Thursday, February 12, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Feb 12: Gov. Wolf proposes drilling tax plus fee on gas to fund schools

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3525 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, Governor's staff, current/former PA Secretaries of Education, Wolf education transition team members, Superintendents, 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, Twitter and LinkedIn

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PA Ed Policy Roundup for February 12, 2015:
Gov. Wolf proposes drilling tax plus fee on gas to fund schools

Upcoming Basic Education Funding Commission hearing scheduled in Dauphin County
PA Basic Education Funding Commission website
Thursday, February 26, 2015, 11 am Dauphin County, location TBA

"It's a very smart thing," said Steve Miskin, spokesman for House Republican leaders. "He's termed himself a newcomer in this building, and it operates on personal relationships. Even if they don't agree on the issues, at least they can talk across the table."
Wolf woos lawmakers by making surprise stops at their offices
HARRISBURG - Less than a month in office, Gov. Wolf has already shaken up the Capitol status quo - imposing a gift ban, and scuttling his predecessor's Medicaid plan and firing one of his high-profile appointees.  But the unassuming businessman from York County also is logging miles walking the halls of the Capitol to drop in on lawmakers and their staffs.
Just to say hi.
Lawmakers from both parties are taking notice, sending him shout-outs on Facebook, tweeting selfies with the "guv," and even taking to the House floor to comment on it.  "In a bipartisan way, he's walking the halls, talking to members - that's been unheard of in my 15 terms," Rep. Tony DeLuca (D., Allegheny) said late Tuesday on the House floor.  For veterans like DeLuca, Wolf's Capitol listening tour is a radical departure from earlier governors.  "I've served under four governors, there's never been a governor who went around to offices like this," DeLuca said after his floor remarks were broadcast live on the Pennsylvania Cable Network. "I think it's a new way and a new day, and we should recognize that."

Wolf visits Caln Elementary, explains natural gas severance tax proposal
West Chester Daily Local By Peter Jackson, Associated Press POSTED: 02/11/15, 1:14 PM EST | UPDATED: 5 HRS AGO
CALN (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf fleshed out his plan to tax natural-gas drilling Wednesday, saying it would bring Pennsylvania into line with other gas-producing states and generate as much as $1 billion a year largely earmarked for helping the state’s financially strained public schools.
The Democrat made his case for the tax during a visit to Caln Elementary School in Caln, located in one of the poorest school districts in Chester County, as he kicked off a statewide “Schools that Teach” tour.

"What follows will be a political dance, one that will pick up when Wolf delivers his first state budget proposal in the first week of March. From then until at least the budget deadline at the end of June, many things will remain in flux.  Wolf will attempt to balance a $2 billion deficit while advancing his shale tax plan. Republicans will demand pension reform and liquor privatization.  If either side has hope of advancing its agenda, it's going to take a whole lot of political skill."
Wolf's gas severance tax proposal may be first step in elaborate political dance
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf made good on a campaign promise Wednesday, proposing a 5 percent tax on natural gas drilling to go into effect in 2016 and generate $1 billion in its first year. The announcement may represent the first step in an elaborate political dance.  Speaking in classroom at the Caln Elementary School in Thorndale, Chester County, Wolf told reporters the bulk of the revenue will go to funding education.

“We have to make sure that we’re funding schools adequately, and this is a source of funding that’s fair for Pennsylvanians,” he said during a news conference in a classroom at Caln Elementary School in Coatesville Area School District, Chester County, where the superintendent said she recently announced furloughs and where the district struggles to provide basic supplies, such as enough textbooks for every student."
Wolf proposes 5 percent natural gas severance tax for Pennsylvania
By Laura Legere / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette February 12, 2015 12:22 AM
THORNDALE, Pa. — Gov. Tom Wolf toured an elementary school on Wednesday morning where students were writing about love for Valentine’s Day. Then the new governor proposed to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for education with a 5 percent natural gas extraction tax that has not earned him much affection from the drilling industry.
Mr. Wolf, a Democrat, proposed a tax that would be based on both the value and volume of gas extracted from natural gas wells, adopting a model used in West Virginia to hedge against fluctuations in the price of gas. He estimated the tax would raise about $1 billion in its first full year and said the “lion’s share” of the revenue would be dedicated to education.

