Wednesday, February 25, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Feb 25: Gov. Tom Wolf's first state budget may include a plan for lower school property taxes

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for February 25, 2015:
Gov. Tom Wolf's first state budget may include a plan for lower school property taxes

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

Gov. Tom Wolf's first state budget may include a plan for lower school property taxes
Penn Live By Charles Thompson | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on February 25, 2015 at 6:28 AM, updated February 25, 2015 at 6:29 AM
With campaign promises solidifying into governing plans at this writing, Gov. Tom Wolf appears to be ready to join a long line of Pennsylvania governors who have tried to significantly reduce property taxes.  Multiple sources told PennLive this week they expect Wolf's "tax fairness" plan to include a major slash at residential school property tax bills, in keeping with his larger goal of shifting more education costs to state government.  The plan, while not eliminating property taxes altogether as some lawmakers would like, would add to the small breaks currently derived from former Gov. Ed Rendell's legalization of casino gambling, sources said.

Wolf delivers message on school funding to business groups by MARC LEVY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 11:09 AM
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Tom Wolf delivered a tough message Tuesday on the need to increase public school funding as he reaches out to business groups, a traditional ally of Republicans, ahead of a budget proposal that is expected to seek higher taxes.  The Democrat, speaking at a suburban Harrisburg hotel, stressed his credentials as a former business owner who understands the hardship of making payroll and how government can affect businesses.  But, with many in the business community bracing for a Wolf proposal to substantially overhaul tax structures, Wolf also told them that public schools must get more money.

Wolf readies plan for Pa. tax, minimum wage hikes
AMY WORDEN, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU LAST UPDATED: Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 1:08 AM POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 11:31 AM
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania residents will likely hear a proposal for a broad-based tax increase when Gov. Wolf proposes his first budget next week.  After meeting with business leaders Tuesday, Wolf declined to discuss details of his plan but would not rule out a graduated income tax targeting high-income brackets, a structure he has touted in the past.
"What I talked about was a fairer tax system. I do intend to present that," he said. "This is a chance for a reset. I hope the people of Pennsylvania will be pleased with what I propose."
Despite the projected $2.3 billion deficit, any new tax proposal is virtually certain to meet resistance in the GOP-led legislature. Republicans have made it clear that they will not consider new revenue until the state addresses pension funding.

Gov. Tom Wolf tight-lipped about what is in his budget proposal
Penn LIve By Jan Murphy | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on February 24, 2015 at 12:45 PM, updated February 24, 2015 at 3:57 PM
Gov. Tom Wolf talks a lot about transparency and open government and followed through with his gift ban and release of his daily schedule but there's a limit. When it comes to releasing some of the major planks of his budget proposal to be unveiled on Tuesday, he's choosing suspense over early disclosure.  Reporters gathered around him after a speech to members of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and Pennsylvania Bankers Association on Tuesday trying to pry out more details about the first state budget proposal of his administration.   After all, what's in that plan has given rise to ample speculation around the Capitol that it will include a call for broad-based tax increases to address the $2.3 billion budget deficit and Wolf's campaign promises.  

KIPP CEO: Was SRC vote on charters good for students, city? opinion By Marc Mannella POSTED: Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 1:08 AM
Marc Mannella is founder and CEO of KIPP Philadelphia Schools.
Last Wednesday's School Reform Commission meeting, where the fate of the 39 charter applications was decided, resulted in a sleepless night for me. The SRC denied 34 applications and granted five, including one of KIPP Philadelphia's, where I have served since 2003 as founder and CEO. The SRC granted a total of 2,684 "new" seats for families in Philadelphia. So I'm left wondering: Is this a "good" result?  There's certainly a strong case to be made that this is very good news. The SRC stood up to Gov. Wolf and the majority of Philadelphia mayoral candidates who publicly stated that every application should be rejected regardless of merit. The SRC also acknowledged KIPP's status as one of the best charter school operators in the city by granting us one of only five new charters. Critically, we will be using 300 of the 500 "new" seats granted us to correct a mistake made in 2012, when the School District approved our expansion to a K-12 charter, but only enough seats to serve grades K-2, and 5-11. This correction secures our long-term stability, and we are grateful for that.
However, there's also a case to be made that last Wednesday night was a sad one for our city.

