Established in 2006, the Keystone State Education Coalition is a growing grass roots, non-partisan public education advocacy group of several hundred locally elected, volunteer school board members and administrators from school districts throughout Pennsylvania. Our mission is to evaluate, discuss and inform our boards, district constituents and legislators on legislative issues of common interest and to facilitate active engagement in public education advocacy.
PA Ed Policy Roundup Aug 16: Philadelphia Schools to Open on Time Amid Millions in Budget Cuts
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, business 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
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — An unmistakable electricity ran
through Howard J. Lamade Stadium on Friday as a team from Pennsylvania faced a
team from Tennessee on the second day of the Little League World Series. Outside the stadium, fans and family members
were enjoying a pleasant afternoon. But inside, there was the energy of
championship Sunday, a sense of expectation that went beyond partisan cheering.
Something special was happening.
Ousted education aide Ron
Tomalis looking at enriched state pension
Records obtained under the Right-to-Know Law show Tomalis'
annual retirement payments will be nearly $7,000 higher a year under state
By Steve Esack,
Call Harrisburg Bureau 10:15 p.m. EDT, August 15, 2014
HARRISBURG — As part of his re-election campaign, Gov. Tom Corbett has been barnstorming communities and
urging lawmakers to change the state pension systems to control spiraling debts
he says hurt taxpayers. But Corbett's
decision to retain former Education Secretary Ron Tomalis as an adviser the
past 15 months likely will increase the long-term debt by tens of thousands of
dollars and provide Tomalis nearly $7,000 more each year in pension payments.
Tomalis' pension would have been based on a 2 percent
multiplier if Corbett had dismissed him in spring 2013, when the governor named
a new education secretary. But Corbett kept Tomalis as a higher education
adviser, qualifying him for a 2.5 percent multiplier for all his years of
employment. Tomalis earlier worked nearly seven years under Gov. Tom Ridge,
according to State Employees' Retirement System records obtained under the
Schools to Open on Time Amid Millions in Budget Cuts
New York Times By MOTOKO RICH and JON HURDLE AUG.
After having warned that schools might not open on time in
Philadelphia, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Friday that a series of
temporary spending cuts would help administrators to close an $81 million
budget deficit and that classes would start as scheduled next month. This was the second year in a row that the school district’s perilous financesprompted the
superintendent to threaten a delay or more layoffs. In a news conference on Friday morning, Mr.
Hite said he hoped cuts of about $32 million in transportation, school police,
building cleaners, purchases from vendors and other areas would be temporary.
Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a Philadelphia-only cigarette tax that
would raise an estimated $49 million for city schools in the current academic
"We are on the precipice, with the
fate of not just the school district, but the city and the broader region at
stake," said School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green.”
Phila. schools to open on
schedule, but with deep budget cuts
KRISTEN A. GRAHAM, INQUIRER
STAFF WRITER LAST UPDATED: Saturday, August 16, 2014, 1:07 AM
POSTED: Friday, August 15, 2014, 5:42 PM
City schools will open as scheduled Sept. 8, but with deep cuts
to student transportation, school police and building maintenance,
Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Friday.
Hite ordered $32 million in budget cuts to ensure enough cash for
classes to begin on time, and he said that without action in Harrisburg by Oct.
1, more than 1,000 layoffs and further reductions to school budgets will follow
in October. "We don't know if
there's light at the end of the tunnel," a somber Hite said at a news
Hite: Schools will open on
time without major layoffs
SOLOMON LEACH, DAILY
NEWS STAFF WRITER LEACHS@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-5903 POSTED: Sunday,
August 17, 2014, 3:01 AM
PHILADELPHIA PUBLIC schools will open on time and avoid massive
layoffs, but reduce key services to help address an $81 million deficit,
officials announced yesterday.
Superintendent William Hite said the district is banking on
assurances from state officials that a Philadelphia cigarette tax will be
approved, which could generate $49 million for the district this school year,
as well as concessions from the teachers union that would net major savings.
Without those two measures in place by Oct. 1, the next step
would likely be significant layoffs, which would increase class sizes and
require combined grade-level classes, Hite said.
5 things to know about the
District's decision to open schools on time
The notebook By Paul Socolar on Aug 15, 2014 11:43 AM
Flanked by four members of the School Reform Commission,
Superintendent William Hite announced Friday morning that Philadelphia schools
would open on time Sept. 8, but that another round of "difficult and hopefully
temporary" cuts would be made to narrow the District's $81 million
deficit. Here are five key points about
the School District's latest plan for dealing with its budget gap.
Philly schools will open on
time, but with fewer resources than last year
WHYY Newsworks BY KEVIN
MCCORRY AUGUST 15, 2014
Philadelphia's public schools will open on time and – for the
time being – mass layoffs will be averted.
Superintendent William Hite made the announcement Friday morning after a
month where he offered both options as a way to cover the district's $81 million
The district is banking on the assurance of top republican
lawmakers in Harrisburg that Pennsylvania will pass legislation authorizing the
$2-per-pack Philadelphia cigarette tax in mid-September. If so, the district expects revenue collections
will begin Oct. 1 and generate $49 million for the district this school year.