Gov. Tom Wolf outlines 5 percent tax on natural gas drilling
Penn Live By Wallace McKelvey |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on February 11, 2015 at 10:54 AM, updated February 11, 2015 at 2:02 PM
Gov. Tom Wolf outlined his proposal for a 5 percent severance tax on natural gas production, most of the proceeds of which will go toward education funding.  "It's not like this is out of the blue," he said, in a speech from a Chester County elementary school. "We're the only state in the union with natural resources without a severance tax."  The tax, which Wolf said was modeled after one in place in West Virginia, was a key component of his gubernatorial campaign.

“We understand there is a keen interest by Gov. Wolf to enact a severance tax. However, we have priorities, too, including reforming pensions,” said Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre County. “We repeatedly have said we cannot consider new revenue until we deal with pensions, which will have the effect of saving significant tax dollars.”
Pa. Gov. Wolf proposes drilling tax plus fee on gas to fund schools
Trib Live By David Conti Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, 11:00 a.m.
Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday began following through on his most notable campaign promise by proposing taxes on natural gas drilling to fund public education.
The York County Democrat who took office last month said he wants to collect 5 percent of what gas producers make from wells, plus 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet that flows from those wells, to raise $1 billion a year. Communities would not lose money they get from a per-well impact fee that has collected more than $200 million annually since 2012, Wolf said, though neither he nor his office would detail how that might work.
House Education Committee to hold Thursday hearing on Keystone Exams, academic standards legislation.
Capitolwire Under the Dome February 11, 2015
The state House of Representatives’ Education Committee has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday to consider legislation related to two controversial topics. House Bill 168 would eliminate the development and implementation of seven pending Keystone Exams (currently the state only has three such exams, for Algebra I, Literature and Biology), as well as allow individual school districts to determine whether Keystone Exams will be used as a graduation requirement (currently the exams are graduation requirements, beginning for the class of 2017). And House Bill 177 would create an Academic Standards Commission tasked with studying and offering recommendations to the General Assembly, the state Department of Education, and the State Board of Education regarding the Pennsylvania Core Standards. The hearing is slated to begin at 9 a.m. in Room G-50 of the state Capitol Complex’s Irvis Office Building.

Pa. House, Senate ready to tackle pension reform
Citizens Voice/TIMES-SHAMROCK by JIM DINO Published: February 10, 2015
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate are poised to tackle pension reform, their members say.  But they have to convince Gov. Tom Wolf to go along.
Four House members and two senators expressed their opinions on the topic Friday as the Manufacturers and Employers Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania held its semi-annual legislative roundtable discussion at the Top of the 80s restaurant.
State Rep. Mike Tobash, R-Pottsville, who drafted pension reform legislation in the last House session, said he thinks both houses of the Legislature are ready to deal with the estimated $47 billion to $60 billion debt in the state pension fund.  “The senate has come out and said it is their No. 1 issue,” Tobash said. “I think House Republican leadership feels exactly the same way. This $50 billion-plus debt is crippling us in a number of ways. It is crushing our school districts. If we properly dissect it, and we come forward with a number of bills, we will be better able to answer the problem in the minds of the different stakeholders and really get something accomplished.”

"Clarke said that by the Commonwealth’s own standards, more than one-third of all Pennsylvania’s students are receiving an inadequate education and are unprepared to enter the workforce or pursue post-secondary education."
Residents voice support for funding lawsuit
Chestnut Hill Local Posted on February 11, 2015 by Sue Ann Rybak
Last November, when six Pennsylvania school districts, seven parents, the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools and the state conference of the NAACP filed a suit in Commonwealth Court claiming that the state had failed to provide a “thorough and efficient” system of public education, the state urged the court to throw out the suit on the grounds that the issues are “political questions,” which the state Supreme Court said in 1999 should not be subject to judicial review.  On Feb. 17, the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, which represent the plaintiffs, will file their response to the state.
The plaintiff’s lawsuit claims that an “unconscionable and irrational funding disparity violates the Equal Protection Clause because it turns the quality of public education into an accident of geography: Children in property- and income-poor districts are denied the opportunity to receive even an adequate education, while their peers in property- and income-rich districts enjoy a high-quality education.”  Jennifer Clarke, of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, said their response will argue that the state has adopted educational standards since 1999 that makes the issue reviewable by courts.
Commonwealth Court has scheduled argument on this issue in Harrisburg on March 11.

