Friday, August 22, 2014

PA Ed Policy Roundup Aug 22: OK Pennsylvania - you can go back to ignoring Philly school kids again....

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for August 22, 2014:
OK Pennsylvania - you can go back to ignoring Philly school kids again....

Think that there has been an overemphasis on the use of standardized testing?  So does the Vermont State Board of Education.  Take a good look at this resolution….
Statement and Resolution on Assessment and Accountability
Vermont State Board of Education Adopted August 19, 2014

The adventure ends: Taney Dragons fall short in 6-5 loss
They kept hope alive until the final pitch, but the Taney Dragons couldn't make magic happen one more time in the Little League World Series at Williamsport.
In game delayed by rain, Philadelphia's finest Little League team ever lost an elimination game 6-5 Thursday night to a Chicago team that will now play for the U.S. championship on Saturday.
The ride ended sooner than planned for the Taney players, but their winning ways captured imaginations not just in their home city but also across the nation, turning middle-schoolers into media darlings.  Star pitcher Mo-ne Davis became the youngest athlete ever to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated (though now some might add her to the list of victims of the famous S.I. jinx).
Even with the defeat, head coach Alex Rice said this year's Little League experience was the "best summer of his life."

Tough loss but Taney still pride of Philly
'Truly a village'
WILLIAMSPORT - Kai Cummings was just another fan at the Little League World Series last summer, one who happened to play a random game of catch with a star Little Leaguer, who later gave him his glove.  Cummings wore that glove in every Taney Dragons game he played over the last year, said his mother, Kim Smith.  "He had the best time for those three days," she recalled. "He said, 'Mom, I'm going to come back next year, but not as a spectator.' "
And so he did.

DN Editorial: Taney's deep bench shows it takes a village
Philly Daily News Editorial POSTED: Thursday, August 21, 2014, 3:01 AM
WHILE the nation has embraced the Taney Dragons as an overnight sensation, we know better. This team is really 20 years in the making.  It's the result of efforts by generations of parents and coaches committed to the importance of teamwork, as opposed to cutthroat competition, and to the idea that anyone who wants to play can get a chance to play. Even girls.

Video: The PA Basic Education Funding Commission's first public hearing, held in the Capitol on August 20.
8/20/14 - Basic Education Funding Commission: First Public Hearing (runtime 156:19)

Hold-harmless provision an early point of contention for Basic Education Funding Commission — Under The Dome™Thursday, August 21, 2014
Well, that didn’t take long … In her opening statements Wednesday, Rep. Donna Oberlander, R-Clarion, told the Basic Education Funding Commission she would vote against any new formula that harms rural school districts who “justifiably depend” on state dollars guaranteed through the hold-harmless provision. It's an opinion she says “a large contingent” of the House Republican Caucus holds (though no official caucus-wide position on the issue exists) for one of the major issues to be considered by the newly-formed commission. However, based on Oberlander’s and others' statements Wednesday, it seems as though quite a few members of the Legislature don’t consider it to be a negotiable issue ... something that would not appear to bode well for the ultimate product of the commission: what many hope will be a method of funding public school districts that incorporates uniformity and reason – things the current formula lacks, at least according to those who testified during the commission’s hearing. For more about Wednesday’s commission hearing and the hold-harmless matter, CLICK HERE (paywall) to read Capitolwire Staff Writer Christen Smith’s story.

Pennsylvania’s Pension Crises
Senator Folmers' website August 21, 2014
President Kennedy said:  “There are risks and costs to action.  But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”
Pennsylvania’s failure to address its public pension problems recently resulted in another downgrade of its bond rating:  from Aa2 to Aa3.  According to the rating agency Moody’s, “. . . the expectation that large and growing pension liabilities coupled with modest economic growth will limit Pennsylvania’s ability to regain structural balance in the near term.”
Consider where Pennsylvania’s Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) was prior to 2001 changes enhancing benefits:  $9.5 Billion surplus and a 123.8% funded ratio (100% is an appropriate ratio).   Using the most recent actuarial valuations, the funded ratio for the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) and PSERS (using an optimistic 7.5% annual asset return assumption) was 59.2% and 63.8% respectively.  Further declines are expected.

