Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chester Upland School District Recovery Plan

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1700 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, PTO/PTA officers, parent advocates, teacher leaders, members of the press and a broad array of P-16 education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

These daily emails are archived at
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Executive summary is 7 pages……
Chester Upland School District Recovery Plan
School Districts Financial Recovery Act Recovery Plan
Chester Upland School District, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Prepared on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education
Chief Recovery Officer, November 13, 2012
By Public Financial Management, Two Logan Square, Suite 1600, 18th and Arch Streets Philadelphia, PA 19103-2770  215 567 6100

“If the district fails to meet certain scholastic performance goals, such as federal annual progress targets, by the end for the 2014-15 school year, the plan calls for the schools to be run by external management operations such as charter schools, cyber charters, and education management companies.”

Chester Upland: Troubled Pa. district faces school closings, cuts

Coverage of the Chester Upland Recovery Plan by Kathy Matheson of Associated Press, John Kopp of Delco Times, Rita Giordano of Philadelphia Inquirer and Dave Davies of WHYY Newsworks

Tough fiscal choices ahead for Pittsburgh Public Schools

By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette November 14, 2012 12:10 am
About 10 years ago, Pittsburgh Public Schools had a fund balance approaching $100 million.
Now -- despite closing more than 30 schools, eliminating hundreds of jobs and increasing class sizes -- officials have forecast the district will be broke in 2015 unless it finds a way to further cut costs or increase revenues.

PA State House leadership to remain the same

By Laura Olson / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette November 13, 2012 5:30 pm
HARRISBURG -- Legislators from western Pennsylvania again will lead both parties in the state House of Representatives.  State lawmakers have returned to session this week to select their caucus leaders for next session and to bid farewell to some departing politicians.  While the legislative session does not officially expire until Nov. 30, top lawmakers announced earlier this fall that they would not hold any post-election votes.

Education Voters PA: We have a reason to celebrate!

Education Voters PA Blog TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2012

This election was an important one with a lot at stake.  These past two years, education has faced a lot of challenges: the loss of crucial educational programs, drastic budget cuts, attempts to undermine public schools through privatization and diverting funds to other programs – even the very idea that every child deserves a free and appropriate education.  On Tuesday, voters across the Commonwealth made it clear that they want every kid in every community to have an opportunity to learn.  More and more, we are making education a top tier voting issue!
Education Voters Action Fund is proud to announce that, as of this morning, 20 of our 28 endorsed candidates have won, with 2 races still being resolved

Simmons/Deely 131st District Race One Vote Apart in Lehigh, Hundreds in Northampton
Salisbury Patch By Elizabeth Rich Email the author November 12, 2012
With almost all the votes counted, the race for the 131st district in Lehigh County is only one vote apart, and over 400 apart in Northampton County.
For the rest of the Lehigh Valley, election season is over. In the 131st district, the race for the house seat rages on.

Rep. Quigley concedes 146th House Dist. race to Democrat Mark Painter
Pottstown Mercury By Tony Phyrillas Posted: 11/13/12 03:54 pm
HARRISBURG — Republican State Rep. Tom Quigley, who has represented the Pottstown/Limerick areas of Montgomery County since 2005, today conceded in the 146th House District.

Donna Cooper named to lead PCCY
The Notebook by Dale Mezzacappa on Nov 13 2012 Posted in Latest news
Donna Cooper, who was Gov. Rendell's policy chief for eight years and who has experience in both city government and the advocacy world, has been named the new executive director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth.
Cooper will succeed Shelly Yanoff, who is stepping down after leading the group for 26 years.

Former Rendell aide Donna Cooper to head advocacy agency for youth
Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
POSTED: Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 3:01 AM
Donna Cooper, formerly a top aide to Gov. Rendell, said she would draw on the many political contacts she has made throughout the region in her new role as head of a leading local youth advocacy agency.

Jersey Jazzman Blog MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2012

K12 Inc Comes Clean: "Reform" Is All About the $

Ken Libby points us to the transcript of a K12 Inc. conference call to investors. K12 is a charter school management company that specializes in "virtual" or "blended" learning, replacing brick-and-mortal schools with on-line instruction. NEPC released a report this past summer that shows K12's students fall further behind students in traditional schools. K12's school in Tennessee is under fire for poor performance, and critics in Florida say the schools there have unqualified staff. K12 is heavily involved in politics, lobbying and making campaign contributions to support friendly state and local officials.

“The federal government should call for the creation of a comprehensive support systems around schools in low-income communities to address issues such as safety, health, nutrition, and counseling. This should include the expansion of preschool and after-school programs and extended learning opportunities during the summer. Many of these ideas were included in the Obama administration's Promise Neighborhood program, but the $60 million allocated in 2012 to fund the initiative was insufficient to meet the overwhelming number of applications that were received. Instead of relying exclusively on federal funds, local communities should be encouraged to develop public-private partnerships so that the support systems can be developed and sustained without ongoing federal support. “

Time to Put Forward a New Reform Agenda

 Pedro Noguera  
…..if we want the Obama administration to rethink its policies and adopt a broader reform strategy we will have to move quickly to mobilize parents, teachers' unions, and community organizations around a broad vision for change. Such a vision must go well beyond a critique of No Child Left Behind and Race for the Top, and it certainly has to do more than assert that poverty is the real problem.

