Wednesday, July 4, 2012

HAPPY 4th! PA Budget reactions.....

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Education Voters PA TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2012
The Good and The Bad: recap of budget and other activities
The fiscal year is over and a new budget has been passed for FY 2012-13, which includes some victories and some defeats for education issues.

PSBA encouraged by restoration of some funds but warns of future impact
PSBA NEWS RELEASE-  Steve Robinson, director of Publications and PR 7/2/12
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association is pleased to see some of the funding cuts originally proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett in February restored by the General Assembly in the final approved 2012-13 state budget, including reinstatement of the Accountability Block Grant (ABG) at $100 million, and an additional $49 million to help distressed schools.
However, these increases come on the heels of last year's huge cuts to public education. The association cautions that public education cannot continue to sustain the funding cuts it has seen in the last several budgets and be expected to continue the positive gains schools have been making in regards to student achievement.

Budget enacted: A mixed bag of spending meets the deadline

OP/ED Pittsburgh Post-Gazette July 3, 2012 12:08 am
It could have been worse. That's the best that can be said with certainty about Pennsylvania's 2012-13 budget.  Worse was on the table for months, with Gov. Tom Corbett's February proposal that would have taken big cuts out of public school districts and state universities for the second consecutive year. But the spending plan enacted by the Legislature and signed by the governor just before midnight on June 30 was $500 million larger, at $27.66 billion, due to higher-than-expected revenue collections this spring.

New Pa. evaluations won't apply to charter school teachers
WHYY Newsworks By Mary Wilson July 2, 2012
Teachers in most of Pennsylvania's public schools will see some changes next year to how they're evaluated. The new requirements, however, will not apply to charter schools.
The new scoring rubric is intended to weed out teachers who aren't pulling their weight. The revised evaluations use a wider range of scores. At least half of a teacher's rating will be based in part on student performance under the new system.
But they will apply only to traditional public schools, not charter schools.

Posted: Wed, Jul. 4, 2012, 3:01 AM
Pa. plans to shut down online charter school Frontier
By Martha Woodall Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania's secretary of education says the state plans to pull the plug on the embattled Frontier Virtual Charter High School for failing to deliver the education it promised students.
In documents filed Monday, Secretary Ronald Tomalis said he intended to yank the Philadelphia-based school's charter for failing to follow its operating agreement, violating the state charter-school law, and failing to maintain the finances necessary to provide services to students.

Posted: Wed, Jul. 4, 2012, 3:01 AM
Chester Upland School District settles two lawsuits against state Department of Education
By Dan Hardy Inquirer Staff Writer
Delaware County's cash-strapped Chester Upland School District has tentatively agreed to settle two lawsuits against the state Department of Education by having the department pay off millions in debts the district owes, a lawyer involved in the dispute said.
Michael Churchill, with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, which represents parents and students in the district, said Tuesday that the deal also included $9.7 million in extra state aid for Chester Upland that the just-approved state budget allocated.

The Heron's Nest: Upper Darby to use $2.7M to bring back teachers
Published: Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Delco Times Opinion By PHIL HERON, Editor @philheron
The Upper Darby School District has spoken. There is a new and improved "plan."
They are bringing back another 25 teachers.
They are not bringing back the “special” classes in arts and music for elementary students, and tech and language for middle schoolers.

Philly: The '20% less' solution is the problem, not the answer
The Notebook by Guest blogger on Jul 03 2012
This guest blog post comes from Michael Churchill of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is being told that District budget deficits can only be avoided through deep program cuts, massive school closures, and contract concessions. City Councilwas asked to increase funding to avoid even further damage. But little attention is being focused on the true cause of the District’s deficits – the state’s insistence that Philadelphia students ought to be educated for 20 percent less than what is being spent on students in the rest of our region.

Nationally renowned cyber charter school pioneer Nick Trombetta officially steps down

By PA Cyber Published: Monday, Jul. 2, 2012 - 1:03 pm
MIDLAND, Pa., July 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School officially said farewell yesterday to its only CEO since opening its doors in 2000, Dr. Nick Trombetta took the opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to the school he founded and reflect upon important milestones that not only help to define the school, but the now burgeoning cyber charter school movement in Pennsylvania and across the country.

1,100 college professors oppose K-12 standardized testing saying exams have failed to improve schools over the last 10 years
Resolution against exams set to be introduced in City Council. Professors say public school graduates woefull ill-prepared for college-level work
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012, 11:29 PM
College professors are mobilizing against high-stakes K-12 testing.
Alarmed by the number of public school grads who are woefully ill-prepared to do college-level work, more than 1,100 college professors across the state are mobilizing against K-12 standardized testing.  The academics have all signed a letter opposing the proliferation of the high-stakes tests and arguing that the exams have failed to improve schools over the last 10 years.

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