Tuesday, December 24, 2013

PA Ed Policy Roundup for December 24, 2013: Let it burn? SB1085 could take another $150 million from strapped Philly schools

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Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for December 24, 2013:
Let it burn?  SB1085 could take another $150 million from strapped Philly schools


Let it burn?  SB1085 could take another $150 million from strapped Philly schools
Debating charter school reform in Pennsylvania
WHYY Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane December 23, 2013 (Audio Runtime: 52:01)
Guests:  Lawrence Feinberg and Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams
It’s been 16 years since Pennsylvania passed its charter school law. Today, across the Commonwealth, over 119,000 students are currently attending 174 charters schools. An additional 35,000 students are enrolled in 16 cyber charters. While there is disagreement over the place of charter schools in education, consensus is that it’s time to revisit the policies regulating them. State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams, a supporter of charter schools, is the co-sponsor of Senate Bill 1085 commonly known as the “charter school reform bill” which supporters say will better regulate how charters are opened and evaluated. Lawrence Feinberg, a member of the Haverford Township School Board and founder of the Keystone State Education Coalition, is an advocate for public education who is concerned about the growth of charter schools, how they are funded, and to whom they are accountable. They’ll both join us this today as we debate the role of charter schools and the controversies over the proposed legislation to reform them.

New leader of Philadelphia bar will focus on education
WHYY Newsworks by Kevin McCorry DECEMBER 23, 2013
The incoming chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association plans to make public education a top priority for the city's legal community.  William P. Fedullo will officially take the post on Jan. 1. In an attempt to increase opportunities for the city's public school students, he intends to create a task force to advocate for more education funding and urge local law firms to forge mentoring relationships with Philadelphia public schools. Through tese mentoring relationships, he said, the legal community will help students by donating materials and guiding them toward employment possibilities.  "We care about the livability of our city," Fedullo said. "We care about everybody having the same equal opportunity and having the school as the refuge for each child."

What does Philly schools funder Mark Gleason want?
WILL BUNCH, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER BUNCHW@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-2957
POSTED: Tuesday, December 24, 2013, 3:01 AM
JUST 10 years ago, Mark Gleason was a journalist and publisher working in New York, trying to launch a magazine called Book that was heavily funded by Barnes & Noble.  His first foray into education came a couple of years later, when as a sometimes-frustrated parent he ran for and won a seat on his suburban school board in North Jersey.  Now the 48-year-old Gleason - unknown in Philadelphia at the start of the decade - finds himself at the center of the maelstrom that is school reform in America's fifth-largest city.

Where did thousands of students from closed schools go? First reports are in
The notebook by Paul Socolar on Dec 23 2013 Posted in Latest news
Just-released 2013 enrollment numbers from the School District show that the overwhelming majority of students displaced from closed schools ended up in other District schools.
The new reports on Districtcharter, and alternative school enrollments reveal some significant movement of students between schools this year and include the first publicly released data about where the displaced students from 24 closings last spring have ended up.
The 213 District schools that remain open took in 5,763 of the students who moved out of closed schools. The closings resulted in an enrollment increase at the remaining District schools averaging 5 percent.  The city's 86 brick-and-mortar charters took in only 511 students from closed schools, but charters saw their overall enrollment climb by 5,000 students. No data have been provided yet on cyber charter enrollments. Counting cybers, about one-third of all Philadelphia public school students are now enrolled in charters.

A look back at the most-read education stories of 2013 - and a request to readers
by thenotebook on Dec 24 2013
The Notebook is on hiatus during the holidays. We'll be back in January, but in the meantime, take a look back at the most-read stories for each of the twelve months of the past year. In 2013, what stories were you, our readers, most interested in? 

What to Watch for When Congress Writes Edu-Spending Bills
Education Week Politics K-12 Blog By Alyson Klein on December 24, 2013 8:55 AM
Think education advocates work is all done now that Congress is all done with the big budget deal? Think again. Now that lawmakers have decided to largely roll back sequestration (those automatic across-board cuts to education spending) for two years, advocates are rolling up their sleeves, making their case to lawmakers to pretty please shift as much of the freed-up money as possible to education.  After all, schools have been squeezed by the federal government since last March. And even before that, appropriations for K-12 were on a downswing, argued the Committee for Education Funding, a lobbying coalition, in a letter sent Monday to top lawmakers on the Appropriations Committees, which oversee spending.

Wal-Mart to HP Reap Worker Political Donations Through Charities
Bloomberg.com By Renee Dudley  Dec 23, 2013 12:00 AM ET  
U.S. companies, forbidden to give money directly to political action committees, are taking advantage of controversial federal rules allowing them to ask employees to do it for them in exchange for matching charitable donations.  It’s legal and gives businesses from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to Coca-Cola (KO) Co. to Hewlett-Packard Co. a way to fund their PACs, which direct money to political candidates. The matching contributions provide an incentive for employees, most of them managers, to contribute to the PAC.  The practice was approved by the Federal Election Commission in the late 1980s and has become commonplace at a time when companies face increasing scrutiny over their political donations. The FEC split over the legality of matching PAC contributions with charitable donations at least seven times between 1994 and 2009.

2014 PA Gubernatorial Candidate Plans for Education and Arts/Culture in PA
Education Policy and Leadership Center
Below is an alphabetical list of the 2014 Gubernatorial Candidates and links to information about their plans, if elected, for education and arts/culture in Pennsylvania. This list will be updated, as more information becomes available.

DELAWARE COUNTY INTERMEDIATE UNIT - GOOGLE SYMPOSIUM 2014
FEBRUARY 1ST, 2014
The DCIU Google Symposium is an opportunity for teachers, administrators, technology directors, and other school stakeholders to come together and explore the power of Google Apps for Education.  The Symposium will be held at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.  The Delaware County Intermediate Unit is one of Pennsylvania’s 29 regional educational agencies.  The day will consist of an opening keynote conducted by Rich Kiker followed by 4 concurrent sessions. 

NPE National Conference 2014

The Network for Public Education November 24, 2013
The Network for Public Education is pleased to announce our first National Conference. The event will take place on March 1 & 2, 2014 (the weekend prior to the world-famous South by Southwest Festival) at The University of Texas at Austin.  At the NPE National Conference 2014, there will be panel discussions, workshops, and a keynote address by Diane Ravitch. NPE Board members – including Anthony Cody, Leonie Haimson, and Julian Vasquez Heilig – will lead discussions along with some of the important voices of our movement.
In the coming weeks, we will release more details. In the meantime, make your travel plans and click this link and submit your email address to receive updates about the NPE National Conference 2014.

The National School Boards Association 74th Annual Conference & Exposition April 5-7, 2014 New Orleans
The National School Boards Association 74th Annual Conference & Exposition will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.  Our first time back in New Orleans since the spring of 2002!
General Session speakers include education advocates Thomas L. Friedman, Sir Ken Robinson, as well as education innovators Nikhil Goyal and Angela Maiers.
We have more than 200 sessions planned! Colleagues from across the country will present workshops on key topics with strategies and ideas to help your district. View our Conference Brochure for highlights on sessions and focus presentations.
·                             Register now! – Register for both the conference and housing using our online system.
·                            Conference Information– Visit the NSBA conference website for up-to-date information
·                             Hotel List and Map - Official NSBA Housing Block
·                             Exposition Campus – View new products and services and interactive trade show floor
Questions? Contact NSBA at 800-950-6722 (NSBA) between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST

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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