Thursday, February 19, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Feb 19: Should you have to attend a charter to get art, music, counselors, libraries, current textbooks, toilet paper in Philly?

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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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for February 19, 2015:
Should you have to attend a charter to get art, music, counselors, libraries, current textbooks, toilet paper in Philly?



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



“How are we gonna pay the 50 billion dollars back?” asks Grell “When are we gonna pay it back? And how are we gonna do it in such a way that it doesn’t bankrupt school districts?”
Lawmakers call pension tidal wave top priority
WHTM ABC27 By Dennis Owens Published: February 17, 2015, 5:55 pm
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Many lawmakers see Pennsylvania’s financial ship as the U.S.S. Poseidon with a $50 billion dollar tidal wave bearing down.  “That means if everybody retired today, we would come up $50 billion short,” explained Representative Glen Grell (R-Cumberland), one of the House’s acknowledged pension gurus. “Now, everybody is not gonna retire today and you have to pay this over time, but still $50 billion is a really big number.”  As the state and school districts continue to shovel increasing amounts of money toward retired employees, they have less money to spend on social services and classrooms.  “Every year I’ve been in office, four years, we’ve had to increase the state taxpayers contribution by half a billion dollars,” said an animated Representative Warren Kampf (R-Chester/Montgomery). “Any new revenue we get at the state is eaten alive by that pension contribution.”

Wolf comes to Coughlin High School to tout education funding plan
Times Leader By Mark Guydish - mguydish@civitasmedia.com  February 18. 2015 5:20PM
WILKES-BARRE — Gov. Tom Wolf spent more time — way more — at Coughlin High School talking to biology students dissecting frogs, science-savvy students explaining fractal antenna experiments and techno-wizards outlining last fall’s mock school election than he did thumping for his plan to use a natural gas severance tax to boost education spending.  Not that his pro-public education platform got shortchanged. Wolf asked students what they wanted to do after graduation, quizzed them on everything from the stomach contents of their eviscerated amphibians to the thumb scanner used to verify voters in the mock election, and then apologized for any inconvenience.

BEFC meeting originally scheduled for Thursday, February 26, 2015, 11 am in Dauphin County has been postponed
PA Basic Education Funding Commission - Update
The BEFC website now lists the three new appointees from the Wolf administration: Pedro Rivera, Acting Secretary of Education;  Randy Albright, Secretary of the Budget, John Hanger, Secretary of Planning and Policy.  Additionally, the BEFC meeting originally scheduled for Thursday, February 26, 2015, 11 am in Dauphin County has been postponed.

"With 64 percent of the state’s districts responding to the update of the organizations’ annual budget survey, findings included:
■ 91 percent of districts have raised taxes at least once in the last five years, with 60 percent reporting they have raised taxes every fiscal year.
■ 93 percent reduced staff size since 2010-11.
■ 40 percent cut academic programs in 2014-15.
■ 78 percent reported an increase in special education costs for this year, with a median increase of 7 percent over last year.
■ 81 percent will be contributing more to health care this year than last year.
■ 99 percent expect the same or worsening fiscal conditions for 2015-16."
Survey: PA school districts have cut programs, staff in light of budget cuts
Scranton Times-Tribune BY SARAH HOFIUS HALL Published: February 19, 2015
School districts across Pennsylvania have eliminated programs, cut staff and increased property taxes during the last four years. And more tough decisions may be necessary, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators and Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials.
During a press conference at Scranton High School, area educators said state budget cuts and mandated increases to pension costs have threatened the quality of education students receive — and pushed school districts toward bankruptcy.  “The districts we have in this region are near the breaking point,” Blue Ridge Superintendent Robert McTiernan said.  With less than two weeks before Gov. Tom Wolf presents his first budget, district officials remain optimistic that the new governor can help restore some of the cuts made by former Gov. Tom Corbett. Mr. Wolf has already proposed that proceeds from a natural gas severance tax be used to fund education. Educators say pension relief, and reform, are also necessary.

