Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for October 19, 2013: Listen to PCCY executive director Donna Cooper & PA budget sec’y Charles Zogby debate PA school funding on ‘Radio Times’

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Keystone State Education Coalition:
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for October 19, 2013:
Listen to PCCY executive director Donna Cooper & PA budget sec’y Charles Zogby debate PA school funding on ‘Radio Times’



THE HISTORY OF SCHOOL FUNDING IN PENNSYLVANIA 1682 - 2013
The Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools (PARSS)
Written by Janice Bissett and Arnold Hillman Updated September 2013



Education Policy and Leadership Center

Education funding in Pennsylvania: Is it fair or not?
Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18 Audio runtime 52:01
PCCY executive director Donna Cooper and state budget secretary Charles Zogby debate funding on ‘Radio Times’
The notebook by Wendy Harris on Oct 18 2013
Though Governor Corbett has announced that he will release the $45 million that the state had appropriated to the District but had been withholding until reforms were made, education advocates continue to debate the issue of fair funding for Philadelphia schools.  
This morning on Radio Times, Donna Cooper, executive director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth, and Charles Zogby, secretary of the Budget for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, debated the issue of funding for public education in Pennsylvania.  You can listen here.

SB 1085: Bad Charter School Legislation on the Move in Harrisburg
Senate Bill 1085, a really bad bill that would overhaul current charter school law, came out of committee on 10/16/13 and will likely move in the Senate floor as early as the week of 10/21. This bill contains many serious problems. If you have a chance, please shoot an email to your state senator to share these concerns before the bill comes to the Senate floor. Feel free to copy and paste the fixes at the bottom of the post in your email to your senator.

When Charters Cause Harm (and Leaders Fail to Lead)
Yinzercation Blog October 18, 2013
Pittsburgh got some most unwelcome news this week: the state is foisting two charter schools upon us that our school board voted against. This will add millions to the district’s budget deficit just as we are being told we must close more schools in our communities in order to address that deficit. Meanwhile, our legislators are debating a very poorly designed charter “reform” bill that would actually take more control away from local, democratically elected school boards and make it even harder for districts to balance their already bare bones budgets.
Pennsylvania’s charter schools have a terrible track record of student performance. The latest national research found that charter students cover 29 fewer days of reading material on average, and 50 fewer days of math than traditional public schools. That puts Pennsylvania in the bottom three states in the country. [Stanford CREDO, National Charter School Study 2013] The state’s cyber charter schools are particularly problematic, with not a single one making Adequate Yearly Progress last year. [PA Dept. of Education, Charter School PSSA Performance]

“The report doesn’t offer specific information about Philadelphia, but it does offer some information about our problems—both educational and political. It turns out that Pennsylvania is actually doing relatively well: “Just” 39 percent of students across the state come from low-income families. But in the state’s cities over 100,000 people—Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Erie—the percentage of poor children in public schools climbs to an astonishing 75 percent.  If you are a child in a Philadelphia public school, in other words, you are almost certainly poor.”
Philly Has Its $45 Million in State School Funding. Now What?
A new report on student poverty in public schools offers a clue.
Philadelphia Magazine BY JOEL MATHIS  |  OCTOBER 18, 2013 AT 7:00 AM
So now the Philadelphia School District has its $45 million in state aid—and a bit of breathing room. Now what?
The good news is that 400 staffers are being rehired to return to the district’s schools, giving overburdened teachers and principals some much-needed relief in the classrooms and hallways. The bad news? All that does is return the district to something akin to the pre-budget-doomsday status quo—a status quo that, you’ll remember, was filled with low test scoreshigh dropout rates, and precious few students continuing their education in college. The district has spent the last few months just trying to balance the budget; improving the actual education our kids receive has (understandably) been almost nowhere on the agenda.
So, again, now what?

