Wednesday, August 26, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Aug 26: Judge rejects Wolf challenge to charter funding; So what exactly is in that Chester Upland Charter Special Sauce?

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for August 26, 2015:
Judge rejects Wolf challenge to charter funding; So what exactly is in that Chester Upland Charter Special Sauce?




Interested in letting our elected leadership know your thoughts on education funding, a severance tax, property taxes and the budget?
Governor Tom Wolf, (717) 787-2500
Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Turzai, (717) 772-9943
House Majority Leader Rep. Dave Reed, (717) 705-7173
Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. Joe Scarnati, (717) 787-7084
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Jake Corman, (717) 787-1377



School Funding Case Before Justices May Have Wide Impact
Maura McInerney, The Legal Intelligencer August 24, 2015
Education is the greatest civil rights issue of our time. The promise of a public education system is that it opens doors to all students and provides them with the opportunity for success in life regardless of the circumstances of their birth. It is an essential feature of our democracy and the lodestar that guides and guards our right to the "pursuit of happiness" guaranteed as "inherent" in both our federal and state constitutions. But Pennsylvania's public school system is in crisis, leaving many of our poorest students without the means to pursue that happiness.  A majority of our schools are significantly underfunded and students pay the price. Pennsylvania's method of funding schools is one of the most inequitable in the nation, as the state's poorest school districts receive 33 percent less funding than the wealthiest school districts—the single largest gap in the country.  Unequal funding has led to unequal success. This year marks the fourth straight year of declines in standardized test scores and currently a majority of Pennsylvania students are unable to pass the trio of Keystone exams adopted by the legislature as graduation requirements beginning in 2017.  How did we get here? In part, it is due to decisions to slash nearly $1 billion dollars in state school funding and to abandon a highly promising fair-funding formula that was based on the documented needs of students. Pennsylvania is currently one of only a handful of states without an operating school-funding formula.

"The district pays local charter schools about $64 million in tuition payments - more than it gets in state aid - to educate about half of its 7,000 students."
Judge rejects Wolf challenge to charter funding
MARI A. SCHAEFER AND CAITLIN MCCABE, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS POSTED: Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 9:41 PM
A Delaware County judge ruled Tuesday that the Chester Upland School District must abide by the state's charter school funding formula and keep paying the charter schools that now educate about half of the struggling district's students.  After a hearing that stretched two days, Common Pleas Judge Chad Kenney said the commonwealth's plan was "wholly inadequate" to restore the district to financial stability. He also faulted the state and district's lawyers for failing to provide "meaningful specifics or details" as to how they arrived at the plan.  Kenney did approve two smaller requests: He said the district can hire a turnaround specialist and a forensic auditor.  The ruling was a setback for the Wolf administration and the district's state appointed receiver, Frances Barnes, who had contended Chester Upland schools might not be able to open next week without a change to the formula. It was not clear if they would seek to appeal Kenney's ruling.

Judge derails Pa. plan for Chester Upland recovery
By Vince Sullivan, Delaware County Daily Times POSTED: 08/25/15, 10:33 PM EDT 
CHESTER >> Just minutes after a public meeting with the receiver of the Chester Upland School District ended with an impassioned plea for support of the public school system, a Delaware County judge denied proposals to alter charter school funding which would have eliminated a $22 million structural deficit.   President Judge Chad F. Kenney denied portions of a plan proposed by Receiver Francis V. Barnes, with the support of Gov. Tom Wolf and the state Department of Education, that sought to reduce payments to charter and cyber charter schools that educate Chester Upland School District. Barnes was seeking to cap the regular education tuition reimbursement for cyber charter students at $5,950, and to reduce the tuition reimbursement for special education students in brick-and-mortar charter schools from $40,000 to $16,000. Both changes would have been consistent with the recommendations of two bipartisan school funding commissions. Other portion of the plan calling for a forensic audit, a financial turnaround specialist and the delay of a loan repayment were approved.

