Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PA Ed Policy Roundup Aug 26: Defining “fair funding” in Pennsylvania

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

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for August 26, 2014:
Defining “fair funding” in Pennsylvania



Ed Leaders Twitter Chat, Tue 8/26 8pm, on PA Basic Education Funding Commission’s work! Use #PAEdFunding




Educators Galvanizing Support to Re-Establish PA Basic Education Funding Formula
Press call Tuesday with PA Basic Education Funding Campaign "Circuit Riders" before they travel to every corner of state
PSBA’s website 8/25/2014
WHO: Pennsylvania Education Leadership Associations and Circuit Riders
WHAT: Press Conference Call   WHEN: Tuesday, August 26 at 3 p.m.
Nearly a dozen former superintendents, school directors and Intermediate Unit executive directors start training today before beginning their journeys to every corner of Pennsylvania, serving as "regional circuit riders."
The corps of 11 veteran school leaders will galvanize every region of the state to promote the creation of a fair, predictable basic education funding formula.  Pennsylvania's major education leadership organizations recruited and will deploy the circuit riders to support current school leaders. Circuit riders will provide education and training about past and current school funding systems, principles and models of good school funding systems, and effective advocacy strategies, using information and materials provided by the statewide Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding Campaign.
A statewide press call is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon to discuss the initiative and hear from a few of the circuit riders listed below.

Defining ‘fair funding' in Pa. schools plan
Pottstown Mercury Editorial POSTED: 08/22/14, 6:29 PM EDT
The outdoorsman Gov. Tom Corbett paddled his way into Pottstown last Sunday, navigating a kayak from Union Township in Berks to Riverfront Park in Pottstown.  Then, the pension reformer governor stepped on land to remind the two reporters present that he’s on a mission to get a $50 billion public employee pension liability under control.  Next came the education governor. When asked by a reporter about fair funding for Pennsylvania schools, Corbett replied:
“What is ‘fair funding’ is the question ... what’s the formula and how do you do it -- is it per student, per school or per school district?”  In the midst of re-election year criticism of local school budget cuts tied to state funding, Corbett announced last winter that he was appointing a task force to examine fair funding for schools. The announcement followed a Terry Madonna Opinion Research Omnibus Survey that found 72 percent of adults surveyed favor using a funding formula to ensure “fair distribution” of state aid to schools.

Debate on fair formula for Pa. education has local flavor
By Evan Brandt, The Mercury POSTED: 08/23/14, 7:19 PM EDT 
The effort to find a fair formula for funding education in Pennsylvania is coming to Montgomery County.  Last Sunday, Gov. Tom Corbett addressed the issue during an unannounced visit to Pottstown, and on Thursday, The Mercury learned that state Rep. Mike Vereb, R-150th Dist., who heads up the education funding formula commission, intends to hold one of the meetings somewhere in the Perkiomen Valley School District.  The Basic Education Funding Commission held its second meeting Wednesday in Harrisburg and Vereb says he wants to meet in different parts of the state to be sure regional issues are included in the discussion.  The next meeting will be in the Lehigh Valley, followed by one in the Perkiomen Valley and one in Philadelphia, he said.

Basic Education Funding Campaign Hires Kathy Manderino as Campaign Manager
PASBO website 08/24/2014
Former state representative, Kathy Manderino, was recently named the campaign manager for the Basic Education Funding Campaign. The campaign includes more than 40 organizations, including PASBO, representing educators, business, labor, faith-based organizations and civic and child advocacy groups who want to see the Commonwealth find a long-term solution to adequately and equitably fund public schools.

This PA Senate site lists commission members and includes news releases and meeting audio/video
PA Basic Education Funding Commission Website

Peduto forms task force to win funding for Pittsburgh pre-K education
TribLive By Melissa Daniels Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, 3:57 p.m.
Mayor Bill Peduto announced Monday a 20-member task force to help Pittsburgh secure federal funding for early childhood education programs.  The Mayor's Blue Ribbon Panel on Early Childhood Education, created by executive order, is charged with helping the city prepare a grant application for the Preschool Development Grants Competition.  The grant program could funnel as much as $20 million into Pennsylvania, according to the mayor's office.  “Pittsburgh must keep developing as a city of learning ... and providing early childhood education is essential to that development,” Peduto said in a statement.  According to the mayor's office, fewer than half of the city's 10,000 children between ages 1 and 5 are provided with any form of education before kindergarten.
Free lunch for Highlands, New Ken schools eliminates stigma
By Tom Yerace Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, 12:26 a.m.
Whoever said there's no such thing as a free lunch will have to eat those words in two Alle-Kiski Valley school districts.  This year, no student in the Highlands and New Kensington-Arnold school districts will pay for lunch or breakfast at school. And they won't have to pay during the three school years that follow, either.  The districts qualify to provide free meals through the Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, passed by Congress in 2010.
Under the law, districts with at least 40 percent of students eligible for public assistance programs will be able to provide free lunches for all students — regardless of family income.
Teachers at Philly tech charter school ratify first-ever contract
MARTHA WOODALL, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER LAST UPDATED: Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 1:08 AM POSTED: Monday, August 25, 2014, 6:10 PM
After negotiating for 12 months, New Media Technology Charter School in Northwest Philadelphia and its unionized teachers have ratified their first contract.  The agreement provides the first salary scale in the school's 10-year history, and includes options for higher pay for teachers with specialized certifications and bonuses for improved school performance.

Rep. Bill Adolph is chairman of the PA House Appropriations Committee
Adolph will face new candidate in race for 165th Legislative District
By John Kopp, Delaware County Daily Times POSTED: 08/25/14, 11:08 PM EDT |
State Rep. William Adolph, R-165, of Springfield, has a new Democratic opponent with the potential to give the veteran lawmaker a deep-pocketed challenge.
Charles G. Hadley, a retired venture capitalist, has replaced Jeremy Fearn as the party’s candidate to oppose Adolph, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Back to School
Yinzercation Blog August 25, 2014
I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t ready to put the kids on the school bus this morning. I never want summer to end! And this was a particularly busy summer for public education advocates, so we have a lot to catch up on. But first, I need one minute of your time: please take this very quick straw poll to help guide our work together this year. What do you think should be the priorities for Yinzercation in 2014-15?
Now here’s a brief look at some of the issues that have been percolating in the summer heat:


Research for Action Fall 2014 Internships
Fall internships run from September – December.  Exact start and end dates are based on the needs of the project and the availability of the student.  Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resumé to applicants@researchforaction.org.  In your email, please include the two projects you’d most like to work on selected from the list below.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until all positions have been filled. Research for Action qualifies for work study and PHEAA and interns may also be eligible for course credit.

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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