Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Just look away Grover Nordquist – here’s Pennsylvania’s tax increase


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

 

Just look away Grover Nordquist – here’s Pennsylvania’s tax increase

Final budget figures for 2011-2012 show that 135 school districts used over $95 million in referendum exceptions last year

For the second year in a row the State is abdicating its constitutional responsibility to provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth, and is kicking the can down the road to local school districts.

 

Nearly 200 Pa. districts OK'd to raise taxes

By Tony LaRussa, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW Tuesday, April 3, 2012
State education officials have given nearly 200 school districts permission to raise property taxes without seeking approval from voters.  Of the 228 districts that applied for exemptions last year, 135 raised taxes. The previous year, 133 districts applied and 84 raised taxes.
Read more: Nearly 200 Pa. districts OK'd to raise taxes - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_789571.html#ixzz1qxuoIJii

 

Pennsylvania Department of Education

Report on Act 1 Referendum Exceptions for 2012-2013

Prepared by: Pennsylvania Department of Education March 30, 2012

Final budget figures for 2011-2012 show that 135 school districts used over $95 million in referendum exceptions last year

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/referendum_exceptions/7456/report_on_referendum_exceptions/510336

 

Pennsylvania budget calls for lumping much school aid into block grants

By Dan Hardy Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Mon, Apr. 2, 2012, 10:30 AM

The biggest change in Gov. Corbett's proposed education budget for the 2012-13 school year is his plan to use block grants to dole out a large portion of the state's public education payments to school districts.

He proposes setting aside $6.5 billion for the grants, which would cover basic education funding - an all-purpose state subsidy to school districts - and state reimbursement programs for local Social Security payments and transportation costs.

http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20120402_Pennsylvania_budget_calls_for_lumping_much_school_aid_into_block_grants.html

 

Arcadia Conference Confronts Corbett Education Budget Head-On

Cheltenham Citizens Call Posted on April 2, 2012 (no byline)
While the presentations were focused with few public policy punches pulled, if there was a true star of the education conference, “Unpacking the PA School Budget,” held last Thursday at Arcadia University, it was probably the “A-word” – accountability.

http://www.citizenscall.net/schools/arcadia-conference-confronts-corbett-education-budget-head-on/

 

Leaders in Education Advocacy and Reform Network conference joins education experts

Congressman Chaka Fattah, a reporter from The Washington Post and a vice president of United Way of Southeastern PA all spoke at the event

The Daily Pennsylvanian By JENNY TRANG · April 1, 2012, 10:55 pm

With a third of U.S. beginner teachers leaving their positions within their first five years, it is no wonder the United States education system is a topic of heated discussion.

The Leaders in Education Advocacy and Reform Network held an all-day conference Saturday at the Penn Law School. The conference, “Bridging Sectors to Rebuild Education,” brought together professionals from different aspects of education and cities across the nation to discuss improving American education.

http://thedp.com/index.php/article/2012/04/leaders_in_education_advocacy_and_reform_network_conference_joins_education_experts

 

“Common throughout the bills are proposals to decrease local control of schools by democratically elected school boards while increasing access to all facets of education by private entities and corporations. “

A Smart ALEC Threatens Public Education

Coordinated efforts to introduce model legislation aimed at defunding and dismantling public schools is the signature work of this conservative organization.

Education Week (Content Partner) Opinion By Julie Underwood and Julie F. Mead, Phi Delta Kappan, Published Online: February 29, 2012

A legislative contagion seemed to sweep across the Midwest during the early months of 2011. First, Wisconsin legislators wanted to strip public employees of the right to bargain. Then, Indiana legislators got into the act. Then, it was Ohio. In each case, Republican governors and Republican-controlled state legislatures had introduced substantially similar bills that sought sweeping changes to each state’s collective bargaining statutes and various school funding provisions.

What was going on? How could elected officials in multiple states suddenly introduce essentially the same legislation?

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/03/01/kappan_underwood.html?qs=alec

 

Building a National Security State on the Backs of Teachers

 Greg Jobin-Leeds  

How has it come to this? In their recent, much publicized, report from the Council on Foreign Relations, Joel Klein of the Murdoch organization and Condoleezza Rice of the Hoover Institution would have us believe that the purpose of American education is to better educate the military. It is difficult to think of a precedent for this astonishing view. Sparta? Prussia? Nazi Germany? Even Imperial Rome thought that the purpose of education is to produce good citizens, capable of contributing to their civilization and public life.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/democracy_and_education/2012/04/building_a_national_security_state_on_the_backs_of_teachers.html

 

Mon, 02/20/2012 - 2:59pm

Time to Make Our Voices Even Louder

Strong public schools for all our students are the best investment our nation can make.

Professional Opinion By: Anne L. Bryant

Anne L. Bryant is executive director of the National School Boards Association.

District Administration, March 2012

The start of a new year is A time of resolutions and renewal, but for many of us here in Washington, it seems we can’t get rid of old baggage.

We are dealing with a Congress that has deep partisan divisions, divisions within parties, and many different and competing priorities. Many of us are discouraged by the bickering and the slow pace of action. We know well the damage that’s being inflicted on public schools by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and the painstaking process to get a new law passed. Multiple continuing resolutions seem to have become the norm in recent appropriations cycles. And with this being an election year, we can expect campaigns to further disrupt work in Washington.

http://www.districtadministration.com/article/time-make-our-voices-even-louder

 

UPDATED DAILY – STATEWIDE PRESS COVERAGE OF SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGETS
The PA House Democratic Caucus has been tracking daily press coverage on school district budgets statewide:

http://www.pahouse.com/school_funding_2011cuts.asp?utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=http%3a%2f%2fwww.pahouse.com%2fschool_funding_2011cuts.asp&utm_campaign=Crisis+in+Public+Education


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 swope@ptd.net

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: NorthernAreaLegislativeForum.eventbrite.com
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.

http://www.psba.org/issues-advocacy/issues-research/state-budget/Budget_resolution-02212012.doc


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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