Tuesday, June 16, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup June 16: By a vote of 49-0, the PA Senate on Monday passed a bill that would postpone using the Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement until 2019

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for June 16, 2015:
By a vote of 49-0, the PA Senate on Monday passed a bill that would postpone using the Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement until 2019

Republicans claim agreement reached on structural deficit; administration says conversations are ongoing
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Monday, June 15, 2015
Republicans in the legislature are claiming a major breakthrough in the steps toward a budget agreement: agreement between them and the Wolf administration on a deficit number.  According to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware), the agreement reached with the governor late last week puts the current structural deficit at $1.2 billion.  “The meeting took place maybe last Tuesday or Wednesday and the meeting was with the four chairmen of the Appropriations Committee and the four executive directors as well as the Budget Secretary as well as the governor himself,” Rep. Adolph told The PLS Reporter.  “After about an hour and a half discussion, there has been agreement that the starting point for this year is somewhere around $300 million and the structural deficit that we are working with is somewhere at $1.2 billion.”  Rep. Adolph said “it was a good meeting” and one where everyone agreed to where the starting point is for the budget.

Comparing Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf tax plan with GOP plan
Morning Call By Eric Holmberg PublicSource June 15, 2015
Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives have advanced plans that give significant property tax relief to homeowners by increasing the state sales and income taxes.  But the two plans diverge when it comes to who would benefit most.  The $4.9 billion property tax relief plan backed by House Republicans directs more money to residents in school districts with the highest property tax bills, which would favor wealthier school districts. The plan also reduces the property tax rate in every school district, extending more of the perks to businesses than under Wolf's proposal.  "We tried to drive [property tax relief] to the areas that had the highest property taxes, but in a way that helps everyone," said Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, a member of the House Appropriations Committee.  Wolf's $3.8 billion plan focuses on relief for homeowners, especially in school districts with lower property values and high tax rates. It would reduce the property tax rate in 311 of the state's 500 school districts, and some of the state's poorest school districts would be able to completely eliminate property taxes.

Pa. Senate approves delay in Keystone exams
KATHY BOCCELLA, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER LAST UPDATED: Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 1:08 AM POSTED: Monday, June 15, 2015, 6:05 PM
The state Senate unanimously passed a bill Monday that would delay by two years a requirement that high school students pass Pennsylvania's Keystone exams to graduate.  Under the plan, the proficiency tests - in algebra 1, biology, and literature - will not go in effect for incoming freshmen until the 2018-19 school year.  Some people would like to see the exams postponed indefinitely.  "I would have liked to have seen a bill passed that ended the Keystones, period, but that's not possible at this stage," said Sen. Andy Dinniman (D., Chester) who cosponsored the bill with Lloyd Smucker (R., Lancaster), chairman of the Senate Education Committee.  What Senate Bill 880 does is give legislators more time to come up with a way to help schools pay for remediation and project-based assessments for students who fail the exam, he said.

Senate votes to delay use of state tests as graduation requirement
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com  Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on June 15, 2015 at 5:30 PM, updated June 15, 2015 at 7:28 PM
By a vote of 49-0, the Senate on Monday passed a bill that would postpone using the Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement until 2019.  The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster County, delays for two years the graduation requirement for students to pass the end-of-course exams in algebra, biology and literature – or an alternative project-based assessment for those who have undergone remediation and re-taken the exams but didn't achieve a passing score.  "While I strongly believe in holding schools accountable and ensuring that our high school graduates are career- and college-ready, these exams have created some unintended consequences that should be taken into consideration," said Smucker, who chairs the Senate Education Committee.  "The intent of the exams is admirable, but the implementation has presented concerns that may be best addressed by pushing the pause button and working through them."  The measure now goes to the House for consideration.

What could a new school funding formula mean for Pennsylvania?
Lancaster Online By KARA NEWHOUSE | Staff Writer Posted: Monday, June 15, 2015 7:30 pm
The time for a new school-funding formula is now.  Education leaders have been saying that for years, but state legislators may finally take heed in coming months.  The state’s Basic Education Funding Commission is wrapping up a year of work on the issue. The 15-member panel met almost daily in recent weeks, according to Sen. Lloyd Smucker, and is expected to release a proposal for a new formula on Wednesday.  Here's a primer on the commission's work and how its recommendations could affect Pennsylvania public schools.

