Tuesday, June 10, 2014

PA Ed Policy Roundup June 10: Six arrested, hundreds protest Corbett, Christie during Phila. stop

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

These daily emails are archived and searchable at http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.org
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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for June 10, 2014: Six arrested, hundreds protest Corbett, Christie during Phila. stop

"In recent years, movement on other issues, such as transportation or charter school reform, have gotten linked to the budget negotiations. But both Senate and House leaders deny that has happened this year, but House Majority Whip Stan Saylor, R-York added the caveat, "not at this point," in his denial."
Deadline for completing an on-time state budget by June 30 is 'dog years' away, Scarnati says
By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com  on June 09, 2014 at 4:12 PM
While the calendar indicates only 21 days remain in June, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati sees that as leaving plenty of time for state lawmakers to complete work on an on-time budget and still meet the end-of-the month deadline.   "It's always painfully slow at the beginning" of June when budget talks start to get serious, said Scarnati, R-Jefferson County. "But we got dog years ahead of us."  Legislative leaders met with Gov. Tom Corbett this morning to continue their negotiations on an approximate $29 billion spending plan for 2014-15.  There is agreement that the plan will not include any broad-based tax increases as well as a recognition that a $1 billion to $2 billion potential revenue shortfall exists that needs to be closed to support spending at that level.

"With Pennsylvania facing a budget deficit of more than $1.5 billion for 2014-15, new revenue is necessary to avoid new cuts to education, health care, and early childhood budgets. One idea, championed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, is to enact a severance tax on natural gas. A 5% tax would raise almost $400 million on top of the current impact fee"
Gas Production Booms, Drillers’ Corporate Tax Payments Plummet
PA Budget and Policy Center Posted by Anonymous on June 6, 2014
The market value of natural gas produced in Pennsylvania exceeded $11.8 billion in 2013 yet natural gas producers pay among the lowest effective production tax rates in the country.[1] Companies paid $223 million in impact fee for gas produced in 2013,[2] for an effective tax rate of less than 1.9%.  Recent reports by the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office[3] and Headwaters Economics/Oklahoma Policy Institute[4] both identified Pennsylvania as having the lowest effective production tax rate in the shale states the groups studied.
Even as gas production boomed, corporate net income tax (CNIT) payments made  by drilling companies have fallen to pre-Marcellus drilling levels according to Department of Revenue compiled data. In 2013, oil and gas producers[5] paid just $10.3 million in corporate net income taxes. A big jump in CNIT in 2011 proved to be an anomaly, as more recent corporate tax payments have fallen to below 2008 levels. In 2013, oil and gas producers paid just 9% of corporate income taxes collected from the industry while drilling support companies, pipeline, distribution and other related companies paid the other 91%.[6]

Charter school supporters oppose proposal to change special education funding
By Gideon Bradshaw | gbradshaw@pennlive.com  on June 09, 2014 at 6:08 PM, updated June 09, 2014 at 6:10 PM
The children's message that echoed through the halls of the state Capitol on Monday boiled down to three simple words they chanted at the top of their lungs: "Save our school."
Students, teachers, parents and administrators from Pennsylvania charter schools came to the Capitol to urge legislators to oppose two identical bills in the House and Senate they say would seriously hurt or close charter schools in the state by cutting the funds they receive for special education.  "We are second-class citizens of our public education system and that is not right or fair," said Lorenzo Hough, board president of the Global Leadership Academy in Philadelphia.
The special education funding proposal is designed to allocate funds for special education more equitably to meet the needs of individual districts, but advocates for charter schools say it contains a provision that would unfairly cut the special education funds going to charter schools.

While the charter students might feel like "second class citizens", the operators of the state's largest cyber charter, the state's largest brick and mortar charter and the immediate past CEO of K12, Inc. certainly do not…..
PA Charter Schools: $4 billion taxpayer dollars with no real oversight
Keystone State Education Coalition

PA. PENSION TIME BOMB - Pottstown Mercury Series
Pottstown Mercury Tuesday, June 3, 2014
A look at the public pension crisis in Pennsylvania, causes and effects.
Click on the images below to read full stories from this collection.

