Monday, July 1, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for July 1, 2013: Here’s your budget Pennsylvania - Happy Fiscal New Year! 150 years ago today, at 7:30 am the first shot of the battle of Gettysburg was fired.

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Keystone State Education Coalition:
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for July 1, 2013:
Here’s your budget Pennsylvania - Happy Fiscal New Year!
150 years ago today, at 7:30 am the first shot of the battle of Gettysburg was fired.

“The through-the-looking-glass quality of Sunday's news conference, which included plenty of House Republicans, but not a single Democrat or member of the Senate GOP, was reinforced by Corbett's insistence that he'd signed an on-time budget.”
Corbett, House GOP drop back and punt on their key priorities: Editorial Quick Take
By John L. Micek |  on June 30, 2013 at 11:07 PM
For state lawmakers and Gov. Tom Corbett, what was supposed to have been a busy summer has just turned into a busy fall.  The Republican governor got the third, on-time budget of his administration on Sunday night. But that was all.  The administration's grand plans to secure billions of dollars in new money for road and bridge repairs, to get Pennsylvania out of the state-run booze trade and to shore up cash strapped public pension systems all sputtered and died like so many dud Fourth of July fireworks.

“Accompanying legislation, which still awaits House approval, extends a phase-out of a tax on business assets. The capital stock and franchise tax was set to expire Jan. 1, but a tax bill that cleared the Senate on Sunday would extend the phase-out through this fiscal year and the next.”
Corbett signs nearly $29 billion Pa. budget before deadline
No agreement on transportation, pensions, liquor store privatization, Medicaid
By Karen Langley and Kate Giammarise / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau July 1, 2013 1:50 am
HARRISBURG -- Gov. Tom Corbett signed a nearly $29 billion state budget with time to spare Sunday night as two major initiatives -- proposals to raise transportation revenue and allow private sales of wine and liquor -- remained lodged in the Legislature.
The governor had called on lawmakers to send him the transportation and liquor bills, along with reforms to the pension systems for state and school workers, along with the budget. But House Republicans, short on votes, said transportation funding would wait for the fall, while the Senate Republican leader, Dominic Pileggi, said his members would focus on the budget instead of passing a liquor bill.

Corbett beats deadline, signs $28.3 billion budget
Legislature fails to enact governor's liquor privatization, pension reform and transportation funding plans. Allentown schools get boost; Bethlehem could get special taxing district.
By Steve Esack and Megan Rogers, Call Harrisburg Bureau 11:58 p.m. EDT, June 30, 2013
HARRISBURG —After a whirlwind of votes by the Legislature,Gov. Tom Corbett signed a $28.3 billion spending bill into law at 10:15 p.m. Sunday, beating the deadline to pass a final budget by nearly two hours.  In inking the main 2013-14 appropriations bill, Corbett technically kept alive a campaign promise to approve annual budgets on time. But the House and Senate ended their sessions earlier in the night without passing all enabling legislation that dictate how the state will tax and spend money on education and public welfare, including the possibility of Medicaid expansion as part of the federal health care law.
That enabling legislation, which Corbett still has to sign into law, has big implications for the Lehigh Valley.
Corbett signs budget - 'Big 3' initiatives in doubt
Angela Couloumbis, Amy Worden, and Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau POSTED: Monday, July 1, 2013, 1:07 AM HARRISBURG - Gov. Corbett signed the annual budget bill on time Sunday. And he revealed a financial rescue plan that he and others have pieced together for Philadelphia schools. At the same time his chances of being able to successfully move the main items on his policy agenda appeared to be rapidly dimming.

Budget signed on-time, but deadline moves for rest of Corbett agenda
WITF Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jun 30, 2013 11:29 PM
Gov. Corbett has signed an on-time budget, but without any victories on his other top three legislative priorities. Liquor privatization, transportation funding, and pension overhaul will have to wait until the fall for further legislative action.  A transportation funding plan got stuck in the House. A bid to change how alcohol is sold in Pennsylvania stalled in the Senate. Pension overhaul is a plan neither chamber is ready to advance.