Pa. education commission 'tweaking' report on funding schools
Trib Live By Sam Janesch Monday, June 15, 2015, 5:33 p.m.
HARRISBURG — Putting more taxpayer money toward education is a fundamental piece of Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed budget, and this week, a special commission is expected to introduce a formula for distributing education funding to schools.  The Basic Education Funding Commission, composed of 15 legislators and administrators, was established last June to find an alternative formula that would consider school district enrollment, relative wealth, local support and more.  
Pennsylvania has the widest disparity in spending between affluent and poor school districts, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Philly school funding battle comes to a head this week
Watchdog.org By Evan Grossman  /   June 15, 2015
This is a very big week for the fiscally distressed School District of Philadelphia.
Seeking new, recurring funding from city and state taxpayers to fill a looming $85 million budget deficit, the district will learn in the coming days how much it can expect from lawmakers in City Hall and, indirectly, in Harrisburg. The Philadelphia City Council will formalize its aid package later this week, while the Basic Education Funding Commission is expected to make school funding recommendations to the Legislature.  The district must have a budget in place for next year by the end of this month. Also in limbo is the $159 million Gov. Tom Wolf proposed sending to Philly in his budget, which has not been ratified in Harrisburg.

A Southwest Phila. school that runs on fumes
KRISTEN A. GRAHAM, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER LAST UPDATED: Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 1:08 AM POSTED: Monday, June 15, 2015, 6:25 PM
The principal was in midsentence when her cellphone alarm chirped, a jarringly cheerful reminder of what many city schools lack.  The alert meant it was time for Cheryl Hackett to summon one of her Mitchell Elementary students for a blood-sugar check. The seventh grader's numbers had been high, and the principal was worried, because this was one of the days the school had no nurse.  Four miles away, politicians in City Hall were discussing how much money the Philadelphia School District would get to cover an $85 million gap and begin to restore the cuts of the last several years.

New rating system finds nearly all Pennsylvania teachers are qualified
By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette June 15, 2015 12:00 AM
In the first year of many school districts using a new statewide teacher evaluation system, a greater portion of teachers was rated satisfactory than under the old system.   In figures released by the state Department of Education, 98.2 percent of all teachers were rated as satisfactory in 2013-14 — the highest percentage in five years — despite a new system that some thought would increase the number of unsatisfactory ratings.  In the four prior years, 97.7 percent of teachers were rated satisfactory in all but 2009-10, when 96.8 percent were. These figures count teachers in school districts, career and technical centers, intermediate units and charter schools.  Among other things, critics of the old system questioned whether too many of the state’s teachers were being rated satisfactory in a system that relied only on observation and had only two categories: satisfactory and unsatisfactory.  The new system uses a variety of measures for four performance categories, which determine satisfactory or unsatisfactory ratings.

PSBA says mandate relief bills provide common sense solutions to save tax dollars
PSBA website June 15, 2015
PSBA supports a legislative package of “common sense” mandate relief bills that would save millions of tax dollars. House Bill 1119 and 1112 will be considered by the House Education Committee on Monday, June 15, that will provide critically needed mandate relief for school districts and taxpayers, and urges the General Assembly to enact the bills swiftly.  “With the economic challenges facing school districts, we can no longer afford to operate under the status quo, and our school districts need meaningful relief from the mandates that will likely consume much of their budgets,” said PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains. “To ensure that we are giving our students the education they deserve, school districts need the flexibility and broad discretion to suspend the costly mandates that do nothing but direct money from away from our classrooms and valuable educational programs.”  “Additionally, those mandates that provide no educational value to students and do nothing to promote increases in student achievement should simply be repealed.”