Editorial: Time running out for Pa. property tax reform
Delco Times Editorial POSTED: 08/21/14, 10:40 PM EDT |
One year and five months: That’s how long property tax reform has been stalled in the Pennsylvania Senate Finance Committee, reports PA Independent, an online news service that covers state government.  Actually, 17 months is just a drop in the bucket compared to the more than three decades that property tax reform has been discussed in Pennsylvania. School districts and property owners in some parts of the state have been clamoring for about 30 years.
But it’s been during the past year and a half that the movement has become legitimized within the Legislature.  Schuylkill County Republican Sen. David Argall is a main sponsor of Senate Bill 76, currently stuck in the Senate Finance Committee.  According to the PA Independent report, Argall acknowledges the bill doesn’t have the support to get out of committee but he has a strategy to get around that.  He told PA Independent he wants to “amend the legislation into another bill that’s already ready for a floor vote.”  “I believe we have the votes we need on the floor,” Argall said.

In the Philly 'burbs, a battle for control of the state Senate: John L. Micek
By John L. Micek |  on August 21, 2014 at 12:46 PM, updated August 21, 2014 at 1:21 PM
The increasingly nasty steel cage match between Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf might be dominating this summer's political headlines, but when politics nerds start talking about the races that really matter, their eyes move down the ballot and east to the Philadelphia suburbs.  All 203 state House seats and half the 50-member state Senate will also be up for grabs this fall.  And after spending years in a minority so profound that they were about as relevant to the state's political conversation as the liberals' table at the Bush Family picnic, Pennsylvania Democrats believe they have their best chance in years to break the GOP's decade-plus chokehold on the Senate.   But the scenario, which gives Democrats fever dreams akin to Chris Christie'sfantasies of sharing the stage with Bruce Springsteen, is based on a combination of creative math, the complete collapse of Corbett's re-election campaign and not a little bit of wishful thinking.

Records show how often Corbett education adviser Tomalis was in office
By MARK SCOLFORO, Associated Press POSTED: 08/22/14, 5:42 AM EDT
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Education Department released eight pages of electronic ID card records Thursday that indicate embattled former secretary Ron Tomalis was at its Harrisburg headquarters for 126 days this year.  The record of card activity was produced more than three weeks after Tomalis’ schedule and work activity were questioned in a story by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and about a week after Tomalis quit as a special adviser on higher education.  “We expect that this information puts this issue to rest so that the department can continue to focus on the education of Pennsylvania students,” said the department’s press secretary, Tim Eller.

Tomalis showed up for work, wasn't ghost employee, Folmer says: Thursday Morning Coffee
By John L. Micek | on August 21, 2014 at 8:30 AM, updated August 21, 2014 at 8:38 AM
Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
Just when you think it's going to die down, the ongoing kerfuffle over whether ex-Corbett administration adviser Ron Tomalis did the work to justify his $140k salary finds new wind for its sails.  On Wednesday, Senate Education Committee Chairman Mike Folmer said state Department of Education officials showed him documentation that indicates Tomalis was not a ghost employee, as political opponents of RepublicanGov. Tom Corbett assert.
Folmer, R-Lebanon, tells The Tribune-Review that the "the agency produced a record of Tomalis' electronic “swipes” to enter the state parking garage, and those records show “he was there.”  “I'm telling you, he was not a ghost employee,” Folmer tells the newspaper..

PA-Gov: Corbett Never Met with Tomalis During Year as Advisor
PoliticsPA Written by Nick Field, Managing Editor August 21, 2014
Governor Corbett held no meetings with Ron Tomalis during his time as special adviser on higher education, government records show.  According to Brad Bumsted of the Tribune-Review, copies of the Governor’s official calendar show no meetings between Gov. Corbett and Tomalis between May 15, 2013 (the day Tomalis stepped down as Education Secretary) and mid-July 2014.  Tomalis, who resigned last week, has seen his tenure increasingly questioned since a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report revealed the staffer appeared to have an exceptionally light workload.

Woes of Philly schools can't be overstated, Hughes declares
It's all been written before. The Philadelphia School District was in brutal financial shape last year.
Overfilled classrooms.  Guidance counselors and nurses nonexistent in schools on many days.
Cash available only for the barest of supplies and supports.
Still, "it needs to be discussed over and over and over again," said Pennsylvania Sen. Vincent Hughes at a Thursday news conference. "This is not how you achieve a 21st century education."
Flanked by a teacher, a parent, a student, a building maintenance worker and colleague state Sen. Larry Farnese, Hughes detailed the results of his 2013-2014 school district fact-finding study.

Dozens more Philly schools lose school police due to budget cuts
In a move that leaders hope will be temporary, the Philadelphia School District will not fill its staffing vacancies for school police officers, causing a few dozen additional schools to share an officer when classes begin on September 8.  This inaction amounts to a 10 percent cut in school police workforce — saving the district $2.4 million.  The 26 elementary and middle schools affected will only have an officer in the building for half of the week.

