Monday, May 13, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for May 13, 2013: Pa. budget woes will test GOP on business tax cut

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.

The Keystone State Education Coalition is pleased to be listed among the friends and allies of The Network for Public Education.  Are you a member?

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PSBA Region 15 Members (Delaware and Chester Counties) May 30
Jeffery B. Clay, Executive Director for the Pennsylvania School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) will present on the topic of pension reform.

Keystone State Education Coalition:
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for May 13, 2013:
Pa. budget woes will test GOP on business tax cut

Pa. lawmakers hesitate on Corbett's crowded legislative agenda
WHYY Newsworks By Mary Wilson, @marywilson  May 12, 2013
(NewsWorks Photo, file)
Gov. Tom Corbett is reluctant to pull any legislative issue from the very top of his crowded agenda.  But Pennsylvania legislative leaders appear more than happy to do it for him.

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for May 11, 2013: Corbett's education secretary Tomalis said to be leaving
Here’s our weekend posting in case you missed it…….

Pa. budget woes will test GOP on business tax cut by MARC LEVY , THE ASSOCIATED PRESS May 11, 2013, 1:10 PM
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Gov. Tom Corbett and his fellow Republicans who control the Legislature were poised to deliver yet another business tax cut, the biggest yet of Corbett's three budget proposals.  Tax collections this year were supposed to produce a $230 million surplus. That would allow Corbett's plan to absorb the tax cut and rising public employee pension costs while adding some money for the public schools and social services that had borne the brunt of two years of spending cuts.  But the story gets muddy from there, and a $360 million reduction in the capital stock and franchise tax may no longer be set in stone, even for a core Republican constituency of business owners and executives who will view anything less as a tax increase.

Hey, Gov. Corbett. Shadow a Philly kid for a day to see your cuts: As I See It
Patriot-News Op-Ed  by Blondell Reynolds Brown May 12, 2013
According to the Pennsylvania Constitution, it is the state’s responsibility to:
 “Provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.”
And yet, for the third year in a row, we look to the Corbett administration to help us fill a sizable hole in the Philadelphia school district's budget. To be precise, the District’s “ask” is $120 million from Harrisburg and $60 million from the City of Philadelphia, to prevent the elimination of art, music, sports, school nurses, guidance counselors, assistant principals, all after school activities and more. In return we get silence and shrugged shoulders.

EdVotersPA tweeted that Sturla, Roebuck and Longietti have been appointed to this commission
Sturla appointed to bipartisan Special Education Funding Commission
HARRISBURG, May 10 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, has been appointed to serve on the Special Education Funding Commission tasked with developing a formula to distribute state funding for Pennsylvania’s more than a quarter-million special education students.
Sturla, who is chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, has been a long-time champion of implementing an equitable special education funding formula. He introduced a proposal to implement a formula in 2009 (H.B. 704) that passed with overwhelming support in the House but never received a vote in the state Senate.

Pennsylvanians Against Common Core: 
State Hearings: Pay-offs, Politics and Propaganda

Common Core standards will prepare kids for success: As I See It
Patriot-News Op-Ed  By Joan Benso and David Patti May 05, 2013 at 1:30 PM
Almost a decade ago, governors from across the country got together to have a long-overdue discussion about why so many students were graduating from high school ill-prepared for college. At the same time, the business community was sounding the alarm about good paying jobs going unfilled because high school graduates lacked basic math and reading skills, as well as good work habits.
The consensus among the governors – Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals – was that our students could do better, but we had to set higher expectations to get better academic results. 

Change in standards to be implemented for Pennsylvania public schools
Chambersburg Public Opinion Online Posted:  05/12/2013 8:47 PM
Pennsylvania public educators have been busy for more than three years preparing for the next big wave in public education.  But it's been only recently that a switch to the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards - a twist on the national Common Core State Standards - reached the radar of concerned citizens and legislators.
Guilford Township resident Michele Jansen was one of five members of the Franklin County 9/12 Patriots to query the Chambersburg Area school board about it last month. The group has also talked to local educators and lawmakers, and plans to visit the Pennsylvania General Assembly this week during public information sessions.

House Informational briefing on the Common Core Standards from PA Dept. of Education Secretary Ron Tomalis.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 9:00 AM Room G50 Irvis Office Bldg.

