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 September 20, 2013: If you are involved with policy regarding charter schools you need to read SRC member Joseph Dworetsky’s lucid analysis of their financial impact on school districts (and taxpayers).
Daily postings from the Keystone State Education
Coalition now reach more than 3000 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school
directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers,
Governor's staff, 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
Education Policy Roundup for September 20, 2013: If you are involved with policy regarding
charter schools you need to read SRC member Joseph Dworetsky’s lucid analysis
of their financial impact on school districts (and taxpayers).
Pennsylvanians Want a School Funding
Press Event Monday September 23rd, Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg
Every child in Pennsylvania deserves an
opportunity to learn, whether they are from large or small, rich or
not-so-rich, urban, suburban or rural school districts, charter schools or
cyber schools; whether their legislator is a freshman state representative or a
Grassroots Advocacy by
Education Voters PA; Education Matters in the CumberlandValley and the KeystoneState
I wanted to
compliment you on the piece you wrote about the budget gap. Despite all the
complexity, I thought that you did a great job of keeping track of the many
moving parts. I want to offer a couple of observations about one additional
area that, to my mind (and I am speaking for myself and not on behalf of the
SRC), is a fundamental part of the story.
or not one supports charters in general, the economics of their funding are
central to the District's budget problems. For convenience, I will use rounded
numbers to set out the analysis.
plane, luxurious homes, sprawling real estate holdings and $1 million in cash. The affidavit says these were all purchased
at Trombetta’s direction by officers in Avanti, the for-profit consultant group
founded by Trombetta.
Affidavit Unsealed In Pa.CyberSchool Investigation
CBS Pittsburgh KDKA Reporting Andy SheehanSeptember 19,
(KDKA) — FormerPa.CyberSchool head Nick Trombetta is pleading
not guilty to charges of theft and fraud, but an unsealed affidavit lays out
the case that he syphoned off $8 million in taxpayer dollars to fund his own
Unsealed records show PA CharterCyberSchool investigation
began with inside sources
Lord / Pittsburgh
investigation that led to the indictment last month of Pennsylvania Cyber
Charter School founder Nick Trombetta started with two inside sources and
spread to include inquiries into transactions involving about 20 businesses and
nonprofits with which he had dealings, according to records unsealed this
affidavit and search warrant application signed on July 11, 2012, by U.S.
Magistrate Judge Robert C. Mitchell indicates that months earlier, two of Mr.
Trombetta's associates approached the FBI through their lawyers.
identified in the affidavit as the CEO and president of Avanti Management
Group. Records obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette indicate that former PA
Cyber executives Brett Geibel and Betty Jane Price held those posts at that
Heller, Inquirer Columnist POSTED: Thursday, September 19, 2013,
Our state has won national attention in the public schools debate. Education
historian and activist Diane Ravitch told an overflow crowd at the Free Library
on Tuesday, "The state of Pennsylvania
is ground zero for the destruction and privatization of education." Who
wants to live at ground zero of a crisis? Apparently, we do, and the experts
are coming. According to the latest Pew poll that shocks no one, the majority
of Philadelphians think that our schools stink, that the city is a good place
to live and a lousy one to educate children. Oh, and almost everyone is to
Will state Legislature
act on Philly schools crisis?
Newsworks By Dave Davies September 19, 2013
Pennsylvania Legislature returns to session next week. While the main
attractions will be liquor privatization, transportation funding and other
statewide concerns, some folks around here are looking to Harrisburg
to resolve a standoff in PhiladelphiaCity Hall.
Michael Nutter wants City Council to pass a bill to implement legislation
enacted by state lawmakers last spring making an increase in Philadelphia's sales tax permanent and putting
most of the money into the schools. That wasn't Nutter's plan. He wanted
cigarette and liquor taxes, but that's what the Legislature did.
walk away from the public responsibility to maintain a good public school in
every neighborhood, you abandon the civic mission of public school. You abandon
an institution that is a pillar of our democratic society. You turn citizens
into consumers who feel no obligation to other people’s children, only to
themselves. Many people look enviously at the high-performing nations of Finland and Korea. There are no charter schools
or vouchers in Finland or Korea. They
have built a strong education profession and strong schools in every
neighborhood. The more choice, the more inequality, the more segregation. Do we
really want to go in that direction?”
