Tuesday, September 29, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Sept 29: Progress on a state budget deal? Maybe. At least the sides are meeting

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup September 29, 2015:
Progress on a state budget deal? Maybe. At least the sides are meeting


Budget meetings to start fresh Tuesday
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Monday, September 28, 2015
Gov. Tom Wolf and legislative leaders opted to start negotiations fresh on Tuesday, calling off plans to possibly meet for a third time to discuss the Commonwealth’s ongoing budget stalemate Monday.  After two meetings, the wording used was cryptic, but optimistic coming from House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana).  “We’d like to try to get a budget done sooner rather than later,” he said on the prospects of a third meeting after the second of the day broke up around 5:00 p.m. “If we can meet tonight and find some common ground, I think that would be a good thing.”  While he was elusive about what common ground he might be speaking of, he did note that both sides are “trying to work through some numbers.”  As Republicans and Democrats split up among themselves to discuss the day’s unrevealed movement, Gov. Wolf briefed the press saying both sides are discussing budget numbers.  “We all want a budget, that’s our common ground,” he said. “We’re still talking.”

Early afternoon budget meeting has negotiators looking hard at numbers
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Monday, September 28, 2015
While budget negotiators pouring out of Monday’s early-afternoon budget meeting said they were still nowhere close to a deal, leaders in attendance went back to their respective corners in earnest to get a better feel for numbers of what is needed for a General Fund budget package and supporting revenue.  “We have some other data we need to accumulate,” House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) quickly told reporters gathered outside the negotiating session before quickly heading down the stairs out of the governor’s office.  House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) said the meeting included “a very detailed” discussion looking at a cost-to-carry budget and what that would entail.  “We need to get through that in the first instance,” he said.  When asked if negotiators were on the brink of a breakthrough, House Appropriations Committee Majority Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) responded, “No, not at all.”  He added this is a necessary discussion before moving on to other budgetary related matters.  House Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) said it was “a pretty good sign” that negotiators met for nearly 90-minutes.  He added it is important to take care of the deficit for the current fiscal year while also trying to figure out how to avoid having one for the coming fiscal year.

Legislative leaders meet with Gov. Tom Wolf on stalled Pennsylvania budget
Delco Times By The Associated Press POSTED: 09/28/15, 4:26 PM EDT
HARRISBURG >> Gov. Tom Wolf and legislative leaders are meeting again on the state budget impasse, but the participants report no breakthroughs.  Leaders from both parties were tight-lipped Monday as they filed out of Wolf’s office after a one-hour meeting but said they’d meet again in late afternoon.  The Democratic governor wants a multibillion-dollar tax increase that would provide a significant funding increase for public schools and eliminate a budget deficit. Republicans want to privatize the sale of wine and liquor and revamp the state’s public pensions to reduce future costs.  Wolf is expected to veto a stopgap budget approved earlier this month by Republican majorities in the House and Senate. The $11 billion proposal would cover costs incurred between July and September by school districts and county-run social services.

Progress on a state budget deal? Maybe. At least the sides are meeting
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on September 28, 2015 at 7:04 PM, updated September 28, 2015 at 8:28 PM
While it is hard to read the tea leaves from the second round of state budget talks on Monday, some might find reason to think that the sides may be picking up intensity in their quest to end the budget impasse in its 90th day on Monday.  House Republican leaders left that meeting sounding somewhat optimistic that some common ground could be found with the Democratic administration on some of the spending and revenue number that serve as a building block for a finalized budget.  They initially planned to meet for a third time Monday with their Senate Republican and House and Senate Democratic counterparts and Gov. Tom Wolf after first meeting earlier in the day but instead, that meeting got pushed off until Tuesday. 

