Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for May 29, 2013: The PA House GOP budget proposal is slated to be unveiled at 11:30 am this morning

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Keystone State Education Coalition:
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for May 29, 2013:
The PA House GOP budget proposal is slated to be unveiled at 11:30 am this morning

Delay the cut in the capital stock and franchise tax
We urge the legislature to delay planned tax cuts rather than making additional budget cuts to schools, health care, and human services.
Help spread the message of the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign for the 2013-2014 State Budget

The PA House GOP budget proposal is slated to be unveiled at 11:30 am this morning.

House Democratic Policy Committee to hold public hearing on state budget education funding Wednesday May 29 in Drexel Hill
HARRISBURG, May 24 – House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced today that the committee will hold a public hearing on education funding in the 2013-14 state budget from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 29 in Bonner-Prendergast High School’s Performing Arts Center, 403 N. Lansdowne Ave., Drexel Hill.
State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, requested the hearing and will serve as co-chairwoman. Legislators will hear about the challenges faced by school administrators in managing recurring cuts to education funding for the past two years, and from policy experts on the overall impact on the Commonwealth.
The current hearing agenda is:
  • 10 a.m. – Welcome and opening remarks
  • 10:10 a.m. – Panel of local school districts:
    • Louis DeVlieger, superintendent, Upper Darby School District
    • Joseph Bruni, superintendent, William Penn School District
  • 10:50 a.m. – Panel of local parents
  • 11:20 a.m. – Panel of policy experts:
    • Sharon Ward, executive director, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
    • Rhonda Brownstein, executive director, Education Law Center
  • 12 p.m. – Ashley DeMauro, Pennsylvania state director, Students First
  • 12:20 p.m. – Closing remarks
The hearing is open to the public and media coverage is invited.

The AEI Note: May 28, 2013
Arts and Education News from the Education Policy and Leadership Center  

Neshaminy school board, teachers union reach tentative deal By Christian Menno Staff writer Posted on May 28, 2013
It's a deal. Finally.
After nearly five years of intense negotiations, harsh words and two strikes, the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers and the school board have put together a tentative contract settlement.
“I am very pleased to report there is a tentative settlement,” school board President Ritchie Webb said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.
NFT President Louise Boyd called the impasse “a long and challenging process.”
The details of the proposal weren't released Tuesday, but are expected to be made available to the public soon. Webb said it is “essentially the same proposal that has been on the table since December.”

Area school districts save money with their own cyber school option
In the constant battle to balance budgets, school district officials often identify one particular cost they believe should be addressed through reform — cyber school funding.
School districts pick up the cost of education for students who are a part of the cyber charter programs. Depending on the number of students who live in the school district and opt for a cyber school, that can be a costly part of the district's annual budget.

How Commonsense Cyber School Funding Reform will Save Cumberland County $4,600,000 in Taxpayer Money Annually
Education Matters in the Cumberland Valley
(Updated with January 31, 2013 PDE-363 recalculation)

“Seven of 11 cyber charter schools that reported special education data to the Department of Education had rates of special needs students higher than the state average.”
IUs could control special ed funding for cybers, rep says
Sharon Herald By John Finnerty CNHI Harrisburg Correspondent May 25, 2013
HARRISBURG — A state lawmaker has proposed that all special education services for cyber school students be funneled through the state’s regional educational intermediate units.
The move is intended to assure that all students receive the services they need and allay fears that cyber schools are inflating the number of students identified as requiring special education services to get more money.

McCarter Unveils Legislation Aimed to Curb School District Funding Losses to Cyber Charter Schools
Citizens Call Blog Posted on May 25, 2013 3 Comments
Perhaps adding a little muscle to the cries of public school advocates that PA’s charter schools – especially cyber charters – are needlessly sapping the funding base of school districts across the state, Rep. Steve McCarter (D-154) unveiled legislation Thursday at a press event at Cheltenham High School’s Stretton Hall seeking to address those alleged inequities.
The bill would essentially bring the primary costs of cyber charters, now paid for by local school districts using the same per pupil funding formula as bricks-and-mortar charter schools, under the state umbrella. It would also restructure and reduce the cost of cyber special needs/special education services and limit other charter costs.

Support Our Schools Rally - Shippensburg June 4 at 6:30 pm
Education Matters in the Cumberland Valley
at The Thought Lot in Shippensburg (Corner of Orange and Earl Streets)
Join us and Invite your friends
Click here for more information

New Pa. bills for city school shortfall
As the Philadelphia School Reform Commission prepares to vote on a doomsday budget with massive cuts, a state senator Tuesday announced legislation that would funnel more funds to the schools by giving the city new powers to crack down on delinquent taxpayers.
State Sen. Mike Stack (D., Phila.) said the legislative package he will introduce this week in Harrisburg - with support from Mayor Nutter - would require the city to garnish up to 10 percent of the wages of delinquent taxpayers, give local governments authority to attach bank accounts to collect unpaid taxes without going to court, and allow municipalities to put liens on property anywhere in the state that is owned by delinquent taxpayers.

