Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for September 21, 2013: School Funding Formula Press Event on Monday 9/23 at 11:30 am Capitol Rotunda

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Keystone State Education Coalition:
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for September 21, 2013:  School Funding Formula Press Event on Monday 9/23 at 11:30 am Capitol Rotunda

Pennsylvanians Want a School Funding Formula
Press Event Monday September 23rd, 11:30 am 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 senate officer.
Grassroots Advocacy by Education Voters PA; Education Matters in the Cumberland Valley and the Keystone State Education Coalition
Sign up here if you may be able to join us to represent your schools and community: 

Lehigh Valley education advocates to call for funding reform at Harrisburg event
By Precious Petty | The Express-Times  on September 20, 2013 at 7:45 PM
Representatives from three Lehigh County school districts are heading to Harrisburg on Monday to push for education funding reform.  ParklandSouthern Lehigh and Northwestern Lehigh school district representatives plan to join advocates from across Pennsylvania during a news conference at the Capitol Rotunda, organizers said.
The group is slated to highlight problems schools face due to state funding cuts and the absence of a "rational" education funding formula as they call on lawmakers to make the issue their top priority in the fall legislative session, organizers said.
The news conference is scheduled to run from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday. The state House and Senate are set to reconvene at 1 p.m.

Statewide test errors worry Allegheny County districts
Testing results affect a school's academic reputation, influence teacher evaluations
By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 21, 2013 12:09 am
With less than two weeks before the state's scheduled announcement of school performance, at least 14 school districts in Allegheny County have found what they believe are errors in some of their test data.  While some local officials initially were told it was too late to correct the data, Allegheny Intermediate Unit executive director Linda Hippert said acting state education secretary Carolyn Dumaresq has assured her the districts will have an opportunity to fix it.
Tim Eller, spokesman for the state Department of Education, said the problem will not delay the anticipated Sept. 30 release of school performance data.

Trombetta tried to sign Franciscan University to contract
By Rich Lord / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 21, 2013 12:08 am
Two top officials at the Franciscan University of Steubenville were wooed, but ultimately not swayed, by cyber school founder Nick Trombetta at a Florida condominium that is now a subject of a federal indictment.  A joint FBI and IRS affidavit unsealed Thursday said that Mr. Trombetta used the Bonita Springs condo, allegedly purchased with funds that originated with the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, to "entertain" university personnel, in hopes of getting a contract for an unnamed business he controlled.

Education standards set bar right
Hazelton Standard Speaker Opinion Published: September 19, 2013
Some lawmakers and educators worried last week, after the state Board of Education overwhelmingly approved new "common core" education standards, that the protocol would raise the graduation bar too high for some districts and students.  That's not a frivolous concern. Some of Pennsylvania's districts are deeply stressed and lack the resources they should have to help students. Many students lack the family, social and financial resources they need to achieve proficiency.  But education must be aspirational, especially in an age when education is more necessary than ever for individuals and the nation to succeed.

North Penn School District discusses impact of ending No Child Left Behind in Pennsylvania
Montgomery News By Jennifer Lawson September 19, 2013
Adequate Yearly Progress is a thing of the past in the North Penn School District and in districts across Pennsylvania after the U.S. Department of Education approved the state’s request to ignore parts of No Child Left Behind. 
Assistant Superintendent Diane Holben gave the school board and the community a summation of what this means and its implications to the school district Sept. 10.  Replacing Adequate Yearly Progress — the measuring stick included in No Child Left Behind that assesses a school’s academic performance based on standardized tests — is the recently developed School Performance Profile. This will measure how schools are performing by looking at students’ achievement and growth through various indicators.

An insiders look at the Philadelphia public school crisis
WHYY Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane September 20, 2013 Audio runtime 52:01
It’s been two weeks since the start of school in Philadelphia. Many students returned to the classroom with fewer teachers, fewer support staff like nurses and counselors, and in some cases, an increased building enrollment due to closings and consolidations. We’ll start off the hour talking parent MAURICE JONES and high school junior MAUREEN SMITH about the situation in their schools. Then we’ll talk with DENNIS DORFMAN, a recently retired school counselor, and recently retired school nurse ANGELA LEEabout their roles in the lives of Philadelphia public school students and how the budget crisis is complicating the work of their colleagues.

Philly students, parents persist in fight for more school funds
WHYY Newsworks By Holly Otterbein, @hollyotterbein September 20, 2013
The start of classes for Philadelphia's 134,000 public school kids is not at all slowing down student and teacher activists who are furious about this year's budget cutbacks.  Every Friday, the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools is setting up camp at a school to demand more funding from City Hall and the state government.  The group rallied today at the Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences, waving down cars and passing out fliers urging residents to file a formal complaint with the state's education department over the cutbacks.

Newly Released Economic Well-Being Indicators
A project of the Anne E. Casey Foundation

Have you signed this petition for a fair and equitable funding formula yet?  Have your friends and colleagues?

Interested in keeping the “public” in public education?  Sign up for text grassroots alerts from the Network for Public Education.
Join NPE's 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 Alvernia College in Reading from 9:30 am – 3:00 p.
To consider charter and cyber special education funding

PASA-PSBA School 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.
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).

PASCD Annual Conference ~ A Whole Child Education Powered by Blendedschools Network November 3-4, 2013 | Hershey Lodge & Convention Center
We invite 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 PIL Academies 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.
Click here for the 2013 Conference Schedule
Click here to register for the conference. 

Building One Pennsylvania
Fourth Annual Fundraiser and Awards Ceremony
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 6:00-8:00 PM
IBEW Local 380   3900 Ridge Pike  Collegeville, PA 19426
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.

Join the National School Boards Action Center Friends of Public Education
Participate 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
PSBA 7/8/2013
Beginning 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 ballot process.
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 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

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.

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