Cheaper, faster Internet? These Lancaster County schools will take it.
Lancaster Online By KARA NEWHOUSE | Staff Writer Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 6:00 am
In the final months of the school year, Penn Manor School District's Internet capacity was maxing out.  "As we were just going about our business of education, we would see things like online testing tools and Study Island slow down to the point that it would be very frustrating," said technology director Charlie Reisinger.  "We were blocking a lot of video not because we wanted to, but because we had to."  All that's about to change, as the district transitions to a nonprofit broadband network that will give it 10 times more bandwidth.  Penn Manor is one of a growing number of local schools and universities connecting to the Pennsylvania Research and Education Network, known as PennREN. The 1,800-mile high speed fiber optic network that spans the state was built with almost $100 million from 2010 federal stimulus money. It is a project of the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER), a nonprofit membership organization of education, research, health care and other institutions.

"Last year, the state’s Basic Education Funding payments to Chester Upland were completely eaten up by charter school payments. Public school districts are required to pay charter schools what the district would pay to educate a child if they remained in the public school district. Watkins said that last year, $63 million was spent on these costs.  “We had more charter school expenses than we took in from our state subsidy,” he said."
Chester Upland facing $24 million ‘structural deficit’
By Vince Sullivan, Delaware County Daily Times POSTED: 06/15/15, 11:43 PM EDT
CHESTER >> The Chester Upland School District is looking at a $24 million budget shortfall unless the state resumes making charter school cost reimbursement payments, or deep cuts are made.  The 2015-16 school year proposed budget includes $137 million in spending, but shows just $112 million in revenue. Last year’s budget called for $118 million in spending, which was down more than $4 million from the year before. It also raised taxes by 3.4 percent.  The current budget proposal presented by district Receiver Joseph Watkins accounts for more than $60 million in payments to charter and cyber charter schools, and $6.8 million in payments to the state’s school employee retirement system. Pension contributions are up 20 percent over last year in accordance with state law. The proposal also calls for a 2.58 percent increase in real estate taxes for residents in the City of Chester, and a 3 percent tax increase for residents of Chester Township and Upland Borough.  Watkins said this year’s budget is similar to the budgets for the past three school years in that the state does not reimburse school districts for their charter school payments and continues to increase district contributions to pension systems, creating what he calls a structural deficit.  “If you brought in Albert Einstein to work on this deficit, he would have the same problem as we do,” Watkins said in a phone interview Monday. “It’s structural. It’s caused by fixed costs that we can’t control.”

Camp Hill School District's 2015-16 budget includes tax increase
Penn Live By Allison Dougherty | Special to PennLive on June 15, 2015 at 10:45 PM
CAMP HILL – The Camp Hill School District's 2015-16 budget is a done deal.
The school board on Mon. voted 7-2 to adopt a $20.38 million spending plan for next year, which is about 2.1 percent greater than this year's budget.  The proposal includes increases in healthcare and retirement costs, among other expenditures. The board did not adopt a recommendation made by the board's budget and finance committee not to replace an outgoing special education teacher. The recommendation was made with an eye to cutting costs.  The costs for the special education teacher are included in next year's budget.
The spending plan contains a revenue shortfall. Some of the gap between revenue and expenditures is expected to be filled with $250,000 from funds set aside for increases in pension costs, leaving roughly $88,771 outstanding, which is expected to be funded from additional reserves.

Harrisburg School District adopts no-tax-hike 2015-16 budget
Penn Live By M. Diane McCormick | Special to PennLive on June 15, 2015 at 9:51 PM, updated June 15, 2015 at 9:52 PM
Harrisburg School Board adopted a budget for the 2015-16 school year that, for the second year in a row, doesn't increase taxes.  Under the $137.8 million spending plan, the owner and resident of a home assessed at $42,000 would get a homestead exemption and pay $750 in property taxes. Properties without homestead exemptions are levied $2,792 for every $100,000 in assessed value.  The final budget's total exceeds a $136.4 million preliminary spending plan approved in May, but the budget is balanced, with revenue equaling spending. The budget includes increases for trash collection and new elementary teachers to meet rising enrollment, said board Vice President Jim Thompson.