Lehigh Valley schools get $60,000 in grants for hybrid learning programs
By Precious Petty | The Express-Times  on May 29, 2013 at 5:00 AM
Two Northampton County high schools and one Lehigh County school district have been awarded $60,000 in federal grants to boost their hybrid learning programs.
Gov. Tom Corbett on Tuesday announced $633,000 for 50 schools statewide.Bethlehem Catholic High SchoolParkland School District and Pius X High School are on the list, according to a news release.

Governor Corbett Announces $633,000 in Hybrid Learning Grants to 34 School Entities
PDE Press Release May 28, 2013
In keeping with his commitment to promote innovative educational programs for Pennsylvania students, Governor Tom Corbett today announced that $633,000 in federal funds has been awarded to accelerate the implementation of hybrid learning programs in 50 school buildings in 34 school entities. A new approach to provide cost-effective, personalized learning to K-12 students, hybrid learning employs frequent digital assessments to measure student performance and uses the results to identify students for differentiated instruction.

Check out where Governor Corbett is on this list.  Education policy have anything to do with that?
Popular Governors, and Prospects for 2016
New York Times By MICAH COHEN May 28, 2013, 12:11 pm
Last month, we examined the most unpopular governors facing re-election in 2014. Many of the governors with the poorest job approval ratings were Republicans in Democratic-leaning and swing states.  But the Republicans also have a group of popular governors in swing states and blue states. With broad bipartisan appeal, those governors — and a few Democratic counterparts — will not only potentially find an easier path to re-election, but could also make strong 2016 presidential prospects.
In the early stages of the 2016 race, top political operatives, fund-raisers and donors may look to home state popularity as a measure of a candidate’s appeal and political talent, particularly for governors in states that don’t automatically and overwhelmingly support a chief executive of one party or the other.

Need to feel good about the Common Core and Keystone Exams?
What would it take for us to see similar events focusing on high quality early childhood education and community schools?  Generous sponsors?
“The Pennsylvania Education Summit is co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Business Council Education Foundation, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children and Team Pennsylvania Foundation with the support of generous sponsors.”
Pennsylvania Education Summit
Harrisburg, PA Thursday, June 13, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 3:45 PM (EDT)
The Pennsylvania Education Summit: Building a Pathway to College and Career Success will gather business leaders, teachers, school superintendents, curriculum specialists, state lawmakers, legislative staff, executive agency professionals, workforce investment board members and staff, and other education stakeholders for a civil conversation on the public policy required to ensure our Commonwealth's young people are "college and career ready."  The Pennsylvania Education Summit will highlight and support the efforts of the Corbett Administration and Pennsylvania General Assembly to design and implement education reforms that increase student achievement and accountability in Pennsylvania's K-12 education system.
Agenda and registration here:

“What’s the least bad option going forward? Who should bear the brunt of this legacy of fiscal irresponsibility? Current retirees? Today’s teachers? New teachers? School districts? Taxpayers? The students themselves?”
No Way Out? How to Solve the Teacher-Pension Problem
Live or Webinar June 6, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. EDT
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 1016 16th Street NW, 7th Floor Washington, DC 20036
America’s teacher-pension systems (with up to a trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities according to some estimates) present a raging public-policy dilemma. Career teachers absolutely deserve a secure retirement, but lawmakers promised them benefits that the system cannot afford, as those promises were based on short-term political considerations and bad math. Now the bill is coming due, and someone’s going to get soaked.
  • Sandi Jacobs, vice president and managing director of state policy, National Council on Teacher Quality
  • Josh B. McGee, vice president of public accountability, Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Charles Zogby, secretary of the budget, Pennsylvania
  • Leo Casey, executive director, Albert Shanker Institute
Moderator: Chester E. Finn, Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute
This event will be webcast. Visit our website,, at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday, June 6, to watch the proceedings live.
Register now to join the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the National Council on Teacher Quality for a timely look at the teacher-pension crisis and various state efforts to address it.

EPLC Education Policy Fellowship Program – Apply Now
Applications are available now for the 2013-2014 Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP). The Education Policy Fellowship Program is sponsored in Pennsylvania by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC).
With more than 350 graduates in its first fourteen years, this Program is a premier professional development opportunity for educators, state and local policymakers, advocates, and community leaders.  State Board of Accountancy (SBA) credits are available to certified public accountants.
Past participants include state policymakers, district superintendents and principals, school business officers, school board members, education deans/chairs, statewide association leaders, parent leaders, education advocates, and other education and community leaders.  Fellows are typically sponsored by their employer or another organization.
The Fellowship Program begins with a two-day retreat on September 12-13, 2013 and continues to graduation in June 2014.

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.

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.

Building One America 2013 National Summit July 18-19, 2013 Washington, DC
Brookings Institution to present findings of their “Confronting Suburban Poverty” report
Building One America’s Second National Summit for Inclusive Suburbs and Sustainable Regions will involve local leaders and federal policy makers to seek bipartisan solutions to the unique but common challenges around housing, schools and infrastructure facing America’s metropolitan regions and its diverse middle-class suburbs. Participants will include local elected and grassroots leaders from America’s diverse middle class suburban towns and school districts, scholars and policy experts, members of the Obama Administration and Congress.  The summit will identify comprehensive solutions and build bipartisan support for meaningful action to stabilize and support inclusive middle-class communities and promote sustainable, economically competitive regions.

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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