Thursday, October 1, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Oct 1: 'Wild West' charter school spending, lack of openness spotlighted in Roebuck report

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup October 1, 2015:
'Wild West' charter school spending, lack of openness spotlighted in Roebuck report

"I continue to be troubled by the lack of openness for many of these tax-funded schools. Requiring more transparency could have prevented many of the problems spotlighted in this report and by news stories in recent years. The previous director of the state Office of Open Records called charter schools 'a cancer on the otherwise healthy right-to-know law,' and the Open Records office reported receiving 239 appeals in cases in which charter schools either rejected or failed to answer taxpayer right-to-know requests."
'Wild West' charter school spending, lack of openness spotlighted in Roebuck report
Reining in overpayments could help resolve state budget impasse
Rep. James R. Roebuck Jr.,    September 30, 2015 | 10:45 AM
HARRISBURG, Sept. 30 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., today released a report on Pennsylvania charter schools that spotlights what he called the "Wild West" spending or borrowing practices of some, as well as a general lack of openness from the tax-funded, privately run schools.  "For example, as a news report disclosed recently, charter schools in Philadelphia alone have racked up nearly $500 million in debt, often at rates of 8 or 8 1/2 percent. Taxpayers ultimately fund all of it, including millions of dollars in consulting and legal fees and questionable building costs," said Roebuck, Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee.  House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, said: "Reining in charter school overspending and overpayments could help resolve the state budget impasse. Every dollar freed up this way is a dollar that can restore education cuts; every dollar freed up this way is a dollar that doesn't have to come from taxes. I think this is something both Republicans and Democrats should be able to support."  Roebuck said: "Governor Tom Wolf has proposed $160 million in savings from reforming cyber charter school payments. We should build on that by making strong reforms to brick-and-mortar charter schools as well.

Charter & Cyber Charter School Reform Report 3rd Edition- Updated Charter School Legislation & Academic Performance of Charter Schools
Democratic House Education Committee Representative James R Roebuck Jr. Sept. 2015

"The state already missed a hefty payment to school districts in August and is on track to miss another one Thursday."
GOP leaders plan vote on Wolf budget
ANGELA COULOUMBIS, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU LAST UPDATED: Thursday, October 1, 2015, 1:08 AM POSTED: Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 5:54 PM
HARRISBURG - Frustrated with the protracted budget stalemate, Republican legislative leaders said Wednesday that they would allow a vote next week on Gov. Wolf's proposal to raise the sales and personal income taxes - if only to show the administration that there is no support for it.  The majority leaders in the House and Senate told reporters that they are fed up with hearing the Democratic governor say he believes he has support among rank-and-file members for his budget proposals, which have included raising taxes to finance property-tax relief and bring in more money for schools.  House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R., Indiana) said that come Wednesday, he will step aside and allow the package to be brought up for a vote.  "We've told the governor that the votes are just simply not there," said Reed. "There seems to be some disbelief ... about whether the votes are there or not, and we are at a fork in the road. And next Wednesday, we will choose a path."  Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R., Jefferson) put it this way: "If the votes are there - and we don't think they are - then we'll be done."

Republicans throw down the gauntlet for Wolf’s tax plan
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Pennsylvania’s budget stalemate took another turn Wednesday as Republican leaders threw down the gauntlet for Gov. Tom Wolf and legislative Democrats to whip enough votes in both caucuses to support what they say is Gov. Wolf’s revenue plan as of a September 11, 2015, budget negotiating meeting.  According to House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre), the plan will be brought up for a vote Wednesday, October 7. If it passes the House, it will be brought up for a vote in the Senate the following week.  “There seems to be some disbelief on behalf of the governor as to whether the votes are there or not [for personal income and sales tax increases] and we are at a fork in the road,” Rep. Reed added. “Next Wednesday, we are going to choose a path.”  He said if the votes are there for the tax plan, Republicans will move to put Gov. Wolf’s budget up for a vote, bringing the budget impasse to a close.  “If the votes are not there, the governor needs to recognize that, he needs to take his personal income tax and sales tax increase proposals off the table and negotiate a budget that can realistically get the votes and get this budget impasse to a halt,” he said.

Republican leaders invite vote on Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf's tax plan
By Brad Bumsted Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, 1:09 p.m.
HARRISBURG — Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has a high-stakes showdown with Republicans next week on whether House members of both parties are willing to vote for higher taxes.
House and Senate Republican leaders called the bluff of House Democrats who said they're close to having 84 committed votes in their caucus and might be able to garner 18 Republicans for a 102-vote majority.  But Rep. Nick Kotik of Coraopolis, an outspoken “blue dog Democrat,” said getting to that number is “a steep climb.”  “Politically, (the tax vote) is a real death knell for younger members,” Kotik said. “You're asking new guys to cast votes that may end their careers.”  The GOP leaders scheduled a House vote for Wednesday — on what will be the 98th day of the budget impasse — to consider Wolf's tax plan.

Wolf appeals to Micacarelli, other rank-and-file GOP lawmakers on budget plan
Delco Times By Marc Levy,  The Associated Press POSTED: 09/30/15, 9:54 AM EDT 
HARRISBURG, Pa. >> Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and his allies have begun reaching out to rank-and-file Republican lawmakers – including Delco state Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-162, in an effort to build majority support for a budget plan that can break a 3-month-old budget stalemate.  The concept being circulated lacks many details but revolves around imposing a new severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling and raising the state’s personal income tax rate, Republicans said.  Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks, said it will be difficult, but not impossible, for Wolf to woo enough Republicans to his side to pass both houses of the Legislature, where huge GOP majorities are in control.  “I’m willing to talk to the administration,” said DiGirolamo, who has a history of bucking House GOP leadership. “The question is, what are the rates on the Marcellus Shale tax and personal income tax and where does the revenue go?”