ABC News By KATHY MATHESON Associated Press PHILADELPHIA Aug
15, 2014, 2:36 PM
The cash-strapped city school district will cut another $32
million in services to free up enough money to start classes on time, but
massive layoffs still loom if state lawmakers don't approve a cigarette tax,
officials said Friday. Thousands of high
school students won't get transportation to school, buildings will be cleaned
less frequently and school police officer vacancies will go unfilled as part of
the district's effort to close an $81 million shortfall before the first bell
rings Sept. 8.
Superintendent William Hite called the reductions
"unbelievably tough" decisions but also the "least harmful"
for students and families. Officials had been weighing options such as a
delayed start, a shortened school year or large numbers of pink slips.
Over a hundred people gathered last night at Monumental Baptist
Church to press for ending the 13 year old failed experiment with the School
Reform Commission and return our schools to local control. For PCAPS this
demand is part of a broader campaign to elect a Governor and legislators who
are committed to quality education for all children.
With the threat of strike in
the air, Saucon Valley parents worry about day care
They'll need help if educators stay out four to six weeks,
as union lawyer has threatened.
By Jacqueline Palochko, Of The Morning Call 10:34 p.m. EDT, August
Jessica Pretopapa isn't sure what she's going to do if her two
children aren't back at Saucon Valley Elementary School at the end of the
month. Her 8- and 6-year-old daughters
are supposed to start school Aug. 25. But
teachers union attorney Andrew Muir threatened that teachers could strike for
four to six weeks. And if that doesn't work, Muir said Thursday, the teachers
will strike again in the school year.
Law Center Celebrating Education Champions 2014
On September 17, 2014 the
Education Law Center will hold its annual event at the Crystal Tea Room in the
Wanamaker Building to celebrate Pennsylvania’s Education Champions. This year,
the event will honor William P. Fedullo, Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar
Association; Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn, Education Committee Chair for the
Pennsylvania State Conference of NAACP Branches; and the Stoneleigh Foundation,
a Philadelphia regional leader on at-risk youth issues.
Pennsylvania Arts Education
Network 2014 Arts and Education Symposium
The 2014 Arts and Education Symposium will be
held on Thursday, October 2 at the State Museum
of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, PA. Join us for a daylong convening of
arts education policy leaders and practitioners for lively discussions about
the latest news from the field.
The Symposium registration fee is $45 per person.
To register, click
here or follow the prompts at the bottom of the page. The Symposium will include the following:
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE
AUGUST CONGRESSIONAL RECESS: BACKGROUND & TALKING POINTS
National School Boards
Action Center August 06, 2014 by Staff
Members of Congress return to their hometowns to meet with
constituents locally and on September 8 they return to Washington, D.C.
As a public education advocate, you can help to influence their decisions and
votes on legislation affecting your local public schools by reaching out to
your members of Congress. They will be especially interested in your
concerns as this is an election year for the entire U.S. House of
Representatives and one third of the Senate.
Read the latest on federal education issues on Capitol
Hill in the NSBAC
August Congressional Recess Talking Points and then contact
your members of Congress during the August recess. You can
call your members’ offices using the Capitol switchboard at 202.224.3121 or use
the National School Boards Association’s legislative action center at
nsba.org/advocacy. Consider becoming a Friend of Public Education to connect
with National School Boards Action Center’s advocacy efforts and stay active
Save the Date 2014 PAESSP
State Conference October 19-21, 2014
Please join us for the 2014 PAESSP State Conference, “PRINCIPAL
EFFECTIVENESS: Leading Schools in a New Age of Accountability,” to be
held October 19-21 at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel, Pittsburgh,
Featuring Keynote Speakers: Alan November, Michael Fullan &
Dr. Ray Jorgensen
This year’s conference will provided PIL Act 45 hours,
numerous workshops, exhibits, multiple resources and an opportunity to network
with fellow principals from across the state.
PASA-PSBA School Leadership
Conference registration forms now available online PSBA Website
Make plans today to attend the most talked about education
conference of the year. This year's PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference promises to be
one of the best with new ideas, innovations, networking opportunities and
dynamic speakers. More details are being added every day. Online
registration will be available in the next few weeks. If you just can't
wait, registration forms are available online now. Other
important links are available with more details on:
Slate of candidates for PSBA
offices now available online -- bios/videos now live PSBA Website August 5, 2014
The slate of candidates for 2015 PSBA officer and at-large
representatives is now available online. Photos, bios and videos also have been
posted for each candidate. According to recent PSBA Bylaws changes, each
member school entity casts one vote per office. Voting will again take place
online through a secure, third-party website -- Simply Voting. Voting will
openSept. 9 and closes Oct. 6. One person from the school entity
(usually the board secretary) is authorized to cast the vote on behalf of the
member school entity and each board will need to put on its agenda discussion
and voting at one of its meetings in September. Each person authorized to
cast the school entity's votes will be receiving an email in the coming weeks
to verify the email address and confirm they are the person to cast the vote on
behalf of their school entity.