Editorial: School districts getting no help with big pension bills
Delco Times Editorial POSTED: 06/09/14, 9:46 PM EDT |
The pension time bomb in Pennsylvania is a $50 billion funding liability loaded with politically explosive issues.  Trying to change pension benefit packages in the Public School Employee Retirement System faces objection from the teachers’ union, a powerful force in state politics and a strong defender of public educators’ financial security.  On the other side of the equation are school boards trying to balance budgets with growing pension costs and mounting pressure to keep down property taxes and maintain programs in the classroom.  Maintaining the status quo, however, has created a financial time bomb in a system that pays out more in benefits to public school retirees than it takes in. The pension shortfall in Pennsylvania is $50 billion, up from $40 billion a year ago.

Pa. House OKs school construction payment process
Pa. House OKs school construction payment process
Lancaster Online by Associated Press  Posted: Monday, June 9, 2014 7:18 pm
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The state House of Representatives on Monday approved a bill to modernize the handling of state reimbursements for school construction projects amid Democrats' criticism that it won't help cash-strapped districts.  The 109-86 vote will send the measure to the Senate.  The bill would create an electronic database of construction projects and streamline what is now a largely paper-driven system administered by the Department of Education, said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Seth Grove.  A moratorium on new reimbursement applications, proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett and approved by the Legislature, was imposed in October 2012. The state has limited reimbursements to $296 million a year since then.

"The idea that the cyber-schooling model, often touted as the latest and greatest alternative option for education, isn't a good fit for every student is becoming more apparent.  For the past several months, state legislators and education experts have been clambering for what they say are much-needed reforms for both cyber- and brick-and-mortar charter schools, particularly when it comes to funding and student performance.  And in the veritable Wild West that is cyber education, one thing is clear, thanks to statistics from the state Department of Education: Something's not working."
Pa. cyber school law in need of overhaul
Alternative education model fails students, burdens taxpayers
By VINNY VELLA For the Pocono Record June 08, 2014
Jonathan Webber spent what would've been his senior year at Pocono Mountain East High School helping Barack Obama become president.  And he owes it all to cyber-charter schooling.
"One reason I didn't like public school is that it's one size fits all," said Webber, 22. "You have to learn the material at the same pace as everyone else. You can't move ahead or go into an area that interests you more."  So Webber traded East's halls for a laptop and Internet connection, and enrolled in 21st Century Cyber Charter School, headquartered in Chester County.

"Hold Harmless has determined how state education funds are distributed to school districts for nearly 25 years now, since going into effect in the 1989-90 school year. Each district's enrollment that year became the base on which funding allocation has been determined for every school year thereafter.  This is a good thing for 90 percent of Pennsylvania's 500 school districts. But G-A's enrollment in 1989-90 was lower than normal, and it has more than doubled since then."
G-A taking mission to change school funding formula to Harrisburg
UPDATED:   06/09/2014 05:46:03 PM EDT0 COMMENTS
GREENCASTLE >> Greencastle-Antrim School District officials on Tuesday will tell the Pennsylvania Department of Education how the state's education funding formula hurts the district and in what ways it should change for the sake of fairness.
Superintendent Greg Hoover, school board President Brian Hissong, board Vice President Eric Holtzman and Business Manager Jolinda Wilson will take their mission to change the funding distribution method "Hold Harmless" to the Capitol in Harrisburg, in a meeting with PDE in the office of Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Hollidaysburg. Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq is expected to participate.

