Tuesday, September 15, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Sept 15: "Stopgap? We don't need no stinking stopgap."

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for September 15, 2015:
"Stopgap? We don't need no stinking stopgap."


“This is on the agenda because we’ve seen other districts around the state doing this. It’s a cash-flow issue and it’s also an equity issue,” school board member Adam Schott said at last week’s meeting. “I’m uncomfortable advancing resources to cyber charter schools when we don’t have those resources for our own kids.”
School District of Lancaster to vote on withholding funds from cyber charters
Lancaster Online K. SCOTT KREIDER LNP CORRESPONDENT September 15, 2015
Cyber charter schools with students from School District of Lancaster may soon feel the impact of the state’s ongoing budget impasse.  City school board officials will vote Tuesday on a proposal to withhold a portion of reimbursement tuition payments to cyber charter schools until the state passes a budget. The resolution proposes that the district only pays the local share (about half) of cyber charter tuition payments.  The district pays about $4.4 million a year to charter schools, with $2.4 million going to the brick-and-mortar nonprofit La Academia on 30 N. Ann St., and the remaining $2 million going to cyber charter schools.  At a committee of the whole meeting Sept. 8, school board members said they wanted to continue reimbursement payments to La Academia, but many board members voiced support for withholding a portion of payments to the for-profit cyber charter schools.  Each year, 125 to 150 School District of Lancaster students attend cyber charter schools.  Charter schools in Pennsylvania receive 100 percent of their public funding through school districts. When a student enrolls in a charter school, the student’s home school district must pay tuition to the charter school for that child.  Withholding those payments should save the district about $100,000 per month, Matt Przywara, School District of Lancaster’s chief financial and operations officer said in an email Monday.

Charter schools among lowest-scoring in Pennsylvania, analysis finds
Trib Live By Emily Balser Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, 9:30 p.m.
Editor's note: The Tribune-Review examined school districts and charter schools in seven Western Pennsylvania counties. This is the second of a two-day report. Today: Charter schools and how they seek to reverse falling student performance.  Charter schools, specifically cyber charter schools, are among the lowest-scoring schools in the state and have some of the highest numbers of economically disadvantaged students, a Tribune-Review analysis found.  “Yes, there is data that shows a correlation between poverty and underperforming,” said Bob Fayfich, director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools.  He said one reason cyber charters have low scores is the turnover of students who were behind in traditional schools.

Who is winning the hearts and minds battle of the budget stalemate?
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Monday, September 14, 2015
Pennsylvania’s budget impasse is now two and a half months old. In that time, advocacy for budget priorities and the levying of blame for the impasse has gone from the halls of the Capitol to the air waves, television ads, and social media.  So, who is winning the public relations battle for the hearts and minds of Pennsylvanians? The PLS Reporter reached out to a smattering of Harrisburg-based PR professionals to get their take.  According to Dave LaTorre, founder of the public relations and public affairs firm LaTorre Communications, House and Senate Republicans might technically have the better strategy, but a media pass for Gov. Tom Wolf has given him the effective victory.  "On paper, House and Senate Republicans have easily won the battle. They've come to the table with a concrete compromise that provides the governor with the funding he wants for public education," he said Monday. "But I think the Wolf administration is actually winning the battle because they've ignored the GOP proposal and haven't earned much, if any, criticism from the media."  He added while there are some murmurings of discontent starting to arise from the media aimed at Gov. Wolf, that is surprising to him this late in the game.

