Friday, June 21, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for June 21, 2013: Perhaps Pennsylvanians don’t want their public schools defunded, dismantled and sold off to the highest bidder or campaign donor.

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.

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Keystone State Education Coalition:
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for June 21, 2013:
Perhaps Pennsylvanians don’t want their public schools defunded, dismantled and sold off to the highest bidder or campaign donor.

Send an email to Harrisburg on school funding
Education Voters PA
As the budget process continues please consider contacting the legislative leadership listed below regarding the education budget ; here’s part of their job description:

PA Constitution - Public School System Section 14.

“The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.”
PA Legislature Republican Leadership 2013
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman
Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati
House Majority Leader Mike Turzai
House Appropriation Committee Chairman William Adolph
House Speaker Sam Smith
Governor Tom Corbett 
717-787-2500, Fax: 717-772-8284

Some in Pa. House wary of Phila. school aid
POSTED: Friday, June 21, 2013, 3:01 AM
HARRISBURG - Top Republicans in the Capitol may be working hard behind the scenes to craft a rescue package for Philadelphia's financially troubled schools, but one key GOP bloc let it be known Thursday that a deal is far from certain.
Gov. Corbett, along with leaders in the Republican-controlled Senate, has been meeting for weeks with Mayor Nutter and the city's Democratic delegation in Harrisburg to assemble a plan to infuse tens of millions of dollars into the district's cash-starved coffers. Key elements include letting the city slap a $2-per-pack tax on cigarette sales and extending Philadelphia's extra 1 percent sales tax, with proceeds going to the schools.
Not so fast, says the Republican-controlled House.

Perhaps Pennsylvanians don’t want their public schools defunded, dismantled and sold off to the highest bidder or campaign donor…….
GOP poll: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett in bad shape
Washington Post By Aaron Blake, Published: June 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm
A newly leaked Republican poll shows Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) faces a steep uphill battle in his quest for reelection, and even many Republicans are unhappy with him.
The Public Opinion Strategies poll, which was obtained by the Philadelphia City Paper and conducted from April 30-May 2, shows Corbett trailing Rep. Alyson Schwartz (D) 46 percent to 34 percent.  It is not known whom the poll was conducted for.
In addition, when Pennsylvanians were asked whether Corbett deserved another term, 65 percent either said no (49 percent) or leaned that way (the rest). Even 44 percent of Republicans leaned toward electing someone new.

“In addition, some 65 percent of respondents said the governor did not deserve another term, with even 44 percent of Republicans favoring a new chief executive.”
Internal poll prompts national pundits to doubt Pa. Gov. Corbett reelection
By Robert J. Vickers |  on June 20, 2013 at 1:12 PM
National speculation over Gov. Tom Corbett's reelection vulnerability has ratcheted up this week after an internal poll showing the governor at startling levels of unpopularity, and two prominent political pundits speculating that the incumbent may not run in 2014.
The April 30-May 2 survey, conducted by top Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, found Corbett trailing U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Montgomery County 46-34 percent.

Blaming teachers won't fix Philly schools
Daniel Denvir City Paper Posted: Thu, Jun. 20, 2013, 12:00 AM
This past weekend, an Inquirer editorial chastised the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers for not saying “what it will do to help” solve the schools’ “doomsday” budget, which lays off 3,859 teachers, aides, counselors and administrators after closing 24 schools.
The School District is demanding $133 million in labor concessions to plug its $304 million budget gap. That’s more than twice as much as it requested from the city, and $13 million more than what it’s seeking from the state — which cut nearly $1 billion from school funding statewide (that’s you, Gov. Tom Corbett) despite its constitutional obligation to fund public education and, critically, its direct control of city schools for the past decade.

SRC mum on KIPP plan to move into closing Wilson Elementary
thenotebook by Sonia Giebel on Jun 20 2013 Posted in Latest news
Backed by several neighborhood parents, KIPP Philadelphia CEO Marc Mannella publicly asked School Reform Commission members Wednesday night to endorse -- or at least discuss – his offer to open a kindergarten in the closing Wilson Elementary School.
“If we were to want to do something with this for the ’13-’14 school year, obviously time is getting late, but this is something that we feel we could do today,” he told the commissioners.
But he was met by stony silence.

