Saturday, June 28, 2014

Keystone State Education Coalition PA Ed Policy Roundup for June 28, 2014: Statewide Budget Coverage

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3250 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, Governor's staff, current/former PA Secretaries of Education, 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

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for June 28, 2014: Statewide Budget Coverage

Education Policy and Leadership Center

Senate Schedule:
#PASenate session schedule going forward: Convening on 6/28 at 11 a.m., on 6/29 at 4 p.m. & on 6/30 at 1 p.m.

House Schedule:
tweet from Rep. Stephen Bloom ‏@RepBloom  June 27
And the PA House stands adjourned. Non-voting session tomorrow (Saturday), voting session 5:00 p.m. Sunday.

PA Budget and Policy Center Analysis of House budget vs. Governor's proposed budget
·         498 of 500 school districts lose funds under the House plan. Only Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County and Bryn Athyn in Montgomery County come out ahead.
·         Poorer school districts and those with growing enrollments or above average property tax burdens receive among the largest dollar cuts.
·         Lebanon School District in Lebanon County has the largest per student cut, followed by Reading City School District, Scranton School District,Steelton-Highspire School District, Shenandoah Valley School District in Schuylkill County, Lancaster School District, Panther Valley School District in Carbon County, and Southeast Delco School District in Delaware County. For a list of 50 school districts with the largest per-student reductions, please see Appendix 1.
·         The School District of Philadelphia receives a $16.6 million cut in the House plan from the Governor’s proposal. The district has seen large cuts over the last three years, and has eliminated 5,000 positions, closed 31 school buildings and eliminated all but 16 libraries for 200 school buildings.[ii]
·         Other big losers include the Allentown School District, (-$2.5 million), Erie City School District, (-$1.8 million), Upper Darby, (- $1.7 million),Lancaster School District, (-$1.6 million), Bethlehem Area, (- $1.4 million), Pocono Mountain, (-$1.1 million), and Easton Area, East Stroudsburg and Altoona have reductions of almost $1 million. A list of the 50 school districts with the largest dollar reductions from the Governor’s plan can be found in Appendix 2.
·         Charter Schools will lose a total of $19.2 million in direct funding from the proposed Ready to Learn Block Grant.

PBPC Analysis: How Do House Budget Cuts Affect Your School District?
Posted by PA Budget and Policy Center on June 27, 2014
The Impact of the House Budget on Funding for School Districts and Charter Schools
The budget approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on June 25 made significant changes to the Governor’s proposed allocations to school districts and charter schools.
The House budget eliminates a $241 increase to school districts and charter schools offered in the Governor’s Ready to Learn Block Grant, replacing it with a $70 million basis education increase, which is a 71% reduction from the Governor’s original proposed increase.
The House kept a 2% increase in special education funding, allocated through a flat 2% increase to each district – rather than using the formula devised by the Special Education Funding Commission to focus assistance where it is most needed, and added $10 million to fund new school construction projects, although the distribution of those funds is not known.
The education funding cuts from the Governor’s budget are part of an overall spending plan that is still in flux. The House plan, which relies on unlikely funding sources, could be amended in the Senate to include new revenue and a restoration of some of the education funding promised in Governor Corbett’s budget.

"Unfilled staff positions. Reduced building budgets. Pay-to-play athletics. New bus schedules.  Schools across Lancaster County continue to search for ways to trim budgets as school funding fails to keep up with rising pension, special education and health care costs.
Fifteen of 17 school districts approved tax hikes this month. Tax increases alongside cost-saving measures mirror the decisions of school officials across Pennsylvania."
School cuts and tax hikes are the norm for county and state
Lancaster Online By KARA NEWHOUSE | Staff Writer Posted: Friday, June 27, 2014 3:26 pm | Updated: 4:01 pm, Fri Jun 27, 2014.
Unfilled staff positions. Reduced building budgets. Pay-to-play athletics. New bus schedules.
Schools across Lancaster County continue to search for ways to trim budgets as school funding fails to keep up with rising pension, special education and health care costs.
Fifteen of 17 school districts approved tax hikes this month. Tax increases alongside cost-saving measures mirror the decisions of school officials across Pennsylvania.
About 75 percent of school district officials expected to increase property taxes in 2014-15, according to a survey of 279 of the state's 500 districts, released in early June.
More than half of school districts expected to eliminate or reduce academic programs in the coming school year.