"The Republican-controlled House returns to session next Monday and plans to begin its consideration of the stopgap proposal. The House rules would allow that chamber to consider it for final passage by Wednesday, at the earliest. So if all goes as the Republicans in both chambers plan, a stopgap budget bill could be on its way to Wolf's desk for enactment by the end of the first day of autumn."
We deserve better than a stopgap budget, and passing one would take away all urgency: Editorial
By PennLive Editorial Board on September 14, 2015 at 5:20 PM
Stopgap? We don't need no stinking stopgap.
We need a budget, a full-on, long-term, no-tricks budget. And we don't think lawmakers – or voters – should put up with a proposal that stops short of that.  Passage of a stopgap measure would provide a portion of the state's yearly funding for social service providers and schools – "essential services." Republican senators plan to introduce such legislation when they return to session Wednesday, PennLive's Christian Alexandersen reported.
On the surface, we appreciate that Republican lawmakers are attempting to do something in light of the budget impasse, which is nearing 80 days. We assume that both sides are quite frustrated by a lack of apparent progress. And we are well aware that is was Gov. Tom Wolf, by choosing to veto the entire Republican-approved budget earlier this summer instead of using his line-item powers, who caused this situation.  We realize that as we call for a rejection of a stopgap budget, it makes it sound as though we are rejecting compromise, and we are rejecting money for essential services, agencies and schools that need it. On the second point, you would be right. It's unfortunate that these groups continue to be the most affected pawn in this budget game, and we are sensitive to the fact that without a budget being approved, they will struggle.  We need a budget, a full-on, long-term, no-tricks budget. And we don't think lawmakers – or voters – should put up with a proposal that stops short of that.  However, what urgency would there be to pass a full budget with a stopgap measure in place? 

"Some important issues are at stake in the budget impasse, especially school funding and public pension reform. But those issues make it all the more important that the government pass an actual budget rather than a “stopgap” appropriation. A “stopgap” would only produce more controversy, because the majorities that pass it inevitably will fund their priorities. And with their political priorities funded, there will be even less pressure on them to do their jobs and pass a realistic full budget.  It’s time for compromise, not for a stopgap appropriation that makes it look like lawmakers are doing their jobs."
Editorial: ‘Stopgap’ plan invites more politics No vacation for theatrics; goal should be full budget
Scranton Times Tribune BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD Published: September 15, 2015
Having used the lack of a state budget mostly as a prop for political theater, Republican leaders of majorities in both houses now want to do more of the same with a “stopgap” budget to fund certain priorities.  It’s now more than 70 days since July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year, and the state government does not have a budget. Not coincidentally, the Legislature’s summer vacation was about the same length even as legislative leaders supposedly negotiated with the Democratic administration.  Over the entire time that the state government has been without a budget, vacationing lawmakers have been paid because they have been careful to hoard scores of millions of dollars of the taxpayers’ money precisely to cover such a contingency. Those unwarranted reserves, legislative leaders say, are “in case of” a budget impasse with the administration. But, as this year’s ongoing charade shows, the massive reserves enable and invite an impasse; the reserves are a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Now legislative leaders want to push for a stopgap budget because the impasse has begun to produce some political heat. Social service agencies and school districts don’t have the luxury of hoarding public money, so for them and millions of Pennsylvanians who depend on them, the budget impasse actually is a crisis.

Full-speed ahead with Senate's plans to consider stopgap budget
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on September 14, 2015 at 4:52 PM, updated September 14, 2015 at 5:03 PM
After a brief meeting between Gov. Tom Wolf and legislative leaders on Monday morning, Senate Republicans found no reason not to proceed this week with their plans to consider a stopgap budget.  The stopgap budget would drive out about a third of the funding that was included in the GOP-passed $30.2 billion budget that Wolf vetoed in its entirety on June 30.
That would provide temporary relief to financially strapped social service agencies and school districts that have laid off staff, curtailed some services and put off paying bills while awaiting a budget agreement, which has encountered a number of roadblocks.  Asked if any progress was made at Monday's meeting toward reaching a final budget agreement, Senate Republican general counsel Dave Thomas said, "We said all along if we got to the point where we thought there was real progress and we were very close to obtaining a budget agreement, we would forgo the stopgap. So the fact that I'm telling you we are going forward with it answers that question."  The Senate Republicans plan to begin the approval process on Wednesday. They plan to call for a vote to move a stopgap budget bill out of the appropriations committee on Wednesday to position it for a vote by the full chamber on Friday.