Allentown School District could get up to $8 million in state aid
By Colin McEvoy | The Express-Times  on June 21, 2013 at 5:30 AM,
Local state legislators are trying to secure an additional $8 million in state aid for the Allentown School District, according to district officials.  The district is grappling with a $242 million budget proposal that includes a $9 million deficit, even after cutting 149 positions and raising taxes 8.54 percent.  School board member Joanne Jackson said tonight that state Sen. Pat Browne is negotiating with state legislators to include $8 million in the state budget for the Allentown district.

“The board approved the budget 6-1, with two members absent. Larry Funk cast the dissenting vote, saying he would not agree with the tax increase when the reasons for needing it are more in the hands of state legislators rather than the school board.”
Tuscarora School District OKs 1% real estate tax increase
Chambersburg Public Opinion By AMBER SOUTH @AESouthPO
MERCERSBURG - A 1 percent real estate tax increase is part of the approximately $34.5 million budget that Tuscarora Area school district adopted Tuesday for the 2013-14 school year.
The mill rate will be 110.66, 0.75 mills more than the 2012-13 school year.
Still, the budget has an approximately $330,000 deficit. Budgeted expenditure is $34,468,165 and budgeted revenue is $34,137,926.

Creating space for STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art and math
School districts plan to use grants to develop interesting places where teens can gather
Post Gazette By Debra Duncan June 20, 2013 5:29 am
Two foundations are giving $500,000 to 25 school districts in southwestern Pennsylvania, and most of the schools will use the money to create places where students can employ the latest technology to learn.  Each district will receive a $20,000 grant from the Grable and Benedum foundations. Many will use the grants to redesign an area of the library or a classroom where students can gather to focus on projects related to what is called STEAM -- science, technology, engineering, art and math.

PennCAN: Corbett anti-teachers union poll intended to help Nutter, Hite
Daniel Denvir City Paper  JUNE 20, 2013, 1:38 PM
PennCAN, the self-described school reform group that paid for the poll and analysis urging Gov. Tom Corbett to exploit the Philly schools crisis and attack the teachers union for political gain, tells City Paperthat the plan is intended to support the work of Mayor Michael Nutter and School District Superintendent William Hite.  "The poll found strong support for more state funding if coupled with the kind of meaningful reforms that Dr. Hite has been publicly championing, such as allowing principals to have the flexibility to build their own teams," PennCAN Executive Director Jonathan Cetel emailed CP. "We have been sharing the poll with key decision makers in Harrisburg in order to support Mayor Nutter and Dr. Hite's efforts to secure more state funding for the School District of Philadelphia."
City Paper acquired the secret report on Tuesday night and published it on Wednesday.

“Just last week PennCAN was in Pittsburgh hiring a new public affairs manager. The organization’s executive director told thePittsburgh Business Times that our region is playing a bigger role in state politics and that “political power has shifted west,” so they feel it’s important to have a staff member near the three rivers. [Pittsburgh Business Times, 6-12-13] Yes, re-read that sentence. PennCAN is moving to Yinzer Nation because of politics and power. They talk about our kids, but as they’ve made clear with the “recommendations” from their new poll, they really want to bash our teachers.”
GERM Infection
Yinzercation Blog June 21. 2013
Yinzercation is on vacation. I hopped across the pond to the Society for the History of Children and Youth conference to deliver a paper on student activism in our movement  (comparing it to young people protesting the education offered to indentured children 100 years ago). But even here in England, the headlines scream about corporate-style education reform.

 “It is time for public education stakeholders to come together to engage in an honest, civil, and meaningful conversation about how limited taxpayer dollars can best be spent educating all of Pennsylvania's public school students.”
Letter: Divisive cyber school rhetoric will not help fix school funding for all
WHYY Newsworks Letter By Susan Spicka June 20, 2013
This letter is in response to a series of opinions about cyber charter school funding in Pennsylvania. See the related links to the right.
I am a parent of two daughters who attend a public elementary school, and I have close friends who cyber school their children. We want our children and all children in Pennsylvania to receive a great education in our public schools.
When I read Mr. Parris's response to the NewsWorks article, "Rising cyber charter school costs fuel statewide push for reform," I was very disappointed by his inference that individuals advocating for changes to the cyber charter school funding formula will somehow relegate children "to the status of second-class student(s)."