"Member Mike Berk said the higher taxes are only maintaining the status quo, rather than adding staff or educational programming.   "It's rather sad that we have to raise taxes and we're not getting anything out of it. We're barely treading water," Berk said.  He said school districts await a remedy that will reform how state pensions are funded, as districts' pension costs have outpaced revenues."
South Middleton final budget gets approval, raises taxes
Penn Live By Elizabeth Gibson | Special to PennLive on June 15, 2015 at 9:17 PM, updated June 15, 2015 at 9:24 PM
Two hold-outs failed to halt the school board's approval of the 2015-16 spending plan for South Middleton School District.  Board members Paul Slifko and Robert Winters voted against the $33.8 million budget. Their opposition stemmed from concern over the lack of details on how much education funding the state - in talks on its own budget - will provide to the district.  The budget passed on a 6-2 vote. Member Thomas Hayes was absent.  A property owner with a home assessed at the district average of $198,000 will pay $1,847 in property taxes next year. That is a hike of $37.39.  The board raised taxes by 1.9 percent, the highest hike permitted under state law. The mil rate will rise from 9.1549 to 9.3288.  It is the first time that South Middleton has opted to raise taxes the maximum permitted amount since the state in 2006 set limits on district real estate tax increases.

Lower Dauphin School Board passes final budget with no tax increase
Penn Live By Monica Von Dobeneck | Special to PennLive on June 15, 2015 at 6:32 PM, updated June 15, 2015 at 6:35 PM
The Lower Dauphin School Board passed its final budget June 8 with no changes from the preliminary budget passed a month earlier.  There will be no tax increase in the 2015-16 school year. Taxes will remain at 18.42 mills. That means a home assessed at $100,000 will pay $1,842 in real estate taxes.  The $59.4 million budget is 2.2 percent higher than this year's. But if the district removes the extra $1.1 million it will have to pay in pensions this year, the increase is only .3 percent, according to superintendent Sherri Smith. The district will be paying $6.6 million toward the Public School Employees Retirement System this year.

Mt. Pleasant Area School Board to consider tax increase
Trib Live By Karl Polacek Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 12:46 a.m.
When Mt. Pleasant Area School Board meets June 22, a tax increase of more than 2 mills for district residents will be on the agenda.  During Monday's agenda meeting, board President Robert Gumbita read the proposed final budget resolution calling for a 2.1762 mill increase in the real estate levy.  Brent Filak, business manager, said that during the last meeting, several weeks ago, the budget deficit was $417,700. Since that time, minor changes reduced the projected deficit to $368,261. The present tax rate is 83.7 mills. A mill brings in about $148,000.
Bethlehem school tax bills to rise by 2.9 percent
By Sara K. Satullo | For lehighvalleylive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on June 15, 2015 at 7:41 PM, updated June 15, 2015 at 9:04 PM
Bethlehem Area School District taxpayers will see their school tax bills rise by 2.9 percent for 2015-16.  The school board approved a $247.2 million spending plan in a 7-2 vote Monday night. Directors Basilio A. Bonilla Jr. and Rogelio Ortiz voted against the budget.  Ortiz said he thought it was too great a tax hike for senior citizens.  "At their age they shouldn't be worried about taxes being raised," Ortiz said. "They've paid their fair share."  Bonilla apologized to district senior citizens for failing to convince the board to enact a senior citizen property tax rebate this year.  "We missed that opportunity," Bonilla said.  While the budget raises taxes, it does include the expansion of full-day kindergarten to all 16 district elementary schools next year, accounts for the construction of the new Nitschmann Middle School and the continued roll out of the Project Lead the Way high school curriculum.  It does not furlough any workers but does cut jobs through attrition.  The proposed budget relies on a 2.9 percent tax increase and $2 million in district savings applied to balance the budget. Bethlehem Area began the budget process in January with an $11.6 million deficit.

Central York School Board approves budget with tax increase
York Dispatch By JESSICA SCHLADEBECK 505-5438/@JessDispatch POSTED:   06/16/2015 12:32:26 AM EDT
In a split vote, the Central York school board during its meeting on Monday approved the district's budget for the upcoming year.  The proposed 2015-2016 budget projects more than $80 million in revenue, an increase of nearly $2.1 million over the current budget, which stood at $77.98 million.  Approximately 77 percent of the revenue will be generated locally, 22 percent by the state and 1 percent on a federal level.  The board also voted to increase the millage rate from 18.22 to 18.97, the second year in a row the members have voted to increase the rate. That means an increase of $75 for the owner of a house assessed at $100,000.  Expenses are expected to increase by almost $2.2 million and will result in a total deficit of $670,439, which is approximately $200,000 more than the previous year's.