"PSP describes itself as dedicated to the startup, expansion, and transformation of public and private schools. The investors section of its website reveals that PSP has received support from a wide range of individuals and funders, some of whom will be familiar to IP readers. Top donors, who have given over $5 million to PSP include charter school champions the Walton Family Foundation and some Pennsylvania-based funders. The latter includes the Maguire Foundation, which supports area private schools; the William Penn Foundation; and Philadelphia investment executive Jeff Yass and his wife, Janine. Janine Yass, a PSP board member, is the founder of the Boys Latin Charter School in west Philadelphia and serves on the board of the pro-charter Center for Education Reform in Washington, D.C. Other supporters of PSP include the Gates and Dell foundations."
Strings Attached: Why Philadelphia Schools May Reject a $35 Million Gift
AuthorInside Philanthropy by L.S. Hall February 2015
The commission overseeing Philadelphia’s public schools will soon have to decide whether to accept an offer of $35 million from the Philadelphia School Partnership, a local philanthropic group. For a district facing a projected $80 million budget shortfall, you might think this would be an easy decision to make. And you would be wrong.  The issue has opened a citywide debate, involving money, educational options, funder transparency, and political influence. It also once again raises the question of just how many strings funders can attach to the money they give. Actually, this episode raises even bigger questions—about the role of private money in public life, and how to balance philanthropy and democracy.   In exchange for $35 million, PSP wants the School Reform Commission (SRC) to authorize additional charter schools for up to 15,000 students. SRC has overseen the School District of Philadelphia since a 2001 state takeover subjected the financially troubled district to control from Harrisburg. 

Letters: Is PSP's offer a disguised bribe?
Philly Daily News Letter by LISA HAVER POSTED: Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 12:16 AM
IMAGINE THIS: A lobbyist from the Chamber of Commerce approaches Mayor Nutter and offers a $10,000 donation to the city if the mayor will veto the upcoming vote requiring city employers to provide sick days. That lobbyist would be arrested and tried in a court of law.  When Mark Gleason, executive director of the Philadelphia School Partnership, spoke with School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green last week and offered a donation of $25 million in exchange for the SRC to approve a number of charter-school applications, what followed was a discussion in the news media about whether he was offering enough.  But this offer from PSP to persuade the five members of the SRC to approve more charter schools is not about funding schools. Given the relationships among many of those involved, it might be considered a bribe.
Current members of PSP's board have close relationships with charter schools who have submitted applications for additional campuses.

Extreme tax hikes not expected outside Lancaster city school district
By KARA NEWHOUSE | Staff Writer Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 2:27 pm |Updated: 8:45 pm, Wed Feb 11, 2015.
If you live outside Lancaster city, don't expect an extreme school tax increase next year.
School District of Lancaster officials said Tuesday the district would seek special exceptions to raise taxes as much as 11.5 percent next year, but that move appears to be unique, based on a survey of several local districts.  The state's Act 1 index sets an annual cap on districts' property tax increases. For the 2015-16 school year, the indexes are slightly lower than the current year.

Pottsgrove budget has no tax hike, carries $2.5M deficit
By Evan Brandt, The Mercury POSTED: 02/11/15, 3:09 PM EST | UPDATED: 39 SECS AGO
UPPER POTTSGROVE >> The Pottsgrove School Board unanimously adopted a $65.1 million preliminary budget Tuesday that does not raise taxes and has a $2.5 million deficit.
The board split 5-4 on a vote rejecting the idea of applying for “exceptions” that would have allowed the eventual tax hike to be raised above the 2.4 percent cap set by the state.
The two votes are unusual in that previous years have seen the board adopt preliminary budgets that call for tax hikes which are ultimately whittled down over the months-long budget process.
Also unusual; in previous years the board has voted to apply for the “exceptions” that would allow the tax rate to be increased above the state index without voter approval.

