Monday, December 9, 2013

PA Ed Policy Roundup for December 9, 2013: SB1085: Senators Pileggi, Williams, Erickson talk charter school reform

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Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for December 9, 2013:
SB1085: Senators Pileggi, Williams, Erickson talk charter school reform

SB1085 would create an 18-member Charter School Funding Advisory Commission, consisting of the secretary of education; six legislators, four of them from the majority party; and, appointed by the governor, 11 representatives of charters, school districts, and a university.  ….the commission is not bipartisan. Sixteen of the 18 members come from, or will be appointed by, the majority party."

 “It also removes language allowing charters and districts to negotiate enrollment caps, an aspect that has drawn criticism from traditional education advocates. They argue it will allow unfettered expansion.  “School districts have used various techniques to try to limit the enrollment of charters schools,” Pileggi said.“The intent of this bill is to further make clear and make effective the statutory intent of not having limits on charter school enrollments and make that educational option available to as many students and parents.”
SB1085: Senate won't be any easy sell
By John Kopp, Delaware County Daily Times POSTED: 12/08/13, 8:46 PM EST |
There is little argument among state legislators and educators that Pennsylvania’s charter school law needs substantial changes.  Drafting a reform bill that will satisfy everyone at the table has proven a bit more difficult.  The latest proposal, Senate Bill 1085, includes comprehensive amendments to a law that mostly has gone unaltered since its inception in 1997.
The bill contains provisions designed to increase transparency and accountability of both cyber and brick and mortar charters. It alters the funding amounts received by charters and the methods in which they receive it. It also amends the process for granting and extending charters, including provisions permitting universities to grant charters.
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-9, of Chester, said the bill will not come up for a vote until January at the earliest. When it does, he said, the bill likely will include amendments.

Senate Bill 1085; Regular Session 2013-2014
Pennsylvania General Assembly website

Our weekend posting included the Ed Law Center’s analysis of SB1085, coverage of the controversy surrounding the bill by Kathy Bocella at the Inky and an op/ed…..
PA Ed Policy Roundup for December 8, 2013: SB1085 “could create more than 100 potential new authorizers of charter schools …able to establish and control public schools with no input from their local communities”

Pennsylvania School Districts 4th Annual AP District Honor Roll (2013)
From the College Board
The following honor roll consists of the 40 Pennsylvania school districts that simultaneously achieved increases in access to Advanced Placement® courses for a broader number of students and also maintained or improved the rate at which their AP students earned scores of 3 or higher on an AP Exam.

Lehigh Valley school districts listed on AP District Honor Roll
By Peter Panepinto | The Express-Times  on December 08, 2013 at 10:00 PM,
Four Lehigh Valley school districts are among 40 in Pennsylvania to be listed on the College Board's fourth annual AP District Honor Roll.  At least two districts from Hunterdon County also made the honor roll with 36 New Jersey districts listed.
The districts were honored for increasing access to Advanced Placement coursework while also maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams, according to the College Board.  Find a list of all the school districts on the College Board's fourth annual AP District Honor Roll here.

Should revenue from sale of taxi medallions benefit Philly schools?
Follow the money.  Taxi medallions in Philadelphia, depending on the market, can sell for as much as $400,000, or more.  And over the next decade, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which oversees the Taxicab and Limousine Division, will authorize creation of 150 new taxicab medallions.  The new medallions will be specifically designated for wheelchair-accessible cabs.
Right now, there's just one wheelchair-accessible cab for every 20,000 Philadelphians who can't be accommodated by standard taxicabs.
Revenue expected from sale of the new medallions at $400,000 each works out to $60 million. The PPA plans to issue 20 to 30 medallions per year for the first two years -- starting in 2014 -- and then 15 medallions per year after that. Over the course of eight  to 10 years, the medallions are expected to raise roughly $6 million per year.
So where will that money go?

Report Examines Community Schools and Expanded Learning Opportunities
Education Week Time and Learning Blog By Alyssa Morones on December 6, 2013
A new study reveals the mutually beneficial interaction between community schools and expanded learning opportunities and highlights best practices for meeting the needs of the students they aim to serve.  The report, titled The Growing Convergence of Community Schools and Expanded Learning Opportunities, comes from the Institute for Education Leadership's Coalition for Community Schools, an alliance that advocates for community schools as a strategy to leverage resources to best meet the needs of children and families.
Community schools are formed through partnerships with community resources and focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development, and engagement. Their curricula are more personalized and emphasize real-world learning. The report says, "Community schools are one example of school and community partnerships that are taking hold in cities and districts."

2014 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.

Public Meeting, 12/11/2013, 10:00 AM  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building
Public hearing to consider final recommendations and release final report)

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.

Congratulations! Getting elected to the school board was the easy part…..
PSBA New Board Member Training: Great Governance, Great Schools!
November 2013-April 2014 Register Online » Print Form »
Announcing School Board Academy’s New Board Member Training: Great Governance, Great Schools!
You will need a wealth of information quickly as you jump out of the starting block and hit the ground running as a newly elected member of the board of school directors. New board members, as well as veterans who might like a refresher, will want to make the most of the opportunity to attend PSBA's New Board Member Training Program: Great Governance, Great Schools! .

EPLC is recruiting current undergraduate or graduate students to serve as part-time interns 
EPLC is recruiting current undergraduate or graduate students to serve as part-time interns beginning January or May of 2014 in the downtown Harrisburg offices. One intern will support education policy work including the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign. The second intern position will support the work of the Pennsylvania Arts Education Network. Ideal candidates have an interest/course work in political science/public policy, social studies, the arts or education and also have strong research, communications, and critical thinking skills. The internship is unpaid, but free parking is available. Weekly hours of the internship are negotiable. To apply or to suggest a candidate, please email Mattie Robinson for further information at

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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