Acting PA Secretary of Education Says Hybrid Learning Benefits Students; Highlights Success of First-Year Pilot Program
PDE Press Release October 17, 2013
Lebanon – Following a successful first-year pilot of the hybrid learning initiative in 15 schools across the state, Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn C. Dumaresq today visited Lebanon High School to see how the program works and encourage all schools across the state to consider use of the program in their classrooms.  “Hybrid learning melds together three learning models that are designed to provide a deeper understanding of course content and material, resulting in improved student academic performance,” Dumaresq said.  “Providing students alternative learning methods to be successful is the goal of this program. Schools that have implemented hybrid learning into their classrooms are to be applauded for bringing together technology and personalized learning for the benefit of students.”
During the 2012-13 school year, 15 schools piloted hybrid learning in several classrooms.  Results show that the pilot schools met or exceeded program goals in academic performance, student engagement, parent confidence and teacher satisfaction.  Among pilot schools, 88 percent achieved higher academic performance in hybrid classes compared to traditional classes in the same district or statewide benchmarks, 75 percent reported better academic achievement, and all of them met or exceeded academic growth.

Hybrid learning pilot program deemed a success in PA
WITF Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Oct 18, 2013 5:02 AM
(Lebanon) -- The results are in from the first year of Pennsylvania's hybrid learning pilot program, and the state Department of Education is encouraging more schools to get involved.
The 15 schools participating met or exceeded program goals in academic performance, student engagement, parent confidence and teacher satisfaction.  Acting Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq touted the initiative while touring hybrid learning classrooms at Lebanon High School.

WHAT’S AT STAKE FOR SCHOOLS IN PROPERTY TAX PLAN?
Third and State Blog Posted by Michael Wood on October 17, 2013 1:59 pm
The latest proposal to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania would leave school districts with $2.6 billion less in overall funding within five years, according to an analysis from the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office. Matthew Knittel of the IFO presented the findingsduring a Pennsylvania Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday.
The plan — proposed in both HB 76 and SB 76 — would swap school property taxes for higher state income and sales taxes, largely on individuals. The IFO, which did not take a position on the bill, compared what could be expected from the new mix of state funding to projected property tax revenue over time and tallied the fiscal impact on school districts and state government.

PBPC Webinar: Property Tax Elimination: What's At Stake for PA Schools

PA Budget and Policy Center Webinar Chris Lilienthal·Oct 18, 2013 youtube runtime 1:13:49
Legislative proposals to eliminate school property taxes are being debated in Harrisburg, but what does it mean for school funding in Pennsylvania? Two leading property tax elimination proposals, House Bill 76 and Senate Bill 76, would shift the local funding of education to state income and sales taxpayers and cap future funding growth. Over time, school districts will receive much less funding than they would under the current system. Hear firsthand in this webinar from Mark Ryan of the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) about a new analysis of the fiscal impact of these proposals on Pennsylvania's school districts. Sharon Ward of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center offers the Center's take on the property tax proposal.


Quality Preschool Is the ‘Most Cost-Effective’ Educational Intervention
New York Times By RANDYE HODER October 17, 2013, 9:49 am
A decade or so ago, when it was time to send my children to preschool, it never occurred to me to do anything else. For an upper-middle-class family like mine, enrolling my kids in a half-day nursery school program with all of its benefits (socialization and school readiness, among them) was a no-brainer.  Now, amid a highly contentious national debate about whether preschool should be made available to all children, a new study provides a mountain of evidence that my parental instincts were right on the money. Literally. High-quality preschool programs are “the most cost-effective educational interventions and are likely to be profitable investments for society as a whole,” concludes the study, financed by the Foundation for Child Development and produced in collaboration with the Society for Research in Child Development.
The report, written by an interdisciplinary group of 10 early-childhood experts, is actually a “research brief” — an overview of “the most recent rigorous research” on a hot-button issue. Among its key findings:

K-12 Advocates Braced for Fresh Budget Battles
Education Week By Alyson Klein Published Online: October 18, 2013
School districts anxiously awaiting another round of across-the-board cuts to federal education programs will have to endure another few months of uncertainty, under a bipartisan deal that put an end to the first government shutdown in nearly two decades and prevented the nation from defaulting on its debt.  Instead of breathing a sigh of relief as the impasse came to an end last week, education advocates are steeling themselves for yet another high-stakes budget battle.

