Friday, December 14, 2012

First Book provides new books to children in need at little or no cost

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1750 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, PTO/PTA officers, parent advocates, teacher leaders, education professors, 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
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

The Budget Control Act of 2011 will impose across-the-board cuts of approximately 8.2 percent to education and other domestic programs in FY2013 through a process called sequestration (the cancellation of budgetary resources), unless Congress intervenes.
What can you and your local school district do?

First Book works through existing community programs, literacy efforts and schools to provide an ongoing supply of wonderful new books and reading materials – at low or no cost.
Your tax-deductible donation to First Book will fund new books for children in need and help knock down the greatest barrier to literacy development in the United States and beyond — access to books.
97% of donations go directly to programming, providing new books for children in need.

Centennial School Board OKs resolution on federal cuts
Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Montgomery News By Natalya Bucuy Journal Register News Service
The Centennial School District voted in favor of sending a request to Federal Congress to amend the Budget Control Act of 2011 at the last board meeting Dec. 11.  The request, for which seven out of eight present board members voted to approve, states that the act places funding cuts on the district’s budget that would negatively affect Centennial students.
“We are taking hits across the board – state, local, federal,” said board member Michael Hartline. “We are $2.4 million out of balance this year so far. We really need to take a hard look at some of our priorities here.”  He urged residents to contact congressman and senators in attempt to persuade them that the cuts will impact students negatively.

Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer Coverage of Philly School Closings

Today’s Notebook Coverage of Philly School Closings

Chester Upland schools placed under receivership by Delco judge
Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012
The Chester Upland School District will be placed under receivership for three years, a Delaware County Court of Common Pleas judge ordered today.
Judge Chad F. Kenney granted a petition to appoint Joseph Watkins as the district’s receiver. Chester Upland will be under receivership for three years, beginning today. The decision removes much of the power authorized to the elected school board.

PDE Press Release December 13, 2012
Secretary of Education Declares York City School District in Moderate Financial Recovery, Appoints Chief Recovery Officer
Harrisburg – Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis today declared York City School District, York County, in Moderate Financial Recovery and appointed David G. Meckley as the district’s chief recovery officer.

PDE Press Release December 13, 2012
Secretary of Education Declares Harrisburg City School District in Financial Recovery, Names Chief Recovery Officer
Harrisburg – Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis today declared Harrisburg City School District, Dauphin County, in Moderate Financial Recovery and named Gene G. Veno as the district’s chief recovery officer.

Harrisburg School District, like the city, could see the state step in and take control of its finances

on December 13, 2012 at 5:51 AM,
Harrisburg could find itself under a double state receivership next year.
The commonwealth already controls Harrisburg’s debt recovery process.
And if Harrisburg School District doesn’t adopt a fiscal recovery plan developed by a state-appointed “chief recovery officer,” it, like Harrisburg, could see the state step in and take control of its finances.  The Pennsylvania Department of Education said Wednesday afternoon that the district is in a state of “moderate financial recovery,” and it named Gene Veno, a consultant and educator, as the district’s chief recovery officer.

Duquesne schools get more time to develop financial recovery plan

TribLive By Rachel Weaver  Thursday, December 13, 2012, 11:06 a.m.
Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis granted the newly-appointed financial recovery officer for the troubled Duquesne City School District more time to develop a fiscal and academic plan.
Tomalis appointed Paul Long to the position Nov. 16. Under Act 141, Long had until Dec. 16 to develop the plan for the financially distressed district, which members of the school board can accept or reject. The extension gives him until Jan. 31, 2013.
Philly District wants to close 37 schools and relocate or reconfigure dozens more
by thenotebook on Dec 13 2012 Posted in Latest news
by Benjamin Herold for NewsWorks, a Notebook news partner
Saying the struggling Philadelphia School District is “out of time and out of options,” new Superintendent William Hite has unveiled a sweeping plan to close 37 school buildings by next fall.  All told, the District will call for 44 schools to be closed or relocated and nearly two dozen more to undergo grade changes.
Based on recent enrollment figures, roughly 17,000 children might be moving to new schools.
North Central, West, and Northwest Philadelphia would be hit particularly hard, with high-profile buildings including Strawberry Mansion, University City and Germantown high schools slated for closure.

Top questions about Philly school closings: “A year of turmoil and uncertainty”
This afternoon the district will announce the closing and consolidation of dozens of schools listed above, setting in motion a year of turmoil and uncertainty for thousands of families across the District. We are deeply concerned about the District’s ability to prioritize and re-invest in the District-managed neighborhood schools under its care. While past conversations have discussed facilities modernization and management, this conversation has been primarily on consolidation and closure with far too little mention of what additional resources will flow to schools.

 “If you have any doubt that wealthy private American citizens are helping to drive public education policy with their fortunes, this should dispel it.”

Broad Foundation grant to N.J. Ed Dept. contingent on Gov. Christie’s tenure

The private Broad Foundation gave a grant of up to to $430,000 to the New Jersey Department of Education that includes this contingency: It can be withdrawn if Chris Christie (R) is no longer governor of the state.

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