Senate Public hearing on Common Core
Wednesday, May 15, 1:00 PM, Hearing Room 1 North Office Bldg

PSBA Region 15 Members (Delaware and Chester Counties)
Jeffery B. Clay, Executive Director for the Pennsylvania School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) will present on the topic of pension reform.
Penns Grant Region 15 -- Thursday, May 30 ; 5 p.m. Region 15 meeting; 6 p.m. dinner; 7 p.m. Legislative meeting; Garnet Valley HS, 552 Smithbridge Rd., Glen Mills, 19342; registration is required

Superintendents, Business Managers, School Board Members, Union Leaders, Any Others interested in PSERS and wanting to learn more about Pension Reform . . .
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Registration: 6:30 p.m.  Presentation: 7:00 p.m.
Allegheny Intermediate Unit  475 East Waterfront Drive  Homestead, PA  15120  McGuffey/Sullivan Rooms
Jeffery B. Clay, Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Schools Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) will present on the topic of pension reform.  Mr. Clay’s presentation will review the increases in retirement contributions and the Governor’s proposal on pension reform.  As one concerned about public education, we are sure that you will find this meeting enlightening and a valuable investment of your time.
In order to accommodate those attending and prepare the necessary materials for the meeting, please register using the following link:  by May 7, 2013.
If you have any questions regarding the registration process, please contact Janet Galaski at 412.394.5753 or

Panel: Striking Back on High Stakes Testing hosted by Rethinking Schools
Panel Discussion Hosted by Rethinking Schools
Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 North Broad Street, Philadelphia
Wednesday, May 15, 2013  4:30pm until 6:00pm
Join CUNY Professor Michelle Fine and Rethinking Schools editors Stan Karp and Helen Gym for a conversation on fighting back against the testing industry's dismantling of public education. Suggested donation $10, or $20 for panel plus your copy of Rethinking Schools' newest book: "Pencils Down: High-stakes testing and accountability in public schools."
Space limited! RSVP:

Looking for PA Governor's School for the Arts Alumni
Pennsylvania Arts Education Network
For over 35 years, the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts was a robust summer program that provided over 10,000 students state-wide with extraordinary opportunities to develop their artistic talents, intellects, self-confidence, and leadership. Unfortunately, for budget reasons, state officials ended the program a few years ago. The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC)'s 2012 Arts and Education Policy Report recommended the school be reestablished and the Pennsylvania Arts Education Network is now urging that the Governor's School for the Arts be restored.
To support this effort, we would like to create a comprehensive list of alumni who attended the School. This list would be an important voice in supporting the reopening of the Governor's School for the Arts, and arts education in Pennsylvania, generally.
If you, or someone you know attended the Pennsylvania's Governor's School for the Arts, please complete this form and share with others. This list will be used internally, and will not be made public.   For more information about the Pennsylvania Arts Education Network and for news about the reestablishment of the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts, please visit

PSBA Bylaws amendment proposals due May 15
PSBA website 2/15/2013
As stated in Article XII, proposals for amending the PSBA Bylaws must be submitted "in writing, mailed first class and postmarked or marked received at PSBA headquarters prior to May 15 of each year."  Proposals should be addressed to the Bylaws Committee Chair or the Executive Director and sent to PSBA headquarters by the May 15, 2013, deadline.
The procedures for submitting proposed bylaws changes are outlined in Article XII and can be found online

Search underway for PSBA Executive Director
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) is a nonprofit statewide association of public school boards, pledged to the highest ideals of local lay leadership for the public schools of the commonwealth.  Founded in 1895, PSBA has a rich history as the first school boards' association established in the United States. Pennsylvania's 4,500 school directors become members by virtue of election to their local board -- the board joins as a whole. Membership in PSBA is by school district or other eligible local education agency such as intermediate unit, vocational school or community college……..
Search by Diversified Search, 1990 M St NW, Suite 570, Washington, DC. Questions may be directed to Interested parties should email their resume and cover letter to Please apply by June 1, 2013 for best consideration.

Sign Up Today for PILCOP Special Ed CLE Trainings
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
Spots are filling up for the final two trainings in our 2012-2013 Know Your Child’s Rights series with seminars on ADAAA, Pro Se Parents and Settlement Agreements.
May 29, 2013: PRO SE Parents: Doing It on Your Own
May 30, 2013: Settlements: Signing on the Dotted Line (OR NOT)

Turning the Page for Change celebration, June 11, 2013
Please join us for the Notebook’s annual Turning the Page for Change celebration on June 11, 2013, from 4:30 - 7 p.m. at the University of The Arts, Hamilton Hall, 320 S. Broad Street. We will be honoring a member of the Notebook community for years of service to our mission as well as honoring several local high school journalists. Help us celebrate another year of achievement that included two awards from the Education Writers Association and coverage of other critical stories like the budget crisis and the school closing process.

Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School FAST FACTS
Quakertown Community School District March 2013

PA Charter Schools: $4 billion taxpayer dollars with no real oversight Keystone State Education Coalition (updated May 2, 2013)
Charter schools - public funding without public scrutiny; Proposed statewide authorization and direct payment would further diminish accountability and oversight for public tax dollars

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