Budget Secretary Charles Zogby said there’s still wide support for switching to a defined contribution plan, which may be the starting point for talks again in the fall. He said expects the issue to remain in the forefront – especially as pension costs continue to spike in the state budget, and school districts statewide.  “What you’re going to see, too, is the pressure of those pension increases,” he said. “Those have not been wiped away. In fact, I think they’re going to get worse.”
PA Budget Live Blog: Corbett signs budget without his agenda items
By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent June 30, 2013
HARRISBURG —On Sunday night, Gov. Tom Corbett stood in front of about two dozen House members and cabinet secretaries and signed the state’s new $28.375 billion spending plan, about two hours before the new fiscal year began.  It’s the third on-time spending plan of his tenure, passed by the House and Senate earlier that day. But it was missing any of the major three objectives Corbett called for earlier this year – transportation funding, liquor privatization and pension reform.

Pa. Legislature Approves $28.375 Billion Budget
With links to 2013-14 State Budget Tables
PA Budget and Policy Center Updated: June 30, 2013
The Pennsylvania Legislature has approved a 2013-14 state budget (amended into HB 1437) that spends $28.375 billion, roughly $645 million (or 2.3%) more than in the current fiscal year. The budget now heads to the Governor for his signature.  The bill only deals with appropriations in the budget. Other related issues, such as whether Pennsylvania opts into the expansion of Medicaid under the U.S. health reform law, or whether lawmakers will delay a planned a corporate tax cut next year, will be addressed in related bills that are still being negotiated.
Below are the highlights of the 2013-14 spending plan.

Corbett touts budget, promises redoubled efforts on liquor reforms and transportation funding
By Charles Thompson |  on July 01, 2013 at 2:20 AM
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was pretty buoyant Sunday night for a chief executive with lagging poll numbers who just failed to win any of his major, budget-season legislative initiatives.
Momentum on key liquor sales reform and transportation funding efforts broke down when House Democrats decided to withhold votes en masse from the transportation bill, putting the brakes on a prerequisite set by Senate Republicans for action on liquor reform.

Lobbyists lick their wounds and dream of another day: column
By Robert J. Vickers |  on June 30, 2013 at 10:00 PM, updated June 30, 2013 at 11:56 PM
For the past several months, an army of Republican lobbyists have pried, pressured, and praised Pennsylvania lawmakers in an attempt to get Gov. Tom Corbett's 'big three' agenda items passed.  The cadre of professional Harrisburg dealmakers have been relentless in their efforts to get legislators to approve a transportation bill, privatize the state liquor system, and reform the state worker pension system.

Corbett unveils Pa. plan to rescue Philly schools
AP Updated 3:32 pm, Sunday, June 30, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Corbett said he has completed negotiations with state lawmakers on a rescue package for Philadelphia public schools as the district tries to reverse a $304 million deficit and avoid laying off 20 percent of its workforce and eliminating programs from art to athletics, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday.
In an online report from the Inquirer, Corbett said portions of the aid package will have strings attached, including contract concessions from unionized employees in the state's largest school district.

Corbett plan for Philly schools falls short of $180 million, relies mostly on city dollars
by thenotebook on Jun 30 2013 Posted in Latest news
by Dale Mezzacappa and Holly Otterbein for the Notebook and NewsWorks
Hours before the deadline for passing a budget, Gov. Tom Corbett announced a plan to help the Philadelphia School District out of its fiscal crisis that relies mostly on dollars from the city, will require more borrowing, and contributes an additional $45 million of one-time state money.
The budget passed the Pennsylvania House and Senate, and Corbett signed it Sunday night. A portion of the funds also come with strings attached.

“Meanwhile, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Diane Ravitch, a national education expert, have appealed to U.S. Education Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to help Philadelphia schools. In a letter scheduled to be made public Monday, Weingarten and Ravitch wrote to the nation's top education official: "We are writing to ask for your urgent intervention to preserve public education for the children of Philadelphia." "Due to draconian budget cuts, the public schools of Philadelphia are being starved to the point where they can no longer function for the city's children. Philadelphia is in a state of crisis. We believe your direct and public intervention is required to ensure the existence of educational opportunity in that city."
Rescue plan for Phila. schools: Many ifs, but...
Martha Woodall and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers Monday, July 1, 2013, 12:29 AM
The $140 million package Gov. Corbett presented Sunday to rescue Philadelphia's cash-strapped public schools has tentative written all over it. The legislature has not yet signed off on key items. The federal piece depends, for now, on what one negotiator called "a handshake on the phone." And some of the numbers are hopeful projections. But this much is clear: An unusual array of political and business leaders helped craft the latest version of a rescue plan.