Charter applicants turned down by Philly's SRC get promises of help with appeals
In the wake of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission's decision to reject dozens of proposed charter schools, charter school advocates are preparing to help those applicants who were turned down make the most of their last chance.  Last week, the SRC voted down 34 of 39 applications for new charter schools. So far, at least two statewide organizations say they're ready to help those charters navigate Pennsylvania's appeal process, which could potentially overrule the SRC on any of the 34 rejections.  One such group is the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools, run by former Gov. Tom Corbett's secretary for education, Tim Eller.
"We're hopeful that these schools do appeal. We do support charters in their appeal process," Eller said. "That's something that's permitted under law. Let's forget about the adults in the system, let's forget about the districts themselves, let's look at what's in the best interests of students."  Eller said the alliance has already reached out to all Philadelphia charters to inform them of their rights and other aspects of the appeal process. However, he downplayed the possibility that the alliance could support an individual school's appeal by paying for legal fees or other expenses.

The New Way Forward: Constitutional Amendments
PoliticsPA Written by Michael Manzo, Guest Columnist February 24, 2015
Yesterday, two members of the PA State Senate GOP introduced a bill that would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to limit the rate of spending of state government. In and of itself, this proposal is not new, as it has been introduced in some iteration or another for more than a decade. But taking a step back, it represents the latest in a trend that has begun in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly.  Not including yesterday’s bill introduction, the General Assembly has already acted on two proposed Constitutional Amendments, and intends to act on a third before this week is out.

Rep. Stan Saylor's criticism of York schools: Right idea, wrong venue (YDR opinion)
York Daily Record editorial UPDATED:  02/24/2015 08:26:33 AM EST
Pennsylvania state Rep. Stan Saylor, left, was joined by Rep. Keith Gillespie as they talked to a group of students from Central York High School. (Jason Plotkin - Daily Record/Sunday News)
Central York High School students who attended a recent session with state lawmakers might have anticipated a discussion filled with vague platitudes.
What they got instead was a lesson in real-life politics.

York City School District controversy at a glance:
York Daily Record UPDATED:   02/24/2015 11:07:55 PM EST
Overview of situation: A York County judge on Dec. 26 named David Meckley as receiver of the York City School District on behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The move would have given Meckley, the district's state-appointed chief recovery officer, all of the school board's powers — with the exception of levying taxes.  The decision has been stayed as the case makes its way through the courts. The education department had argued that school board members were not following a financial recovery plan adopted in 2013.  Where the court case stands: The York City School District's appeal is being heard by Commonwealth Court, an intermediate state appellate court in Harrisburg. Legal briefs in the case are due by March 24.

York NAACP community forum seeks answers for York City schools' woes
York Dispatch By SEAN PHILIP COTTER 505-5437/@SPCotterYD POSTED:   02/24/2015 11:38:08 PM EST
York NAACP president Sandra Thompson split the community forum her organization hosted Tuesday night into two phases: What happened to bring York City schools into such a dire situation as to require the state to step in, and where to go from here.  "The question is: How did we get here?" Thompson said near the start of the meeting at the Crispus Attucks Community Center, 605 S. Duke St.  The "how" suggestions came fast and in bunches from the 30-or-so in attendance, a crowd including city council and school board members. Concentrated poverty. A lack of community involvement. Segregation along economic and racial lines. Legislative action. Legislative inaction. An eroding tax base. Violence and drugs in the community.
Many of those ideas ended up circling back to the same topic: The toll a community with concentrated poverty and the issues it brings takes on the kids who grow up in it, Thompson said — "More trauma-infused students."

