Keystone State Education Coalition is now a member of the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign

The Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign is an unprecedented coalition of more than 30 statewide and regional education and advocacy organizations representing hundreds of thousands of parents, students, educators, school board members, administrators, and other concerned citizens advocating for adequate and equitable funding of Pennsylvania’s public schools.


26 States Plus D.C. Apply for NCLB Waivers in Second Round

 Michele McNeil  
Twenty six more states, plus the District of Columbia, are applying for waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act, which would free them from many of the core tenets of the law in exchange for adopting key reforms backed by the Obama administration. Already, 11 states have won this new flexibility.


Calif. Seeks Its Own Version of an NCLB Waiver

 Michele McNeil  
By Sean Cavanagh
California is continuing to hold out on pursuing a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act, citing its objections to the Obama administration's requirements of states that want that flexibility.
Instead, the state is considering asking federal officials for its own brand of flexibility from the law—without having to meet the administration's standards.

Classroom-Based Assessment Should Replace 'No Child', Experts Say
US News By LAURA MCMULLEN, February 13, 2012
President Barack Obama announced last week that 10 states will be exempt from the requirements of the highly-criticized No Child Left Behind legislation. In exchange, those states will have to agree to a series of reforms. But some experts say the law should be scrapped completely for models that don't rely on standardized tests.
"It behooves us to take a careful look at the policies at the heart of NCLB, because they have not worked, [and] if they are not working, we need to change them," said Monty Neill, chair of the Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA), at the FEA House Briefing on Assessment last Thursday.


Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 03/01/2012

What Florida is doing to its public schools

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
This was written by Jean Clements, president of Florida’s Hillsborough County Classroom Teachers Association, representing more than 9,000 teachers and school personnel.
By Jean Clements
Horace Mann called public education the “great equalizer.” Quite simply, he believed that without a strong system of public schools in this country, the elite would get an education while the middle class and poor would not.
This week, a vote by the Florida State Board of Education makes it nearly impossible for public schools to be “great equalizers” in the Sunshine State. This vote, along with education legislation pending in the state capitol, together threaten the future of Florida’s public schools. The state’s actions are “almost cataclysmic,” said Okaloosa County Superintendent Alexis Tibbetts.


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

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.

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:

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