Former Corbett education spokesman leading new charter school advocacy group
By Sara K. Satullo | The Express-Times  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on February 18, 2015 at 10:53 AM
Former Gov. Tom Corbett's Department of Education press secretary has been named executive director of a new brick-and-mortar charter school alliance.  Timothy Eller will serve as executive director for the Harrisburg-based Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools, according to a news release. The organization announced Wednesday that Eller took over the fledgling organization on Feb. 9.  Members of the alliance are "high-performing, accountable public brick-and-mortar charter schools committed to raising awareness of the positive contributions made by charter schools, the academic success of students and to correct the misinformation espoused by those who oppose school choice for parents," according to the release.

"It's easy to think about this when it doesn't negatively impact other children that are served in your school. But if this is taking resources away from all other children, that is a concern," said Hite.
"For those charters the SRC rejected, there is still a road open to them: the Pennsylvania Charter Appeals Board. If they can rustle up the support — and 1,000 signatures — within 60 days applicants may present these to the Court of Common Pleas. The court then decides whether to send their case up to the appeals board."
Philly SRC approves five new charter schools, rejects 34, protesters arrested
WHYY Newsworks BY NEWSWORKS STAFF FEBRUARY 19, 2015
After hundreds of hours of hearings on an "unprecedented" 39 applications, the School Reform Commission voted to conditionally grant five new school charters in Philadelphia last night. It denied the 34 remaining applicants.  Even so, protesters upset that any new charters were approved disrupted the meeting.  Police arrested four people who ignored please to disperse so the votes could continue.  The new charters — Independence Charter West, KIPP DuBois, MaST Community Charter/Roosevelt, Mastery Gillespie and TECH Freire — all represent known entities with track records in the city. Each would have to set up shop in or serve neighborhoods deemed a priority by the school district.  The conditions requested by the district's Charter Schools Office also pared back the new schools and tightened the timeline for each to get results. The new schools would be re-evaluated in three years, not the usual five.
The vote came at the end of nearly four hours of public and applicant comment. At the start of the meeting, a line of people trying to gain admission to the room spilled down the steps of 440 N. Broad Street and out to the sidewalk.

SRC Scorecard: Here's how the commissioners voted
WHYY Newsworks BY NEWSWORKS STAFF FEBRUARY 19, 2015
The School Reform Commission voted Wednesday night to approve five charters, with conditions: Independence Charter West, KIPP DuBois, MaST-Roosevelt, Mastery Gillespie and TECH Freire. Thirty-four other applicants were denied. Here's how the commissioners voted.

"The vote added 2,684 new charter school seats, though district officials said the actual number is much lower as many of the seats will replace those from charters the district is closing. A total of 39 charter schools applied."
Philadelphia approves five new charter schools
Reuters Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:14pm EST By Daniel Kelley
Feb 18 (Reuters) - Philadelphia's financially distressed school district, one of the country's biggest battlegrounds over the expansion of charter schools, approved five new charters on Wednesday in a contentious meeting marked by protests, shouting and arrests.  The vote by the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, formed in 2001 as part of a state takeover of the city's education system due to financial problems and low test scores, marked the first time in seven years it has considered new charters in the city.

Governor Tom Wolf's administration released the following statement late Wednesday:
"The Wolf Administration continues to believe that the district's financial situation cannot responsibly handle the approval of new charter schools. Governor Wolf remains committed to restoring cuts and delivering more funding to public schools across the commonwealth to ensure our children have the resources necessary to succeed. It is imperative for both our children and our economy that we reverse Pennsylvania's public education deficit."
PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL REFORM COMMISSION APPROVES 5 NEW CHARTERS
WPVI 6ABC Wednesday, February 18, 2015 11:41PM
In a meeting Wednesday, Philadelphia's School Reform Commission approved five new charter school applications and denied 34.  The moment the meeting opened, anti-charter school protesters disrupted, calling the thought of more charters, considering the Philadelphia School District's dire financial situation, a disgrace.  The SRC had been reviewing new charter school applications for weeks.

SRC approves five new charter schools
MARTHA WOODALL AND KRISTEN A. GRAHAM, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
LAST UPDATED: Thursday, February 19, 2015, 1:07 AM
Amid intense pressure from all sides, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted Wednesday night to approve five new charter schools from among the 39 applications at the end of an often tumultuous evening.  The successful applicants were offered three-year charters with a long list of conditions. SRC Chairman Bill Green said the charter operators and the commission have until May 31 to agree on terms.  The approved plans came from existing nonprofits that have operated successful charter schools in the city for years: KIPP, Mastery, Freire, Independence, and MaST.

