Established in 2006, the Keystone State Education Coalition is a growing grass roots, non-partisan public education advocacy group of several hundred locally elected, volunteer school board members and administrators from school districts throughout Pennsylvania. Our mission is to evaluate, discuss and inform our boards, district constituents and legislators on legislative issues of common interest and to facilitate active engagement in public education advocacy.
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.
ANGELA COULOUMBIS AND MARTHA WOODALL, INQUIRER
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
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…….
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett in bad shape
Post By Aaron Blake, Published: June 19,
2013 at 3:44 pm
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.
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.
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.
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.
Denvir City Paper Posted: Thu, Jun. 20, 2013, 12:00 AM
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
School District OKs 1% real estate tax increase
Public Opinion By AMBER SOUTH @AESouthPO
- 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.
mill rate will be 110.66, 0.75 mills more than the 2012-13 school year.
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
districts plan to use grants to develop interesting places where teens can
Gazette By Debra Duncan June 20, 2013 5:29 am
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.
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
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
Blog June 21. 2013
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.”
Divisive cyber school rhetoric will not help fix school funding for all
Newsworks Letter By Susan Spicka June 20, 2013
letter is in response to a series of opinions about cyber charter school
funding in Pennsylvania. See the related links to the right.
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.
is Pa. Gov. Corbett's Relationship with Philly Schools?
Week State EdWatch By Andrew Ujifusa on June 20, 2013 3:50 PM
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.
Pennsylvania Governor Help Rescue Philly Schools?
Week Districct Dossier Blog By Lesli A. Maxwell on June
20, 2013 4:53 PM
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.”
Duncan Expected To Tap Emma Vadehra As New Chief Of Staff
Post Posted: 06/20/2013 1:09 pm EDT
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will likely soon tap a new chief of staff,
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.
the Date: Diane Ravitch will be speaking at the Main Branch of the Philadelphia
Free Library onSeptember
17 at 7:30 pm. Details to come.
is the deadline to submit proposals for PSBA’s 2014 Legislative Platform
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 formsare
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.
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.
School Leadership Conference
October 15-18, 2013 | Hershey Lodge
& Convention Center
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.
The Penn Stater Conference Center
Hotel, State College, PA
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.
Keynote Speakers: Charlotte Danielson, Dr. Todd Whitaker, Will Richardson &
David Andrews, Esq. (Legal Update).
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
The Fellowship Program begins
with a two-day retreat on September 12-13, 2013 and continues to
graduation in June 2014.
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.