Thursday, June 11, 2015
PA Ed Policy Roundup June 11: Senator Leach: "100% of the time failing schools are poor and 0% of the time rich schools are failing"
Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3600 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, faith-based organizations, labor organizations, 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
These daily emails are archived and searchable at http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.org
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg
Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for June 11, 2015:
Senator Leach: "100% of the time failing schools are poor and 0% of the time rich schools are failing"
"100% of the time failing schools are poor and 0% of the time rich schools are failing"
PSBA Govt Affairs tweet quoting Senator Daylin Leach discussing SB6 at PA Senate Ed Committee meeting of June 9th
Montco rally to push for new school funding
Philly.com by Jessica Parks LAST UPDATED: Thursday, June 11, 2015, 1:08 AM
Outdoor drama targets school funding
Chambersburg Public Opinion Staff reports UPDATED: 06/10/2015 12:11:01 PM
CHAMBERSBURG >> A short dramatic presentation outdoors at Franklin County Courthouse is on tap Thursday at 1 p.m. as part of a statewide schedule of events to highlight the need for a new basic education funding system in Pennsylvania. A Shippensburg family — Rich and Misty Knight and their daughter Rachel — will perform "School Play." Sponsored by Education Matters in the
, the performance is aimed at
raising awareness of the state's much-criticized school funding formula and
heightening pressure on legislators to amend the process. Susan Spicka,
co-founder of Education Matters in the Cumberland Valley Cumberland
Valley, repeatedly charges that Pennsylvania has the
widest funding gap between wealthy and poor school districts of any state in
the country. She said inequity, combined with recent cuts in state funding to
public schools, has resulted in teacher layoffs and cutbacks in programs and
services in many schools across the state.
Campaign for Fair Education Funding statement on timing of Basic Education Funding Commission report
Campaign for Fair Education Funding website June 10, 2015
Have you signed up for the Campaign for Fair Education Funding e-newsletter yet?
Delco Times By Brendan Wills, bwills@21st-CenturyMedia.com, @BWillsTH on Twitter POSTED: 06/10/15, 3:16 PM EDT
NORRISTOWN>> The Basic Education Funding Commission announced Wednesday that it will not be making a recommendation to the
legislature for a fair funding formula for public schools by the June 10
deadline. The commission announced
Thursday that it will take another week to finalize a recommendation. ”This allows members of the commission the
necessary time to continue to build on the positive and productive
conversations taking place based on information gathered during the year-long
hearings to reach a final consensus on a product that generates a fair
distribution formula before making a recommendation to the General Assembly,”
the statement reads. The commission was
formed a year ago on June 10 by the Act 51 of 2014 to come up with a funding
formula for basic education, which Pennsylvania
has been without for several years. Most
school districts have continued their budget process without considering any
change to the funding formula, assuming it will not be in place for the
2015-2016 school year. School districts in Pennsylvania must adopt their budgets by
June 30, which means district’s finance departments usually have to estimate
the funding they will receive from the state because they are passing their
budgets before the state votes on their allocation of funds to education.
Funding formula? What funding formula?
John Baer, Daily News Political Columnist WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10, 2015, 8:57 AM
I feel certain you'll be shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn that the state's long-touted, long-"working" bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission has failed to meet a deadline imposed by law a year ago. With its report on how to make state school spending fairer to all school districts (read: especially Philadelphia) due today, June 10, the commission yesterday issued a statement at 5:25 p.m. saying, yeah, well, we're not going to make that deadline so we're extending it another week.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/growls/Funding-formula-What-funding-formula.html#5SA5T3ExiqC8pzZV.99
Roebuck to introduce strong, bipartisan
reform bill Pa.
Includes $160 million in savings, 'apples to apples' teacher evaluations
Support Wolf's budget plan that ends overpayment to cyber-charter schools: PennLive letters
Penn Live Letters to the Editor by KATHY I.
EVERETT, Carlisle on June
10, 2015 at 3:00 PM, updated June 10, 2015 at 3:01 PM
I most strongly encourage
support the cyberschool funding reform in Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed budget.