Deadline for Pennsylvania voter registration is 1 week away
Delco Times By The Associated Press POSTED: 09/28/15, 2:55 PM
HARRISBURG >> The deadline for registering to vote in Pennsylvania’S Nov. 3 election is one week away.  Secretary of State Pedro Cortes reminded residents Monday that they can register online for the first time. But he says people who do not have a PennDOT driver’s license or PennDOT identification card should apply before the Oct. 5 deadline if they use the new electronic system.  In addition to thousands of local school board, municipal and judicial races, voters will fill three open seats on the seven-member Pennsylvania Supreme Court. There also are two other state appellate court openings — one each in the Superior and Commonwealth courts.  Pennsylvanians also can still register by mail or in-person at many state and county offices.

School bond ratings scraping bottom in Pa.
WHYY Newsworks BY ASSOCIATED PRESS SEPTEMBER 28, 2015
Pennsylvania has the second-most number of school districts with credit ratings that are the equivalent of "junk."  The Tribune-Review of Pittsburgh reports that only Michigan has more.
Pennsylvania has four school districts whose credit was downgraded to "speculative" earlier this year by Moody's rating agency. Those districts are East Allegheny, McKeesport, Penn Hills and PhiladelphiaMichigan has seven.  Officials say that lower bond ratings make it harder and more expensive for districts to borrow money.  Pennsylvania's auditor general, Democrat Eugene DePasquale, says it's a black eye for Pennsylvania. DePasquale blames long-delayed pension costs that are coming due, rising charter school payments and dwindling tax bases. Rating agencies are also watching Pennsylvania school districts because an entrenched budget stalemate has stopped aid to school districts.

Quakertown Board withholds pension payment to state
Bucks County Herald by Joe Ferry September 27, 2015
Following through on a promise made this spring “to create some civil disobedience,” six members of the Quakertown School Board were on hand recently to deposit a “check” for $3.4 million in a “lockbox” at the district’s administrative offices in Milford Township.
While acknowledging the move is largely symbolic, board members said they are protesting the state’s lack of movement toward a solution to the pension crisis by withholding the district’s quarterly payment to the Pennsylvania State Employee Retirement System (PSERS). Instead, the payment will be withheld from the district’s Basic Education Subsidy, which they said is legal under state law.  “We need to start somewhere,” said school board President Paul Stepanoff. “We’re expressing the frustration everybody has.  In a wide ranging news conference, board members criticized teachers, state legislators, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, Gov. Wolf, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education for failing to solve the problem. They said said increasing pension burden is crippling its efforts to improve education and putting an undue burden on taxpayers.

No pension fix, no pension payment
Bucks County Courier Times Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 12:15 am
Just like virtually every other school district in Pennsylvania, the Quakertown Community School District is being steadily squeezed by ever-increasing pension obligations. This year, the district is obliged to pay over 25 percent of employee salaries into the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS). School board President Paul Stepanoff says 10 percent of Quakertown’s $100 million budget now goes toward retirement costs — not, as Stepanoff noted, to teacher salaries, or to “a pencil, a book or to transportation.”
It’s easy to see where this is leading: Taxpayers are and will continue to be held up year after year at tax time, while little if any of the additional revenue will be used to improve the quality of education. This was the prediction years ago, when the pension debacle first appeared on the radar screen. Many people fretted, including lawmakers whose poor decisions created the mess. But nothing substantial has been done to address the problem: a now $53 billion problem in the form of unfunded liability in PSERS and SERS, which serves state employees.

Reading School Board suspends payments to charter schools, retirement system
The Reading Eagle, Sept. 25, 2015 (Subscription required.)
The Reading SD (Berks Co.) will stop making payments to charter schools and to the statewide school employees retirement system until a state budget is passed.
http://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/reading-school-boartd-suspends-payments-to-charter-schools-retirement-system#.VgWLTPlVhBd