Area lawmakers will accept pay, blame Gov. Wolf for budget impasse
By Eric Devlin, The Mercury POSTED: 09/14/15, 6:06 PM EDT | UPDATED: 2 HRS AGO
Pottstown>> Not every legislator in Harrisburg is willing to give up their paycheck during the state’s budget impasse.  Three Republicans — state Sen. Bob Mensch, R-24th Dist., state Rep. Tim Hennessey, R-26th Dist., and state Rep. Tom Quigley, R-146th Dist. — all told The Mercury they will continue to collect a check because they feel they’re doing their job.  They blame Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, for the three-month impasse but promised to look into finding short-term solutions when the legislature meets again next week.  Taking no pay “puts us at a real disadvantage vis-a-vis the governor,” Hennessey said.  Wolf is already working without pay. Before he even took office, Wolf, a millionaire businessman, said he would not take his $187,256 annual salary, either returning it to the state or donating it to charity.  “He’s independently wealthy. He can wait,” Hennessey continued. “His position right now is he wants all the tax increases that he’s asked for from the very beginning, which would be an $8 billion tax increase and we have a $30 billion budget.”

"In 2008, Gov. Ed Rendell furloughed 24,000 workers and another 77,000 missed at least one paycheck. This put pressure on the  Republican legislature to put together a bridge budget and finally end a 101-day impasse.  A year later the state Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that the term "shall pay" meant what it said, and forbade any further payless paydays. It eliminated state employees from the status of hostages, but it also removed the single, greatest source of pressure to get the job done."
So remind me why we even *need* a budget again?: Dennis Roddy
PennLive Op-Ed  By Dennis Roddy on September 14, 2015 at 11:00 AM, updated September 14, 2015 at 12:22 PM
Here is a provocative idea sure to frighten Harrisburg's bellhops and bartenders — the only people truly dependent on the general assembly for their incomes:  I don't care if they pass a budget and neither do you. Budgets don't pass unless all parties feel one of two things. 
The first is a sense of responsibility. The second is pain.  Tom Corbett arrived in Harrisburg with a Boy Scout's earnestness and thought, for reasons most have never fathomed, that missing a budget deadline was a failure of such gravity that it would take an archbishop to absolve him.  On the day of his first budget, I prepared a statement for him saying he was happy to be signing an on-time budget.  He instructed me to remove the word happy.
"Do you think I'm happy with this budget?" he gasped. He was not. 

"Poverty becomes the common denominator among poorly performing schools.
Radnor Township in Delaware County has an average family income of $96,122 and average property value of $558,426. It ranks fifth on Pennsylvania's 500 school district ratings. Reading has an average family income of $25,567 and an average property value of $64,300.00. It ranks 452th among school districts."
Stephen C. Antalics Jr.: Is it time for radical change in public education?
Morning Call Opinion by Stephen C. Antalics September 14, 2015
Sen. Lloyd Smucker, a Republican and chairman of the state Senate Education Committee, is proposing legislation that could put poorly performing school districts under state control. That prompts the questions: Why are some districts failing, and would state takeover of only failing districts be the best solution?  In response to Smucker's plan, Donna Cooper, a former top official of Gov. Rendell's administration, was quoted as saying: "A school without books, with class sizes of 30, without full-day kindergarten or prekindergarten, a school without a nurse, is going to fail. It doesn't matter who runs it."  Sen. Andrew Dinniman, a Democrat and minority chairman of the Education Committee, noted that the majority of the schools that fail are in poor urban areas.