Expert: Chester Upland drowning in red ink
By Alex Rose, Delaware County Daily Times POSTED: 08/25/15, 10:13 PM EDT 
MEDIA COURTHOUSE >> Even if President Judge Chad F. Kenney approved a plan from Chester Upland School District Receiver Francis Barnes to reduce charter school payments, the district would still find itself $20 million in the red by the end of the 2015-2016 school year, according to financial consultant Dean Kaplan.  That revelation came late in a full day of testimony as a court battle pitting charter schools against the district played out before the specter of a looming $23.8 million shortfall. The judge later ruled against a crucial element of the state recovery plan.  Kaplan noted that the plan put forward by Barnes would eliminate $20 million in payments to charters for special education students, though it would not address prior debt already owed, which continues to accumulate.  Without the judge’s approval, however, Kaplan said the district would remain in the same untenable position that it now finds itself in next year, but with a deficit that has ballooned to $45 million.

Chester Upland charters struggle to account for $40,000 price tag for special education
WHYY Newsworks BY LAURA BENSHOFF AUGUST 25, 2015
In court Tuesday, charter schools in the Chester Upland district defended their claim to $40,000 in tuition for each special-education student they enroll.  According to Pennsylvania's calculations, the charters need -- and, in fact, currently spend -- well below that on those students.  The debate about how much money charters need to fulfill federal requirements for a "free appropriate public education" for special-education students is at the heart of reforms proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf and the district's receiver, Francis Barnes, last week.  And it's at the center of a battle in Delaware County court this week between state and charter school officials.  Witnesses for the state Department of Education said Tuesday that none of the schools claimed spending more than $25,000 per special-education student in annual self-reports.  http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/item/85551-chester-upland-charters-struggle-to-account-for-40000-price-tag-for-special-education

So what exactly is in that Chester Upland Charter Special Sauce?
Keystone State Education Coalition August 25, 2014
Here's the bottom line on Chester Upland charter school special education funding.  Would this have been allowed to go on for years if charter schools were "public" in more than name only and were subject to taxpayer scrutiny on a regular basis?    Right-to-know requests for financial information regarding the operations of Charter School Management Company have been blatantly ignored for years.

Tuesday's talks end with no break in state budget impasse
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on August 25, 2015 at 1:51 PM, updated August 25, 2015 at 3:27 PM
Gov. Tom Wolf left Tuesday's scheduled budget negotiating meeting with legislative leaders with more questions and no answer as to whether he was going to accept the Republicans' offer that would move talks along.  Wolf said his questions center around the savings that would be derived from the GOP pension reform plan that was placed on the table last week.  The answers he has heard about how much savings would be achieved from the plan "seems to change depending on who was answering the question," Wolf said.  Republican leaders left the meeting seemingly perturbed that the governor wasn't ready to say if he was willing to accept their offer of pension and liquor reform in exchange for giving Wolf the $400 million increase in basic education funding that he is seeking.  Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre County, said the governor wants 24 hours more to think about it.

House GOP veto override attempts fall short
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Tuesday, August 25, 2015
A move by the House Republican Caucus to attempt to override certain line-items of Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of a GOP-crafted, June-passed budget plan fell short Tuesday.  The caucus brought up line items related to funding rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs, school food service, and other education, social service and human services line items.  While debates on the merits boiled down to Republicans urging support for the override votes to help get money to centers that are struggling to make ends meet during the budget impasse, Democrats argued the override attempts were unconstitutional and offers of necessary help were just a ploy.  “We will fight for additional funding for rape crisis centers to make sure they have adequate funding to do their job,” said House Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) during the floor debate Tuesday. “We will not support an override of a veto…this is nothing but a scam and you know it. It’s a stunt and it’s about time you get called on it.”  House Appropriations Committee Minority Chairman Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny) agreed.  “We need to be talking about a budget in its entirety,” he said. “Let’s just shoot this down, let’s go on, and let’s come up with an agreed-to budget that we’re willing to sit down with you and come to an agreement on.”  Democrats also released an advisory opinion from the Legislative Reference Bureau stating the veto override attempt is unconstitutional.

