Thursday, March 29, 2012

School board resolution asks state for more funding

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Lehigh County: Parkland school board resolution asks state for more funding

A resolution seeks increase in wake of last year's $900 million cut and proposed reduction this year.

By Marion Callahan, Of The Morning Call March 28, 2012
The Parkland School Board is joining districts across Pennsylvania to make its wish for more state money official.  The board approved a resolution Tuesday calling for the General Assembly to "take legislative action" and invest more money in Pennsylvania schools. Gov. Tom Corbett's 2012-13 budget proposal reduces public school funding by $100 million at a time when districts are still reeling from a $900 million cut in 2011-12.  The resolution states that the proposed budget for Grades K-12 maintains basic education funding at 2008-09 levels, though costs to provide mandated services continue to rise.

Dauphin County: Derry Township School District administrators warn of danger down the line if hard decisions aren't made

By NICK MALAWSKEY, The Patriot-News  March 28, 2012
As public school districts across the midstate begin building their budgets for the next school year, a slow, steady song is emerging.  It contains three main beats; deficits, staff furloughs and program cutbacks. 

Spend money on Pa. education, not a voter ID law

Allentown Morning Call Letter to the Editor by Don Wingate March 26, 2012
I would like to know where is the estimated $8 million going to come from to fund this voter photo identification law. I went to a meeting March 8 at Lehigh Carbon Community College where a state senator and two state representatives reported that estimated cost to a large crowd of concerned Pennsylvanians who are tired of the devastating cuts being made to the education system. Last year, more than $900 million was cut from education. This year Gov. Corbett's plan is set to cut another $100 million for public education programs which in turn will make last year's cut permanent.

Vitalistic charter school chief resigns, alleging continued financial mismanagement

She alleges continuing financial mismanagement at Vitalistic in Bethlehem.

By Devon Lash and Steve Esack, Of The Morning Call
10:18 p.m. EDT, March 28, 2012
The top administrator of a troubled Bethlehem charter school resigned Wednesday, alleging that school officials continue to mismanage tax dollars even as two local school districts investigate its finances and loss of a state license to provide students withmental health care.

CityPaper Naked City Blog
Posted by Daniel Denvir WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2012
A flyer attacking State Rep. James Roebuck for opposing school vouchers is hitting mailboxes throughout his West Philadelphia district. “James Roebuck blocked kids from attending the schools of their choice,” is printed in big red letters above an unflattering photo of Roebuck with his mouth hanging open.

PA Statewide Bake Sale for Public Education
The Week of April 9th is Bake Sale for Public Education Week!!
That’s right, the week of April 9th, parents and community groups will be hosting local mock “Bake Sales” throughout the Commonwealth to send a message to Governor Corbett and the State Legislature:  There are NOT enough cookies in the state of Pennsylvania to protect our children from the damage that is BEING DONE to the Commonwealth’s schools!  This is an opportunity for Pennsylvanians to raise their voices together in support of Pennsylvania’s public schools.
Learn more about the these mock bake sales and how you can host one in your own community.  I’m sure some of you are thinking:  Why a bake sale?  Send us any questions you may have.  Send a message to your lawmakers by joining other parents and community members across Pennsylvania who oppose funding cuts to public schools.   CLICK HERE to sign up for this event!

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 03/28/2012

Ravitch: The toll of school reform on public education

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
This was written by education historian Diane Ravitch for her Bridging Differences blog, which she co-authors with Deborah Meier on theEducation Week website. The item was first published on March 6. In their blog, Ravitch and Meier exchange letters about what matters most in education. Ravitch, a research professor at New York University, is author of “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” a critique of the flaws in the modern school reform movement that she just updated.
By Diane Ravitch
There comes a time when you look at the rug on the floor, the one you've seen many times, and you see a pattern that you had never noticed before. You may have seen this squiggle or that flower, but you did not see the pattern into which the squiggles and flowers and trails of ivy combined.  In American education, we can now discern the pattern on the rug.

Hired Guns on Astroturf: How to Buy and Sell School Reform

SPRING 2012  Dissent Magazine By Joanne Barkan
For Barkan’s other writing on the self-proclaimed “education reform movement,” click here, here, and here.
If you want to change government policy, change the politicians who make it. The implications of this truism have now taken hold in the market-modeled “education reform movement.” As a result, the private funders and nonprofit groups that run the movement have overhauled their strategy. They’ve gone political as never before—like the National Rifle Association or Big Pharma or (ed reformers emphasize) the teachers’ unions. 

The PA House Democratic Caucus has been tracking daily press coverage on school district budgets statewide:

Stand Up for Public Education!
Wed., April 11, 2012 7:00 pm Town Hall Meeting on Education at Bucknell University
Meeting with legislators from Columbia, Northumberland, Montour, Snyder & Union counties
Where: The Forum, Room 272, Elaine Langone Center Bucknell University 701 Moore Avenue Lewisburg, PA 17837
7 p.m. – School directors and administrators meet with legislators (PSBA Legislative Meeting)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Meeting on Education – Please invite your PTO/PTA and other parent/ community groups to join us!  The purpose of the 7 p.m. meeting is for school directors and administrators to discuss the impact of the governor’s 2011-12 budget proposal on their school districts. At 7:30 p.m., the meeting will be open to all interested parents and other members of the community who would like to come out in support of their public schools and ask their legislators to take their message back to Harrisburg.
Please RSVP By April 4, to Kathy Swope, PSBA Region 6 director, at (570) 523-3336 or email

Stand Up for Public Education!

Thursday April 12th, 7:00 pm Allegheny County Legislative Forum

WHERE: North Hills Senior High School 53 Rochester Road Pittsburgh, PA 15229
WHEN: Thursday, April 12, 2012 @ 7:00pm
REGISTER for this event:
All public education stakeholders are invited to this special event, which will be moderated by the League of Women Voters. Join us on Thursday, April 12th at North Hills Senior High School at 7PM for an evening with several key state legislators from Allegheny 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.

Has your board considered this draft resolution yet?

PSBA Sample Board Resolution regarding the budget

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

PA Partnerships for Children – Take action on the Governor’s Budget
The governor’s budget plan cuts funding for proven programs like Child Care Works, Keystone STARS and the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship program, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program. These are among the most cost-effective investments we can make in education.  Gov. Corbett’s budget plan also runs counter to a pledge he made when he ran for governor in 2010. He acknowledged the benefits of early childhood education and promised to increase funding to double the number of children who would benefit from early learning opportunities.
We need your help to tell lawmakers: if you cut these programs – you close the door to early learning! Click here to tell your state legislators to fund early childhood education programs at the same level they approved for this year’s budget.

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?

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