Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for March 26, 2013: “They need to fix their formula, and make sure that all children get what they need. And right now that’s not happening.”


Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1900 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 regulatory agencies, professional associations and education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

These daily emails are archived at http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.org
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Keystone State Education Coalition:
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for March 26, 2013: “They need to fix their formula, and make sure that all children get what they need. And right now that’s not happening.”


If you support the items in this link you should join the Network for Public Education



EDITORIAL: Pa. education funding full of inequities
Delco Times Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Attention families and taxpayers in William Penn and other struggling eastern Delaware County school districts: The Education Law Center feels your pain.
A recent report from the Pennsylvania education advocacy group calls the state’s funding system for public schools a failure.  The Education Law Center goes so far as to say Pennsylvania violates the state’s constitutional requirement for a system of public education that benefits all.

In Steelton-Highspire schools, tight budgets prompt tough choices: John L. Micek
By John L. Micek | jmicek@pennlive.com  on March 26, 2013 at 6:00 AM
So here’s one of the choices you have to make when you’re superintendent of a troubled district that’s short on cash and you can’t find $350,000 to cut anywhere else in your budget:
You get rid of, or cut back, on the very programs that are proven to lead to student successes down the line. In the case of the Steelton-Highspire public schools, that’s voting last week to eliminate pre-kindergarten and to cut back from full day to half-day kindergarten.

“I want all children to get what they need, but the way the legislation sets up this funding formula is they take money from one group of children and give it to another. It puts parents on opposite sides, but they should work together. They need to fix their formula, and make sure that all children get what they need. And right now that’s not happening.”
Shippensburg residents claim cyber school funding led to $4.6M wasted
March 22, 2013 9:00 pm  •  By Debbie Chestnut, The Sentinel
Shippensburg residents Susan Spicka and Erica Burg, co-founders of Education Matters in the Cumberland Valley, claim a broken funding formula for cyber charter schools has led to $4.6 million in wasteful spending in Cumberland County.  Spicka and Burg say the problem can be fixed, but they urge local residents to contact their legislators and voice their support for a change.  “The legislators need to hear from the people they represent,” said Spicka, who last week attended the House Education Committee hearing on cyber charter schools in Harrisburg. “They’re not going to worry about this on their own.”

Apollo-Ridge school board approves resolution calling on lawmakers to reform state’s cyber charter school funding
TribLive By Brian C. Rittmeyer Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 12:06 a.m.
Payments to cyber charter schools are making a “big hit” on the Apollo-Ridge School District's budget, Superintendent Matt Curci says.  To address that, the school board Monday approved a resolution calling on lawmakers to reform the state's cyber charter school funding formula.
Lawmaker releases harsh report on charter schools
Written by  Tribune Staff Report Friday, 22 March 2013 17:00
State Representative James Roebuck – long a critic of the manner in which the state’s charter schools are managed and financed, and the lack of comprehensive oversight – has issued a scathing, top-down report on the dozens of charter schools throughout the state that are involved in ongoing investigations or have other pertinent issues.
Roebuck’s 41-page report, “Charter and Cyber Charter School Reform Update and Comprehensive Reform Legislation,” provides and update on the charter schools’ irregularities and also includes the Roebuck-authored House Bill 934, a comprehensive charter school reform legislation that will reorganize that system’s governance, financial reporting and accountability.
Overall, Roebuck’s legislation is aimed at recouping $365 million in overpayments made to the state’s charter school operators.

Research for Action Issue Brief
Charter School Authorization and Accountability:  
an Overview for State Policymakers December  2011
This PACER Issue Brief — the second in a series — examines the national research on charter school  authorization, and highlights what other states are doing in this area of school reform.

Online education gets boost from Aument
Proposed legislation would establish database of computer-related courses
Intelligencer Journal Lancaster New Era
By BRIAN WALLACE  Staff Writer Originally Published Mar 24, 2013 19:10
Ryan Aument believes online learning is the future of public education in Pennsylvania.
That's why Aument, a Republican state House member from Landisville, is proposing legislation to establish a database of state-approved computer-based courses in all subjects for students in grades three to 12.

Finalists for Philly Renaissance charter providers announced
The notebook by Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 25 2013
Mastery, Universal Companies, and Scholar Academies will vie to operate three additional Renaissance turnaround schools put on the list for next year, the School District announced Monday.  In making the announcement, Superintendent William Hite said in a statement that all three had made progress in the elementary-level turnarounds that they now operate. Mastery has five, Universal three, and Young Scholars one.
The District said that eight organizations had submitted applications.