Pa. GOP tries to override only part of Wolf's budget
ASSOCIATED PRESS LAST UPDATED: Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 1:06 AM POSTED: Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 6:38 PM
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's budget impasse remained firmly in place Tuesday after the Republican majority failed during hours of debate to persuade Democrats, in a series of 14 votes, to override any portion of Gov. Wolf's budget veto.  Republicans defended the perhaps-unprecedented legislative method of holding override votes on individual line items even though Wolf had not exercised his line-item authority when he rejected the GOP budget plan in late June. The $30.2 billion plan did not include more taxes for education and human services spending, as Wolf proposed.  Democrats argued that line-item votes would violate the state constitution, and prevented their opponents from getting the two-thirds majority required for an override.

House defeats GOP bid to override parts of Wolf budget veto
MARK SCOLFORO, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LAST UPDATED: Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 7:39 PM POSTED: Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 6:41 PM
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's budget impasse remained firmly in place Tuesday after the Republican majority failed during hours of debate to persuade Democrats in a series of 14 votes to override any portion of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's budget veto.  Republicans defended the perhaps unprecedented legislative method of holding override votes on individual line items even though Wolf had not exercised his line-item authority when he rejected the GOP budget plan in late June. The $30.2 billion plan did not include more taxes for education and human services spending, as Wolf proposed.

House Majority Leader: 'I'm not sure where we go from here' after failed veto override attempt
Penn Live by Christian Alexandersen | calexandersen@pennlive.com  on August 25, 2015 at 7:39 PM
Republicans will be heading back to the negotiating table with Gov. Tom Wolf after 20 budget veto override proposals failed to gain enough support on Tuesday.  Republicans in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives attempted to override lines of Wolf's budget veto. The proposals were meant to free up money for certain services and programs related to education, human services, agriculture and health.  "In all honesty, I'm not sure where we go from here," according to House Majority Leader Dave Reed.  Reed said the reason they moved forward with the override votes -- which received 115 out of the necessary 136 votes -- on Tuesday rather than sooner was because agencies are now struggling and running out of money.

OP-ED: Pa. needs sensible budget compromises
York Dispatch by Mark Price POSTED:   08/26/2015 01:45:12 AM EDT
This op-ed was written by Mark Price, Ph.D., economist and interim research director of the Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center in Harrisburg
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Thursday that Pennsylvania created 66,500 jobs in the last 12 months. At 1.1 percent, that's the fastest year-over-year job growth reported in any July since 2005. Relative to the 50 states, that's the 34th fastest pace in the country and the best Pennsylvania has ranked since July 2011 when it was in 26th place.  July 2011 is of note because former Gov. Tom Corbett's first budget was signed shortly before the stroke of midnight on June 30, 2011. While on time, the budget was even more remarkable because it cut $1 billion from education funding and set off a wave of school district layoffs that, as of the end of the last school year, tallied to 33,000 jobs.  Not surprisingly, layoffs on that scale delivered a body blow to a state economy still recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression. The body blow dropped Pennsylvania's job growth ranking within a year to 44th and by July 2013 to 48th.  So what we learned this Aug. 20 is that job growth in the commonwealth is finally back to normal — Pennsylvania has ranked, on average, 35th for job growth since 1990. The future of the Pennsylvania labor market, however, is cloudier than it should be thanks to deadlock over this year's state budget.

Budget stalemate tosses uncertainty into Western Pennsylvania teacher negotiations
Trib Live By Katelyn Ferral Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, 11:12 p.m.
Teachers and Belle Vernon district leaders averted a strike early Tuesday, reaching a last-minute deal after more than 400 days without a contract.  A strike threat hastened negotiations there, but teachers aren't likely to picket during contract talks happening in more than 30 districts in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties.  
“(Striking) is a tool, but it's not a tool that you want to use hastily,” said Matt Edgell, advocacy coordinator for Allegheny County for the Pennsylvania State Education Association. “You can only pull that trigger once, so you better be ready to do it ... labor and management should be ready for the consequences.”  Teachers without new contracts are hoping to reach an agreement amid a budget stalemate in Harrisburg that's frozen funding and left many school officials wary of committing to long-term contracts with employees.  Districts statewide are set to miss a key payment from the state next month, which will likely continue to delay contract settlements, district officials and labor leaders said Tuesday.  “What's happening at the bargaining table in Harrisburg trickles down to the bargaining table in every school district in the state,” Edgell said.