Pileggi, Pa. GOP leaders shoot for no-new-taxes budget
Delco Times By PETER JACKSON, Associated Press POSTED: 06/28/14, 5:20 AM EDT |
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republicans who control the Pennsylvania Legislature pressed ahead Friday with efforts to put together an all-GOP state budget plan calling for as much as $29.4 billion in spending without raising taxes.  Rank-and-file lawmakers were sent home early after a day of limited floor activity, while GOP leaders from both chambers huddled privately and staff members made plans to work into the weekend. The House and Senate were slated to reconvene Sunday afternoon.

Progress reported in Pa. budget talks, but closure still seems days away
By Charles Thompson |  on June 27, 2014 at 9:47 PM, updated June 27, 2014 at 10:06 PM
The push for a "live-within-your-means" budget in Pennsylvania gained momentum Friday, as Republican House and Senate leaders reported progress after closed-door talks on a spending plan of slightly more than $29 billion.
office Thursday kicking off multi-day protest for what they see as full statewide education funding and fair revenue solutions. Sean Simmers, June 26, 2014SEAN SIMMERS 
"We made very significant progress with the House Republican leadership. We have details to iron out and, as you know, many times those details are the most difficult things to iron out," said Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware County. "But we had a very productive meeting today."  The current paradigm has been set in part by seeming stalemate in the House and Senate on passage of another major reform to the state public pension systems, a priority demand of Gov. Tom Corbett's.  Syrocketing taxpayer-funded contributions to the systems serving state employees and public school employees threaten to suffocate chances to significantly increase investment in school funding, aid to public colleges and other popular line items.  The retirement system costs alone are expected to grow by a combined $600 million per year over the next several years, gobbling up about 60 cents of every new dollar in new state revenue.

With no tax hikes, Pa. Republicans hope to approve budget by Monday
ANGELA COULOUMBIS, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU POSTED: June 27, 2014, 7:44 PM  Last updated: Saturday, June 28, 2014, 1:08 AM
HARRISBURG - Republican legislative leaders emerged from closed-door budget talks Friday saying they are considering a state spending plan that would not raise any taxes - and one that they believe they can approve by the Monday deadline.  Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware) said Republicans who control the Senate and House are looking at a budget blueprint that would spend between $29.1 billion and $29.4 billion.
He also said they are no longer discussing ways to raise new revenue through taxes. What that means, at least for now, is that a proposal to raise the state's tax on cigarettes, or impose a new tax on natural gas extraction, appears to be off the negotiating table.

"Across the Pennsylvania Capitol, past a rotunda teeming with lobbyists, Philadelphia-area parents and children stood outside another set of closed doors -- those of Gov. Tom Corbett -- to repeat chants urging increases in funding for public schools."
Legislators scramble to beat budget deadline
By Karen Langley & Kate Giammarise Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG -- The June 30 state budget deadline ticked closer Friday without a clear end in sight as leaders of the Republican legislative majorities met privately to discuss ways to close a looming shortfall.  “There's still a lot of work to do over the weekend," said Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, though he said the leaders had made progress in finding a common approach. The House and Senate had been scheduled to meet each day through Monday, but leaders told rank-and-file members to return late Sunday for possible votes.

Corbett stands by his demands as end-game begins
Governor again calls for pension reform as state House passes $29.1 billion budget without reform measure and a Senate panel follows suit.
By Steve Esack, Call Harrisburg Bureau :13 p.m. EDT, June 26, 2014
HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett on Thursday said legislative leaders need to allow lawmakers to vote on bills that would change the state pension systems as part of next year's budget.  The public deserves to know where their local lawmakers stand on pension reform, Corbett said. Spending for education and other agencies will continue to suffer and the state's bond rating will erode if changes, even incremental ones, are not made to the pension systems for state workers and public school teachers, the governor said.
"In dealing with the pensions, I think it's very important for the people of Pennsylvania to know this is not partisan. This is not Republican, this is not Democrat, this is a taxpayer issue," Corbett said in a rare impromptu news conference in the Capitol newsroom. "It's a taxpayer issue because if the rating goes down, borrowing gets more expensive."
It's also an election-year issue in the face of a cumulative $1.4 billion deficit.
New taxes ruled out as Pa. budget takes shape
WHYY Newsworks BY MARY WILSON JUNE 28, 2014
Pennsylvania's Republican legislative leaders say no new taxes will be part of the budget they're crafting for the fiscal year beginning Tuesday.  The proposal is expected to include about a third of the governor's proposed increase to education funding and rely heavily on one-time sources of revenue – a move derided by some as unsustainable.
GOP Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said with new taxes taken off the table, an on-time budget may be within reach.  "If the path that we're on would end on June 30th then we would have the budget work done on Monday -- if we're successful in our work this weekend," said Pileggi, R-Delaware, after a meeting among GOP House and Senate leaders Friday afternoon.

