Friday, June 28, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for June 28, 2013: NAEP: "If we have a crisis in American education, it is that it isn't moving fast enough to educate minorities.”

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 28, 2013:
NAEP: "If we have a crisis in American education, it is that it isn't moving fast enough to educate minorities.”

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

Lots of meetings, few details as Pa. lawmakers' scramble behind closed doors
Delco Times by AP Published: Friday, June 28, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Corbett and top Republican lawmakers worked behind closed doors Thursday, providing few details about their ongoing efforts to piece together a budget and draft legislation on transportation funding, private wine and liquor sales and public employee pensions.  The House and Senate both scheduled a fourth straight day of voting Thursday and planned to work through Sunday as they scramble to wrap up a $28 billion-plus budget and reach consensus on the three issues that Corbett wants completed before their looming summer break.

House speaker says pension bills may have to wait by PETER JACKSON, The Associated Press Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 6:23 PM
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania lawmakers still have time to finish work on major bills, but changes to the state's major public employee pension systems may have to wait until after the Legislature's summer break, House Speaker Sam Smith said Wednesday. Smith's comments came amid conflicting estimates of the cost of the potential pension changes as the hours ticked down to lawmakers' expected Sunday departure from Harrisburg for the summer.

Delaying the phaseout of the capital stock and franchise tax cut could raise $360 million.
Letter to the Editor: Time running out to delay Capital Stock and Franchise tax cut damaging to schools
Delco Times LTE by Lawrence A. Feinberg Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Time is running out for students across Pennsylvania. Less than two weeks remain for state lawmakers to begin to undo the damage they have done with deep funding cuts to schools. A House budget plan leaves nearly 85 percent of those cuts in place, doing little to hire back nurses and counselors or to restore music, arts and sports programs that districts have been forced to cut.  Senate leaders and Gov. Corbett’s administration have signaled a willingness to delay a business tax cut next year. That is welcome news. Keeping the tax rate at 2012 levels could raise $360 million to restore some of the deepest school cuts. In response to critics, Sen. Jake Corman, R-34, asks: “Is that (tax) phaseout more important than education dollars?”

Some estimates say the Delaware loophole causes Pennsylvania to lose as much $450 million a year in tax receipts.
Pa. Shouldn't Miss an Opportunity to Close Loopholes
PA Budget and Policy Center June 27,2013
In the coming days, the Pennsylvania Legislature will be hammering out a deal to balance the 2013-14 state budget. One piece of the package will be a budget-related tax plan that may include a provision designed to close corporate tax loopholes.  Specifically, lawmakers are discussing the creation of a so-called "addback" rule. Such rules require corporations to add back interest and intangible expenses (such as for copyrights and patents) paid to related companies — often affiliates in Delaware or Nevada where the income is not taxed.

Philly SRC recesses again, hopes for miracle in Harrisburg by Sunday
Notebook by Dale Mezzacappa on Jun 27 2013 Posted in Latest news
Doomsday is getting closer.
The School Reform Commission met again Thursday morning, only to recess again until Sunday afternoon. The SRC hopes that Harrisburg will come up with some money so Philadelphia can open schools in September that have more than a skeleton crew of teachers and a principal.
"I can't predict what will happen, but we’ve made it clear for the past 20 months what must happen," said a grim SRC chair Pedro Ramos after the meeting. "Throughout, we kept everyone apprised of our situation with candor. We've done everything we can within the prerogative of the SRC. Now it is up to Harrisburg for officials to do what they were elected to do."

Legislators discuss funding for education amid protest
By TIMOTHY LOGUE @timothylogue Wednesday, June 26, 2013
State Sen. Daylin Leach was not as familiar with the faces at Tuesday’s education funding protest at the state Capitol as he was with their cause.  “I think it was mostly people from Philly at the protest, but I was down there,” said Leach, D-17, of Upper Merion, whose district includes Radnor and Haverford. “The funding crisis may be most acute in Philadelphia, but this is a problem faced by school districts all across the state, including places like Duquesne, Harrisburg, Erie and, obviously, Chester Upland.
“We can’t continue to neglect our public schools.”
While that certainly seems to be the opinion in Philadelphia, where 3,783 employees, including 676 teachers, were laid off earlier this month, Republicans in Harrisburg view the problem differently.

Allentown schools cut 151 jobs, hike taxes 8.2 percent
Final budget drops 127 teachers, uses $10 million from district's savings.
By Adam Clark, Of The Morning Call 11:03 p.m. EDT, June 27, 2013
Allentown School Board approved a final 2013-14 budget Thursday that spares full-day kindergarten and most elementary school related arts positions but cuts 151 jobs, sending a ripple effect throughout the district.
School directors voted 5-4 to adopt a spending plan that slashes 127 teachers, 14 administrators and 10 maintenance/custodial workers from the district's payroll. The cuts are accompanied by an 8.2 percent tax increase and a $10 million contribution from the district's savings to keep the district afloat for another school year.
Hunger strikers protest deep cuts to Philadelphia schools
Reuters by By Daniel Kelley PHILADELPHIA | Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:45pm EDT
(Reuters) - Children wrote letters. Parents staged rallies in Pennsylvania. But Earlene Bly, a hotel housekeeper, didn't feel like anyone was listening.  A more dramatic gesture was needed, Bly thought, to protest an austerity budget passed last month that stripped Philadelphia public schools of art and music, nurses and librarians, guidance counselors, assistant principals and hundreds of cafeteria and recess monitors.
So the 46-year-old Bly stopped eating.