Marple Newtown’s final budget calls for tax hike
Delco Times By LESLIE KROWCHENKO Times Correspondent Monday, July 01, 2013
NEWTOWN — The high drama of the current budget season ended on a calm note, as the Marple Newtown School Board unanimously adopted the final $70.35 million 2013-2014 general fund budget. The corresponding tax increase will be 2.69 percent, with a rate of 17.6839 mills.
Based on the average assessment of about $250,000 for homes within the district, the typical hike will be about $115 to $4,420. Homeowners who qualify will receive a credit on their bill through the Homestead Act.  …..The small audience present for the vote belied the interest taken in the process. A wall-to-wall crowd packed the November meeting after residents learned of the possibility of a second consecutive zero-percent tax increase with potential cuts in library/media and elementary instrumental music.

Thomas Fitzgerald: Great Pa. divide: Philly, take it or leave it
Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer POSTED: Sunday, June 30, 2013, 1:09 AM
They might as well be on different planets. For all the talk of the youth vote, the growing electoral power of Latinos, and the gender gap, demographers know that the sharpest divide in American politics lies between urban and rural areas. Downstate Illinois resents Chicago. Outstate Michigan hates Detroit. Upstate New York is none too fond of the city of the same name.

The Battle of Gettysburg Timeline website
The battle of Gettysburg timeline gives a brief summary of everything from the events leading up to the battle at Gettysburg to life after the Civil War. My goal here is to briefly summarize the battle at Gettysburg and basic Civil War facts in a chronology. I hope that this overview will make the order and sequence of events understandable. This is not a timeline of the entire Civil War, but only covers how troops ended up in Gettysburg and how the town became what it is today.
Gettysburg Battle Summary for Day One: Wednesday, July 1, 1863
  • 7:30am First shot fired 3 miles NW of Gettysburg at intersection of Knoxlyn Rd and US Rt. 30 Chambersburg Pike by Lieutenant Marcellus Jones of the Eighth Illinois Calvary, Buford's cavalry division, against Major General Henry Heth's division of A. P. Hill's corps as they march towards Gettysburg.
  • 10:30am Major General John Reynolds and two brigades of the Union First Corps infantry arrive and join the line along McPherson Ridge. One is the Iron Brigade, the other is the PA Bucktail Brigade. A bullet through the base of his skull kills Reynolds. Major General Abner Doubleday takes command of the Union First Corps.
  • 11:00am Two divisions of the Union Eleventh Corps arrive and take positions north of town.
  • 2:00pm One of one-legged Confederate Lieutenant General Richard Ewell's divisions arrives and engages the right flank of the Union First Corps.
  • 2:10pm General Robert E. Lee arrives to find Heth preparing for a new attack.
  • 2:15pm Another division of Ewell's attacks the Eleventh Corps position.
  • 3:00pm Where the Eternal Light Peace Memorial now stands, Confederate Major General Robert Rhode's division launches an attack. With five brigades, it's the largest division in either army.
  • 4:00pm Jubal Early's division of Ewell's corps arrive from the northeast on Harrisburg Rd and cause the right flank of the Eleventh Corps, two small divisions known as the Dutch Corps (mainly German-Americans), to buckle. This sets off a chain reaction down the 2 mile Union line. The First and Eleventh Corps retreat through town to Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill. Major General Oliver Otis Howard, one-armed commander of the Eleventh Corps, had reserved a third smaller division to fortify Cemetery Hill incase of retreat.
  • 5:00pm Confederates appear to have won, but to complete the job, Lee tells Ewell, whose third division is arriving, to attack Cemetery Hill "if practicable." Ewell decides against it.
  • After midnight Union General Meade arrives and decides to stay and fight the next day from the strong defensive position.

Yinzers - Save the Date: Diane Ravitch will be speaking in Pittsburgh on September 16th at 6:00 pm.  Location and details to come.

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

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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