Established in 2006, the Keystone State Education Coalition is a growing grass roots, non-partisan public education advocacy group of several hundred locally elected, volunteer school board members and administrators from school districts throughout Pennsylvania. Our mission is to evaluate, discuss and inform our boards, district constituents and legislators on legislative issues of common interest and to facilitate active engagement in public education advocacy.
"I would love to see the taxpayers speaking up at the school board meetings," he said. The governor should make a trip to the next Upper Darby School Board meeting at 7:30 p.m. on May 1.
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.
corporate money in support of school vouchers hits primary races statewide.
tip the scales in Philly?
By Daniel Denvir, City
Paper Posted: Thu, Apr.
The names on the fliers —
candidates for state office like upstart Fatimah Muhammad and anointed Philly
insider Jordan Harris — may look and sound like homegrown legislative hopefuls.
But follow the money and a different picture emerges: that of a statewide
campaign, funded by wealthy donors, to stack the Pennsylvania primary battles on April 24 in
favor of those supporting school vouchers, which allocate taxpayer funds for
private and religious school tuition. The pro-voucher political action
committee (PAC) Students First — funded by Pennsylvania hedge-fund managers and
American Federation for Children, a Washington, D.C., pro-voucher group headed
by Amway heiress and major right-wing donor Betsy DeVos — emerged on the
state's political scene with a bang for the 2010 elections. And they are back
to spend big in 2012.
Fear of cuts in state funding stalling teacher negotiations
By Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette April 12, 2012
contract negotiations are tedious processes that sometimes pit teachers unions
against school directors and can involve endless rounds of posturing and
maneuvering that, in some instances, erupt into work stoppages. Yet in the past, the opposing sides in most
districts have found ways to eventually meet in the middle and settle on
multiyear contracts that satisfy both sides within a reasonable amount of time.
In the past year, an
unseen but influential third party has been at the bargaining table -- Gov. Tom
Corbett. District and union officials say the nearly $900 million in cuts to
education funding in 2011 and a proposed maintenance of that funding level for
2012 has made their budgets too tight to offer teachers raises or other perks.
Pittsburgh City schools start planning
April 13, 2012
By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh
About one in four classroom teachers in Pittsburgh Public Schools today will
get an email saying the teacher won't be working in the same building in the
fall. Issuing 450 building displacement
notices is the first step in putting into effect the district's cost-saving
plan that is expected to result in an unprecedented number of teacher layoffs
for the district
The district plans to reduce its force of 2,245 professionals represented
by the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers -- including teachers, counselors and
social workers -- by about 400.
UPPER DARBY — An
estimated $4 million will be shaved off the 2012-2013 Upper Darby School
District budget if school directors approve a proposal to cut staff and
elementary and middle school classes in the areas of art, music, physical
education and library. District
officials blamed the governor’s lack of support to public education, No Child
Left Behind and the millions of dollars it costs to fund charter schools for
UPPER DARBY — By
daybreak Thursday a Facebook page was up and running to address the elimination
of the “specials” classes of art, music, gym and library in the Upper Darby
School District’s elementary and middle schools.
The “Save the Music in Upper Darby” Facebook
page lists comments posted by thousands of community members concerned with the
loss of the arts.
would love to see the taxpayers speaking up at the school board meetings,"
Take tax gripes to school boards, not state, Corbett says
Reading Eagle by The
Associated Press 4/12/12
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvanians who are concerned about rising school taxes should take
their complaints to local school boards, not the state government, Gov. Tom
Corbett said Wednesday. "I think
the taxpayers need to help themselves," Corbett replied when a caller on Philadelphia's Talk Radio
1210 WPHT asked what can be done to help ease the pressures on taxpayers.
In his monthly
appearance on the "Dom Giordano Program," the Republican governor
suggested that excessively small class sizes and overly generous contracts with
teachers unions are part of the reason many school districts are struggling
"I would love to
see the taxpayers speaking up at the school board meetings," he said.
U.D. parents will heed guv’s call to 'speak up'
Delco Times Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
the ChesterUplandSchool District
teetered on the brink of insolvency, with funds so low teachers were warned
that they might not be paid. Now Upper Darby is the latest poster child for distress in
the classroom. A proposed budget unveiled this week would cut $4 million, chop
57 teaching jobs in elementary and middle schools, consolidate other positions,
and eliminate “special” art, music, gym and library classes in elementary and
middle schools. Teachers will cover those subjects as part of their regular
money problems run so vast and so deep students are not getting legally
mandated special education services, other children may be getting
misdiagnosed, and none of them is getting the state-required number of
classroom hours, according to an investigation by the AllentownSchool District.
Those and other findings were unveiled Thursday
night by Superintendent Russ Mayo's administration. The school board's
Education Committee then moved to recommend the full board vote this month on
sending "a notice of violations" outlining five reasons the board
could shut down the troubled school.
NEW SEWICKLEY TWP. -- Presented with school
choice, BeaverCounty's most persistent voice for
charter school funding reform chose a job with a charter school. Ron Sofo, superintendent at FreedomAreaSchool District since November 2002
and a 19-year district employee, has been hired as the chief executive officer
at CityCharterHigh School in downtown Pittsburgh.
How private companies are profiting from Texas public schools.
Texas Observer by ABBY RAPOPORT Published on: Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Pearson, one of the
giants of the for-profit industry that looms over public education, produces
just about every product a student, teacher or school administrator in Texas might need. From
textbooks to data management, professional development programs to testing
systems, Pearson has it all—and all of it has a price. For statewide testing in
the company holds a five-year contract worth nearly $500 million to create and
administer exams. If students should fail those tests, Pearson offers a series
of remedial-learning products to help them pass. Meanwhile, kids are likely to
use textbooks from Pearson-owned publishing houses like Prentice Hall and
Pearson Longman. Students who want to take virtual classes may well find
themselves in a course subcontracted to Pearson. And if the student drops out,
Pearson partners with the American Council on Education to offer the GED exam
for a profit.
A Leader of Brooklyn Charter Schools Is Indicted for Fraud
New York Times By
PATRICK McGEEHAN Published: April 12, 2012
investigators demanded last year to see personal tax returns filed by Eddie
Calderon-Melendez, the founder and chief executive of a troubled network of
charter high schools in Brooklyn, he produced
them. One problem, according to the investigators, was that those state tax
returns were falsified and had never been filed.
Then, when the
investigators studied the books of one of the schools, WilliamsburgCharterHigh
School, they found that Mr. Calderon-Melendez had used a
school credit card to pay for parts of a European vacation, including
accommodations at a Paris hotel and some
expenses in England,
they said. On Thursday, a grand jury in Brooklyn
indicted Mr. Calderon-Melendez on 11 felony counts, including tax fraud, grand
larceny and falsifying business records.
April 24is Primary Election Day
Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.Click hereto find your polling place. During the Primary, registered members of the
Republican and Democrat parties are eligible to vote to nominate the candidates
that will represent their party on the ballot in the November General Election.ALL
voters will be required to show a photo ID before voting at a polling place in
the November 2012 Election.Click here for
more information on thenew Voter ID law.
Stand Up for Public Education!
East Penn Education Forum on April 25th
What’s at Stake? Discover how high-stakes testing and funding
cuts are impacting our kids and schools.
Hosted by: East Penn Invested Citizens (EPIC), Salisbury Parent Advisory,
Allentown Parent Groups and a coalition of Lehigh Valley Parents
Where: East Penn Administration Building School Board Meeting Room, 800 Pine Street,
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
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