Huffington Post by Arthur Goldstein ESL Teacher and UFT Chapter Leader 09/19/2013
teaching for almost thirty years, and I don't know precisely when my colleagues
and I became public enemy number one. But after reading Reign of Error by
Diane Ravitch I'm getting a pretty good handle on why. Corporate reformers like Bill Gates, Eli Broad,
and the Walton family seem to believe teachers have done a disservice to
kindergarteners by allowing them to blow bubbles in their milk and push trucks
around on the floor. Why weren't we training them to take valuable
multiple-choice exams? Why did an entire generation of Americans, including
public school teachers, misdirect its energies by trying to eradicate poverty?
Couldn't we just fervently ignore it, as corporate reformers have done so
The education activist
and hedge fund manager is taking a major stand against the online education and
tech company by publicly shorting its stock, calling K12’s practices and
academic results “dismal.” And K12’s model undermines the charter school
movement in which he is deeply entrenched.
titan and education reform activist Whitney Tilson turned his Value Investing
Congress speech Tuesday into an all-out attack against technology-based
education company K12, calling it “a catastrophe for education” in spite of
is this is very much like subprime lending or for-profit colleges; the model
makes sense on a small scale, but is very prone to malfeasance,” Tilson said.
“I’m very attuned to the education reform movement and my feeling is there is
going to be a pushback.”
NIXLE Group by texting "4NPE" to 888777. After sending the initial text, NIXLE will
ask for a "zipcode" - providing a zipcode will limit messages to
local interest of each subscriber. Leave the zipcode blank if you want to
receive all grassroot alerts from NPE.
PA Special Education Funding Formula Commission
Public Meeting Sept 26th at AlverniaCollege in Reading from – 3:00 p.
charter and cyber special education funding
PASA-PSBASchool Leadership Conference
October 15-18, 2013 | Hershey Lodge
& Convention Center
Important change this year: Delegate Assembly (replaces the
Legislative Policy Council) will be Tuesday Oct. 15 from 1 – 4:30 p.m.
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
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).
Conference ~ A Whole Child Education Powered by Blendedschools Network
November 3-4, 2013 | Hershey Lodge & Convention Center
you to join us for the Annual Conference, held at an earlier date this year, on
Sunday, November 3rd, through Monday, November 4th, 2013
at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. The Pre-Conference begins on
Saturday with PILAcademies and Common Core
sessions. On Sunday and Monday, our features include
keynote presentations by Chris Lehmann and ASCD Author Dr. Connie Moss, as well
as numerous breakout sessions on PA’s most timely topics.
Fourth Annual Fundraiser
and Awards Ceremony THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013
IBEW Local 380 3900 Ridge Pike Collegeville, PA
Building One Pennsylvania is an emerging
statewide non-partisan organization of leaders from diverse sectors -
municipal, school, faith, business, labor and civic - who are joining together
to stabilize and revitalize their communities, revitalize local economies and
promote regional opportunity and sustainability. BuildingOnePa.org
Join the NationalSchoolBoardsActionCenterFriends of Public Education
in a voluntary network to urge your U.S.
Representatives and Senators to support federal legislation on Capitol Hill
that is critical to providing high quality education to America’s schoolchildren
PSBA members will elect
officers electronically for the first time in 2013
in 2013, PSBA members will follow a completely new election process which will
be done electronically during the month of September. The changes will have
several benefits, including greater membership engagement and no more absentee
Below is a
quick Q&A related to the voting process this year, with more details to
come in future issues of School Leader News and at
www.psba.org. More information on the overall governance changes can be found
in the February 2013 issue of the PSBA Bulletin:
Electing PSBA Officers:
2014 PSBA Slate of Candidates
Details on each candidate, including
bios, statements, photos and video are online now
PSBA Website Posted 8/5/2013
The 2014 PSBA Slate of Candidates is being officially published to the
members of the association. Details on each candidate, including bios,
statements, photos and video are online at http://www.psba.org/elections/.
Proposed Amendments to
PSBA Bylaws available online
PSBA website 9/17/2013
A special issue of the School Leader News with the
notice of proposed PSBA Bylaws amendments has been mailed to all school
directors and board secretaries.
This issue also is available online in the Members Only section by clicking here. Voting on PSBA Bylaws changes will take
place at the new Delegate Assembly on Oct. 15, 2013, at the Hershey Lodge &
Convention Center from 1-4 p.m. All member school entities should have
appointed their voting delegates and submitted names to PSBA. Details on
selecting an entity's voting delegate can be found in previous issues of
the School Leader News.