“A one year pause is not enough,” Joseph Zupancic, Canon-McMillan School Board member said in calling for more data to be collected over time before the new PSSA can be used as a measurement of progress or success. “So we that we can take another set, another year, and compare apples to apples instead of the apples to oranges that we can get now.”
What Lower Standardized Test Scores Mean for Pennsylvania
WHYY Newsworks WESA By ESSENTIAL PITTSBURGH  SEP 14, 2015
Throughout Pennsylvania parents of elementary and middle school students are opening their mailboxes today to find standardized test scores for their children and their schools that are much lower than they were last year.  The drop has been nearly unanimously attributed to a more difficult set of tests that are more closely linked to Pennsylvania’s Common Core standards than they have been in the past.  “I would caution any parent from over interpreting these scores…this is a new baseline,” Heidi Ondek, Superintendent, Quaker Valley School District said.  “It may take years before this is a reliable enough measure to base too much on instructionally.”  Ondek encourages parents to talk to their child’s teacher about their son's or daughter's progress, and she encourages everyone in the community to look at multiple measurements when assessing schools.  The federal government seems to agree.  All schools in the state have been given a one-year waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act.  Without the waiver, many schools would find themselves at least on a federal watch list if not worse.

Bethlehem Area: Parents, don't panic over PSSA scores
By Jacqueline Palochko Of The Morning Call September 14, 2015
Bethlehem Area School District officials have a message to parents looking at their children's PSSA scores.  Don't panic.  When Pennsylvania students in Grades 3 to 8 took the PSSAs this year, the standardized test was aligned with the Pennsylvania Core Standards for the first time. That's the state's version of Common Core.  As a result of the more rigorous tests, scores plummeted by almost 10 percent in reading and 35 percent in math overall throughout the state, although individual scores won't be released until later this month.  At Monday's school board meeting, Chief Academic Officer Jack Silva said preliminary scores show Bethlehem also saw a drop.  The district will send out the letter to parents along with students' individual scores to reassure them that their children are not failing. Both the state and school districts have been telling students they cannot compare this year's scores to previous years.  "Please know that the BASD views PSSA scores as a small, frequently overrated, measure of a student's true ability," the letter states. "The BASD has expressed serious concern over the heightened emphasis upon state testing as well as the validity of the PSSA itself" to the state Department of Education and Legislature.

Pennsylvania sees rise in homeless students
By Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 15, 2015 12:00 AM
The number of homeless students attending public school in Pennsylvania increased by 18 percent between the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school year

"The group, which formed 18 months ago and claims about 200 members, has been emphasizing issues not usually on the front burner in union elections, such as the school-to-prison pipeline, racial injustice, and, most visibly, students' right to opt out of standardized tests."
Caucus of Working Educators plans to challenge PFT leadership
The caucus, which has been organizing since 2013, plans a "listening campaign" in advance of next year's vote.
the notebook By Dale Mezzacappa on Sep 13, 2015 03:16 PM
The Caucus of Working Educators (WE), a group of mostly younger teachers committed to social justice unionism, announced plans Thursday to put up a slate in next year's election against Jerry Jordan and the current leadership of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.  The challenge is the most robust and coordinated effort since the 1980s to unseat the dominant Collective Bargaining Team that has run the PFT for more than 30 years.  WE's mission -- to put stark focus on educational inequality and the damage it does to teachers, students, and society -- is in the spirit of internal dissent that has ousted long-term union leadership in cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Milwaukee. Its action has the potential to shake up the historically dysfunctional PFT-District relationship, although whether it would become more or less adversarial under WE is still not clear.   "We are a diverse group of rank-and-file members who felt disconnected from the PFT leadership," said Larissa Pahomov, an English teacher at Science Leadership Academy and co-chair of the caucus. "We don't believe essentially that a one-party union is good for the teachers of Philadelphia."