SRC OKs 5 new charter schools, rejects 34 others
SOLOMON LEACH, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER LEACHS@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-5903 POSTED: Thursday, February 19, 2015, 12:16 AM
AMID PROTESTS, the School Reform Commission last night voted to authorize five new charter schools - the first stand-alone charters approved in Philadelphia since 2007 - while rejecting 34 others.  Following more than four hours of passionate testimony, the commission approved conditional charters for Independence Charter West, KIPP Dubois, Mastery Gillespie, MaST Community Charter-Roosevelt and TECH Freire, creating a total of 2,684 charter seats over the next three years.  The approved operators each have existing schools in the district and are scheduled to open their new facilities in September 2016.  District officials would not provide the exact cost of the charters, but said there would be no expense to the district next fiscal year, for which it already projects an $80 million deficit.  "It will be very limited in the next few years after that as a consequence of continued closure of nonperforming charter schools, so it's a limited impact on the five-year plan," SRC Chairman Bill Green said after the meeting.

SRC approves five charter schools
Some opponents argued they are a financial burden
BY JOHN KOPP  PhillyVoice Staff FEBRUARY 18, 2015
The School Reform Commission voted to grant five of 39 charter school applicants at a special meeting Wednesday night.   The five applicants that received approval are Independence Charter School West, KIPP DeBois Charter School, MaST Community Charter School, Mastery Charter School Gillespie and TECH Friere Charter School. SRC approved each of those conditionally and the applicants have until May 31 to accept.  The vote was heavily anticipated by politicians, educators and parents. Some anti-charter proponents in the audience grew boisterous at times, even interrupting the meeting after the SRC granted approval to Independence Charter School West — the first application approved.

Live blog: SRC approves five charters, all with conditions, out of 39 applicants
the notebook By Dale Mezzacappa, Shannon Nolan, Allison Welton on Feb 18, 2015 04:20 PM
At a contentious meeting marked by angry outbursts and high drama, the School Reform Commission Wednesday night approved five new charter schools, rejecting 34 of 39 applications.
The five members were caught between a rock and a hard place -- between a Democratic governor who wants no new charters and a Republican legislature that does, and facing by a sharply divided community. Charter advocates and charter opponents both claimed to have the best interest of students and famiies at heart.  While charter operators fervently made their cases for creating new and better choices for some students, others said any money spent on charters will deprive others in already depleted District schools of more vital services such as nursing and counselors.

Philadelphia will get 5 new charter schools: Tweets, photos from the long School Reform Commission meeting
Billy Penn By Anna Orso February 19, 2015  at 6:21 am
After a five-hour long meeting Wednesday evening, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission approved five new charter schools and denied 34 applications. They’re the first new charter schools the city can add since 2009. Here’s how it went down:

Citywide robotics competition offers showcase, opportunity for Philly students
WHYY Newsworks BY SARA HOOVER FEBRUARY 17, 2015
Last weekend, the Central High School gym in Philadelphia was filled with the usual sounds of balls falling, rolling and going into goals. But it wasn't students doing the scoring -- it was their robots.  Teams made last-minute adjustments to their robots during the annual citywide robotics championship, the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge. The international competition for seventh- through 12th-grade teams is put on by an organization known as For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology -- FIRST.  "The mission of FIRST is to encourage students of all ages, K to 12, to learn STEM and get involved in science, technology, engineering, and math," said Tom Zawislak, Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics chair and event organizer. "Not only for schooling and scholastic careers, but careers going forward."

Spring-Ford Area School Board OKs $146M preliminary budget, 4% tax increase
West Chester Daily Local By Eric Devlin, edevlin@21st-centurymedia.com@Eric_Devlin on Twitter POSTED: 02/18/15, 7:40 PM EST |
Limerick >> Get ready for a possible tax hike in the Spring-Ford Area School District.  The Spring-Ford Area School Board approved a preliminary general fund budget of $146,664,871 for the 2015-16 school year with an 8-0 vote during Tuesday’s meeting.  A property tax increase of 4.07 percent would be needed to cover the $2,846,591 additional revenue required to balance the spending plan. These figures are expected to change before the final budget is approved in June.

