Wednesday, February 18, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Feb 18: Contentious debate over Philly charter expansion comes to a head Wednesday

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for February 18, 2015:
Contentious debate over Philly charter expansion comes to a head Wednesday



Education Voters of PA holding public forums on school funding
Lancaster County: Tuesday, March 17, at 7:00 pm at Millersville University
York County: Wednesday, March 25th, 6:30pm at the York Learning Center
Cumberland County: Wednesday, April 1, 7:00 pm at the Grace Milliman Pollock Performing Arts Center



Contentious debate over Philly charter expansion comes to a head Wednesday
WHYY Newsworks BY KEVIN MCCORRY FEBRUARY 17, 2015
It's one of the essential questions of urban education. If you can give some children a better opportunity, but you potentially undermine the system as a whole,  what should you do?
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission has been weighing this as it's considered 39 applications for new city charter schools that, if approved, could vastly alter how the city educates its children.  For months the question has roiled the city's educational landscape, revealing deep philosophical divisions between those who call for systemic reform and those fearful of exacerbating existing inequities.

Is Bill Green misreading the state's charter law?
Citypaper By Daniel Denvir  Published: 02/17/2015
In an article in today's Inquirer, School Reform Commission Chair Bill Green is quoted as saying that the charter school law "appears to require us to approve applications" for new charters if they meet requirements.  What Green seems to be implying seems not quite right. I've tweeted at him, to no avail, in an effort to clarify matters.  Here's the deal. The charter law provisions that are being reimposed on the city by Republican legislators articulate certain criteria that school boards must use to evaluate charter applications — but the law also clearly states that districts can use other criteria as well.

Candidates say no to new charter schools
SOLOMON LEACH, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER LEACHS@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-5903 POSTED: Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 12:16 AM
FOUR CANDIDATES in the mayor's race are urging the School Reform Commission to just say no to new charter schools.  Democratic hopefuls James Kenney, Lynne Abraham, Nelson Diaz and Doug Oliver all signed on to a letter yesterday from the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools calling for the SRC to reject all 39 applications ahead of its vote today on the applications. The only Democratic candidates for mayor who haven't endorsed the letter are state Sen. Anthony Williams, a vocal charter supporter, T. Milton Street and the Rev. Keith Goodman.
The letter cites the financial impact new charters would have on existing schools.
"Even one new charter is one additional cost that the district has no real plan or the budget to cover," states the letter, also signed by Council President Darrell Clarke, Councilman Wilson Goode Jr. and several at-large Council candidates.

In mayor's race, all but one want charter-school applications nixed
CHRIS HEPP, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER LAST UPDATED:February 18, 2015, 1:08 AM
Five of six Democratic mayoral candidates have called for the School Reform Commission to reject 39 charter-school applications to be considered on Wednesday.  Only State Sen. Anthony H. Williams, long a charter-school champion, voiced no opposition to the vote.  "A blanket moratorium on charter expansion makes a nice headline, but it's really just a political solution to an education problem," Williams said in a prepared statement. "We need solutions that make sense for our children, first and foremost."  Four candidates - former mayoral aide Doug Oliver, former Common Pleas Judge Nelson A. Diaz, former City Councilman James Kenney, and former District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham - supported a moratorium on adding more charters; the city currently has 84.

The mayoral candidates, their kids, and a Philly education
Education is on the front burner of Philly’s mayoral election, so get to know where your candidates stand. Do they favor charter schools or public schools? Where do or did their own kids go to school? How do they see the view the education crisis?  Not all of their platforms have been solidified yet, especially when it comes to how the city will fund a full recovery of the school system. But we’ll continue to aggregate the details here in an easy-to-read way as they emerge.

PSP Opinion: A Plea to the SRC: Evaluate Each School on Its Individual Merits
Inside Take: Charter schools aren’t a monolith. We should stop talking about them as though they are.
Philly Mag Citified BY KRISTEN FORBRIGER  |  FEBRUARY 17, 2015 AT 1:55 PM
Kristen Forbriger is public affairs director at the Philadelphia School Partnership and executive committee member of PhillyCORE Leaders.
At Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School in South Philly, students are offered majors in music and visual arts and every kid participates in ballet weekly. About half of its student body is middle class and white. At the other end of Broad Street, in North Philly, at the Multi-Cultural Academy charter school, there is no ballet. By design, there are very few extracurriculars available at all. The school’s model is “no-nonsense, academics-focused.” The student body is nearly all black and about 80 percent of the students are low-income.  These two schools could hardly be more different. Yet they are often lumped together—with 84 other schools in Philadelphia—for a simple reason: they are both charter schools. We could just as easily do the same exercise with district schools (how much do Masterman and Bartram have in common?). This is why I can’t make sense of the labels “pro-charter” or “pro-district” (for the record, I am pro-good school).