Lehigh lecturer says reformers out to destroy public education
By Margie Peterson Special to The Morning Call February 11, 2015
'Merit pay [for teachers] is a zombie idea,' says former U.S. assistant secretary of education
Lehigh University billed Tuesday night's lecture as "School Reform: Finding Common Ground," but the speaker made sure from the get-go where she stood, saying some so-called reformers really want to destroy public education.  Diane Ravitch, an author and the nemesis of pro-school voucher/pro-charter reformers, told the crowd of about 700 at Zoellner Arts Center that she finds little common ground with them.  "If someone wants to tear your house down, can you reach a compromise and tear down half of it?" said Ravitch, an assistant secretary of education under President George H.W. Bush.  Lehigh originally sought to have a debate between Ravitch and Michelle Rhee, the former schools chancellor for Washington, D.C., but negotiations to get them on the same stage broke down, according to Gary M. Sasso, dean of the College of Education.
"Diane's opinion was that Michelle was a scaredy cat," he said to laughter from the largely pro-Ravitch crowd who gathered for the latest in the university's 2015 Distinguished Lecture Series.
Sasso said Lehigh plans to bring in a lecturer with opposing views at a later date.

Toomey, Manchin team on bill that targets job-jumping predators
Trib Live By Salena Zito Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, 12:01 a.m.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin want to make sure no school district can “pass the trash” again.  The Pennsylvania Republican and West Virginia Democrat will reintroduce in the Senate on Thursday the Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act, a bill intended to keep pedophiles out of schools and from moving undetected from state to state, a practice known as “passing the trash.”  The bill would require elementary and high schools that receive federal funding to conduct background checks on not only teachers but school administrators, coaches, custodians, bus drivers and others with unsupervised access to children.
Champions of breakfast help Delco school stand out in 41st-place Pa.
A new report shows Pennsylvania lags behind most of the country when it comes to providing free and reduced-cost breakfast and lunch to low-income students. Pennsylvania is 41st in state school breakfast rankings released this week.  A report by the Food Research and Action Center points out that only 45 percent of low-income students in the Keystone State receive both meals.
One school in the area, Penn Wood Middle School in Delaware County, has increased participation in its  breakfast program tremendously.  The school started offering breakfast during homeroom, instead of before school. Now, 80 percent of eligible students are eating breakfast, up from 23 percent last year.

House Education Committee Approves NCLB Rewrite on Party-Line Vote
Education Week Politics K-12 Blog By Lauren Camera on February 11, 2015 7:57 PM
The Republican-controlled House education committee approved an overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act Wednesday afternoon on a party-line vote.  The measure, which would significantly curtail the footprint of the federal government in K-12 schools, will be considered by the full House the week of Feb. 24.  Among many other things, the bill would allow Title I money for low-income students to follow them to the public school of their choice, including charter schools; block-grant and make transferable funding for teacher preparation/development (Title II) and after-school programs (Title IV); and consolidate or eliminate more than 65 federal education programs. (You can read more about the bill here.)
The day-long markup process did not alter the bill significantly, but it did preview at least one policy debate that's sure to cause fireworks when the bill hits the chamber floor: allowing Title I funding to be used at private schools.

Nat. School Boards Assoc. statement to Chairman Kline and Senior Dem. Member Scott
NSBA website February 10, 2015
With the upcoming (Feb. 11) legislative mark-up of the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), National School Boards Association (NSBA) Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel issued a statement in the way of a letter to Chairman John Kline and Senior Democratic Member Robert C. Scott of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.  In the letter NSBA commends the overall goal of H.R. 5 to modernize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and limit the budgetary and regulatory authority of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) over school districts, and supports several updates and improvements in the bill. NSBA voiced concern however on some aspects of the legislation. More information is provided in the letter, available in its entirety. 