Local NAACP president: appeal in York City School District case might not be decided this year
Sandra Thompson's remarks came before a community forum at Crispus Attucks on Tuesday
York Daily Record By Dylan Segelbaum @dylan_segelbaum on Twitter UPDATED:   02/24/2015 11:50:28 PM EST
There could be no decision in the ongoing court battle over control of the York City School District this year, the president of the local NAACP chapter said Tuesday.  Shortly before a community forum about the district at Crispus Attucks in York, Sandra Thompson said the deadline for legal briefs to be filed with Commonwealth Court has been pushed to May 29. If there are no other extensions, she said, the Pennsylvania Department of Education's attorneys would then have 30 days to file a reply. The lawyers could also request for oral arguments to be held in the case.
"We don't know how long it will take to decide," Thompson said, adding that she doesn't foresee a settlement that involves turning the district's schools into charters.  The forum, held by the York NAACP, started at about 6:30 p.m. and focused on how the York City School District got into its current situation, as well as possible solutions to the issues it faces. About 20 community members, in addition to local leaders such as York City Council President Carol Hill-Evans, Councilman Michael Helfrich and school board President Margie Orr, were in attendance.

Saucon Valley to try again to settle dispute
By Jacqueline PalochkoOf The Morning Callcontact the reporter February 24, 2015
Saucon Valley School District will have a new contract offer for teachers
The Saucon Valley School District will offer a new contract proposal to its teachers union this week in an attempt to end a contentious three-year impasse.  While the two sides were locking horns, a throng of Lehigh Valley school districts forged new contracts, agreeing to terms that are strikingly similar to those rejected by both sides in Saucon Valley.  District solicitor Jeff Sultanik would not disclose details on how the district proposes to resolve the dispute.
But under the plan, the district will give a state mediator a copy of the proposed contract for the union's perusal. The two sides will separately meet with the mediator Thursday.

"Bond refinancing has been one of the few bright spots in the finances of some local school districts over the past several years.  School districts have faced skyrocketing expenditures for pensions, health care, cyber and charter school tuition and special education costs while local tax revenue and state and federal funding has failed to keep up."
Bond refinancing will save East Penn School District $404,000
By Margie Peterson Special to The Morning Call February 24, 2015
East Penn School District will save about $400,000 following its latest round of bond refinancing, but the days of big savings through such actions might be coming to an end.  Since 1998, bond refinancing has saved the district $12.8 million, according to Scott Shearer, managing director of Public Financing Management.  The latest effort, approved by the school board Monday, will retire bonds from 2008, 2009 and 2010, and net East Penn $404,000 in savings on $9.8 million in debt. The winning bidder for the refinanced bonds was Illinois-based Robert W. Baird & Co. with a "true interest cost" of 1.44 percent, which takes into account the fee as well as the interest rate.
"The market cooperated, we got some very good bids," Shearer said. The district's credit rating is good – Aa2 from Moody's — "which the investors did find very attractive," he said.

How to opt your child out of the PSSAs
You may have heard the buzz around the growing "opt out" movement in Philadelphia and throughout the nation. In just one city school, Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences, parents of over 100 students have opted their children out of the state standardized tests this spring. 
This movement is not by accident. It has been carefully orchestrated by activist educators and parents, from organizations like the Caucus for Working Educatorsand United Opt Out, and it is growing by the day. The opt-out movement is a response to both the standardization of the educational experience and the damage of high stakes testing.  

Montel Williams: “Just Let Teachers Teach!”
Living in Dialogue Blog By Anthony Cody.  Posted onTuesday, February 24, 2015 1:29 pm 
Last week as I was tweeting in support of the Newark Students Union occupation of their state-appointed administrator’s office, I was surprised to see a familiar name joining the chorus of support for these young activists. Montel Williams was right in there, tweeting his own support, and retweeting messages of solidarity with the occupation. So when I was asked by the National School Boards Association if I would like to interview Mr. Williams, and Thomas J. Gentzel, the NSBA’s Executive Director on Public Schools, I was happy to send questions, which were posed and answered in this video.