Strong Foundations Charter School submits new application to EASD
By Jacqueline Palochko, Of The Morning Call 1:43 p.m. EDT, June 9, 2014
Leaders of a proposed charter school in the Easton Area School District are trying again to open the school's doors.  The proposed Strong Foundations Charter School submitted a new application to the district Monday, according to school board president Frank Pintabone. In March, the school board rejected the charter school application, saying the planned school did not offer a curriculum that was different from what the district offers students.  The school would have specialized in a STEAM curriculum – science, technology, engineering, arts and math.  The new application has to be different than the original one submitted, but Pintabone wasn't sure at the moment what was different, he said.
"During the meeting, the board also heard a resolution that would approve the issuance of a request for proposals for external operators to run one, multiple or all district schools in 2015-16. No board members asked questions after the resolution was read aloud.
David Meckley, the district's chief recovery officer, said later that it is his recommendation the board proceed with the request for proposals."
York City school board looks to close $5 million deficit
Expanding pre-K, other initiatives might have to be put off
York Daily Record By Angie Mason amason@ydr.com @angiemason1 on Twitter
UPDATED:   06/09/2014 09:57:40 PM EDT0 COMMENTS
To help close a nearly $5 million deficit, the York City School Board will consider a 2014-15 budget later this month that doesn't include some initiatives the district hoped to take on next year, such as expanding pre-kindergarten.  At the same time, the board will decide whether to issue a request for proposals from charter operators for the 2015-16 school year.
District officials had previously said they hoped to cover the deficit by negotiating new collective bargaining agreements with employees that included concessions that are part of the financial recovery plan. But new contracts have not been worked out. Supt. Eric Holmes said administrators are looking at other ways to close the gap, with the least impact to students.
"Unfortunately, we have to put off, postpone or eliminate some of the things we wanted to do in order to balance the budget," he said.

Ridley School District passes final budget
By BARBARA ORMSBY, Times Correspondent
POSTED: 06/09/14, 10:49 PM EDT | UPDATED: 2 SECS AGO
RIDLEY TOWNSHIP — The Ridley School Board Monday night gave final approval to the 2014-15 budget of $96,208,627, which is a 2.4 percent increase over the current year’s budget.
The total millage rate in the new budget will be 39.25 mills. For a house in the district assessed at the average of $103,000, the school tax bill will rise by $21. The average tax bill will come in at about $4,047.  When the school board gave approval to the proposed final budget at its May meeting, district Superintendent Lee Ann Wentzel told school board members that factors affecting the new budget included $2,204,746 in additional pension costs because of the increasing employer share amounting to 27.34 percent, special education expenditures that continue to climb without corresponding funding support from state and federal resources resulting in 6.55 percent increase in costs, and low interest earnings.

3 commonsense solutions to adequately fund public education in Pennsylvania
James Sando is a teacher in the Wissahickon School District and a representative of the Council for the Advancement of Public Schools.
Just three years ago, before nearly $1 billion in cuts to K-12 public education, the investment that Pennsylvania was making in its public schools was paying off and the state was being recognized as a national leader in academic achievement. In fact, in 2010 the Center on Education Policy cited the Commonwealth for recordinggains in all academic categories from 2002 to 2008.
Today there are 20,000 fewer teachers and support professionals, including nurses to respond to critical medical emergencies and guidance counselors to help steer a troubled child or assist with the college admission process. Class sizes have increased significantly. In some districts, there are not enough funds to purchase new text books; summer school and tutoring programs have been eliminated or reduced; and there are fewer language and other elective courses. Gone are many art and music classes; and extra-curricular activities — including sports — have vanished or require a participation fee. What's more, some schools are failing to meet their obligations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act because they are unable to provide all required services for students with special needs.

"While most print media companies are under financial assault, the nonprofit Notebook continues to flourish because of its grass-roots approach, said editor and publisher Paul Socolar.  "We weren't started by a bunch of venture capitalists," he said. "From the very beginning, we had diverse revenue streams, including raising money from our readers."
The Notebook: Two decades of reporting on education
We Americans may be passive about politics, even ignorant about history and geography - but we've always been passionate about our children's education. Witness the continued success of the scrappy start-up news organization called the Philadelphia Public School Notebook.
On Tuesday, the Notebook will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a party at the University of the Arts featuring music, exhibits, and an awards ceremony.  First produced in photocopiers and distributed by hand in supermarkets and community meetings, the Notebook has grown into a respected journal providing in-depth coverage of the city's 212 public schools and the system that supposedly holds them together.

Corbett gets silent treatment at MU graduation
Lancaster Online by P.J. REILLY Staff Writer  Updated 20 hours ago
You could hear a pin drop on Chryst Field at Biemesderfer Stadium when Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett finished his commencement speech Saturday at Millersville University.
Normally, such speeches elicit rowdy applause from the students awaiting their diplomas.
Not this time.
Millersville's 2013 graduating class refused to clap.
About a dozen students - and at least three professors - weren't even facing Corbett.
When he started to speak, they stood up, turned their chairs around and sat back down.
Chet Klinedinst, of Lancaster, was one of the students who turned his back on Corbett.
"I turned my chair around because I felt like I needed to show my disapproval of the cuts that were going to be taken to the budget for public education in Pennsylvania," he said.