Teach For Finland? Why it won’t happen.
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss February 12 at 4:00 AM  
You’ve certainly heard of Teach For America but you may not know that its founder, Wendy Kopp, now runs a related organization called Teach For Allwhich is a network of TFA-like school reform organizations in a few dozen countries around the world. One place there isn’t such an affiliate is in Finland. Why that is so is explained in the following post by Finnish educator and scholar Pasi Sahlberg, who is one of the world’s leading experts on school reform and educational practices. Sahlberg is the author of the best-selling Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn About Educational Change in Finland?” — originally published in 2011  and just republished in an updated edition –  which details how Finland created its world-class school system. The former director general of Finland’s Center for International Mobility and Cooperation, Sahlberg is now a visiting professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has written a number of important posts for this blog, including “What if Finland’s great teachers taught in U.S. schools,” and “What the U.S. can’t learn from Finland about ed reform.” Here is a new piece that debunks some myths about teachers and teacher preparation. You can find more about him here on his website.

Stop the Push Out
Yinzercation Blog by Jessie Ramey February 12, 2015
In Pittsburgh, students of color are 2.5 times more likely to be suspended than white students. Four out of every ten black students are suspended at least one time. And suspension is just one of the policies, practices, and procedures that “push out” students, making them less likely to graduate – a serious, and life altering outcome that feeds the “school to prison pipeline” and disproportionately impacts students of color and those with disabilities. [Beyond Zero Tolerance, ACLU report, 2013]  After meeting with parents all over the city, the Great Public Schools (GPS) Pittsburgh coalition has made school push-out one of its primary areas of focus. GPS is partnering with the Education Law Center, the Center for Third World Organizing, and other organizations to host a conversation about school push out and discuss what they will be doing this year to tackle the problem. Please join us:
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 5:30 PM Dinner, 6PM Meeting
Sci-Tech Academy (107 Thackeray Ave., Oakland)

More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing
WHO: Jesse Hagopian and Helen Gym
WHEN: February 13, 2015 at 7pm - 10pm
WHERE: Wooden Shoe Books, 704 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Join us for a book event and discussion between teachers, students and parents of the new uprising against high-stakes testing with Jesse Hagopian, editor and a leader of the Seattle MAP test boycott Helen Gym, cofounder of Parents United for Public Education other speakers to be announced soon!

Education Voters of PA will hold a forum about public school funding in York County 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 25
Where: York Learning Center, 300 E. 7th Ave., North York
Who: Panelists will include Emilie Lonardi, West York Area School District superintendent; Scott Deisley, Red Lion Area School District superintendent; Brian Geller, Northeastern School District director of operations; Troy Wentz, Hanover Public School District business manager; Ellen Freireich, York Suburban School Board member; Eric Wolfgang, Central York School Board member; Jim Buckheit, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators. Susan Spicka, advocacy coordinator for Education Voters of PA will facilitate the event.

PSBA 2015 Advocacy Forum
APR 19, 2015 • 8:00 AM - APR 20, 2015 • 5:00 PM
Join PSBA for the second annual Advocacy Forum on April 19-20, 2015. Hear from legislative experts on hot topics and issues regarding public education on Sunday, April 19, at PSBA headquarters in Mechanicsburg. The next day you and fellow advocates will meet with legislators at the state capitol. This is your chance to learn how to successfully advocate on behalf of public education and make your voice heard on the Hill.
·         Schedule of Events
·         Day One –PSBA headquarters
·         10 a.m. — Early Bird Arrival and Registration
·         10:30-12 p.m. — The State Education Agenda
The chairman of the Senate and House Education Committees will share their perspectives on the education agenda for the 2015-16 session of the General Assembly. Speakers: Senator Smucker, chairman, Senate Education Committee; and Representative Saylor, chairman, House Education Committee
·         Noon-1:15 p.m. — Welcome Lunch
·         1:00-12:15 p.m. — Special Welcome and Introduction: Nathan Mains, PSBA Executive Director and William LaCoff, PSBA President
·         12:30-1 p.m. — Speaker: Diane Ravitchnationally known education historian, policy analyst and author of Reign of Error.
·         1:15-2:00 p.m. — Education Priorities will be discussed with the Education Secretary Pedro Rivera
This session provides the latest information on the governor’s proposed state funding plans, the pension crisis and the latest on special education.
·         2:00-2:30 p.m. — Federal Education Update: NSBA
Director of National Advocacy Services Kathleen Branch will join Director of Federal Programs Lucy Gettman from NSBA, to speak about federal advocacy.
·         2:30-3 p.m. — Social Media Training (Speakers to be announced)
·         3-3:15 p.m. — Break
·         3:15-3:45 p.m. — Grassroots Advocacy: How to be an Effective Advocate
Hear from former Allwein Advocacy Award winners Shauna D’Alessandro, school director from West Jefferson Hills SD and PSBA Allegheny Region 14 director, and Mark B. Miller, board vice president of Centennial SD and PSBA BuxMont Region 11 director.
·         3:45-4:15 p.m. — Legislative Update and Lobby Day Coordination
PSBA’s Senior Director of Government Affairs John Callahan will walk you through legislative issues and priorities that might be addressed the next day during legislative visits by members.
·         4:15-5 p.m. — Roundtable Discussion
Network with your fellow board members before visiting your legislator
·         5:00-5:15 p.m. — Break
·         5:15-6:30 p.m. — Dinner Buffet
Enjoy a legislative discussion on the 2015-16 budget and appropriations with Senator Browne
·         6:30 p.m. — Adjourn