Governor Wolf and Secretary Rivera Announce $23.5 Million in School Improvement Grants for Nine Pa. Schools
PDE Press Release HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 
Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Education Pedro A. Riveratoday announced that nine schools across the commonwealth will receive a combined $23.5 million in School Improvement Grant funding.  The Pennsylvania Department of Education awarded these federal grants through a competitive process. Applications were reviewed and scored by a panel of peer reviewers who then made award recommendations.  For a school to be eligible for funding, it must be among the lowest-achieving schools in Pennsylvania that has not made substantial progress on state assessments, or has a graduation rate of less than 60 percent for at least two of the last three years.  As part of the competitive application process, eligible schools must adopt and implement one of four reform models developed by the federal government: Transformation, Turnaround, Restart, and School Closure.

"In the early 1990s, my older daughters' academic progress was measured by nationally normed standardized tests chosen by the local district that measured literacy and math skills and took two to three hours (not days) to complete. The results gleaned from these shorter tests still gave me a clear picture of how my daughters were learning compared to their peer group locally and nationwide.
What I want as a parent has not changed.  However, poorly conceived public policy in the form of excessive state-mandated standardized testing coupled with a punitive approach to teacher and school performance make it ever more difficult for teachers to focus on cultivating their students to grow as both learners and as young people."
Bethlehem Area Superintendent Joseph Roy: New education policies test teachers, students
Morning Call Opinion by Joseph Roy August 24, 2015
My 5-year-old daughter starts kindergarten at the end of this month at Lincoln Elementary School in the Bethlehem Area School District. Believe it or not, my older daughters entered kindergarten in 1993 and 1997, respectively.  As both a parent and educator, I can't help but reflect on what has changed and what has remained the same in education between the 1990s and 2015.  My hopes and desires for what I want my daughters to experience in their schooling have not changed. In the 1990s, I wanted my daughters to feel loved in school and to explore, create, think, discover and pursue their passions. I want the exact same for my daughter in 2015.  I also want to know how my daughter's learning compares with her peers both locally and nationwide, but not at the expense of what is developmentally appropriate. I don't need my young daughter to be pushed to learn in second grade what my older daughters learned in fourth grade and then be evaluated by flawed mandatory state tests.

PA Core Standards test gets mixed reviews as Lower Bucks districts brace for lower scores
Bucks County Courier Times By Joan Hellyer Staff Writer Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 3:30 am | Updated: 6:22 am, Wed Aug 26, 2015.
The new Pennsylvania Core Standards initiative has its positives and its negatives, according to a co-chairman of Pennsbury High School’s mathematics department.  The good part is that students are expected to understand the concept behind each problem, said Matt Groden, the PHS mathematics department co-chairman. "There is a lot of struggle in that, but when that struggle meets with discovery, it is more rewarding."  But there are some downsides to the new approach, he said. One of them is that the new state standards, based on the national Common Core Standards, take a "one size fits all" approach to learning, Groden said.

Schools warn lower PSSA scores coming
The Intelligencer By Gary Weckselblatt Staff writer Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 4:30 am | Updated: 6:28 am, Wed Aug 26, 2015.
School districts have been warned that this year’s Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, the first tests fully aligned with Pennsylvania Core Standards, have resulted in lower scores.  While the official results likely won’t be released until the fall, a July letter from state Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera alerted school officials that the numbers won’t be pretty.  “I assure you that we understand that standardized test results should not be the sole indicator of a student’s or school’s success, and will be part of a larger conversation on accountability, and how we best serve our students,” he wrote.  The reasons for the decline, school officials said, include more rigorous standards combined with a scoring adjustment that makes it more difficult for a student to earn a “proficient” or “advanced” score.

Saucon Valley School Board rejects arbitrator's report
By Christina Tatu Of The Morning Call Tuesday, August 25, 2015
The Saucon Valley School Board voted down a neutral arbitrator's report Tuesday, saying salary recommendations would have teachers earning more than in the affluent Parkland School District, and that portions of the report regarding health care, retirement incentives and pay earned for continuing education credits were confusing.  School Director Ralph Puerta spoke at the beginning of the meeting, addressing an audience packed with union members.  . Despite "thoroughly dissecting" the report leading up to Tuesday's meeting, directors were still confused on several key points and felt the salary schedule recommended by arbitrator Timothy Brown was too high.  "We are not Parkland School District," Puerta said, noting that according to Brown's proposed salary schedule, Saucon Valley teachers would be earning more than Parkland teachers during most years of the six-year contract.  "It has nothing to do with my appreciation and respect for you … I would ask you sincerely to take a look at that salary schedule and ask whether it is appropriate," he said.