How not to manage Philly schools: A PennLive editorial cartoon

Just What is Pa. Gov. Corbett's Relationship with Philly Schools?
Education Week State EdWatch By Andrew Ujifusa on June 20, 2013 3:50 PM
The relationships between several governors and teachers' unions in recent years have taken a sour turn—the rhetorical slugfest between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, and the New Jersey Education Association is just one prominent example. But Christie's neighbor, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, is in a different kind of hot water when it comes to union politics. A new poll, the subject of a June 19 article byPhiladelphia City Paper, encourages the GOP governor to "campaign against an 'enemy'" as part of an effort to boost his wilting approval ratings ahead of his 2014 reelection campaign. That "enemy" turns out to be the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

Will Pennsylvania Governor Help Rescue Philly Schools?
Education Week Districct Dossier Blog By Lesli A. Maxwell on June 20, 2013 4:53 PM
Philadelphia's school system has been on the ropes financially for some time, and without a quick infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars, school system officials say they will lay off nearly 4,000 staff members.

 “expected to be replaced by Emma Vadehra, who works as the chief of staff for a charter school management organization known as Uncommon Schools, the sources said.”
Arne Duncan Expected To Tap Emma Vadehra As New Chief Of Staff
Huffington Post Posted: 06/20/2013 1:09 pm EDT
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will likely soon tap a new chief of staff, sources say.
Sources close to the administration, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, told The Huffington Post that Joanne Weiss, Duncan's longtime right-hand woman, will depart the U.S. Education Department this summer, likely in July. She is expected to be replaced by Emma Vadehra, who works as the chief of staff for a charter school management organization known as Uncommon Schools, the sources said.

Growing Young Minds: How Museums and Libraries Create Lifelong Learners
Institute of Library and Museum Services June 2013 report

Save the Date: Diane Ravitch will be speaking at the Main Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library on September 17 at 7:30 pm.  Details to come.

Next week is the deadline to submit proposals for PSBA’s 2014 Legislative Platform
There is one week remaining to submit proposals for consideration for PSBA’s 2014 Legislative Platform.The deadline to submit proposals is Friday, June 28.  Guidelines for platform submissions and submission forms are posted on PSBA’s Web site. Boards may submit new proposals as well as revisions to the current platform and should include a brief statement (about 50 words) of rationale for each proposal submitted.  The rationale should include a summary of the reasons why your board believes this issue should be addressed in the platform, any specific problems your district has encountered, and how your board believes the problem could be resolved.  In addition, your board is encouraged to submit any data related to the issue as it affects your district, or any draft language that could be crafted into proposed legislation. This information will be shared with the PSBA Platform Committee. All submissions should be directed to PSBA’s Office of Governmental and Member Relations. All items submitted must be verified by the board secretary. The PSBA Platform Committee under the direction of Chairman Mark B. Miller will review proposals and rationale submitted for the platform on Aug. 10. 
The items recommended by the Platform Committee will be presented to the new PSBA Delegate Assembly for final determination by the voting delegates present. Next week, PSBA will be mailing to all school board secretaries a memo and response form for the appointment of their voting delegates to the Delegate Assembly. Selection of voting delegates for the Delegate Assembly meeting is the same as it was for the Legislative Policy Council.  Each PSBA member entity has the opportunity to participate in the meeting the debate and vote on all of the agenda items.

PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference
October 15-18, 2013 | Hershey Lodge & Convention Center
The PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference is the largest gathering of elected officials in Pennsylvania and offers an impressive collection of professional development opportunities for school board members and other education leaders.
See Annual School Leadership Conference links for all program details.

PAESSP State Conference October 27-29, 2013
The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, State College, PA
The state conference is PAESSP’s premier professional development event for principals, assistant principals and other educational leaders. Attending will enable you to connect with fellow educators while learning from speakers and presenters who are respected experts in educational leadership.
 Featuring Keynote Speakers: Charlotte Danielson, Dr. Todd Whitaker, Will Richardson & David Andrews, Esq. (Legal Update).

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.

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 Prior Posting
Charter schools - public funding without public scrutiny

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the post. I love reading all of the updates since I am currently working towards my PA teaching certification.


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