State lawmakers to continue work on budget through weekend
Trib Live By Gideon Bradshaw Saturday, June 28, 2014, 12:01 a.m. 
HARRISBURG — The Senate may add as much as $300 million in spending before it approves next year's budget, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said Friday.  Pileggi, R-Delaware County, would not say where the money would come from, though he ruled out voting on a severance tax on natural gas.  The budget deadline is midnight Monday.
Pileggi said after a meeting with House and Senate Republican leaders that the Senate may finalize next year's budget this weekend. He estimated it would range from $29.1 billion to $29.4 billion.
Update from Harrisburg: “Ain’t gonna let nobody turn us around”
Parents United Posted on June 27, 2014 by HELENGYM
Yesterday, Parents United joined with sister groups across the state and our partners PCAPs, Fight for Philly and Action United to begin an as long as it takes sit-in of the governor’s office until the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passes a responsible budget for our schools.
The timing couldn’t be more important. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a budget that eviscerated Governor Corbett’s proposal for education funding, eliminating 70% (you read that right) of proposed block grants with consequences of at least $20 million for Philadelphia public schools. It’s an opening salvo for sure – changes will come – but it’s a clear reminder of how far apart our state’s legislative priorities are from the public’s priorities. The following day, Governor Corbett held a press conference and declared that it was essentially pension reform or bust. No movement on tax revenue or dollars for education unless pension reform went through. 

Sit-In or Call-In (June 30th)
Yinzercation Blog Guest post by Kathy Newman June 27,2014
We all know sitting is bad for us, right? But right now there is a group of Philadelphia parents, teachers and students sitting-in at Tom Corbett’s Harrisburg office, demanding that the Governor and the State Legislature pass a decent budget for education this month.  You might not be able to get to Harrisburg to join the sit-in, but there is something you can do. And you can do it sitting down. Five-to-ten minutes of phone calling and emailing on Monday, June 30th, from the comfort of your favorite chair, will make a real difference in this year’s budget negotiation

Monday, June 30 Statewide Call to Action for Public Education
Education Voters PA
It is hard to imagine, but the PA House advanced a state budget in Harrisburg that is far worse for public schools than the budget Governor Corbett proposed earlier this year. 
The PA House is calling to eliminate the $241 million increase in state funding for proposed Ready to Learn Block grants and replace this with a paltry $70 million increase in Basic Education Funding.Under the House budget, PA school districts would lose about 70% of the increases in state funding they were expecting to receive this year, funding that they were relying on to balance their budgets.
The House budget is irresponsible and unacceptable.  It does not call for a shale tax or a cigarette tax.  Instead, it relies on the sale of state liquor stores (which the Senate has so far not supported), gimmicky sources of one-time funding, and the suspension of selected tax credits to balance the budget.  Budget negotiations are just beginning. While the budget is still fluid and negotiations are taking place, advocates must speak out loudly and with one voice in support of responsible funding for public schools this year. If we don't speak up, public education will likely receive little more than scraps in the budget this year.
Mark your calendar for Monday, June 30th – and do 3 things in 10 minutes to make a difference! 

SRC likely to vote on budget without knowing state revenue
the notebook By Dale Mezzacappa on Jun 27, 2014 05:46 PM
The School Reform Commission is likely to vote on a budget Monday without knowing how much money the District will be getting from the state.
Intense budget maneuvering during the week will continue into the weekend, but it is entirely possible that the General Assembly will miss its June 30 deadline for approving a state budget.
Gov. Corbett said he would hold out past the deadline until he got support for his priorities, which include pension reform and privatization of state liquor stores. 
As of Friday, the House had passed a budget that includes no new revenue sources and would virtually wipe out increases for education spending that Corbett had proposed. That plan would eliminate about $20 million of the funds that the District was counting on from the state.
And that budget doesn't include authorization for a city $2-a-pack cigarette tax that would bring in about $40 million for the schools next year and $80 million a year after that.
The latest reports also indicated that the Senate wasn't interested in passing any new sources of revenue -- meaning that it is likely that Philadelphia schools won't get additional money from the state.