Taxes to rise, positions cut in OV district budget
Bradford Era By ALEX DAVIS Era Reporter a.davis@bradfordera.com | 0 comments Posted: Saturday, June 13, 2015 10:00 am
SHINGLEHOUSE — Taxes would increase by roughly 2 percent and some positions would be eliminated under Oswayo Valley School District’s proposed budget slated for adoption later this month.  The school board approved a preliminary spending plan late last month that includes $7,470,860 in revenues and $7,558,171 in expenses. Officials are being forced to dip into district reserves to make up the deficit.  “With a significant decline in enrollment, OV was faced with the challenge of balancing varying and sometimes unknown revenues with mandated programs, increases in the district’s contribution to the Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS), and increases in employee health care premiums,” school district business manager Jackie Fosmer told The Era on Friday.

Taxes to slightly increase in Smethport school district
By FRAN De LANCEY Era Correspondent delancey401@yahoo.com | 0 comments Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2015 10:00 am
SMETHPORT — Taxpayers in the Smethport Area School District will see their real estate taxes go up for 2015-16, but only by less than one mill.  While the school directors adopted a 2015-16 budget in the amount of $14,543,828, which shows an increase of 1.48 percent over the current spending plan, they were able to hold the millage rate increase to .45 mills, going from 16.34 to 16.79.  All of the other taxes remain unchanged. These include the $5 per capita tax on residents 18 years of age and older as allowed by the school code, a like tax as allowed by Act 511 of 1965, a one percent wage tax and a one percent real estate transfer tax.

As Jeb Bush Officially Declares 2016 Run, A Quick Review of His K-12 Record
Education Week By Andrew Ujifusa on June 15, 2015 4:07 PM
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush officially declared that he will seek the presidency next year during a speech at the Kendall campus of Miami Dade College in Miami on June 15. He has perhaps the most extensive and complicated track record in education among all the Republican presidential hopefuls.   Bush, who served two terms as Florida governor before leaving the office in 2007, has been a presumptive GOP candidate for many months. In the early stages of exploring a run for the White House, he left his role as head of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the national K-12 policy group he founded. At his request, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took over as chairwoman of the organization's board of directors.  Bush had used the foundation to lobby other states to adopt policies similar to those he championed as Florida governor regarding school choice and literacy.  It has exerted notable influence in a variety of states' education policy decisions over the last several years, and spawned an affiliate of state superintendents, Chiefs for Change, that recently ended its formal relationship with the foundation.   Let's take a quick look at Bush's record.

Here’s what Jeb Bush really did to public education in Florida
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss June 15 at 6:00 PM  
ormer Florida governor Jeb Bush formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during a kickoff rally in Miami on June 15. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
Now that Jeb Bush is officially in the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, expect his campaign to talk a lot about school reforms he spearheaded in Florida when he was governor from 1999-2007, and about his role as a leader in the national corporate school reform movement. You will hear about his reforms — standardized test-based “accountability,” for example, and “school choice” — along with claims of success in helping to transform schools. But there are big questions about his claims: Did his Florida reforms really accomplish what he says they did? When he talks about helping schools, which ones is he talking about?  Here’s what you won’t hear — and what is vital to know to fully assess Bush’s education reform record and to understand why his critics call him a privatizer — and not a reformer — of public education.

Rally in West Chester for a State Budget Chester County Kids Deserve
Tuesday, June 16th at Noon  Location: Old Courthouse Steps in West Chester  Corner of High and Market Streets
Join parents, teachers, students, school staff, community advocates, and local leaders to demand a state budget that invests in your community, your students, and your schools.
Speakers include: Carolyn Comitta, Mayor of West Chester
Dr. Robert Langley, Lincoln University,
Lincoln-AAUP President
Dr. Curry Malott, West Chester University
College of Education
Dr. Kenneth Mash, East Stroudsburg University,
APSCUF President
Susan Carty, President, PA League of Women Voters, Retired Educator
Contact Doug Brown at 717-236-7486 for more information

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
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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 »

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.

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