Big Business Helps Starve Philly Schools
City Paper by Daniel Denvir Posted: Thu, Jun. 27, 2013, 12:00 AM
Hostile Witness
What's necessary to save Philly schools, the refrain goes, is “shared sacrifice.” That, as I’ve noted ad nauseam, translates to an expectation that educators sacrifice the most to avert devastating cuts, including the layoffs of 3,859 teachers, aides, administrators and other staff. But big business, thanks to laissez-faire sentiment stretching from City Hall to Harrisburg to Congress, will contribute almost nothing.

It was a Moving Day
Yinzercation Blog June 28, 2013
This is a guest blog by Kathy Newman, who helped lead the Yinzercation charge to Harrisburg on Tuesday.
What do you do when you realize that thousands of teachers and staffers in the City of Brotherly Love are going to lose their jobs, and that come this fall Philadelphia school children won’t have administrative assistants, music, art, sports, library and basic supplies? What do you do to support the people who are now on their eleventh day of a hunger strike to protest this calamity? What do you do when you are MOVED to act?

Duquesne's fate: Dissolve the district for the sake of the students
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Opinion June 28, 2013 12:11 am
Children in the Duquesne City School District will be stuck in a failing building with inadequate instructional programs for another year.
Those aren't the words that the district's state-appointed receiver used Tuesday when he said the Duquesne Education Center for kindergarten through sixth grade will remain in operation for the 2013-14 academic year, but that's what Paul Long's announcement means.

Budget shortfall could spell trouble in Chester Upland
By JOHN KOPP @DT_JohnKopp Friday, June 28, 2013
The Chester Upland School District will have to furlough teachers and possibly close Main Street Elementary School unless it receives a boost in student enrollment or increased funding from the General Assembly.  Receiver Joseph Watkins approved the district’s 2013-14 operating budget at a public meeting Thursday night. The budget forecasts $122.745 million in expenses, but only $102.056 million in expected revenue — a shortfall of $20.688 million.

Bristol Twp raises school taxes, enacts cuts, uses savings By DANNY ADLER Staff writer Posted on June 28, 2013
Bristol Township School District will raise taxes 2.2 percent, use nearly half of its savings and enact about $2 million in cuts and cost reductions to fill a multimillion-dollar gap for 2013-14.

Retiring Steel-High superintendent gives 5 changes lawmakers should make to public education
PennLive By Julianne Mattera |   on June 27, 2013 at 9:04 AM
With years of experience working in education, and in particular, financially distressed school districts, wanted to pick Audrey Utley's brain before she retired from her role as superintendent at Steelton-Highspire School District.
We asked her to list the top five things the state Legislature should consider to better public education in Pennsylvania. Her answers are below.

"When you think about it, these results very clearly put to rest any notion that our schools are getting worse," Kati Haycock, president of the Education Trust, an organization that promotes academic achievement, said in the webinar announcing the results.
"If we have a crisis in American education," she said, it is that it isn't moving fast enough to educate minorities.
2012 NAEP Results: Students ages 9, 13 outscore those in '70s
17-year-olds stay flat, report finds
By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette June 28, 2013 12:07 am
The latest Nation's Report Card shows 9- and 13-year-olds on average are doing significantly better in reading and math than their counterparts of about 40 years ago, but the achievement of 17-year-olds on average is flat.  The findings also show a narrowing of some racial achievement gaps.  The report on long-term trends for the National Assessment of Educational Progress -- known as NAEP or the Nation's Report Card -- was released Thursday. It compared results on the 2012 long-term trend exams given in public and nonpublic schools with those of students who were tested in the early 1970s.

U.S. education gap narrows between whites and minorities: NAEP report
Reuters By Stephanie Simon BOSTON | Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:37am EDT
(Reuters) - The achievement gap between white and minority children has narrowed considerably in recent decades, as black and Hispanic students have posted strong gains on math and reading tests, according to a new report out Thursday.

NAEP: Results of the 2012 Long-Term Assessments in Reading and Mathematics
National Assessment of Educational Progress

U.S. Standards for School Snacks Move Beyond Cafeteria to Fight Obesity
New York Times By STEPHANIE STROM Published: June 27, 2013
The Agriculture Department on Thursday effectively banned the sale of snack foods like candy, cookies and sugary drinks, including sports drinks, in schools, making it harder for students to avoid the now-healthier school meals by eating snacks sold in vending machines.

New U.S. school snack food rules clamp down on calories, fat
Morning Call by Yasmeen Abutaleb Reuters 6:04 a.m. EDT, June 27, 2013
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Snacks sold in U.S. schools must be lower in fat, salt and sugar, according to federal rules released on Thursday aimed at giving students more nutritious options and fighting childhood obesity.  The regulations, originally due in 2011, largely mirror the U.S. Department of Agriculture's proposal from February that limited the fat, salt and sugar content in school snacks and capped portion sizes.  The standards are seen as a critical step in improving students' eating options under a 2010 law revamping school foods.

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.

Friday June 28th 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

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