Taxes, taxes and more taxes
Failing in Slow Motion: High taxes hurting homeowners and economy in Columbia
Lancaster Online By SUSAN BALDRIGE | Staff Writer Posted: Friday, June 27, 2014 7:00 am | Updated: 11:14 am, Fri Jun 27, 2014.
Editor’s note: This story is part of a series examining the financial sustainability of the Columbia Borough School District and the impact of its struggling schools on the students, teachers, residents and businesses of the proud river town. A six-page special section is being published in this week’s Sunday News.
Sara Linkous opened the doors of her china cabinet in her Columbia home to show a delicate green and white tea set that has been handed down from mother to daughter through three generations.  The family treasure will likely be gone soon, sold to pay property taxes on the stone home her father built in the 1930s.

Four days before the budget deadline - putting the 'fun' in dysfunctional, it's a day in the life of the Capitol
By John L. Micek |  on June 27, 2014 at 8:25 AM
It's a little after 7 a.m. on Thursday morning. And four days before the deadline to pass a new state budget, the state Capitol is quiet and empty.  In the building's gold-trimmed Rotunda, where frescoes stare down silently, it's cool in the heat of a late June morning and footfalls echo off the historic Mercer tile floors.  A tour guide sits alone at a desk near the front door. And two state Capitol Police officers man a security checkpoint at the building's main doors a few feet away.

Third and State Blog Posted by Stephen Herzenberg on June 26, 2014 9:00 am
We're closing in on the end game of the Pennsylvania budget process and lawmakers are considering two different pension proposals -- both of which would be a step backward. Here's an update on these options, with links to where you can find more information.
Most discussion over the past several months has focused on the Corbett-Tobash "hybrid pension plan." This would replace existing pensions with a much smaller guaranteed pension and 401(k)-type savings accounts that cover any salary over $50,000 and service over 25 years. The governor favors combining this pension re-design with reductions in state and school district pension contributions over the next five years.
The bottom line on the Corbett-Tobash plan is that it doesn't solve PA's pension underfunding problem but it does cut pension benefits deeply for new employees. It achieves this unsavory combination because savings from benefit cuts are offset by four cost increases.

Inquirer Editorial: State needs real budget
POSTED: Friday, June 27, 2014, 1:08 AM
The Pennsylvania House's proposed $29.1 billion budget is so out of step with the state's actual needs that the document's only possible use is to serve as scratch paper for notes during the Senate debate.  The House budget largely addresses the state's estimated $1.5 billion funding gap by again shortchanging schools. It provides an additional $70 million, a 1.3 percent increase, for basic education. But that doesn't come close to making up for past cuts that have forced schools to lay off teachers.  The spending plan includes no new taxes even though Pennsylvania is the only state without a tax on natural-gas drilling. And it makes no mention of a proposed Philadelphia-only cigarette tax, which city schools need to stay alive.

DN Editorial: Pennsyltuckered out
Philly Daily News Editorial POSTED: June 26, 2014
THE GENERAL Assembly is now grappling with what could be Gov. Corbett's last budget. And given some of the obstacles to finishing it, we're grappling with the best way to characterize the story it tells. Is it "Back to the Future"? Or "Welcome to Pennsyltucky"?
(We are not disparaging the rest of the state, which is sometimes referred to as Pennsyltucky, but conveying a general theme of "backward." If you're an "Orange Is the New Black" fan, you'll know it refers to the meth-addled hillbilly character.)
Lawmakers are scrambling to fill a $1.5 billion shortfall in the budget that came about because revenue projections fell short of what Corbett had anticipated in his budget address in February.

Legislation makes passing the Keystone Exams optional as graduation requirement
By Jan Murphy | on June 27, 2014 at 2:53 PM
Just when it seemed the battle over requiring students in the Class of 2017 and beyond to pass Keystone Exams to graduate was a part of Pennsylvania history, Senate Education Committee Chairman Mike Folmer decided to launch another grenade.  The Senate Education Committee, in a bi-partisan 8-2 vote, approved his legislation that would leave it up to school districts to determine how, if at all, a student's Keystone Exams scores would count toward a course grade or graduation.  The legislation does not, however, make taking these state end-of-course exams optional. Neither does it waive the requirement on districts to remediate students who earn a failing score on these state exams.  Even though the committee moved the bill, Folmer's chief of staff said he did not anticipate this bill being fast-tracked through the General Assembly before the summer recess.