Corbett hides in the Comcast castle
Philly Daily News Attytood Blog by Will Bunch MONDAY, JUNE 9, 2014, 5:12 PM
Note: See two updates at bottom for newer details:
Hey, remember that time when Gov. Corbett was supposed to speak to students at Central High here in Philadelphia and when he heard that some of the students and teachers were going to protest his appearance (if not his very existence) he bravely turned his tail and fled to the safety of his office at the swank Bellevue Hotel, barring non-journalists from the room?
If you think that was cowardly, check out what brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Corbett is up today. Teamed up with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for what was supposed to be a Republican Governors Association fundraiser at the Union League, the embattled governor faced a civil war from hundreds of protesters who got wind of the closed-door event and gathered outside.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/How-far-will-politicians-go-to-deny-health-care-to-their-constituents.html#jHqmPjuJm1yFWLMF.99

"In recent months, Christie has been traveling the country as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. The group has been Corbett's biggest contributor in past years - and has given Corbett $1.8 million in his bid for reelection this year, according to records."
Six arrested, hundreds protest Corbett, Christie during Phila. stop
LAST UPDATED: Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 1:08 AM POSTED: Monday, June 9, 2014, 5:31 PM
As many as 1,000 protesters, many angry about school funding, blocked traffic and waved signs in Center City on Monday afternoon, hoping to disrupt or at least deflect attention from a fund-raising stop by Govs. Corbett and Christie.  "Our members are here because they're being mistreated," said Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
Six people were arrested for obstructing the highway - a summary offense - after sitting down on 17th Street. Police did not use handcuffs as they led them away.  The names of those arrested were not available Monday night, but a statement from the coalition group Fight for Philly identified them as "parents, activists, and retired teachers."

Governor Corbett runs from Philadelphia voters – again
Parents United Posted on June 10, 2014 by HELENGYM
In a large rally yesterday, Parents United for Public Education joined with our partners at PCAPS to greet Governor Tom Corbett who was trolling for campaign dollars with Gov. Chris Christie at an event hosted by the Republican Governors Association. Originally intended for the Union League, the campaign suddenly switched locations the day of the event – surprising members of the Union League. It moved instead to the headquarters of Comcast Corporation, which has pledged to back Governor Corbett in the gubernatorial race.  It’s not the first time Corbett has run from his own constituents. In January, the governor refused to face the students and staff at Central High School, suddenly switching his appearance from his first public school visit to sequestration inside his offices at the Bellevue Hotel.
You have to wonder about the leadership of a governor who runs from the very people who live the consequences of the policies he imposes.

"Corbett was elected in 2010 after campaigning with a pledge to enact no new taxes, including one on the fracking industry. His campaign had received nearly $1.3 million from the oil and natural gas companies, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. That figure does not include funds from the industry that was filtered through the Republican Governors Association, which gave Corbett $6 million during his first campaign, the institute stated."
Natural gas industry money flowing into Pennsylvania governor's race, mostly to Tom Corbett
Governor has so far refused to tax fracking, but faces a large budget shortfall.
Morning Call  By Ben Finley, Of The Philadelphia Inquirer 11:48 p.m. EDT, June 9, 2014
In what seems to be a reprise of four years ago, hundreds of thousands of dollars are pouring into the race for Pennsylvania governor from company executives with ties to the state's burgeoning natural gas industry.  But the donations, almost entirely to Gov. Tom Corbett, are flowing with one key difference: The stakes are even higher for both the companies' fracking profits and the Republican Corbett, one of the country's most vulnerable governors.  Corbett is being challenged by Democrat Tom Wolf, a York County businessman who has pledged to add a 5 percent tax on fracking.
Bethlehem Area considering hiring company to help with online courses
By Sara K. Satullo | The Express-Times  on June 09, 2014 at 7:39 PM
The Bethlehem Area School District wants to hire Blended Schools Network to help bolster its online learning efforts.  Bethlehem launched a full-time cyber academy in 2012-13 looking to draw back students who have left the district for cyber charter schools. About 30 students have enrolled saving about $90,000 to $100,000 in tuition fees the district would have had to pay for those students to attend the charter schools.  Then in the 2013-14 school year, Bethlehem Area began offering district students the chance to take some or parts of a course online. Bethlehem worked with VLN Partners, which handles its cyber academy, to have Bethlehem teachers customize VLN's online curriculum.