“I can’t think of a smarter investment than making it in early learning Pre-K education for our children and that type of investment just reaps so many benefits in the long-run,” Loughery said after reading to the kids.
Bucks County commissioners read to kids, advocate early childhood education
Bucks County Courier Times By Rebecca Guterman Correspondent Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 5:30 pm | Updated: 6:38 am, Thu Aug 21, 2014.
 “My mom has a garden and grows tomatoes,” one student said. “I have tomatoes,” another said. “I don’t,” said another.  Bucks County Commissioner Robert Loughery had made the mistake of distracting the 5-year-olds with tomato talk. But he steered them back to why he was really there: to read them “It’s Mine!” by Leo Lionni, a fable about sharing.  “You don’t (have tomatoes); you do,” he said, pointing at the students. “Do you bring your tomatoes in here (to share)?”
Loughery then read to about 20 campers at Emilie Christian Day School’s summer camp in Bristol Township, all of whom are about to start kindergarten this year. Commissioner Diane Marseglia also read to students earlier that day. The reading was part of a state-wide campaign by Pre-K for PA, a nonpartisan group that advocates for more funding for high-quality preschool programs.

Common Core standards draw criticism in Pennsylvania
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat By John Finnerty August 20, 2014 11:38 pm
HARRISBURG – Conservative lawmakers want to repeal Pennsylvania’s version of Common Core, the controversial reading and math standards that propose to better prepare American youth for college and the workforce.  The state first adopted the standards in 2010 and has since tweaked them twice. The latest version, which went into effect in March, abandons any specific reference to Common Core by name.  “The state moved away from Common Core and put its own standards together,” said Tim Eller, a spokesman for the Department of Education. The department’s website alternately calls them Pennsylvania Academic Standards and Pennsylvania Core Standards.  A name change hasn’t swayed conservative critics including state Rep. Fred Keller,  R-Union. He is a co-sponsor of a bill authored by Rep. Gordon Denlinger, R-Lancaster, that essentially directs the state to rewrite its standards with a special commission of teachers, parents, business people, lawmakers and education officials.
“I don’t think they got input from the appropriate people,” Keller said, adding that means teachers and parents.

"The Allentown School District launched an investigation into the Arts Academy due to its hiring of a political lobbying firm to enroll students and demonstrate community support, which under state law is required of a charter application.  The firm was paid about $30 per student. Abraham Atiyeh, landlord of the former racquetball club, said hiring consultants is a normal process for charter applications and defended it as legal and ethical.
Allentown school officials and board members have often cited the loss of students to charter schools as one of the biggest drains in their troubled budgetary situation, in which 98 positions were cut this year.  By late May, the district had lost $19.7 million in charter tuition for the 2013-14 school year, and they expect to lose at least $7 million more this year from the new openings of the Roberto Clemente elementary school and Executive Education Academy Charter School."
Rejected Allentown arts charter school continues fight
By Colin McEvoy | The Express-Times on August 21, 2014 at 8:48 PM
More than 150 people gathered at Allentown's America on Wheels Museum tonight, but 12-year-old Ashlee Galea didn't appear the least bit intimidated.
The seventh-grader with the Arts Academy Elementary Charter School stepped up to the microphone and, with a voice much bigger than her body, sang a rendition of "The Girl in 14-G," a song best known from Broadway veteran Kristin Chenoweth.
"Seventh grade!" Arts Academy board president Beth Peters-Ferrara told the impressed crowd after the performance. "And her area of study isn't even music. It's figure skating."
Students like her are why Arts Academy officials say they are trying to open a new charter school for elementary students, charter founder Thomas Lubben said at a fundraiser event tonight.

Millville Area Teachers go on Strike
MILLVILLE — The Millville Area Junior Senior High School was empty on Wednesday, which was supposed to be the first day of school at the district.  That’s because the teachers are across the street on the picket line.  “We need to attract and retain highly qualified professionals to make sure that students are achieving a high quality education in the Millville community,” said Mark McDade with the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

Charging nonprofits could be key to Harrisburg School District's success  BY KASEY VARNER | Special to PennLive on August 19, 2014 at 9:30 AM
In light of a collaboration between the Harrisburg School Board and city officials about a proposed tax abatement program, school board Vice President James Thompson hailed a payment in lieu of taxes program as a possible – and perhaps even a greater – method of generating new revenue.  Thompson reviewed the progress of the board's discussions with city officials regarding the proposed tax abatement program during Monday night's school board meeting.
"There are a lot of things to consider. We all agreed that we would put our heads together with the city in a cooperative way to go through a consideration of a tax abatement program," Thompson said. 