This reform would end school district over-payments to corporations that operate
cyber-charter schools and save Cumberland
County schools nearly $3
million next year. The savings generated
from this reform would be invested in our local schools and used to educate our
children rather than sent away to a corporation to be spent on anything from
advertising to CEO salaries or to other overhead costs. Cumberland
Senate committee votes to delay Keystone Exams
The Senate Education Committee Tuesday unanimously approved legislation to delay the graduation requirement associated with the Keystone Exams for two years.
“This marks a crucial first step in reevaluating and rolling back the make-or-break graduation exams that were put in place by the previous administration,” Sen. Andy Dinniman said. “We said then that standards without the resources to support them were not only unfair to students, but also put an unmanageable financial burden on school districts. Today we have united to ensure that our message is heard loud and clear and that the legislature reasserts its role in the process.” Under current law, high school students beginning with the class of 2017 (rising juniors) will have to pass Keystone Exams in three subject areas (Algebra I, Biology and Language Arts) in order to earn a diploma. While the three exams are required by the federal government for evaluative purposes, education officials in the previous administration arbitrarily tied them to high school graduation. Senate Bill 880 calls for delaying the requirement until the 2018-2019 school year, meaning it would affect incoming freshmen. The bill aims to give the Legislature additional time to resolve some of the unanticipated consequences of the Keystones implementation, including how to effectively administer and fund project-based assessments for students who do not pass the exams.
RFA’s Analysis of Keystone Exams
Research for Action Policy Brief, June 2015
Beginning with the class of 2017,
students’ performance on Keystone exams will play a major role in whether they
receive high school diplomas. This
policy, and the state’s move toward test-based accountability, has been
controversial. Many supporters believe that exit exams will ensure greater
equity in academic expectations statewide, while opponents contend that exit
exams will narrow curriculum, burden both teachers and students, and negatively
impact graduation rates–especially for disadvantaged students. Earlier this year, test results for the
2013-14 administration of the Keystones were released; the results provide an
initial indication of how students are performing.
POLL: Should the Keystone Exam graduation requirement be delayed or scrapped completely?
Starting in 2017, public school students must pass
Keystone Exams to graduate, but that requirement might get put on hold. The Senate Education Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would delay the Keystone Exam graduation
requirement until 2019, according to PennLive. Senate Bill 880, which was introduced by education chairman
Lloyd Smucker, a West Lampeter Republican, could now go to a floor vote. High school students (and some middle
schoolers) take Keystone Exams in algebra I, literature and biology. Under
current law, those in the class of 2017 and younger who fail the exams twice
will need to complete a project-based assessment. Lawmakers cited problems with implementation
of those projects as motivation to delay the graduation requirement, PennLive
reported. Finding staff to supervise student work on the projects has burdened
some schools, for example.
"I don't think at that point it time it was clear what kinds of resources might be required in order for school districts and charters to meet the Keystone graduation requirements," said Kate Shaw, executive director of Research for Action. The Philadelphia-based nonprofit published an analysis Wednesday showing that, based on last year's pass rates, a quarter million Pennsylvania students would need help with project based assessments."
Schools in 40
struggle with Keystone graduation requirement Pa.
WHYY Newsworks BY KEVIN MCCORRY JUNE 10, 2015
PA Could Realize Huge Economic Gains by Emulating the World's Top Performing School Systems
Center on Regional Politics Summer 2015 Bulletin
Gov. Tom Wolf waives fee for volunteers' background checks
By Jan Murphy | email@example.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on June 10, 2015 at 1:41 PM, updated June 10, 2015 at 3:31 PM
Update: The House decided to postpone its anticipated lengthy debate on changes to the background checks law until Monday.