Hanover school district braces for financial struggles during budget impasse
The district is missing about $1.4 million in expected funding from the state since July, officials say
York Daily Record By Lillian Reed lreed@eveningsun.com @LillianEReed on Twitter UPDATED:   09/28/2015 09:28:38 PM EDT
More than 90 days have passed since Pennsylvania has had a state budget, and Hanover Public School District officials say they are beginning to worry.  District officials gave the school board an update Monday on the state budget impasse and what it means for schools in the coming months.
Budget impasse explained
Pennsylvania legislators missed the June 30 deadline to establish a state budget, following Gov. Tom Wolf's veto of a Republican budget plan.  Lawmakers recently passed a stopgap budget bill, which creates a temporary budget identical to the previous fiscal year while they continue to negotiate. Wolf vowed to veto the bill but has yet to do so, The Associated Press reported earlier this week.  On a local level, the impasse has caused unease over the 2015-16 school year budget for Business Manager Troy Wentz and Supt. John Scola, both men said at Monday's school board meeting.

AIU moves to shore up its finances because of budget impasses
By Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 28, 2015 9:17 PM
Like school districts throughout the state having trouble making ends meet as a result of the state's budget impasse, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit board Monday approved a $28 million revenue anticipation note to meet its day-to-day expenses.  The AIU currently has about $7 million on hand, which is about a half month's worth of expenses, said Chuck Cronin, assistant director of finance.  Mr. Cronin said funds the AIU has not received because of the budget impasse include $5 million for alternative education, $4 million in IDEA funds and $1.6 million in core funding.

Budget impasse impacts Alle-Kiski Valley school districts
Trib Live By Staff Report Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, 12:01 a.m.
Property owners who paid their taxes are helping school districts weather the budget standoff between the governor and state lawmakers.  But with millions in state funding missing, district officials say they can only get by for so long on local tax revenue and their reserves.  No state money has been released to school districts since Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed the budget sent to him by the Legislature on June 30, when lawmakers missed the deadline to get a spending plan in place.  Federal funding that is funneled through the state is being held up, too.  Crunch time varies from district to district. For a few, it's here already, or not far away.

Lincoln, Thackston charters say budget impasse is causing cash-flow problems
They may take out lines of credit or have staff go without pay
York Daily Record By Angie Mason amason@ydr.com @angiemason1 on Twitter UPDATED:   09/28/2015 04:37:15 PM EDT
Two charter schools in York are looking at taking out lines of credit or the possibility of staff going without pay because of the state budget impasse, their principals say.  The leaders of Lincoln and Thackston charter schools said Monday that they are about to hit rough times, because their major sources of funding are tied up at the state level. The state has not adopted a 2015 budget, so funding for school districts and other agencies has not been released.  When a student attends a charter school, the student's home district pays a tuition rate, set by state formula, to the charter school. In most cases, the charter schools bill the districts directly.

Pennsylvania budget impasse puts pressure on charter schools
Watchdog.org By Evan Grossman  /   September 28, 2015
Pennsylvania charter schools are being “strangled” by the state budget impasse that’s dragged on for three months and has cut off funding to school districts, says one charter school advocate.  The Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools is demanding school districts release necessary funding to charters, despite the budget stalemate that’s held up any state spending. The impasse has already delayed more than $1 billion in school funding, but the Keystone Alliance argues holding up tuition payments to charter schools is a violation of state law.  “The Charter School Law does not permit school districts to withhold funding from charter schools in the absence of a state budget,” said Tim Eller, executive director of the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “The bulk of funding for charter schools is funneled through school districts, and with many of them refusing to pay, charter schools are being financially strangled. This is affecting thousands of students who attend charter schools across the state.”

Stopgap budget? Wolf says 'no'
Bucks County Courier Times Opinion Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2015 12:15 am
Passing stopgap spending legislation is a popular exercise in Washington. When Congress, or Congress and the president, cannot agree on critical funding, very often a temporary budget agreement is reached to buy time while a permanent solution can be worked out. Such stopgap measures amount to an admission of guilt by lawmakers that they could not settle their differences and had to result to a form of gimmickry to keep money flowing.
With Pennsylvania’s budget stalemate almost three months old and state funding to school districts, counties and social service providers hanging in the balance, the Republican-controlled Legislature in Harrisburg has taken a page out of Washington’s “how not to govern” book. On Thursday, the House sent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf a temporary budget to lessen the impact of the impasse. The Senate passed the measure earlier in the month. The $11 million bill would give the state authority to spend until the end of October and would be retroactive to July 1, when a new spending plan should have been in place.