Harrisburg School District, with $9.4 million surplus, looks to save even more money
By Christine Vendel | on August 18, 2014 at 4:00 PM, updated August 19, 2014 at 11:48 AM
With an estimated budget surplus of $9.4 million in its last fiscal year, the Harrisburg School District is now looking to save more money under its recovery plan.
The district and its Chief Recovery Officer Gene Veno plan to address employee absenteeism, investigate property tax collections and review contracts and procedures for efficiencies, according to Veno's quarterly status report that will be presented at Monday night's school board meeting. Veno won't be at the meeting, however, as he is out of state on unrelated business.
The report comes three months after a recalibration of the district's recovery plan, which was initially approved by the state in May 2013. Prior to the plan, the district was headed into insolvency.

Study shows Haverford schools getting return on investment
Delco Times By LOIS PUGLIONESI, Times Correspondent POSTED: 08/21/14, 11:28 PM EDT |
HAVERFORD — Local taxpayers are getting plenty of education bang for their buck, according to a recent study titled “Return on Educational Investment: 2014” by Ulrich Boser of the Center for American Progress.  School Director Phil Hopkins called attention to the study at a recent school board meeting, noting that Haverford School District was among 41 out of 500 districts in the state to receive highest ranking for Return on Investment.  The Return on Investment index is a “measure that rates school districts on how much academic achievement they realize for each dollar spent, relative to other districts in the state,” an introduction to the study states.
To receive the highest ranking, districts had to place among the top 30 on state reading and math assessments, and among the bottom 30 for spending, Hopkins said. The study used data from 2010-11.

Wiretaps in Trombetta case weren’t illegal, prosecutors say
By Rich Lord / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette August 20, 2014 11:01 PM
When federal investigators recorded conversations between Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School founder Nick Trombetta and a quartet of attorneys, they didn’t violate lawyer-client privilege, prosecutors wrote in a 90-page court broadside unsealed Wednesday.
The brief by prosecutors at U.S. Attorney David Hickton’s office seeks to counter a motion filed by Mr. Trombetta's legal team in June in which the defense sought dismissal of the year-old indictment against him, or suppression of key evidence. Mr. Trombetta's defense lawyers wrote then that prosecutors wrongly recorded, through wiretaps and informants wearing devices, conversations between Mr. Trombetta and attorneys.

Prosecutors rebuff Trombetta's misconduct accusations
Beaver County TImes Online By J.D. Prose | Posted 13 hours ago
PITTSBURGH -- In a redacted filing on Wednesday, federal prosecutors scoffed at Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School founder Nick Trombetta’s attempt to have evidence tossed out, saying that his arguments “utterly fail.”  Prosecutors filed the response to Trombetta’s motion -- made in June -- just two days after a U.S. District Court judge granted their request to seal their unredacted motion.
Trombetta, who faces 11 criminal charges, including mail fraud and filing false tax returns, accused the government of illegally recording privileged attorney-client conversations and using that information to obtain search warrants and, ultimately, an indictment.
In their response, prosecutors said Trombetta -- an Aliquippa native and East Liverpool, Ohio, resident -- did not have attorney-client relationships with attorneys Joe Askar, the Beaver County solicitor and an attorney for the Trombetta-created and Rochester-based National Network of Digital Schools; former PA Cyber attorney Timothy Barr; and Ralph Monico and Leo Daly, attorneys from the Pittsburgh firm Grogan & Graffam, who also represented NNDS.

New Research Organization Will Focus on Philadelphia's Public Schools
Education Week District Dossier Blog  By Denisa R. Superville on August 20, 2014 10:10 AM
Philadelphia will join the list of big cities with major research organizations dedicated to their school districts.  Research for Action, a city-based research organization, announced Tuesday that it was the recipient of  a three-year grant from the William Penn Foundation that will allow it to launch a partnership with three of the city's research universities to provide research and analyses of education issues in the city.
The announcement comes at a time when the city's public schools are slashing programs and staff to deal with steep budget cuts—and with no permanent solution to curtail a structural deficit.  The Philadelphia Education Research Consortium—or PERC— will be similar in scope and mission to other research organizations in large cities, such as the Consortium on Chicago School Research, which focuses on that city's schools; the Baltimore Education Research Consortium; and the Research Alliance for New York City Schools.
The directors of the three established organizations will provide strategic guidance to the new Philadelphia group.