Shortly before the state House debate over proposed changes to the state's child abuse background checks law to make it less onerous to employees and volunteers who work with children that was supposed to happen on Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf took a step to do just that. Wolf announced today that $20 in fees for a child abuse clearance and state police criminal background check required by the Child Protective Services Law will be waived for volunteers who work with children. He also announced that the state Department of Human Services and the Pennsylvania State Police will be reducing the cost of both the child abuse and criminal history record checks from $10 to $8 for all other applicants. These changes, which grew out of conversations with legislators, will take effect on July 25.
Philly.com by Kathy Boccella LAST UPDATED: Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 5:39 PM
Fees for child-abuse clearances and criminal background checks required for volunteers working with children under the state's new child Protective Services Law will be waived, Gov. Wolf announced Wednesday. For others, including those who work with children, such as teachers, the cost will be reduced from $10, to $8. Beginning July 1, volunteers are required to obtain background checks, including the Child Abuse History Clearance, issued by the Department of Human Services, and the Criminal History Record Check, issued by the Pennsylvania State Police. The law was passed in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse case at
. Penn State
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20150611_Pa__waives_background-check_fees_for_school_volunteers.html#JWKq8TECUUg8GvvR.99
EDITORIAL: Longer school days needed
For all the drama surrounding the
— the attempted state takeover and
charter conversion plan, for instance — the most recent idea to improve
academic achievement is remarkably simple:
What if the staff were to spend more time teaching students? A new teachers' contract approved this week
adds an additional hour of instruction to the school day starting in the fall —
time that will be devoted to math, language arts and writing instruction,
Superintendent Eric Holmes said. The move
will help improve test scores, he said, calling the agreement
"unprecedented" in York
District Pennsylvania. We call it low-hanging fruit.
City's financial commitment to Philly schools only half-hearted, district says
WHYY Newsworks BY KEVIN MCCORRY JUNE 10, 2015
Philly parents, union, rally against plan to privatize school nursing services
KRISTEN A. GRAHAM, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER LAST UPDATED: Thursday, June 11, 2015, 1:08 AM POSTED: Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 6:17 PM
When her medically fragile son was in kindergarten, Sabrina Jones had a rotating cast of private-duty nurses at his
public school. "It just wasn't a
good experience," said Jones - too little consistency, no real connection
with her son, who has a feeding tube. But when he moved to a school that had a
full-time nurse, she said, things improved dramatically. "The relationship between the nurse and
my child is essential," said Jones, whose son is now a fourth grader at Lingelbach School
"How could you think replacing school nurses could possibly help
children?" Jones stood with
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan and others Wednesday
to protest the 's move to
possibly outsource school nurse services. Philadelphia
By Sara K. Satullo | For lehighvalleylive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on June 10, 2015 at 6:37 PM, updated June 10, 2015 at 8:29 PM
Saucon Valley teachers are seeking retroactive pay raises for the three years they have worked under an expired contract, according to a contract proposal released by their union. The Saucon Valley Education Association released its final, best contract offer Wednesday so the school board can analyze it and the public can offer written comments ahead of a July 29 nonbinding arbitration hearing. The two sides have agreed to try to settle the multi-year stalemate with a hearing before arbitrator Timothy Brown. Held behind closed doors, it is not open to the public. The arbitrator will hear both sides and issue recommendations aimed at resolving disputed issues.
teachers have been working under an expired contract since July 2012. Saucon Valley
Delco Times By Susan L. Serbin, Times Correspondent POSTED: 06/09/15, 12:32 PM EDT
Peter Greene: Pennsylvania Governor Wolf Wants to Cut the Flow of $$$ to Cyber-Charters
Peter Greene reports a shocking development (for operators of cyber-charters): Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has said that he wants to reduce payments to cyber-charters, the online charter schools that are usually offered by for-profit corporations. Cyber-charters receive full state tuition for every student they enroll, and every dollar is subtracted from funding of local district schools that the student otherwise would have attended. Numerous studies have shown that the virtual schools have high attrition (as much as 50% a year), low test scores, and low graduation rates. But they are very profitable. This is actually a shocking development for critics of virtual charters because their usual modus operandi is to sprinkle campaign contributions to key legislators and the governor, thus protecting their cash cow.
college is free, children of uneducated parents still don’t go Norway
Advocates see it as a case study proving that the problem isn’t solely about money
Hechinger Report by JON MARCUS June 10, 2015
Curt Rice, incoming president of
Oslo and , or
HiOA. Photo: HiOA Akershus University
Come to Harrisburg on June 23rd for an All for Education Day Rally!