Mastery tapped to turn around Douglass Charter School
MARTHA WOODALL, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER LAST UPDATED: Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 1:06 AM
Mastery Charter Schools has been awarded $1.5 million from the Philadelphia School Partnership to help it turn around the Frederick Douglass Charter School in North Philadelphia.  The grant from the partnership's Great Schools Fund was scheduled to be announced Wednesday - the first day of school for students at Douglass and at Mastery's 14 other campuses across the city.  "We're delighted to have the support of the Philadelphia School Partnership and to get the resources we need to provide the best quality education for the children at Frederick Douglass," said Scott Gordon, CEO of the nonprofit Mastery Schools.

Principals fired in test cheating win back jobs through arbitration
the notebook By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Aug 25, 2015 07:16 PM
Two Philadelphia principals fired for their roles in a standardized-test cheating scandal, Marla Travis-Curtis (top) and Michelle Burns, have won favorable arbitration rulings.   Two principals fired by the Philadelphia School District in the wake of the statewide standardized-test cheating scandal have won favorable rulings through arbitration that could return them to school leadership.  Michelle Burns, formerly principal at Kensington Urban Education Academy, won a ruling reinstating her as a district principal. Arbitrator Ralph Colflesh said the District is to provide back pay less wages from a 60-day suspension.  Burns was principal of Tilden Middle School, where there was evidence of cheating in 2009 and 2010.
Marla Travis-Curtis, formerly principal of Lamberton Elementary School, won a ruling that could return her to the District, but demote her to assistant principal.  Arbitrator Alan Symonette ordered the district to provide Travis-Curtis back-pay at an assistant principal rate less a 30-day suspension.  Both Burns and Travis-Curtis are also to receive compensation for any money they spent on benefits due to their termination.  "At this time, the school district is reviewing all its legal options in response to the arbitration findings," wrote district spokesman Fernando Gallard in a statement.

Vote on partnership between Wilkinsburg, Pittsburgh Public School possible in October
Trib Live By Katherine Schaeffer Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, 11:12 p.m.
The Wilkinsburg School Board could receive a draft, possibly in September, of what a potential partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools might look like, school board Chairman Ed Donovan said Tuesday.  “We're still in the fact-finding and discussion stage,” Donovan said at the end of the school board meeting, in which the partnership was not discussed by the board.  Officials at Pittsburgh Public and Wilkinsburg schools have said they plan to form an internal group to explore how the districts might work together.  They would draft a potential agreement for how Wilkinsburg could pay to send students in grades seven through 12 to a Pittsburgh middle and high school, and they will determine which Pittsburgh school would be a feeder school for Wilkinsburg students.  If the Wilkinsburg School Board receives a draft in September, it could vote on the agreement in October, Donovan said.  Wilkinsburg middle and high school students could attend Pittsburgh schools as early as 2016-17 if both boards agree to partner.

Why so many teachers quit, and how to fix that
Centre Daily Times BY KRISTINA RIZGA August 25, 2015 
Every year, thousands of young and enthusiastic teachers all over the country start their first day of work. Within the following five years, at least 17 percent of them will leave the profession. Teacher attrition is especially high in poor, urban schools, where on average about a fifth of the entire faculty leaves annually — that’s roughly 50 percent higher than the rate in more affluent schools.  Not only is recruitment and retraining expensive, costing the United States about $2 billion each year, but research also shows that teacher stability is crucial for building strong relationships between staff and students.  What’s pushing so many teachers out of the profession? Richard Ingersoll, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has been trying to answer that question for years. He’s found that teachers often cite long hours and low pay as contributing to their dissatisfaction. But teachers are even more upset by their lack of say over key decisions affecting classrooms. Volumes of other research echo this theme. In a 2014 Gallup Poll, teachers ranked last among 12 professional groups in agreeing that their opinion at work matters.