PENN-FINN LEARNINGS 2013: SHARING OUR INQUIRIES – MARCH 23-30
A group from the Penn Graduate School of Education is visiting Finland to see their education system.  Follow their blog…..

Crazy Crawfish's Blog Posted on March 24, 2013
Zesty Politics with a Dollop of Louisiana Goodness
A Confederacy of Reformers
Connecting the dots on “school reform”……..

A Different School Bus
Public School Supporters Seek to Shape New York City Education Policy
A repainted school bus spreads word of an education group’s campaign.
New York Times By SONI SANGHA  Published: March 22, 2013
Earlier this month, a beat-up school bus from Wassaic, N.Y., rolled into Queens Village, and a team of public school students, parents and members of advocacy groups descended upon it. They covered its sun-washed green paint with sky blue, ripped out its seats and any traces of its former life — which at one point included transporting a 30-piece marching band and dance ensemble to play at demonstrations and other social- justice activities.
In its new incarnation, the bus will carry the message of a coalition of public school supporters called A+ NYC to New York City’s mayoral candidates, in hope of shaping their positions on the future of the nation’s largest public school system. 

Rand Paul pushes federal school vouchers
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog by Valerie Strauss on March 25, 2013 at 10:00 am
Sen. Rand Paul, a rising star in the Republican Party, is pushing for a federal voucher program that sounds similar to one advanced by Mitt Romney when he was running for president.
Paul, from Kentucky, co-sponsored an amendment to Senate budget legislation with Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee who was once secretary of education. The “school choice” amendment calls for using $14.5 billion in current Title 1 funds, which are targeted to students who attend high-poverty schools, to cover 11 million students, at $1,300 per child. The money would follow a student at any accredited public or private student a family chooses.

Luring Young Web Warriors Is Priority. It’s Also a Game.
New York Times By NICOLE PERLROTH March 24, 2013
WASHINGTON — In the eighth grade, Arlan Jaska figured out how to write a simple script that could switch his keyboard’s Caps Lock key on and off 6,000 times a minute. When friends weren’t looking, he slipped his program onto their computers. It was all fun and games until the program spread to his middle school.  “They called my parents and told my dad I was hacking their computers,” Mr. Jaska, 17 years old, recalled. He was grounded and got detention. And he is just the type the Department of Homeland Security is looking for.


PSBA opens nominations for the Timothy M. Allwein Advocacy Award
PSBA website 3/15/2013
The nomination process is now open and applications will be accepted until June 21, 2013.
In 2011, PSBA created a new award to honor the memory of its long-term chief lobbyist, who died unexpectedly. The Timothy M. Allwein Advocacy Award may be presented annually to the individual school director or entire school board to recognize outstanding leadership in legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of public education and students that are consistent with the positions in PSBAs Legislative Platform. The nomination process is now open and applications will be accepted until June 21, 2013. The award will be presented during the PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference in October.

PSBA officer applications due April 30
PSBA’s website 2/15/2013
Candidates seeking election to PSBA officer posts in 2014 must file an expression of interest for the office desired to be interviewed by the PSBA Leadership Development Committee.
This new committee replaces the former Nominations Committee. Deadline for filing is April 30. The application shall be marked received at PSBA headquarters or mailed first class and postmarked by the deadline to be considered timely filed. Expression of interest forms can be found online at www.psba.org/about/psba/board-of-directors/officers/electing-officers.asp.

Edcamp Philly 2013 at UPENN May 18th, 2013
For those of you who have never gone to an Edcamp before, please make a note of the unusual part of the morning where we will build the schedule. Edcamp doesn’t believe in paying fancy people to come and talk at you about teaching! At an Edcamp, the people attending – the participants - facilitate sessions on teaching and learning! So Edcamp won’t succeed without a whole bunch of you wanting to run a session of some kind! What kinds of sessions might you run?
What: Edcamp Philly is an"unconference" devoted to K-12 Education issues and ideas.
Where: University of Pennsylvania  When: May 18, 2013  Cost: FREE!
               
2013 PSBA Leadership Symposium on Advocacy and Issues
April 6, 2013 The Penn Stater Convention Center Hotel; State College, PA
Strategic leadership, school budgeting and advocacy are key issues facing today's school district leaders. For your school district to truly thrive, leaders must maintain a solid understanding of these three functions. Attend the 2013 PSBA Leadership Symposium on Advocacy and Issues to ensure you have the skills you need to take your district to the next level.

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