"You can't tell me my kid, in a span of 12 months, drops that low. Something's not right there."  It's a scene playing out in homes around Pennsylvania this month as parents see their kids' test scores.  While final statewide results come out Tuesday, preliminary data show a 35-point drop in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment math test and a 9-point drop in English."
Parents alarmed over plummeting math scores in Pennsylvania
Philly.com MICHAEL RUBINKAM, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS POSTED: September 28, 2015, 7:26 PM
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Two years ago, Christy Manetta's sixth-grader scored "advanced" on her state standardized math exam.  This month, when Manetta got the results of her daughter's spring PSSA math test, she was surprised and dismayed to see the score was 40 percentage points lower - or barely "proficient," according to the state.  "I don't buy it," said Manetta, whose children attend schools in the well-regarded Philadelphia-area Central Bucks School District, the state's third-largest school system. "You can't tell me my kid, in a span of 12 months, drops that low. Something's not right there."  It's a scene playing out in homes around Pennsylvania this month as parents see their kids' test scores.  While final statewide results come out Tuesday, preliminary data show a 35-point drop in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment math test and a 9-point drop in English.

PSSA Scores Tank; Researchers from the National Center for Educational Statistics rank PA students as among the best in the nation.
PA Ed Policy Roundup September 27, 2015:

Medical professionals help ensure students are on track
Yet many Philadelphia schoolchildren don’t see a pediatrician regularly, and school nursing staff has been slashed.
the notebook By Paul Jablow on Sep 28, 2015 04:38 PM
Dr. Dan Taylor, a pediatrician at the Center for the Urban Child at St. Christopher's Hospital, hands a book to six-year-old Aniyah Weddington as part of the Reach Out and Read program.  Here’s how it’s supposed to work.
Responsibility for a newborn child’s medical care is assigned to a pediatrician soon after birth.  Any conditions, such as vision problems, that could threaten the child’s learning are quickly spotted and explained to the parents or guardians. Checkups screen not only for physical ailments, but also for issues with language development and learning. The child sees a pediatrician at least once a year for a regular examination.  Prescribed medications are taken regularly. Parents monitor the child for signs such as sitting too close to the TV, which could mean nearsightedness, or persistent lethargy, which could signal something as serious as lead poisoning from flaking paint.  Later, if a condition flares up when the child is at school, a nurse is there to deal with it, and often the child can return to class. If it’s more serious, the parents are informed, and they notify their pediatrician and seek appropriate care.  Sitting at the nurse’s desk at William Dick Elementary School in North Philadelphia, where she has worked for almost a decade, Pat Westerfer talked about how it actually works in a low-income, urban district.
“Sometimes the nurse in the building is the only medical practitioner the kids see,” said Westerfer, who is at Dick only on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Local colleges join coalition to broaden access to low income students
Inquirer by Susan Snyder POSTED: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2015, 2:46 PM
A coalition of more than 80 public and private colleges plan to roll out new online tools to ease the admissions process for students from low incomes families and other groups that traditionally are underrepresented on campus, the schools announced Monday.  The goal of the national Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success, the group said, is to broaden access to higher education for students who have struggled with financial aid and other elements of the application process and encourage more students to consider college.  The effort, they say, should help level the playing field for students from all backgrounds.  Among the universities participating are: the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Rutgers University New Brunswick, Pennsylvania State University, Swarthmore College, Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College, the University of Pittsburgh and Franklin & Marshall College.