PCCY Opinion: Inside Take: New Charters Should Be Unacceptable to All
Donna Cooper: “No child should be harmed so another child can be helped.”
Philly Mag Citified BY DONNA COOPER  |  FEBRUARY 12, 2015 AT 9:30 AM
Donna Cooper is executive director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth. She formerly served as a cabinet-level policy adviser to Gov. Ed Rendell.
Conditions in the School District of Philadelphia have hit a new low after four record breaking years of state disinvestment in education and years of meager improvements in school performance. That situation is poised to change for the better if the new governor and legislature heed the voter sentiment expressed in the historic ousting of a sitting governor largely because of his sweeping education funding cuts. Unfortunately, while the new players in Harrisburg are still unpacking their boxes, the School Reform Commission must decide whether to approve new charter schools and what cuts to impose on traditional schools to pay for charter expansion.
While there are thousands of families who have good reason to love their local schools and teachers, the share of satisfied families is shrinking, as each year goes by. But there is also no question that most schools need urgent attention. Families who have lived in Philadelphia for generations are rightfully frustrated and impatient with the slow pace of improvement. The same goes for the recent influx of young families, who have neither the income nor the inclination to send their children to private school.

Philadelphia doesn't need more charter schools
Inquirer opinion By Amy Brown and Anissa Weinraub POSTED: February 18, 2015, 1:08 AM
Amy Brown is member of the critical writing program faculty at the University of Pennsylvania (brownae@sas.upenn.edu) and Anissa Weinraub ( anissa.weinraub@gmail.com) is an English and theater arts teacher in the School District of Philadelphia.
The problem of educational inequity and school failure is much bigger than teachers and schools: It has to do with access to health care, healthy food, steady employment and a reliable income, early-childhood education, and clean water and air, among other factors. Given this amalgamation of social issues, increasing the number of charter schools will not solve any of Philadelphia's problems.  In a just world, public schools would provide a free, excellent, equitable, and holistic educational environment for all children. In Philadelphia, it is more important that we use our resources to achieve this goal, rather than develop more charters to compete with public schools. Therefore, the School Reform Commission should not approve more charter schools at this time.  As former SRC member Joseph Dworetzky has noted, the district loses $5,500 per student for each transfer to a charter from public school, and $10,000 per student for each transfer from a parochial or independent school. At a time when the district is already operating with a severe budget deficit, it cannot risk losing more money or resources.

A promising type of charter
Inquirer opinion By Richard D. Kahlenberg and Halley Potter POSTED: February 18, 2015
Richard D. Kahlenberg ( kahlenberg@tcf.org) and Halley Potter ( potter@tcf.org) are fellows at the Century Foundation and the coauthors of "A Smarter Charter: Finding What Works for Charter Schools and Public Education."
Today, Philadelphia's School Reform Commission is slated to decide the fate of 39 charter-school applications.  Charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run, are contentious so emotions are running high. Supporters claim charter schools offer exciting alternatives for students trapped in failing schools, and opponents suggest charters offer false hope and drain money from traditional public schools.  The research on outcomes for charters is mixed, with some performing at very high levels, others proving disastrous, and most doing about as well as traditional public schools. It's time to move beyond the debate over whether charters are good or bad to focus on what types seem most promising.

Gov. Wolf's ways? Not the norm in Pa.
JOHN BAER, DAILY NEWS POLITICAL COLUMNIST POSTED:February 18, 2015, 12:16 AM
I PICTURE Tom Wolf in front of his bathroom mirror in the 1850s house his great-great-grandfather built in Mount Wolf, York County, asking, "What can I do for Pennsylvania today?"  Then maybe bolting down a couple of Red Bulls before jumping into his Jeep and heading off to the Capitol.  I mean, ya gotta wonder, right?  The guy seems charged on a caffeinated high.