Campaign for Fair Education Funding Seeks Campaign Manager
Campaign for Fair Education Funding February 2, 2015
The Campaign for Fair Education Funding seeks a campaign manager who is a strategic thinker and an operational leader. This position could be filled by an individual or firm. The manager will lead the day-to-day operations of the campaign and its government relations, communications, mobilization and research committees and work in partnership with the campaign governing board to set and implement the campaign’s strategic direction.

Sign-up for weekly email updates from the Campaign
The Campaign for Fair Education Funding website

PA Basic Education Funding Commission website

Thorough and Efficient: Pennsylvania Education Funding Lawsuit website
Arguing that our state has failed to ensure that essential resources are available for all of our public school students to meet state academic standards.

Sign up for National School Boards Association’s Advocacy Network
Friends of Public Education

Register Now! EPLC 2015 Regional Workshops for School Board Candidates and Others
The Education Policy and Leadership Center, with the Cooperation of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) and Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO), will conduct A Series of Regional Full-Day Workshops for 2015 Pennsylvania School Board Candidates.  Incumbents, non-incumbents, campaign supporters and all interested voters are invited to participate in these workshops.
Pittsburgh Region Saturday, February 21, 2015 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Allegheny Intermediate Unit, 475 East Waterfront Drive, Homestead, PA  15120
Harrisburg Region Saturday, March 7, 2015– 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Pennsylvania School Boards Association Headquarters, 400 Bent Creek Boulevard, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Philadelphia Region Saturday, March 14, 2015 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, 2 W. Lafayette Street, Norristown, PA 19401

PILCOP: Children with Emotional Problems: Avoiding the Juvenile Justice System, and What Does Real Help Look Like?
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia Tuesday, February 17, 2015 1:00 -- 4:00 P.M.
This session will help you navigate special education in order to assist children at home not receiving services, those in the foster care system or those in the juvenile court system. CLE and Act 48 credit is available.  This session is co-sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania School of Policy and Practice, a Pre-approved Provider of Continuing Education for Pennsylvania licensed social workers.  Click here to purchase tickets  

NPE 2015 Annual Conference – Chicago April 24 - 26 – Early Bird Special Registration Open!
Early-bird discounted Registration for the Network for Public Education’s Second Annual Conference is now available at this address:
These low rates will last for the month of January.
The event is being held at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago, and there is a link on the registration page for special hotel registration rates. Here are some of the event details.
There will be a welcoming social event  7 pm Friday night, at or near the Drake Hotel — details coming soon.   Featured speakers will be:
§         Jitu Brown, National Director – Journey for Justice, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Network for Public Education Board of Directors
§         Tanaisa Brown, High School Senior, with the Newark Student Union
§         Yong Zhao, Author, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon?
§         Diane Ravitch in conversation with
§         Lily Eskelsen Garcia, NEA President and
§         Randi Weingarten, AFT President
§         Karen Lewis, President, Chicago Teachers Union

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