Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Here’s an internet ad that you paid for touting K12’s Agora Cyber Charter School, which has never made AYP:


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.

These daily emails are archived at http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.org
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

Mark Your Calendars…

Education Voters PA Call-to-Action for Public Education - May 23rd

Posted by Ian Moran on May 1, 2012 at 12:36pm
Education Voters will be coordinating another statewide Call to Action for Public Education on May 23rd. This will really be crunch time for state budget negotiations and it's more important than ever that our policymakers in Harrisburg are hearing from us about why we NEED them to support public education. Please share this with your friends, family, neighbors, colleagues and networks!
Full details HERE: 
http://www.educationvoterspa.org/index.php/site/news/statewide-call...

More tax income may soften Pa. budget cuts

May 2, 2012 1:16 am
By Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG -- A higher-than-expected haul of state taxes in April and a new set of revenue projections for coming months offered hope on Tuesday to legislators seeking to soften spending cuts in the upcoming budget.

Diverse groups converge on Harrisburg to protest Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed budget cuts

Published: Tuesday, May 01, 2012, 9:57 PM     Updated: Tuesday, May 01, 2012, 10:17 PM
By JAN MURPHY, The Patriot-News 
In a year when the 
proposed state budget makes cuts in so many places, there’s a lot of unhappiness to go around.

Posted: Wed, May. 2, 2012, 3:01 AM
Philadelphia school official says that without more cash, classrooms might not open in the fall
By Kristen A. Graham Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School District's financial situation is so dire that without a $94 million cash infusion from a proposed city property-reassessment plan, schools might not be able to open in the fall, leaders said Tuesday night.  At a district budget hearing, chief recovery officer Thomas Knudsen stressed that the district might fall off "the cliff on which we now stand so precariously" if swift action is not taken.

“A typical 5-year-old who entered the New York City public school system when the lawsuit started in 1993 was, according to that case, destined to receive a substandard education. And for that child's entire public school career, New York state fought to keep it that way.
Multiply that by the more than 1 million children in that one public school system alone over the course of 13 years, and you start to see how many losers this case truly had — including a society that will pay the price for citizens unprepared to fully participate in it.”

Editorial: Sorry, kids, can't afford you

Albany NY Times-Union, Published 08:23 p.m., Saturday, April 28, 2012
Sometimes the winners in a lawsuit are also the losers, and they lose long before the judge renders a decision in their supposed favor.
So it was for millions of New York City children in a lawsuit brought in 1993 by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. It took eight years for a court to find that, indeed, New York state had been shortchanging city schools on education aid, failing to meet its obligation under the state constitution: to provide all children with "a sound, basic education."

Here’s an internet ad that you paid for touting K12’s Agora Cyber Charter School, which has never made AYP:

K12 Charter Schools
Your Child Deserves an Outstanding Education, Discover K12 Today.
www.K12.com/Pennsylvania

In 2006 Agora’s AYP status according to PDE was “warning”
In 2007, “School Improvement 1”
In 2008, “School Improvement 2”
In 2009, “Corrective Action 1”
In 2010, “Corrective Action 2 (First Year)”
In 2011, “Corrective Action 2 (second Year)”

This is not atypical for Pennsylvania’s cyber charters; 8 out of 12 have never made AYP.
In 2011 it was reported that Agora provided $72 million in revenue for K12, more than 10% of K12’s revenue.

In addition to funding the advertising, your tax dollars also helped pay their CEO a $5 million bonus for 2011.  K12 Inc. (NYSE:LRN) said it paid $5 million in total compensation to CEO Ronald Packard for the fiscal year 2011, compared with $2.67 million in the previous year, according to an amended SEC filing.

BTW, since they are so effective at generating revenue in spite of their questionable academic performance, seven new cybercharters are expected to open in Pennsylvania in September 2012.

Here are a few related links:

Shareholder lawsuit accuses K12 Inc. of misleading investors ...

www.washingtonpost.com/...k12.../gIQAGOXRfQ_blog.html

Education Week: K12 Inc.'s Public Status and Growth Attract Scrutiny

www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/02/22/21k12.h31.html

K12 (company) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K12_(company)

Online Schools Score Better on Wall Street Than in Classrooms ...

PA Auditor General’s Office: Taxpayers and school districts could have saved approximately $86 million in 2009-2010 if cybers received funding based on what they spent per student.

PA Cyber Charter PSSA AYP Status 2007 - 2011 from PDE


Education Policy and Leadership Center

PA Senate Education Committee
Public hearing on non-partisan school board elections
Friday, May 4, 2012 at 1:00 PM
Downingtown STEM Academy, 335 Manor Avenue, Downingtown

Rally in Support of Public Education on Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m. on the steps of the Chester County Courthouse (corner of High and Market Streets) in West Chester. The rally is rain or shine.
Email from Senator Andy Dinniman, April 25, 2012
Dear Friends,
A number of you have sent me letters and emails expressing your concerns regarding education fiunding and Governor Corbett’s proposed cuts to education in next year’s budget.
First, let me emphasize that I share your concerns and I stand strongly against such significant and widespread cuts to education. Cutting support for early childhood and basic education and slashing funds for higher education will be disastrous for students at all levels and even more devastating in the years to come.
That is why I have worked with the Chester County Coalition for Public Education to organize a Rally in Support of Public Education on Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m. on the steps of the Chester County Courthouse (corner of High and Market Streets) in West Chester. The rally is rain or shine.
We know that cuts to basic and early education mean increased local property taxes, larger class sizes, teacher layoffs and less individualized attention and specialized programs. We know that cuts to higher education mean significantly increased tuition and fees, greater student borrowing and debt and more people on the unemployment rolls. Altogether these cuts will set Pennsylvania back decades and undermine all of our efforts for long-term economic growth and prosperity.
This is an issue that affects every Pennsylvanian – from current students and their families, to teachers and professors, to high school seniors and prospective college students. I urge you to come out on May 3 and make your voice heard! After all, this not just a rally for education, it’s a rally for our future.
In addition, please help me spread the word about the rally by circulating this e-mail to anyone who may be interested.
We must stand together to ensure that our message is loud and clear!

Education Talk Radio: At the Chalkface
Listen online; One hour talk show dedicated to education.  SUNDAY MORNINGS AT 9am
Hosts Tim Slekar and Shaun Johnson cover the biggest issues in education, from standardized testing to No Child Left Behind.
If you want a text reminder send "CHALK" TO THE NUMBER 60193." 
Audio clips of prior shows are available too.

STATEWIDE PRESS COVERAGE OF SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGETS
Here are more than 400 articles since January 23rd detailing budget cuts, program cuts, staffing cuts and tax increases being discussed by local school districts
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

 

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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