EducationSecretary Duncan: Too much focus on testing
By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette August 22, 2014 12:00 AM
Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers President Nina Esposito-Visgitis has heard the complaints about standardized testing across the country, just not from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.  In a blog post Thursday, Mr. Duncan said, “I believe testing issues today are sucking the oxygen out of the room in a lot of schools …”  On Mr. Duncan’s watch, standardized tests have become increasingly important in schools. To apply for federal Race to the Top grants, states had to pledge to use student performance in teacher evaluation.
Now Mr. Duncan says the federal department will allow states to apply to delay the use of student test scores in teacher evaluation by one year.

U.S. Ed. Sec. Duncan: Too Much Testing Costs Teachers and Students 'Precious Time'
Education Week Curriculum Matters Blog By Catherine Gewertz on August 21, 2014 4:46 PM
What was intriguing about U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan's announcement Thursday was what he didn't announce.  You've probably heard by now that Duncan will allow nearly every state to take an additional year before having to include student test scores in teacher evaluations. (If you missed that announcement, our Lauren Camera has the details on our Politics K-12 blog.) 
But if you look at Duncan's prepared remarks for that announcement (below), you'll see that they are hardly confined to incorporating student achievement in teacher and principal evaluations. The text is shot through with talk about the burden of testing on districts, schools, and students. He talks about teachers' widespread complaints that tests "focus too much on basic skills," and that giving tests, and preparing for them, consumes too much time.
"... in many places, the sheer quantity of testing—and test prep—has become an issue," he says. "In some schools and districts, over time tests have simply been layered on top of one another, without a clear sense of strategy or direction. Where tests are redundant, or not sufficiently helpful for instruction, they cost precious time that teachers and kids can't afford. Too much testing can rob school buildings of joy, and cause unnecessary stress. This issue is a priority for us, and we'll continue to work throughout the fall on efforts to cut back on over-testing."

Judge finds voucher program unconstitutional; NC attorney general plans to appeal
News Observer BY ANNE BLYTHE AND JANE STANCILL August 21, 2014
RALEIGH — A Superior Court judge ruled on Thursday that North Carolina’s school voucher program is unconstitutional, siphoning public dollars for private school use.  Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood had heard arguments in Wake County Superior Court this week about whether it’s constitutional for public money to be used to pay for tuition at private and religious schools.
A diverse group, including teachers, parents, a former state school superintendent and many of North Carolina’s 115 school boards, are challenging the program.  The N.C. Association of Educators and the N.C. Justice Center, a left-leaning advocacy group, filed one lawsuit against the voucher program. The N.C. School Boards Association, which was joined by 71 of the state’s 115 school districts – including Chapel Hill-Carrboro and Chatham, Durham and Orange counties – also sued the state.

NC "Opportunity Scholarship Program" school vouchers ruled unconstitutional; state must retrieve distributed funds
NC Policy Watch Posted on 8/21/2014 by Sharon McCloskey and Lindsay Wagner
In a stunning rebuke to state lawmakers’ efforts to bring school vouchers to North Carolina, Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood today found the recently-enacted “Opportunity Scholarship Program” unconstitutional and permanently enjoined disbursement of state funds for that purpose.  “The General Assembly fails the children of North Carolina when they are sent with public taxpayer money to private schools that have no legal obligation to teach them anything,” Hobgood said.  In his ruling, issued this morning from the bench, the judge broke down the program and detailed the many reasons why it failed constitutional muster:

Judge Rules Voucher Program in North Carolina Is Unconstitutional
Education Week State Ed Watch Blog By Andrew Ujifusa on August 21, 2014 12:45 PM
North Carolina Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood has ruled that the state's school voucher program is unconstitutional because "appropriating taxpayer funds to unaccountable schools does not accomplish a public purpose," WRAL reported Aug. 21.
Hobgood ruled against the state's Opportunity Scholarship program, which was passed into law in 2013. The program provides up to $4,200 in private school scholarship funds to each student. To be eligible for these scholarships, students must qualify for free or reduced-price meal programs based on their household income levels. The scholarships were slated to be introduced to the 2014-15 school year for students who had attended public schools in the state during the prior academic year, although eligibility requirements change in 2015-16. Lawmakers appropriated $10 million for the scholarships during the 2014-15 school year. UPDATE: The legislature appropriated an additional $840,000 for the program in the budget approved earlier this month.

Education 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:

Register Now – 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, Pa.  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 (Oct. 21-24) 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:
·         Hotel registration (reservation deadline extended to Sept. 26)
·         Educational Publications Contest (deadline Aug. 6)
·         Student Celebration Showcase (deadline Sept. 19)
·         Poster and Essay Contest (deadline Sept. 19)

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. 

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