Saturday, June 30, 2012

Early Saturday PA Budget Update: Charter Reform, EITC Voucher expansion still in play....

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The PA House is scheduled to be back in session at 9:00 am Saturday June 30th

Gov. Tom Corbett expected to sign budget plan today
Published: Saturday, June 30, 2012, 5:00 AM
For the second consecutive year, Gov. Tom Corbett is in a position to say he got a state budget done on time.  Barely.
The state Senate approved the $27.7 billion state spending plan 32-17 Friday. The House passed the bill Thursday. Corbett is expected to sign it once he receives the enabling bills that finance the spending plan. The governor is expected to sign the budget today — before the midnight deadline when the state loses authority to pay certain vendors and services.
On Friday night, legislative leaders and administration officials were trying to hammer out the final details and votes for charter school reforms in a broader education bill.
The major stumbling block is a Senate-backed provision through which a majority of parents could petition to convert a public school to a charter school, sources said.
Lawmakers have to reach agreement on that while not shaking off support from Democrats that may be critical to passing the larger bill.
“We’re doing an incredibly large bucket of education reform, and I think it’s perfectly understandable there’s disagreement on some of the pieces,” said Drew Crompton, chief of staff to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson County.

Budget Updates: Senate passes cracker tax credit, teacher evaluations; question remain on charter school reform
PA Independent This is an update from 10:10 p.m.
HARRISBURG – The state Senate sent a series of accompanying budget bills to the House on Friday evening, but there is still no final budget package with a little more than 24 hours before the budget deadline hits.
…..The state House will vote Saturday on that bill and on a proposal to change the way public school teachers are evaluated.
….However, one expected vote did not take place on a bill that would have expanded the existing Educational Improvement Tax Credit, or EITC, program to $100 million and added a new $50 million component aimed at getting poor students out of the state’s worst-performing school districts.
There is also work to be done on a charter school reform package that would change how those schools are authorized at the state level and would implement a series of financial accountability measures.
“A few lingering, ongoing discussions, but nothing that gives us any concern,” said Erik Arneson, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Chester.  “We have an agreement with the House. We’re very confident that agreement will be honored.”

PA School Funding Campaign:
HARRISBURG (June 29, 2012) Members of the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign (PSFC) express appreciation today to the General Assembly for sending to the Governor a $27.7 billion state budget which increases by $150 million state support for basic education over the amount proposed in February, 2012.

Posted: Sat, Jun. 30, 2012, 3:01 AM
The Chester Upland School District is headed back to state control
By Dan Hardy Inquirer Staff Writer
Delaware County's Chester Upland School District, under state supervision for 16 of the last 18 years, is heading there again, with passage of distressed-schools legislation that will bring in a state-appointed official to devise a recovery plan for the district.

William Hite tapped to run Philly schools
By Benjamin Herold for the Notebook and WHYY/Newsworks June 29, 2012
Former teacher, principal, and Prince George's County, Md., schools chief William Hite is the new superintendent of Philadelphia schools.  “Philadelphia is one of America’s greatest cities, and I am excited about the opportunities it offers,” said Hite in a statement released late Friday.

Eliminate the pension double-dip reimbursement that taxpayers pay to charter schools

Zero transparency, zero public scrutiny on PA EITC funds given to private and religious schools. Why is that?

Critics say Auditor General Jack Wagner's Charter School Funding Special Report on PA charter funding is misguided; what do you think?

PA Charter funding formula is great for CEO whose cyber never made AYP

Here are more than 800 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:

Candidates for 2013 PSBA officers
At its May 19 meeting at PSBA Conference Center, the PSBA Nominating Committee interviewed and selected a slate of candidates for officers of the association in 2013.

Absentee ballot procedures for election of PSBA officers
PSBA website 6/1/2012
All school directors and school board secretaries who are eligible to vote and who do not plan to attend the association's annual business meeting during the 2012 PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference in Hershey, Oct. 16-19, may request an absentee ballot for election purposes.
The absentee ballot must be requested from the PSBA executive director in accordance with the PSBA Bylaws provisions (see PSBA Bylaws, Article IV, Section 4, J-Q.). Specify the name and mailing address of each individual for whom a ballot is requested.
Requests must be in writing, e-mailed or mailed first class and postmarked or marked received at PSBA Headquarters no later than Aug. 15. Mail to Executive Director, P.O. Box 2042, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 or e-mail

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