Lancaster-Lebanon IU bringing health care in-house
Lancaster Online By HEATHER STAUFFER | Staff Writer Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 6:00 am | Updated: 9:36 am, Tue Feb 17, 2015.
Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 has a new plan to cut health care costs, and employees are expected to love it.  And because the plan involves putting a doctor’s office right in the IU headquarters and offering free care, they probably will.  Based in the Burle Business Park on New Holland Avenuethe IU is an education service agency that provides products and services to public school districts, private schools, pre-schools, adult learners and others.  The IU is believed to be the first Lancaster County employer to bring health care in-house.  Flip Steinour, the IU’s director of human resources, said the most conservative estimate of the IU’s return on investment over five years is $1.7 million, or about 2.5 percent of the IU’s health care costs over that period of time.

York County superintendents weigh in on state issues
York Cram Session Blog Posted on February 17, 2015 by Angie Mason
Three York County superintendents testified before the state House education committee last week on issues including Keystone exams and ever-changing state standards.  Red Lion Area School District Supt. Scott Deisley, Northern York County Supt. Eric Eshbach and Central York Supt. Michael Snell all appeared before the committee on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.  According to copies of their testimony, Deisley testified with a Delaware County superintendent, Lee Ann Wentzel, on House Bill 177, which would establish a commission to study and make recommendations on the Pennsylvania Core Standards.

Stroudsburg School District School budget preview could show cuts
One budget scenario could include the elimination of dozens of employees and cuts to programming.
By CHRISTINA TATU Pocono Record Writer  Posted Feb. 17, 2015 @ 12:59 pm
If Stroudsburg School District officials don't raise taxes or take money from the fund balance, the district could face the elimination of dozens of employees and further cuts to programming, said Superintendent John Toleno.  The school board, however, has asked Toleno to come up with a balanced 2015-16 budget that doesn’t use fund balance or raise taxes.  Toleno will present such a scenario at Wednesday night’s 7 p .m. school board meeting in the high school cafeteria.
According to the preliminary budget approved on Jan. 21, the district is facing a deficit of about $7 million going into 2015-16.

EASD could drop math, science graduation requirement
By Jacqueline Palochko Of The Morning Call February 17, 2015
Expense pushes EASD to consider change to four-year math, science graduation requirement
The Easton Area School District is looking at dropping a four-year math and science graduation requirement at the high school so it doesn't have to spend $250,000 hiring new teachers.  At its Tuesday committees meeting, the school board heard from high school Principal Michael Koch and Angela DiVietro, the district's director of teaching and learning for grades seventh through 12th, about a plan to change the requirements because there aren't enough teachers to teach all students to that capacity. The district adopted the four-year math and science requirement a couple years ago.  If the board doesn't agree with the administration's plan, the district will need to hire one full-time math teacher, one full-time science and a half-time math teacher at a cost $250,000 for next year.

Propel and Chatham hope to increase diversity in teacher ranks
By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette February 18, 2015 12:00 AM
Many urban schools struggle with the desire to have a diversified group of teachers and the reality that many colleges and universities prepare few teachers of color.
Now Propel Charter Schools, where about 70 percent of students are minorities, and Chatham University have paired up to offer a master’s degree program aimed at attracting potential educators who are “passionate about social justice and education equality.”
The result is the Pittsburgh Urban Teaching Corps, which offers the chance for 10 future teachers to earn a master’s degree for free and do a one-year teaching apprenticeship at Propel. They also will receive a $12,000 stipend and health benefits. Those who complete the program must teach for two years at Propel, where the starting salary now is $40,000 a year.

District wants to expand popular trauma-training classes
the notebook By Paul Jablow on Feb 17, 2015 04:49 PM
With training courses filled as soon as they are made available, the School District of Philadelphia and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey are seeking ways to expand opportunities for teachers and other personnel to learn about trauma-informed care.  “Classes fill within a day of the e-blast I send out,” says Jody Greenblatt, the Stoneleigh Fellow in charge of coordinating training courses for the District.  “We have waiting lists for all the courses.”   To date, almost 200 teachers, counselors and other personnel have taken at least one course on a trauma-informed approach to school behavioral health, which shifts the focus from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” Another 105 are enrolled in the courses, taught by the Institute for Family Professionals (IFP) in Fort Washington and financed by United Way.
Suzanne O’Connor, education manager at United Way, said, “We are exploring new opportunities for partnerships and additional support to expand our reach in this area.