Radnor teachers hold informational picket at Radnor Elementary School open house
Delco Times By Linda Stein, lstein@mainlinemedianews.com@lsteinreporter on Twitter
POSTED: 09/14/15, 8:22 AM EDT
Radnor >> Parents going to the fall open house at Radnor Elementary School last week were greeted by Radnor Township School District teachers wearing black union-logo T-shirts and handing out fliers to let them know they are working without a contract.  David Wood, the president of the Radnor Teacher Education Association, said the union had voted to authorize a strike in the spring. The teachers have been negotiating with the school board since January without reaching a deal.  In 2013, they inked to a two-year extension on their previous contract. The state Department of Education lists the average Radnor teacher as paid $81,994 (under the 2011-12 contract). In the surrounding districts of Tredyffrin/Easttown the average teacher makes $84,257, in Upper Merion the average teacher salary is $89,305 and in Lower Merion the average teacher salary is $88,899, according to the state. The maximum salary for RTSD teachers is $105,125 while the minimum salary for a teacher just starting in the district is $48,500, according to the district.

Main Line teachers protest lack of contract
KATHY BOCCELLA, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER LAST UPDATED: Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 1:08 AM POSTED: Monday, September 14, 2015, 5:05 PM
To protest their lack of a contract, Radnor Township School District teachers said they felt they needed to make a bold move that would get the attention of those who didn't know, or care, that they were working without a new agreement.  "People weren't really concerned about it," said David Wood, president of the 320-member Radnor Township Education Association.  So on Sept. 3 the association sent a letter to some 300 parents of high school seniors telling them they will not write college recommendations before Oct. 1, when they hope to have a new pact.  The teachers succeeded in getting attention throughout the high-achieving district - and drawing criticism.  "We understand that the parents are going to be angry with us," Wood said.  Students are not feeling too good either. On a senior-class Facebook page, student Henry Minning wrote a long post saying that for students like him applying to military academies, the deadline is Oct. 2. He said he and several others had asked for recommendations but were turned down.


"I opposed the initiative that created charter schools because I did not believe that public money belongs in schools that lack public oversight and accountability," Inslee wrote. "That remains my position. We must have accountability for all taxpayer money spent on education, particularly at a time when the Court has ruled that we have consistently failed to adequately fund public schools."
No Special Session to Save Washington State Charters, Gov. Inslee Says
Education Week State Ed Watch By Andrew Ujifusa on September 14, 2015 8:37 AM
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee has declined to call a special session to create a legal pathway for charter schools to remain open this year.  In a letter sent on Friday, Inslee, a Democrat, said he would focus on improving traditional public schools instead of charters, which he said "lack public oversight and accountability."  That sentiment matches a decision issued Sept. 4 by the state supreme court, which declared that the state's 2012 voter-approved law permitting charters was unconstitutional. In a 6-3 decision, the majority of the justices found that charters don't fit the definition of "common schools" in the state and therefore aren't eligible for the money they receive from the state's general fund budget.  State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, will ask the court to reconsider its ruling, but Inslee justified his decision not to call a special session in part by noting that private donors have agreed to fund the charters for the 2015-16 school year if the court's decision stands.  After the court's ruling in League of Women Voters v. Washington, several pro-charter groups called on Inslee to convene a special session to preserve state funding for charters in some fashion. But Inslee was unmoved.

"The trouble is that the decision is based on evidence that is blatantly unfair.  Of course charter schools have posted better results than traditional public schools in Los Angeles and - by extension - in some other cities as well.  Why shouldn't they? They counsel out low-achieving students, who then enroll in traditional public schools. They also erect barriers for enrollment, such as expecting parents to "volunteer" for certain activities, and requiring long application essays. In short, they operate like private schools."
Charter School Evaluation Is Tricky
Education Week Reality Check Blog By Walt Gardner on September 14, 2015 7:27 AM
Even though their overall performance is mixed, charter schools are the darlings of reformers. In certain cities, however, they have indeed posted impressive results. The situation in Los Angeles, home of the nation's second largest school district, is a case in point ("A charter school expansion could be great for L.A." Los Angeles Times, Sep. 13).  Slightly more than a fifth of all students in the mammoth district are currently enrolled in charter schools, and wait lists for admission exceed 40,000 applicants. It's understandable why.  Charters have delivered a better education, particularly to low-income minority students, than traditional public schools in Los Angeles. As a result, the plan is to double the number of students to nearly 300,000.  ….I've long believed that if traditional public schools could do the same, there would be no difference between the two. Studies have compared the performance of students who applied to oversubscribed charter schools but didn't win the lottery (and then enrolled in traditional neighborhood schools) with that of students in the same charter schools.  The aim was to control for self-selection.  In other words, motivated students in charters versus motivated students in traditional schools.  But other factors contaminated the results.