School break poses challenge for hungry
Sponsors step up to plate with summer nutrition programs
By Matt Nussbaum / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The end of school can mark the beginning of hunger for thousands of local children.
For the nearly 50,000 public school students in Allegheny County who ate free lunches at school this year, summer ends the steady meals provided through the National School Lunch Program, designed to keep children from low-income families out of hunger.  "Food stamps aren't enough to get families through the month, and that's particularly true in the summer," said Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.
A recent report from FRAC showed that in Pennsylvania only 18.7 percent of students who received meals during the school year were reached by summer nutrition programs last summer.

"As public charter schools grow at a rapid pace — in just over a decade, enrolled students have increased from 300,000 to 2.1 million — they contribute to a cultural shift that views teaching as a temporary commitment. Teach for America (TFA), which places one-third of its recruits in charter schools, has in many ways made it trendy to view teaching as a brief, altruistic gesture rather than a lifelong profession. Motoko Rich, reporting for The New York Times last year,wrote that “charter networks are developing what amounts to a youth cult in which teaching for two to five years is seen as acceptable and, at times, even desirable.” Rich found that KIPP and Success Academy, two of the largest charter networks, retain teachers for an average of only four years."
The greening of the American teacher
Scarcity of experienced educators is not a chance development, and it is ruining US schools
Al Jazeera by  @theasideblog  @GSipley June 9, 2014 12:15AM ET
One year of teaching experience is the new normal in America’s classrooms. Nationwide, schools are embracing tenderfoot teachers instead of skilled, veteran educators — what the industry calls master teachers, an informal moniker that denotes expertise in content creation, differentiated instruction and student outcomes in the face of education reform.
According to multiple peer-reviewed studies, the professional longevity of a master teacher — someone who has eight or more consecutive years in the classroom — leads to increased student engagement and academic success. These hallmarks of an exceptional education have become less than visible in the United States’ school system, which has not been deemed exceptional or even satisfactory for quite some time, according to international rankings by the Programme for International Student Assessment. Mediocrity in American education will persist as long as we have a disproportionate number of green teachers. What’s worse is that this mediocrity is easily avoidable and fully intentional.

"How could we leave educational decisions to corporations whose priority is to make a profit and to politicians who only care about being reelected? What has happened to the common good? What has happened is that we no longer live in a representative democracy, but a ‘consumer republic’ where everything is for sale, even our future, even our children."
Paradigm Magazine Column Written by Jason Finn Published On May 28, 2014 |
Jason Finn, Ed.D., is a former U.S. Fulbright recipient, an author and English teacher of adolescent youth where he crafts lessons full of sublime stupidity with whimsical abandon since 1994.
Are we a poor country? Are we a country that requires the help of more developed countries for basic necessities? No, of course not.
Then, why do we starve our children? Why do we provide them with anything less than a stellar education? Why do we leave so many children hungry, their schools left to nibble on scraps – dull curriculum with scarce resources in antiquated buildings? Because education of our youth has become a profit machine and, while our children hunger, quite a few feast upon them.
A healthy democracy needs an educated citizenry that can think critically, solve complex problems, and engage positively in an ever-increasingly interconnected world. Our children are being schooled to fill in a bubble.
No longer is the question regarding how to educate our children about just effectively allocating resources, balancing a budget, and fielding a football team. This is a human rights issue! And in this moment in our history, our children are being shafted. On purpose, for a profit.