Parent advocate prioritizes fight for adequate funding
Rebecca Poyourow, Notebook member
the notebook By Shannon Nolan  on Feb 17, 2015 12:06 PM
Notebook member Rebecca Poyourow is an active parent at Cook-Wissahickon Elementary.
It was the districtwide budget cuts in the spring of 2011 that led Philadelphia parent Rebecca Poyourow to start reading the Notebook.  “When I was scrambling to find out information about the District and about public education politics in the state when the budget cuts hit, the Notebook] was the obvious place to go,” Poyourow, 46, said.
She recalled an article on the Notebook website that year which clinched her decision to become a member of the nonprofit: about the move to make Martin Luther King High School a Renaissance charter school and the School Reform Commission’s decision to award the school to a provider not chosen by King’s School Advisory Council.

Pa. court sets rules for release of home addresses under Right-to-Know Law
Penn Live By The Associated Press on February 17, 2015 at 5:03 PM
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania court says government agencies can't release anyone's home address under the Right-to-Know Law without first making the person aware their address has been requested and giving them a chance to fight it.  A divided Commonwealth Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of the state's largest teachers' union and against the Office of Open Records in a case that began more than five years ago.  The court majority says the Right-to-Know Law gives people the ability to claim that disclosure of information about them might put their personal security at risk, but doesn't spell out a meaningful way for that to happen.
A dissenting judge says the decision succumbs to unfounded fears and cripples the open records law.


Testing Resistance & Reform News: February 11 - 17, 2015
Fairtest Submitted by fairtest on February 17, 2015 - 1:05pm 
The "spin" on today's first story may be a bit ahead of the curve. But the testing resistance and reform movement is making significant progress, as this week's clips from half of the nation's 50 states clearly demonstrate. To win even more tangible victories, we have to ratchet up the pressure on policymakers at the federal, state and local levels to significantly reduce testing overuse and end high-stakes standardized exams.

White House Denounces GOP Schools Bill
Huffington Post Posted: 02/13/2015 1:10 pm EST Updated: 02/13/2015 4:59 pm EST
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Friday pushed back against House Republicans who want to limit the federal government's role in education.  In a new report, the White House said a GOP House education bill would be a "huge step backward" and "virtually eliminate accountability" in making sure federal education money helps impoverished communities.
"After an economic crisis that hit school budgets and educators hard, we cannot just cut our way to better schools and more opportunity," the report states.
Last week, Republicans on the House Education Committee pushed through a bill that would leave it to states to decide how to improve failing schools and would replace several federal programs with a single, flexible local grant program. The legislation was considered an update to the bipartisan No Child Left Behind law signed in 2002 by President George W. Bush.
The White House counters that the legislation would enable states to divert federal education dollars to unrelated projects like prisons and sports stadiums.

"The district is required to pay TFA a $5,000 annual fee per recruit, most of which comes from a $90 million grant awarded to the district in 2009 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. That money – designated for programs that improve teacher effectiveness in Memphis schools – soon will run out."
Memphis: TFA Will Reduce Recruits by 40%
Diane Ravitch's Blog by dianeravitch February 17, 2015
Teach for America is reducing its corps members in Memphis, according to Chalkbeat.
"The organization is projecting placements of 110 new recruits in Memphis-area schools during the 2015-16 school year, down from 185 last year....
"TFA’s presence has not been without controversy. While school administrators in Memphis have struggled to find and keep qualified math and science teachers to work in some of its lowest-performing middle and high schools, local hiring of young, mostly white TFA members coincided with layoffs of many older black teachers amid significant budget cuts.  "Local teachers’ union officials have maintained that TFA recruits aren’t qualified and equipped to teach students in low-income environments.

Pro Choice
With Republicans resurgent, school vouchers are back
The Economist Feb 14th 2015 | MILWAUKEE
ON THE desk of Zeus Rodriguez, the president of St Anthony School in Milwaukee, a mini Republican primary is underway. A signed photograph of Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, competes for space with snaps of Rand Paul and Jeb Bush—all three of them presidential hopefuls. St Anthony’s is popular among conservatives because it has more pupils taking advantage of government-funded vouchers than any other private school in America.
The local neighbourhood was once populated by German and Polish Catholics but is now home to the Hispanic sort. Almost all pupils speak Spanish at home; most are also poor. Yet 95% of the first two classes of high-school students from St Anthony’s have graduated and more than 90% have gone on to college. All this, for a cost to taxpayers of just $7,500 per pupil; Milwaukee’s public schools, by contrast, spend a whopping $13,000.