Education Voters PA website June 1, 2015
On June 23 at the Capitol in Harrisburg, Education Voters will be joining together with more than 50 organizations to send a clear message to state lawmakers that we expect them to fund our schools in this year’s budget. Click HERE for more information and to register for the June 23 All for Education Day in Harrisburg. Join us as we speak up for the importance of funding our schools fairly and at sufficient levels, so that every student in PA has an opportunity to learn. Community, parent, education advocacy, faith, and labor organizations will join together with school, municipal, and community officials to hold a press conference and rally at 12:00 in the main rotunda and to make arrangements to meet with legislators before and after the rally. We must send a strong message to state lawmakers that we are watching them and expect them to pass a state budget that will fund our schools this year. Please come to Harrisburg on June 23 to show broad support for a fair budget for education this year.
Register Now – PAESSP State Conference – Oct. 18-20 – State College, PA
Registration is now open for PAESSP's State Conference to be held October 18-20 at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA! This year's theme is @EVERYLEADER and features three nationally-known keynote speakers (Dr. James Stronge, Justin Baeder and Dr. Mike Schmoker), professional breakout sessions, a legal update, exhibits, Tech Learning Labs and many opportunities to network with your colleagues (Monday evening event with Jay Paterno). Once again, in conjunction with its conference, PAESSP will offer two 30-hour Act 45 PIL-approved programs, Linking Student Learning to Teacher Supervision and Evaluation (pre-conference offering on 10/17/15); and Improving Student Learning Through Research-Based Practices: The Power of an Effective Principal (held during the conference, 10/18/15 -10/20/15). Register for either or both PIL programs when you register for the Full Conference!
REGISTER TODAY for the Conference and Act 45 PIL program/s at:
Apply now for EPLC’s 2015-2016 PA Education Policy Fellowship Program
Applications are available now for the 2015-2016 Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP). The Education Policy Fellowship Program is sponsored in Pennsylvania by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC). With more than 400 graduates in its first sixteen years, this Program is a premier professional development opportunity for educators, state and local policymakers, advocates, and community leaders. State Board of Accountancy (SBA) credits are available to certified public accountants. Past participants include state policymakers, district superintendents and principals, charter school leaders, school business officers, school board members, education deans/chairs, statewide association leaders, parent leaders, education advocates, and other education and community leaders. Fellows are typically sponsored by their employer or another organization. The Fellowship Program begins with a two-day retreat on September 17-18, 2015 and continues to graduation in June 2016.
Click here to read about the Education Policy Fellowship Program.
Sign up here to receive a weekly email update on the status of efforts to have Pennsylvania adopt an adequate, equitable, predictable and sustainable Basic Education Funding Formula by 2016
Sign up to support fair funding »
Campaign for Fair Education Funding website
Our goal is to ensure that every student has access to a quality education no matter where they live. To make that happen, we need to fundamentally change how public schools are funded. The current system is not fair to students or taxpayers and our campaign partners – more than 50 organizations from across Pennsylvania - agree that it has to be changed now. Student performance is stagnating. School districts are in crisis. Lawmakers have the ability to change this formula but they need to hear from you. You can make a difference »
COMMUNITY MEETING: PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING IN BERKS COUNTY
Berks County IU June 23, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Date: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 Time:7:00 – 8:30 p.m. | Registration begins at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Berks County Intermediate Unit, 1111 Commons Boulevard, Reading, PA 19605
Local school district leaders will discuss how state funding issues are impacting our children’s education opportunities, our local taxes, and our communities. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn how you can support fair and adequate state funding for public schools in Berks County. State lawmakers who represent Berks County have been invited to attend to learn about challenges facing area schools.