How Twitter is changing the national Common Core debate
Washington Post ANswer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss February 25 at 4:00 AM  
Is Twitter affecting the national debate on the Common Core State Standards initiative? Three researchers working on a digital reporting project say “yes” — and they call this the first national policy conversation played out in social media.  The university researchers looked at hundreds of thousands of tweets at #commoncore over a six-month period and analyzed them not only for content but also by author. One key finding:  Twitter is “making the invisible visible,” giving people who usually have no voice in national discussions power to express their opinions and affect discourse. The researchers also noted that the debate over the Core isn’t only about the Core standards themselves, but, rather, about issues such as the federal involvement in local education issues, student privacy,  standardized testing, the role poverty plays in student achievement and how for-profit companies are affecting education.

#COMMONCORE How social media is changing the politics of education
The creators of the #commoncore Project are:
·         Jonathan Supovitz, the co-director of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education and a Professor of Education Policy and Leadership at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.
·         Alan Daly, the Chair of the Department of Education Studies and a Professor of Education at the University of California, San Diego.
·         Miguel del Fresno, a lecturer at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) in Madrid, Spain and a senior communication consultant and researcher.
The Common Core has become a flashpoint at the nexus of education politics and policy, fueled by ardent social media activists. To explore this phenomenon, this innovative and interactive website examines the Common Core debate through the lens of the influential social media site Twitter. Using a social network perspective that examines the relationships among actors, we focus on the most highly used Twitter hashtag about the Common Core: #commoncore. The central question of our investigation is: How are social media-enabled social networks changing the discourse in American politics that produces and sustains social policy? To see how the site is organized, clickHOW TO USE THIS SITE. To join a conversation about this research in an open forum, tweet using #htagcommoncore.

More Conflict Over Cutting Federal Role in Education
New York Times By TAMAR LEWIN FEB. 24, 2015
As the House of Representatives prepared to take up a Republican proposal for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, Congress and the White House on Monday inched toward a confrontation over the federal role in education.  The House is expected to pass a plan this week that would cut back federal regulation of education from kindergarten through 12th grade and give state and local authorities more discretion over everything from assessing teacher and student performance to the flow of Title I money, the largest stream of federal funding for low-income students.  The House Education Committee approved the bill on Feb. 11. Representative John Kline, Republican of Minnesota and chairman of the committee, said after the committee vote that the plan would “provide American families the education system they deserve, not the one Washington wants.”  The Obama administration, however, sees the plan as a step backward, threatening funding of the neediest schools.

"In many ways, Obama was the ideal surrogate for Emanuel. While the president has seen his popularity ebb nationwide since taking office, he remains popular in his hometown.  He is particularly popular among the group of voters who have complained most bitterly about Emanuel’s tenure: African Americans. Many of them have been deeply unhappy about the mayor’s controversial 2013 decision to close 50 under-performing schools, most of them in hard-scrabble neighborhoods. In sending the children to schools elsewhere, Emanuel argued, he was ensuring they received a better education."
Rahm Emanuel heading to a runoff
Emanuel fails to earn majority of the vote in Chicago.
Politico By ALEX ISENSTADT and KYLE CHENEY 2/24/15 10:16 PM EST Updated 2/25/15 12:48 AM EST
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fell short of an outright win in his reelection battle Tuesday — despite President Barack Obama putting his hometown political clout on the line to push his former top aide over the finish line — and will face the second-place finisher in an April runoff.
Emanuel pulled in 45 percent of the vote — well short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff. Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia finished second at 34 percent, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

Bucks County Forum on how to run for school board March 2, 7 pm at Northampton library
Courier Times By Chris English Staff Writer Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 1:00 am | Updated: 7:17 am, Tue Feb 24, 2015.
How to run for school board and what to do if you get elected are two issues that will be explored during a forum at 7 p.m. March 2 at the Free Library of Northampton Township. The event is free and open to the public.  "Anyone in Bucks County who is interested in school board elections is encouraged to attend," said event organizer and Newtown Township resident Amy McIntyre.
A panel of present and former school board members from throughout the county will lead a discussion and answer questions about the process and requirements of running for school board, the time commitment, responsibilities of board members and the resources available to teach new board members about the job.  Centennial school board member and Pennsylvania School Board Association Vice President Mark Miller will moderate.