Politico: 5 fiscal cliff scenarios

Politico By CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN and JAKE SHERMAN | 11/12/12 4:36 AM EST
President Barack Obama and congressional Republican leaders are finally prepared to open negotiations this week on the fiscal cliff — an all-important legislative riddle with no easy answers.
Democrats want to increase tax rates; Republicans say no way. Republicans seek major changes to entitlement programs; Democrats are divided. Republicans want to nullify a package of automatic spending cuts; Democrats won’t go for it without major concessions.
The policy differences are endless, but the scenarios for how it could play out are fairly limited. Here are five ways Congress may navigate the labyrinth:

As state considers 8 more cybers, here's Lancaster Online's broad coverage of PA cyber charters….. 

Enrollment in Charter Schools Is Increasing

New York Times By MOTOKO RICH Published: November 14, 2012
Although charter schools engender fierce debate — most recently over ballot measures in Georgia and Washington State — their ranks are growing rapidly, according to a new report. Between 2010-11 and 2011-12, the number of students in charter schools increased close to 13 percent, to just over two million.
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, a nonprofit advocacy group, released the report on Wednesday. It showed that in some cities, charter schools — which are publicly financed but privately operated — enroll a significant proportion of public school students.

“Gates, who does live there, donated more than $3 million to the cause. Alice Walton of Walmart Stores Inc. fame, who, unlike Gates, doesn’t live in the state, gave a total of  $1.7 million.”

Washington State to allow charter schools after billionaire-backed initiative squeaks through

Washington becomes the 42nd state to allow public charter schools to open now that  ballot Initiative 1240 has passed, apparently by about 1 percentage point — this after a group of billionaires, including Bill Gates, donated more than $10 million to get it pushed through.

There's still time to register for the Pittsburgh school library briefing on November 15th!
Join the Education Law Center, the Health Sciences Library Consortium, and the PA School Librarians Association for the release of findings of the Pennsylvania school library impact study on student achievement, and learn about the investments in school library programs needed to prepare 21st-century learners:

Education Policy and Leadership Center

Register Now! 2012 Pennsylvania Education Finance Symposium November 16th

The registration fee is $25 if paid by November 12, and $30 if paid after November 12 or on-site. Click here to register for the symposium.
Wildwood Conference Center Harrisburg Area Community College
Friday, November 16, 2012

Why Investing in Early Education Matters, Even in These Difficult Economic Times - "Erie Region Breakfast Series" Monday, November 19, 2012
Continental Breakfast - 8:00 a.m. Program - 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  
 Ambassador Center (I-90 & Peach Streets in Erie, next to the Courtyard by Marriott)
Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children and The Education Policy and Leadership Center
Ron Cowell, President, The Education Policy and Leadership Center
Diane Robbins, Principal, Early Childhood Learning Center, Titusville Area School District
Jill Simmons, Vice President, Early Care and School-Age Enrichment, Greater Erie YMCA
Dr. James Tracy, Superintendent, Girard School District
Darlene Kovacs, VP Administrative Services, Early Connections - Success by 6 Kindergarten Readiness Program
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  
Share school district successes and challenges in supporting quality learning experiences. Hear from local school districts and early learning providers about how they have worked together to maintain early learning as an integral part of the school districts' overall goals. Learn how quality early learning can contribute positively to a community's economic success.
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
While there is no registration fee, seating is limited and an RSVP is required.
Building One Pennsylvania – Fundraiser November 29th
Join us at our first fundraiser and awards ceremony to celebrate our progress in promoting inclusive, sustainable and economically prosperous communities.
Austin Room at IBEW Electrical Union 654
3729 Chichester Avenue, Boothwyn PA 19061

Thursday, November 29th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM
$100 per person • $75 for Building One Pennsylvania Member
U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.
U.S. Congressman Patrick Meehan
Estelle Richman, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Isaac Dotson, Yeadon Economic Development Corporation
Tom Gemmill, St. James Episcopal Church, Lancaster
Rev. Marlon Millner, Norristown Municipal Council and McKinley Memorial Baptist Church


CELEBRATE Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center’s 5th Anniversary!
Friday November 30th 12 pm1:30 pm
Join us in celebrating 5 years of providing a strong, independent voice for working Pennsylvanians and their families in the halls of the state Capitol and beyond.
Friday~November 30th, 12 pm - 1:30 pm
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
201 N. 17th Street | Philadelphia PA 19103
Registration begins at 11:30
Hon. Gene DiGirolamo & Hon. Thomas Murt
Voter ID Plaintiff Legal Team
The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP)
The ACLU of Pennsylvania
The Advancement Project
Arnold and Porter
Hon. Edward G. Rendell | Hon. Vincent Hughes
Hon. Blondell Reynolds Brown | Hon. Maria Quiñones Sánchez | Hon. W. Wilson Goode II
Hon. Diane Ellis-Marseglia | Willig, Williams, & Davidson | Dianne & Ted Reed | Donna Cooper
Public Citizens for Children and Youth | Women Against Abuse
Education Policy and Leadership Center | Education Voters of Pennsylvania
Project H.O.M.E | Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Education Law Center invites you to a special evening December 5th
Honoring Len Rieser
Welcoming Rhonda Brownstein
And celebrating public education champions
Mary Gay Scanlon, Harold Jordan, Arc of PA, The Bridges Collaborative and School Discipline Advocacy Services
Food, Drink and Silent Auction
December 5, 2012 , 5:30 PM
Crystal Tea Room The Wanamaker Building
100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia

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