Tuesday night, Garnet Valley School District to consider outsourcing food, custodial, transporation services
By Susan L. Serbin, Delco Times Correspondent POSTED: 09/28/15, 10:33 PM EDT 
CONCORD >> At the Garnet Valley School Board meeting tonight, members are expected vote on whether to explore options for outsourcing several district operations.  Superintendent Marc Bertrando said the board and administration will “absolutely consider” the preliminary steps to request proposals in the areas of food service, custodial services and transportation.  “The exploration will be in these three areas only,” Bertrand stated.  The district already uses and outside firm, Chartwells, to manage food services, although those food service workers have remained district employees. The change would be to investigate having Chartwells take over the operation and directly employ staff.

Scranton strike to continue today and up to three weeks
Times Tribune BY SARAH HOFIUS HALL Published: September 29, 2015
If Rosemary Boland had her way, the Scranton School District’s 940 teachers and paraprofessionals would not have spent Monday picketing in front of the city’s schools.
“I’d rather them be in the classroom with the students,” the president of the Scranton Federation of Teachers said, taking a break from supporting and cheering for her union members, who started their strike Friday after school.  But after four weeks without a new contract, Ms. Boland said teachers have little choice.  Starting at 7 a.m. Monday, teachers wearing red “standing up for public education” shirts walked in front of their schools. The teachers carried “no contract, no work” signs last used when teachers went on strike in 1998. In front of the Administration Building, drivers honked their horns as teachers marched.  The district’s 10,000 students remained home on Monday and could be out of class for as many as three weeks.

Hundreds walk out of Allentown schools, then lose interest
By Jacqueline PalochkoChristina Tatu and Sarah M. WojcikOf The Morning Call contact the reporters September 28, 2015
Hundreds of students marched out of school Monday morning under the leadership of a bullhorn-carrying charter school teacher who says they need to make their voices heard because the Allentown School District doesn't care about minority students.  But many of the students, who included area charter school students, were unsure why they were there. One joked it was to get out of class. Another said it was over school uniforms. "I don't know," one admitted.  Many lost interest and left the protest, while some called for rides as they made their way to the city's statue of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King for what was to be a day of protest that included lessons.


"With the addition of Monday’s grants, the department has awarded more than $3 billion to charter schools since fiscal 1995. Federal dollars find their way to charter schools through two routes. In most cases, the federal government awards money to a state, and the state hands out grants to charter schools. In some instances, the federal government directly awards money to a public charter school.  But the federal government has not tracked how its dollars have been used by charter schools, nor has it studied their academic performance."
Charter love: Feds give $157 million to expand charter schools
Washington Post by Lyndsey Layton September 28 at 5:40 PM  
The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday it would give $157 million to create and expand charter schools throughout the nation, despite criticisms by its inspector general in the past that the agency has done a poor job of overseeing federal dollars sent to charter schools.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan made a passing reference to oversight problems during a media call with reporters. “Some have had to fold, some are struggling to find their way,” he said, referring to poor-performing charter schools. “We know we have to strengthen oversight… The good news is that the sector has proven it can improve.”

Education Dept. to Charter Schools: Here's Millions in Grants, Be More Responsible
Education Week Charters and Choice Blog By Arianna Prothero on September 28, 2015 6:25 PM
The U.S. Department of Education announced the latest round of Charter School Program grants to fund new charters and expand high-performing networks.  However, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says despite what he calls some impressive recent progress by charters, he continues to be concerned about fiscal oversight within the charter sector.  "We still see too many reports of unscrupulous behavior of charter schools and their authorizers," Duncan said in a press call with reporters.  Along with the $157 million in grant dollars, the Education Department is also asking recipients to closely monitor school quality, both on fiscal and academic issues. And states will be required to reevaluate charter schools at least every five years. To further underscore its focus on oversight, the Education Department released an open letter to all states urging them to improve oversight and outlining ways to do it (see below).