PSBA Members Only Annual Pennsylvania Education Budget Briefing
MAR 4, 2015 • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Join us for a special complimentary members-only Annual Pennsylvania Education Budget Briefing webinar, Wednesday, March 4 at noon.  The webinar features Acting Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera and PSBA Senior Director of Government Affairs, John Callahan, who will discuss Gov. Wolf’s 2015-16 proposed budget. You will have the option to attend live at PSBA’s Headquarters in Mechanicsburg or join us online through your computer. Both options will allow you to ask questions during the webinar.

Lawsuit asks the Court to ensure that all students -- including those living in low-wealth districts -- have the basic resources they need to meet state academic standards.
Meet Us in Court on March 11th
Education Law Center
On Wednesday, March 11th at 9:30 a.m., the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania will hear oral arguments in our school funding lawsuit which challenges the legislature's failure to adequately support and maintain Pennsylvania's public school system. This historic case, which the Education Law Center filed with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and pro bono counsel O'Melveny & Meyers, asks the Court to ensure that all students -- including those living in low-wealth districts -- have the basic resources they need to meet state academic standards. We ask the court to hear this case and enforce the rights of our children to a "thorough and efficient" system of public education as guaranteed to them by our state constitution.
Please come and support us as we fight for vulnerable students and all public school students across the state. The hearing will be held at the Pennsylvania Judicial Center, 601 Commonwealth Avenue, Courtroom 5001 in Harrisburg, PA.  If you plan to attend or have questions, contact Spencer Malloy at (The courtroom is walking distance from the Harrisburg Amtrak Station.) 

2015 Pennsylvania Budget Summit
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 Hilton Hotel, Harrisburg Pennsylvania
PA Budget and Policy Center
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center will host its Annual Budget Summit on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at the Hilton Harrisburg. Join us for an in-depth look at the Governor's 2015-16 budget proposal, including what it means for education, health and human services, and local communities. The Summit will focus on the leading issues facing the commonwealth in 2015, with workshops, lunch, a legislative panel discussion, and a keynote speech.
Space is limited, so fill out the form below to reserve your spot at the Budget Summit.

"Test-In" & Forum on High Stakes Testing
Thurs., Feb 26, 2015 (5-7pm)  Free Library of Philadelphia – Central Branch Room 406 & 407 1901 Vine St., Phila 19103 (between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)
Caucus of Working Educators BY MAX ROSEN-LONG 301SC ON FEBRUARY 16, 2015
Join parents, teachers, students, community members, higher ed faculty, politicians, & district administrators at the...“Test-In” & Forum on High Stakes Testing
-Answer sample PSSA and Keystone test questions.
-Hear teachers break the code of silence and reveal the injustice of high stakes testing from the classroom perspective.
-Hear students describe how the onslaught of testing has forced art, music, gym, and recess out of the school day.
-Hear school nurses describe the emotional and physical impact testing has on students.
-Learn exactly how much money and time is spent on testing annually in our schools.
-Discuss alternatives to high stakes testing.
-Learn how parents, teachers, and students have fought back again high stakes testing in Chicago, New York, Seattle, and other cities across the country.

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 Mary Curley, Communications Director for Chester County Intermediate Unit
·         3-3:15 p.m. — Break
·         3:15-3:45 p.m. — Grassroots Advocacy: How to be an Effective Advocate
Hear from 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 vice president.
·         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.
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

1 comment:

  1. This is a gorgeous place, and I won't soon forget it. Attended NYC events here sponsored by the company. The reception hour was held in one of the rooms next to the hall. I loved their buttery mashed sweet potato.


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