PDK chief shares insight on nation’s views of public education
NSBA School Board News Today by Joetta Sack-Min June 9, 2014
Bill Bushaw, the Executive Director of Phi Delta Kappa International, discussed the top issues and key findings from the 2013 PDK/Gallup poll on public schools with the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Board of Directors this week.  The annual poll, one of the most comprehensive surveys of this country’s attitudes toward public education, consistently has shown strong support for local public schools. In particular it recently has found that parents of children in public schools are giving their schools increasingly high grades, with the majority giving their oldest child’s school a grade of “A” or “B.”
At his presentation to NSBA, Bushaw discussed key topics from the 2013 data that included Common Core State Standards, school safety, school choice, and vouchers, among others. For the 2014 report, which will be released later this summer, Bushaw noted that the analysis will include data on international comparisons.  He noted that PDK/Gallup’s data show confusion around the Common Core State Standards. More generally, the public also has expressed a lack of confidence in standardized testing.

California and Florida K-12 Lawsuits Treat Resources Differently
Education Week State EdWatch By Andrew Ujifusa on June 9, 2014 9:05 AM
Two of the five biggest states in the country by K-12 enrollment, California and Florida, are now battlegrounds for either new or evolving lawsuits that focus on the adequacy and use of resources given to schools and in turn to students.  The suit in California is a new one, filed on behalf of students at seven schools in both the Bay Area and southern California on May 29 by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and others. And the Florida suit I'm highlighting is an expanded version of a suit originally filed to target school choice programs. Let's tackle California first.

Ravitch: Time for Congress to investigate Bill Gates’ role in Common Core
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog BY VALERIE STRAUSS June 9 at 8:00 am
The critical role that Bill Gates played in the creation and implementation of the Common Core State Standards initiative is the subject of this story by my Post colleague Lyndsey Layton. She explains how Gates was persuaded  in 2008 by  Gene Wilhoit, then-director of the Council for Chief State School Officers, and David Coleman, at the time an educational consultant  and now president of the College Board,  to use his foundation’s vast fortune to  fund the creation and marketing of what became the Common Core. The story also shows how Gates money was spread around to help the marketing of the initiative to states and other education constituencies. As a result of the article, Diane Ravitch, an education historian who has become the unofficial leader of the movement fighting corporate school reform, called Gates’ involvement in the Core as something of an education “coup” by a private philanthropist. In this post, she urges Congress to hold hearings about the Gates role and the connection between his foundation and the Education Department.

Education Voters of Pennsylvania, the NAACP and the Keystone State Education Coalition are sponsoring a public meeting with speakers from the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and the Education Law Center.
When:  Monday June 16th, 6-7 PM
Where: Delaware County Community College Southeast Center, Room 135
              2000 Elmwood AveSharon HillPA 19079
Learn about how a statewide legal strategy could help students in William Penn, Southeast Delco and neighboring districts and how you might participate.  Legal experts and attorneys will be present to talk about the law, your children’s rights and a potential lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania based on the state Constitutional requirement to provide an education.

Pennsylvania Education Summit Wednesday, June 11, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM (EDT) Camp Hill, PA
PA Business-Education Partnership
Welcome By Governor Tom Corbett (invited)
Remarks Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq (confirmed)
Perceptions & comments of business leaders, educators, college presidents, and advocacy groups

Come to Harrisburg to Speak Up for Public Education
Wednesday, June 18, Monday, June 23, and Monday, June 30
Education Voters PA
Governor Corbett’s “election-year” budget is falling apart. Revenue projections are down and Corbett and state legislators are looking to make more than $1.2 billion in cuts to his proposed 2014-2015 budget.  Lobbyists will be swarming the Capitol in the month of June and we need to be there, too.  Join Pennsylvanians from throughout the commonwealth as we send a loud and clear message that after three years of balancing the state budget on the backs of Pennsylvania’s public school children, it is time for our state government to do what is right and pass a fair budget that will provide students with the opportunities they need to meet state standards and be successful after they graduate.

Julian Vasquez Heilig  |  | 1 Comment
WE NEED YOUR HELP! Do you believe in public education? Do you want US policymakers to understand why decision makers in Chile have now judged vouchers to be problematic after 30 years of universal implementation? Do you have frequent flier miles you can donate? Sponsor a grad student today!  This summer, I along with eight UT-Austin graduate students will travel to Santiago, Chile in August 2014 with Professor Julian Vasquez Heilig to conduct field research that will result in a policy brief, op-eds and a peer-reviewed academic paper detailing recent changes in Chile’s market-based education policy proposed this past April by Chile’s current Education Minister Nicholas Eyzaguirre.

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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