Wisconsin school choice group seeks personal data on students
By Erin Richards of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel February 13, 2015
School choice advocates have requested the names, addresses, phone numbers and grade levels of every student enrolled in 30 different public school districts, gearing up for a marketing campaign should lawmakers lift the enrollment cap on Wisconsin's statewide voucher program.
But what School Choice Wisconsin sees as a legal way to augment its mailing list, public school supporters see as a legal affront on personal privacy.  The issue is prompting some district leaders to revisit options for limiting the release of student data, including reminding parents of their ability to opt out.  "While the district must comply with the request required by law, I find it difficult to believe that this was the intended purpose of the (open records) law," Green Bay Area School District Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld wrote in a letter to parents this week, informing them of the data request.


Public screening: Standardized - Lies, Money, and Civil Rights: How Testing is Ruining Public Education
Church of the Redeemer, Wednesday, February 25, 7-9pm 230 Pennswood Road, Bryn Mawr, Parish House, Assembly Room
The Redeemer Moms will follow up with a Q & A session with parents who have been researching this topic for over a year. All are welcome and invited to bring a friend. RSVP by Feb. 23 to Cheryl Masterman.

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)

Education Voters of PA will hold a forum about public school funding in Lancaster County Tuesday, March 17, at 7:00 pm at Millersville University
Education Voters of PA and the Millersville University Education on Location program will be co-hosting a forum about public school funding in Lancaster County on Tuesday, March 17, at 7:00 pm at Millersville University, the Lehrer Room in the Bolger Conference Center.
This event is free and open to the public. It will give Lancaster County residents the opportunity both to learn more about how state funding issues impact their own school districts and to learn about how they can make a positive difference for their schools and communities by advocating for a state system of funding schools that is fair, adequate, and predictable and will provide all students with an opportunity to learn.
Panelists for the forum include:
Dr. Brenda Becker, Hempfield Area SD, Superintendent
Dr. Bob Hollister, Elanco SD, Superintendent
Dr. Mike Leichliter, Penn Manor SD, Superintendent
Dr. Tim Shrom, Solanco SD, Business Manager
Ms. Idette Groff, Conestoga Valley SD, School Board Member    
Mr. Tim Stayer, Ephrata Area SD, School Board Member
Ms. Susan Gobreski, Education Voters of PA

Education Voters of PA will hold a forum about public school funding in York: Wednesday, March 25th, 6:30pm to 8pm at the York Learning Center, 300 E. 7th Avenue, York.

This forum will give York County residents the opportunity both to learn more about how state funding issues impact their own school districts and to learn about how they can make a positive difference for their schools and communities by advocating for a state system of funding schools that is fair, adequate, and predictable and will provide all students with an opportunity to learn.
Panelists for the forum include:
Dr. Emilie Lonardi, West York SD, Superintendent
Dr. Scott Deisley, Red Lion Area SD, Superintendents
Mr. Brian Geller, Northeastern York SD, Director of Operations
Mr. Troy Wentz, Hanover Public SD, Business Manager    
Mrs. Ellen Freireich, York Suburban SD, School Board Member    
Mr. Eric Wolfgang, Central York SD, School Board Member
Guest Panelist: Mr. Jim Buckheit, Executive Director, PA Association of School Administrators
Moderated by: Ms. Susan Spicka, Education Voters of PA

Education Voters of PA will hold a forum about public school funding in Cumberland County: Wednesday, April 1, 7:00 pm at the Grace Milliman Pollock Performing Arts Center, 340 North 21st Street, Camp Hill.
This forum will give Cumberland County residents the opportunity both to learn more about how state funding issues impact their own school districts and to learn about how they can make a positive difference for their schools and communities by advocating for a state system of funding schools that is fair, adequate, and predictable and will provide all students with an opportunity to learn.
Panelists for the forum include:
Mr. Richard Fry, Big Spring SD, Superintendent
Mr. John Friend, Carlisle Area SD, Superintendent
Dr. Mark Leidy, Mechanicsburg Area SD, Superintendent
Ms. Christine Hakes, Camp Hill Area SD, Business Manager
Mr. Matt Franchak, school board member, East Pennsboro SD, School Board Member    
Guest Panelist: Mr. Dave Patti, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Business Council
Moderated by: Ms. Susan Spicka, Education Voters of PA

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

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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