“Part of the interest in the charter-school debate is that it can produce such acrimonious conflict between factions that ostensibly seek the same outcome — a better education for children living in economic hardship.”
The Charter School Fight
New York Times By GINIA BELLAFANTE Published: October 18, 2013
The mayor’s race, otherwise somnolently lacking in drama since the primaries retired the name Sydney Leathers to the history of grade-B scandal, received an infusion of heat recently over the dependably combustible issue of charter school education.  Last week, the Republican nominee,Joseph J. Lhotareleased an ad in which he accused his Democratic rival, Bill de Blasio, of wanting to roll back the successes of charter schools. As Mr. de Blasio suggested in Tuesday’s debate, he believes that the charter conversation has usurped a disproportionate share of our psychic attention — charter schools serve only 6 percent of New York City public-school students — and he would institute a broader focus on the system at large. 

Idaho's Largest Charter School Confirms It Outsourced Student Papers To India
Boise State Public Radio By ADAM COTTERELL October 14, 2013
Idaho Virtual Academy is the state’s largest public charter school with more than 3,000 students. IDVA contracts with for profit company K12 Inc. for its curriculum and management. In 2007, K12 sent student essays from several schools to India to be edited. We now know that Idaho Virtual Academy was one of those schools.  This story came to light in 2008 with Arizona blogger David Safier. Safier says he was given leaked documents that showed eight K12 schools sent thousands of student assignments to India between August 2007 and January 2008. We can’t independently confirm the validity of the documents, but after Safier’s writing, K12 did acknowledge it had tried a pilot project sending essays to India and that the Arizona school was part of it. At the time it got some national attention.


PCCY hosting a funding formula event in Philly October 28, 5:00 pm
On Monday, October 28th 2013, Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) is hosting a funding formula event starting at 5pm.  Pennsylvania is one of three states without a funding formula. We invite parents, community leaders, and other stakeholders to come and help develop strategies that push for a fair and well-funded school funding formula.  The event will take place at the United Way Building, 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA 19103.  You can RSVP by visiting the following link:

Register TODAY for the 2013 Arts and Education Symposium Wednesday, October 30, 2013
PA Arts Education Network
The State Museum of Pennsylvania 300 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120
Registration, Networking, and Refreshments-8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
Program-8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.; Lunch-12:00 p.m.; $40 Per Person
Details and regisxtration: http://www.artseducationpa.org/events/the-arts-and-education-symposium-2013/

PA Budget and Policy Center Fall Webinar Series to Tackle Property Taxes, Marcellus Shale, Health Care, Education
Posted by PA Budget and Policy Center on October 9, 2013
Pack your brown bag lunch and join the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center for a great series of noontime webinars this fall — starting Friday, October 18 from noon to 1 p.m. Learn more about the problems with legislative proposals to fully eliminate property taxes and proven strategies to provide property tax relief where it is needed. Other topics include the countdown to new health care options in 2014, the latest on jobs in the Marcellus Shale, and what we can do to restore needed education funding in Pennsylvania. Each webinar is designed to provide you with the information you need to shape the debate in the State Capitol.
More info and registration here: http://pennbpc.org/webinars

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. 

Philadelphia Education Fund 2013 EDDY Awards November 19, 2013
Join us as we celebrate their accomplishments!
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm WHYY, 150 North 6th Street, Philadelphia
Invitations coming soon!

Building One Pennsylvania Fourth Annual Fundraiser and Awards Ceremony, 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. BuildingOnePa.org

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

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