Bangor Area School District and teachers union strike a deal
Lehigh Valley Live By John Best on February 18, 2015 at 4:48 PM, updated February 18, 2015 at 10:42 PM
After 17 months without a teachers contract, the Bangor Area School District and the Bangor Area Education Association agreed to the terms of a fact-finding report and have a contract in place.  Negotiations, which included a contract rejection in May by the teachers union, had not resulted in a new collective bargaining agreement and the two parties reached an impasse.  The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board appointed a third party fact finder to try to resolve the differences.

DCCC’s dual enrollment program highlighted in Haverford
Delco Times By Lois Puglionesi, Times Correspondent POSTED: 02/18/15, 11:33 PM EST
HAVERFORD >> Frances Cubberley, vice president of enrollment management at Delaware County Community College, briefed school board members on the college’s recently revamped High School Dual Enrollment program.  Dual enrollment offers opportunities for students to jump start their college careers by earning up to 21 credits while still in high school. Credits may be transferred to two-year associate degree programs at DCCC, or directly to four-year institutions. Admission is based on demonstrated academic ability and motivation.  A recent reduction in tuition to $40 per credit hour for participating school districts has boosted the program’s popularity, with over 1,350 students participating in 2014-15.

GOP in Driver's Seat as Congress Tackles NCLB Rewrite
House bill on move; talks start in Senate
Education Week By Lauren Camera Published Online: February 17, 2015
For the last three weeks, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have continued to plow ahead with efforts to update the much-maligned No Child Left Behind Act, the latest iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  Republican lawmakers are in the driver's seat in both chambers where Title I portability, testing, and accountability continue to be the most hotly debated policy issues.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, GOP members on the education committee approved a rewrite to the federal K-12 law, which they've titled the Student Success Act, on a party-line vote Feb. 11, while Democrats blasted the measure for rolling back protections for the most disadvantaged students—the civil rights underpinning of the law.
Across the Capitol, Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.,reversed course and began negotiating with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the committee, to broker a bipartisan NCLB overhaul. The move was a marked departure from his initial strategy to push ahead with a Republican discussion draft, which was crafted without Democratic input.

Florida Gov. Scott concedes that kids are over-tested, drops 11th-grade standardized exam
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss February 18 at 6:49 PM  
Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks Feb. 10, 2015, at Keeping the Promise: A Florida Education Summit, sponsored by former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Florida’s Future, at the Florida State University Alumni Center in Tallahassee, Fla. (Phil Sears/AP)
After years of calls by educators and parents for a reduction in standardized tests, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that yes, in fact, students in public schools in the state are being over-tested (such as in Duval County, where kids in K-5 take 14 assessments), and he issued an executive order eliminating one statewide 11th grade standardized assessment for English Language Arts.  The announcement by Scott was linked to a new report (see below) completed by Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, who recommended a testing reduction after doing an investigation into the number, frequency and purpose of standardized tests and whether  local assessments were assessed by state tests.

Oklahoma lawmakers aim to halt Advanced Placement history course
Yahoo News Reuters By Heide Brandes and Jon Herskovitz February 18, 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Oklahoma lawmakers are trying to block funding for Advanced Placement U.S. history courses, saying the curriculum is not patriotic enough, as they aim to join others in halting a program designed to prepare top students for college.  A new framework for the course introduced in 2012 has sparked controversy. Cultural conservatives blast the changes they see as questioning American exceptionalism, while supporters say the course offers students a balanced way to analyze how American history has unfolded.
This week, a bill to cut funding for Advanced Placement U.S. History courses in the state passed an Oklahoma House committee along party lines, with 11 Republican voting for the measure and 4 Democrats opposed.  "We don't want our tax dollars going to a test that undermines our history," Dan Fisher, a Republican lawmaker who authored the bill, said during committee debate.



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.

The State of Public Education Funding in Pennsylvania
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia Tuesday, March 17, 2015 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM
United Way Building, 1709 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA
Join Law Center attorneys for a briefing on the basics of education funding, a recap of the March 11th oral arguments in the school funding lawsuit, information on the new administration’s budget proposal and more.  There are limited spots available for this free event. 1.5 CLE credits will be offered to participating attorneys.

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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