State Takeover of Schools Harms Black, Latino Communities, Report Contends
Education Week District Dossier Blog By Corey Mitchell on August 24, 2015 4:35 PM
A new report from The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, a group including the nation's two largest teachers' unions, argues that state takeover of schools and school districts is "stripping political power" from black and Latino communities.  The report traces the history of what the group calls "market-based intervention and reform," from the state takeover of three New Jersey school districts in the late 1980s and mid-1990s to the present-day push to allow state-run schools in Georgia. The authors contend that the growing number of state takeovers and achievement districts has increased segregation, dismantled community schools, and undermined the financial stability of the affected school districts.  The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools asserts that local resistance to mayoral control of education policy in large urban districts has now given way to a broader strategy focused on usurping local control.

Testing Resistance & Reform News: August 19 - 25, 2015
Submitted by fairtest on August 25, 2015 - 1:07pm 
"Testing Lacks Public Support," the headline on the Phi Delta Kappan's summary of its just published 2015 Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, says it all. The annual survey clearly shows that a majority of Americans are fed up with politically mandated overuse and misuse of standardized exams, just as FairTest and allies have repeatedly stated.
FairTest Reaction
http://www.fairtest.org/fairtest-reaction-2015-annual-gallupphi-delta-kapp
Complete PDK/Gallup Poll Data
http://pdkpoll2015.pdkintl.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/pdkpoll47_2015.pdf


The John Stoops Lecture Series: Dr. Pasi Sahlberg "Education Around the World: Past, Present & Future" Lehigh University October 8, 2015 6:00 p.m.
Baker Hall | Zoellner Arts Center | 420 E. Packer Avenue | Bethlehem, PA 18015
Free and open to the public!  Ticketing is general admission - no preseating will be assigned. Arrive early for the best seats.  Please plan to stay post-lecture for an open reception where you will have an opportunity to meet with students from all of our programs to learn about the latest innovations in education and human services.

Register now for the 2015 PASCD 65th Annual Conference, Leading and Achieving in an Interconnected World, to be held November 15-17, 2015 at Pittsburgh Monroeville Convention Center.
The Conference will Feature Keynote Speakers: Meenoo Rami – Teacher and Author “Thrive: 5 Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching,”  Mr. Pedro Rivera, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, Heidi Hayes-Jacobs – Founder and President of Curriculum Design, Inc. and David Griffith – ASCD Senior Director of Public Policy.  This annual conference features small group sessions focused on: Curriculum and Supervision, Personalized and Individualized Learning, Innovation, and Blended and Online Learning. The PASCD Conference is a great opportunity to stay connected to the latest approaches for innovative change in your school or district.  Join us forPASCD 2015!  Online registration is available by visiting www.pascd.org <http://www.pascd.org/>

Nominations for PSBA's Allwein Advocacy Award close Aug. 28th
PSBA July 7, 2015
The Timothy M. Allwein Advocacy Award was established in 2011 by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and may be presented annually to the individual school director or entire school board to recognize outstanding leadership in legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of public education and students that are consistent with the positions in PSBA’s Legislative Platform.  The 2015 Allwein Award nomination process will close on Aug. 28, 2015. The 2015 Allwein Award Nomination Form is available online. More details on the award and nominations process can be found online

Slate of candidates for PSBA offices now available online
PSBA website July 31, 2015
The slate of candidates for 2016 PSBA officer and at-large representatives is now available online, including bios, photos and videos. According to recent PSBA Bylaws changes, each member school entity casts one vote per office. Voting will again take place online through a secure, third-party website -- Simply Voting. Voting will openAug. 17 and closes Sept. 28. One person from the school entity (usually the board secretary) is authorized to register the vote on behalf of the member school entity and each board will need to put on its agenda discussion and voting at one of its meetings in August or September. Each person authorized to register the school entity's votes has received an email on July 16 to verify the email address and confirm they are the person to register the vote on behalf of their school entity. 

Register Now for PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference Oct. 14-16, 2015 Hershey Lodge & Convention Center
Save the date for the professional development event of the year. Be inspired at more than four exciting venues and invest in professional development for top administrators and school board members. Online registration is live at:

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.

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