"But after all these years, charters still have nothing to teach public school. Not one pedagogical technique, not one educational innovation to point at that has spread into public education. What charters have "discovered" is what public schools have always known-- if you don't have to accept every single student in your neighborhood, without exception, without excuse, AND if you have ample funding and facilities, AND if you can also narrowly define "success" (as, say, a pair of scores on a single standardized test)-- then you can do much better than schools that don't have all those advantages. None of this is news to anybody."
Charters Are Not Common Schools
Curmuducation Blog by Peter Greene Monday, September 28, 2015
Charter boosters continue trying to muster some sort of argument against the decision in Washington State that the charter laws there violate the state constitution. So far, none of the attempts really sing.  Over at Campbell Brown's PR site, the 74, Andrew Rotherham (Bellwether) and Richard Whitmire (general reformsterism) make the argument that charter opponents are "on the wrong side of history" and that charter schools are the true common schools. You will not be surprised to read that I disagree.

Her son began hating school. What happened when she found out why.
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss September 28 at 4:00 AM  
The movement among parents to refuse to allow their children to take Common Core-aligned standardized tests has been growing for several years in states around the country, with some 20 percent of eligible students refusing to take them this past spring in New York and tens of thousands more sitting out the exams in other states as well. Here’s why and how one mother began the opt-out movement in New York.  This was written by Carol Burris, the executive director of the nonprofitNetwork for Public Education Fund. Burris retired in June as an award-winning principal at a New York high school, and she is the author of numerous articles, books and blog posts (including on The Answer Sheet) about the botched school reform efforts in her state. She was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. In 2010, she was selected as the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State.


PSBA launches an alumni network
Are you a former school director or in your final term? Stay connected through the PSBA Alumni Network. Your interest in public education continues beyond your term of service as a school director. And as a PSBA alumnus, you have years of experience and insight into the workings of public education and school boards. Legislators value your opinions as a former elected official. Take that knowledge and put it to work as a member of the PSBA Alumni Network.
For a nominal yearly fee of $25 a year or $100 for a lifetime membership, you will receive:
  • Electronic access to the PSBA Bulletin, the leading public education magazine in Pennsylvania
  • Access to legislative information pertaining to public education and periodic updates via email.
To join, complete the registration below. For more details or questions, contact Member Engagement Director Karen Devine at Karen.devine@psba.org or (800) 932-0588, ext. 3322.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  School Play is going on tour!  Click below for more information about tour dates in your county.  All performances are FREE!
School Play, a documentary-based live theatre piece, is here to put school funding center stage. Compiled from a series of interviews, the play premiered in Philadelphia in April, 2015 and is now available for free for performances around the Commonwealth.

"This will be an opportunity for the community to discuss its collective aspirations for our next superintendent. We hope you'll join us for an evening of learning and discussion about how we as a community can support our Board in its search for our schools next leader."
Getting a Great Superintendent
Pittsburgh, PA Wednesday, October 7, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
A+ Schools and its partners are hosting a community discussion about innovative talent search models that have attracted high quality leadership to key roles in the City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Public Schools.  Come hear from Valerie Dixon, Executive Director and Founder of the PACT Initiative, Leigh Halverson, Strategic Project Advisor to the President, Heinz Endowments, Patrick Dowd, former school board member and Executive Director of Allies for Children, Robert Cavalier, Director, Program for Deliberative Democracy at Carnegie Mellon University, and Alex Matthews, former school board member discuss the key lessons they've learned from being part of selection processes for key leaders in our City.  

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.

School Leadership Conference online registration closes Sept. 25
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:

Registration is open for the 19th Annual Eastern Pennsylvania Special Education Administrators’ Conference on October 21-23rd in Hershey. 
Educators in the field of special education from public, charter and nonpublic schools are invited to attend.  The conference offers rich professional development sessions and exceptional networking opportunities.  Keynote speakers are Shane Burcaw and Jodee Blanco.  Register at https://www.paiu.org/epaseac/conf_registration.php

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.

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/>

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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