In Rebuttal / Give ‘insiders’ a chance to reform Pittsburgh Public Schools
Plenty of outsiders have weighed in; the city must listen to neglected voices on school reform
Post Gazette Opinion By PAMELA HARBIN June 27, 2014 12:00 AM
Last week the editorial board of the Post Gazette called for more outside voices to contribute to the mayor’s education task force (“Establishment Panel: The Education Task Force Needs Outside Perspective,” June 18).  As a Pittsburgh parent who has been trying to get the voices of parents heard since 2009, I must respectfully disagree. The mayor is right to include on his task force stakeholders who are linked to the district, especially those parents, teachers and students whose voices are not always heard.
My boys, Ayden, 11, and Amari, 9, attend Liberty K-5, a Spanish magnet school in Shadyside. They have been in the Pittsburgh Public Schools since kindergarten, and for the last six years I have watched as outsiders have made decisions that have hurt our schools, including the statewide billion-dollar education cut made by Gov. Tom Corbett in 2011.
Locally, both superintendents who have served the Pittsburgh Public Schools over the last 10 years came here as outsiders. Mark Roosevelt and now Linda Lane both have worked closely with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also a group of outsiders. The foundation has made huge investments in our district, both directly and via contracts with outside consultants who have brought us the very latest in outsider thinking.

Spring-Ford Area School Board finalizes budget for 2014-15
By Frank Otto, The Mercury
POSTED: 06/26/14, 5:35 PM EDT | UPDATED: 38 SECS AGO
LIMERICK — The Spring-Ford Area School Board quietly approved the district’s 2014-15 budget, which carries a 1.95 percent tax increase, at its Monday night meeting.  There was no discussion directly regarding the budget at the meeting prior to the unanimous approval.  It appeared that the $136,988,745 budget was unchanged from what was advertised as the proposed final budget last month.  With a 1.95 percent tax increase, Spring-Ford’s millage rate will increase from 25.524 mills to 26.016. A taxpayer in the district with a property assessed at $100,000 will see their annual taxes increase by $49.24 for 2014-15.

At a recent school board meeting I voted against authorizing a payment to Agora Cyber Charter School.  Why?  During the NCLB regime, Agora never once made AYP; this year their PA School Performance Profile Score was 48.3 (scale of 100).   In my district, our Middle School score was 94; our High School score was 96.4.  We offer our students a blended learning program that allows them to take some or all of their class work online, while still participating in all extracurriculars and receiving a diploma from our school.
Agora is run by K12, Inc., a for-profit company founded by convicted bond felon Michael Milken.  K12 paid it's CEO $13 million from 2009 through 2013 and spent our tax dollars on over 19,000 local TV commercials.  I do not believe Agora should receive one cent of my neighbors' tax dollars.
Statement From K12 Inc. on Agora Cyber Charter School
PRESS RELEASE June 26, 2014, 4:30 p.m. EDT
The Wall Street Journal Marketwatch HERNDON, Va., Jun 26, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) --
As required by the existing charter agreement, this Fall, the Agora Cyber Charter School in PA ("Agora") must submit an application for the renewal of its charter agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), to continue operations for the 2015-2016 school year and beyond.  The Agora Board has elected to use an RFP process for the services and products required to operate the school. Proposals are due to the Agora Board on July 25, 2014.
K12 Inc. has been working with the Board and looks forward to providing robust submissions for the provision of educational services, products, and curriculum. We are confident that this process will lead to an even stronger application to PDE for the renewal of the school's charter. We are also confident that the value K12 has brought, and can continue to bring, to the students of Agora will be clear in this process. We are proud that so many of the parents with students at Agora have expressed overall satisfaction with the school and especially with K12's curriculum.
We value our long term relationship with Agora and look forward to building on the positive momentum we have created under the Board's leadership. The innovations K12 is making in curriculum, instruction and technology offer Agora students continued learning options to fit their individual needs.

FairTest National Center for Fair & Open Testing
TO: Journalists Who Cover Education
FROM: Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
RE: Testing Resistance & Reform News
DATE: June 24, 2014
What a week!
The impacts of “Testing Resistance & Reform Spring” protests reverberate across the nation with more states suspending testing requirements or pulling out of testing consortia. Bill Gates’ call for a moratorium on some consequences from Common Core exams, quickly implemented by some political allies, reflects another way grassroots power is forcing policy elites to backpedal. To take advantage of this opportunity, parents, educators, students, and community activists need to step up advocacy campaigns to end standardized testing misuse and press for implementation of higher quality performance assessments.