"University of Pennsylvania education and sociology professor Richard Ingersoll, an expert on teacher workforce issues, said a failure to retain teachers is a much bigger part of the equation. He said enticing experienced teachers, especially in chronically understaffed subjects such as math, science and special education, to stay in the profession would be a better solution than ramping up enrollment or allowing people who have not been fully trained to teach, as many districts are now doing.  "Yes, there are some hard-to-staff schools and there can be difficulties across states or regions," Ingersoll said. "But it's not due to a shortage of new teaches but too much turnover."
After years of cuts, school districts face teacher shortages
Yahoo News By CHRISTINE ARMARIO and LISA LEFF September 14, 2015 4:03 AM
LOS ANGELES (AP) — When a new school year began at the Sierra Sands Unified District 150 miles north of Los Angeles in August, students in four classes were greeted by a substitute.  The small district's human resources department had worked aggressively through the summer to attract new teachers. Staff members made out-of-state recruiting trips, highlighting their area's low cost of living and proximity to Los Angeles. The district revamped its website and asked residents to tap their families and friends for job candidates.  "We were leaving no stone unturned," said Dave Ostash, assistant superintendent of human resources of the 5,000-student district.  Still, when the bell rang on the first day of class, they fell four teachers short.
After years of recession-related layoffs and hiring freezes, school systems in pockets across the United States are in urgent need of more qualified teachers.  Shortages have surfaced in big cities such as Tampa, Florida, and Las Vegas, where billboards calling for new teachers dot the highways, as well as in states such as Georgia, Indiana and North Dakota that have long struggled to compete for education graduates.

Pat Metheny Group - September Fifteenth (Live at Saratoga July 1998)
YouTube Uploaded on Sep 12, 2011 Runtime 8:43
Recorded Live at the mountain winery saratoga july 21-23 1998


SCHOOL PLAY - It's a touchy subject
Suzanne Roberts Theatre Philadelphia Wed. Sept. 16th 7:00 p.m.
School Play explores our attitudes toward public education using the real voices of Pennsylvanians from across the Commonwealth
The performance will be held next Wednesday, September 16th at 7:00 pm at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre (480 S. Broad St., Philadelphia).  Tickets are free.  People can go to this link to RSVP: http://www.pccy.org/event/school-play-performance/

Help fund the statewide tour of a live documentary play about the struggle to save public education in Pennsylvania.
After standing-room-only shows at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center in April, we’re taking this compelling play about the precarious state of public education back to the people who lent us their voices and stories. This October, we’re traveling across the state, putting on free performances to spark conversations and engage citizens.  School Play is a work of grassroots theatre, woven from the narratives of hundreds of Pennsylvanians affected by our state’s school funding crisis. The play is entirely crowd-sourced; the script is derived from the words of students, parents, educators and legislators, and is available online for anyone to perform.  Artists Arden Kass, Seth Bauer and Edward Sobel created School Play out of our personal concern for our kids and our communities. The result is a funny, sad, straight-talking documentary theatre piece, told through the words of real people.  You can read more about School Play here, here, here and here.

Register Now for the Fifth Annual Arts and Education Symposium Oct. 29th Harrisburg
Thursday, October 29, 2015 Radisson Hotel Harrisburg Convention Center 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Act 48 Credit is available. The event will be a daylong convening of arts education policy leaders and practitioners for lively discussions about important policy issues and the latest news from the field. The symposium is hosted by EPLC and the Pennsylvania Arts Education Network, and supported by a generous grant from The Heinz Endowments.

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/>

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 open Aug. 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:

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

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