Community Schools: Impacting Academic Achievement Through Student Support
Fifteen years ago, a small team of school, university, and community partners began working on creating the system of student support that is now City Connects. We were hopeful that we would be able to demonstrate that addressing students' out-of-school needs would lead to improvements in academic achievement and student well-being.
Developed at Boston College's Lynch School of Education in the late 90s, City Connects is a student support intervention that addresses the non-academic factors like homelessness or hunger that can limit academic achievement, especially for children living in poverty. The intervention identifies the strengths and needs of every child across academic, social/emotional, health, and family domains and connects each student to a tailored set of prevention, intervention, and enrichment services available in the community and/or school.

Obama expands use of standardized tests for special-needs and American Indian students
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog BY VALERIE STRAUSS June 27 at 8:55 AM  
President Obama recently told graduates at the University of California, Irvine, that people who deny the science behind climate change are just as wrong as people who say the moon is “made of cheese.” Congress, he said, “is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence” about climate change and call it a hoax.  He’s right about that. But his administration is doing some denying of its own — refusing to accept extensive research on the proper use of standardized tests.  The president and his education secretary, Arne Duncan, have for years been using student standardized test scores to hold students, teachers and principals “accountable” even though assessment experts say they aren’t reliable enough to be used for that purpose. Assessment experts say that tests should be used only for the purpose for which they were designed and nothing else, yet the administration keeps finding additional ways to use standardized test results in ways that are questionable.

Charter Schools' E-rate Requests Much Higher Than Other Schools'
Education Week Marketplace K12 Blog By Michele Molnar on June 26, 2014 4:25 PM 
Public charter schools are requesting 79 percent more per building from the federal E-rate program than traditional public schools are, according to an Education Week-requested analysis from Funds for Learning.  The Oklahoma-based company, which consults schools on the E-rate, conducted a review of all requests for funding submitted by schools and districts in 2014—about 21,000 applications in all.  The anaylsis shows that smaller applicants generally have to pay more for their services, "likely due to their inability to tap into the economies of scale that bigger applicants benefit from," said John Harrington, CEO of Funds for Learning. "Usually they're paying higher per-unit prices," so they are likely to request more funding.
At the same time, charters are generally better positioned to leverage newer and faster technologies "simply because it's easier to roll out and successfully integrate new technology to a single school than an entire school district," he added.

Join the Notebook! Become a Member!
The Notebook invites all of our readers to join us now, as members by signing up on our "Donate" page. Our reporting depends on the continued generous support and contributions from our growing Notebook membership. In 2013, we reached more than 500 memberships!  Thanks to all of our supporters.  Don't forget to renew or join for this calendar year. Help us reach 600+ members in 2014!  We're excited about this program as a way to recognize your support, give you some extra perks, and support our work and sustainability.  Learn more about our work here.
Membership starts at $40 for the 2014 calendar year. Learn more about the membership levels here. You can also give the gift of Notebook membership.

Pre-K for PA has supporters all over the greater Philadelphia region who want to help ensure all three and four year-old children can access quality pre-K.
We need your help -- join an upcoming phone bank. Join a fun gathering of like minds in Philadelphia and Conshohocken on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer. We are calling fellow Pre-K for PA supporters to build local volunteer teams.
Call a Pre-K Friend in Philly:
United Way Building, 6th Floor 1709 Ben Franklin Parkway 19107 
Wed July 9, 5-7 PM
Wed July 30, 5-7 PM
Call a Pre-K Friend in Mont Co:
Anne's House 242 Barren Hill Road Conshohocken PA 19428
Wed July 16, 5-7pm
Wed July 30, 5-7pm

EPLC Education Issues Workshop for Legislative Candidates, Campaign Staff, and Interested Voters - Harrisburg July 31
Register Now!  EPLC will again be hosting an Education Issues Workshop for Legislative Candidates, Campaign Staff, and Interested Voters. This nonpartisan, one-day program will take place on Thursday, July 31 in Harrisburg. Space is limited. Click here to learn more about workshop and to register. 

PSBA opens nominations for the Timothy M. Allwein Advocacy Award
The nomination process is now open for the Timothy M. Allwein Advocacy Award. This award may be presented annually to the individual school director or entire school board to recognize outstanding leadership in legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of public education and students that are consistent with the positions in PSBA’s Legislative Platform.  Applications will be accepted until July 16, 2014. The July 16 date was picked in honor of  Timothy M. Allwein's birthday. The award will be presented during the PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference in October. More details and application are available on PSBA's website. 

Education Policy and Leadership Center
Click here to read more about EPLC’s Education Policy Fellowship Program, including: 2014-15 Schedule 2014-15 Application Past Speakers Program Alumni And More Information

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.

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