Gov. Tom Wolf's latest tax package, as shared by GOP negotiators
Penn Live By Charles Thompson |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter on September 30, 2015 at 5:00 PM, updated September 30, 2015 at 8:59 PM
Here's a detailed look at the individual pieces of Gov. Tom Wolf's latest tax package, which the administration proposed on Sept. 11 and could receive a vote on the state House floor next week.  The $1.78 billion in projected new revenue, the administration has argued, is needed to bring its revised $31.2 billion spending plan into balance.  In fiscal 2016-17, the first full year the same taxes would be in effect, the increases are projected to raise $3.24 billion.  It is dramatically scaled back from the governor's initial plan offered in March, though as proposed now it does not create an off-set for lower school property tax bills, another top Wolf priority.  This plan, rather, is specifically matched to the state's 2015-16 budget needs. The proposed changes, from the biggest to smallest, are:

Pennsylvania's House Democrats are game for tax challenge
Penn Live By Charles Thompson |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on September 30, 2015 at 7:37 PM
House Minority Leader Frank Dermody put to rest Wednesday any idea that House Democrats would reject a challenge laid down by majority Republicans to make their case for Gov. Tom Wolf's tax increase package.  Dermody, whose caucus is badly outnumbered in the state House, said he and his team will "see what we can do" to rally 102 votes for Wolf's $1.8 billion tax package that he called "a crucial vote for the future of Pennsylvania.  "This is going to be a chance for Democrats and Republicans to work together to come up with a plan to adequately fund our schools, fix the structural deficit and avoid the destructive cuts in human services programs next year that would make the last four years (under former Gov. Tom Corbett) feel like a vacation," the Pittsburgh Democrat said.  "We take this very seriously and we do believe that this is a crucial vote for the future of Pennsylvania."

GOP schedules Wolf's Pa. tax plans for vote
Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania say it's put up or give up time for Gov. Tom Wolf's tax proposals.  GOP legislative leaders told reporters Wednesday they plan to bring up the governor's latest tax plans for a vote in the House in exactly one week. They framed the move as a means to get budget negotiations moving again.  "If the votes are not there, the governor needs to recognize that," said GOP House Majority Leader Dave Reed, who for months has insisted that Wolf's proposed tax hikes can't possibly pass the Legislature.  "He needs to take his personal income tax and sales tax increase proposals off the table," said Reed, "and negotiate a budget that realistically could garner the votes and bring this budget impasse to a halt."  Reed added that if the tax package passes, Republicans will be happy to bring up a spending bill so lawmakers can see how the money would be allocated.

State Republicans: Let's put Gov. Wolf's tax plan to a vote next week
LANCASTERONLINE | Staff September 30, 2015
Gov. Tom Wolf says he can convince rank-and-file Republicans to support his tax plan.
Go ahead and try, House and Senate Republican leaders said.  In a press conference Wednesday, House Majority Leader Dave Reed and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said they will allow a vote next week on Gov. Wolf's proposals to raise the sales and personal income taxes — if only to show the administration there is no support for them.  Reed and Corman told reporters they are fed up with hearing the Democratic governor say he believes he has support among their party's legislators for his budget proposals, which in the past have included raising taxes to finance property tax relief and raise more money for schools.  Come next Wednesday, said Reed, R-Indiana, he will step aside and allow the package to be brought up for a vote.  "We've told the governor that the votes are just simply not there," said Reed. "There seems to be some disbelief amongst the governor about whether the votes are there or not, and we are are at a fork in the road. And next Wednesday, we will choose a path."  Corman, R-Jefferson, put it this way: "If the votes are there — and we don't think they are — then we'll be done."
The state has been operating without a budget since July 1, and the resulting impasse has halted state aid to counties, schools and non-profit providers of social services.

"Pennsylvania is not in as bad a situation as New Jersey or Illinois," said Scott McGough, director of fixed income for Glenmede Trust Co. in Philadelphia, who is reducing his holdings of Pennsylvania debt. "But clearly, the trend is poor at this point."
Stalemate Over Tax Increases Pushes Pennsylvania Yields To Highs
Financial Advisor SEPTEMBER 29, 2015 • BLOOMBERG NEWS
As Congress races to avert a government shutdown, what may be a more prolonged political fight over the budget is dragging on in the state capital 120 miles (193 kilometers) to the north.  In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the state government is almost three months into the fiscal year without an agreement on what it can spend because of a divide between the Republican-led legislature and Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat. At least two school districts say they may soon have to close. Some debt has been downgraded. And investors have pushed yields on the Keystone State’s bonds close to recent highs over top-rated securities, a measure of the perceived risk.  Pennsylvania is the only state aside from Illinois that’s still locked in a stalemate over the budget, a standoff reminiscent of those that once played out in statehouses around the nation after the recession. While public finances have recovered along with the economy, Pennsylvania lawmakers are contending with a $53 billion pension-fund shortfall that’s threatening to hit the state with rising bills, as well as pressure to steer more money into schools.  As a result, investors are demanding yields on 10-year Pennsylvania bonds of 2.71 percent, 0.56 percentage point more than AAA municipal securities, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s just shy of the 0.61 percentage point reached in June, which was the highest since the data began in 2013. Only Illinois and New Jersey, which have even larger pension shortfalls, pay more, according to data on 20 states.

Republicans will roll the dice next week on Wolf's tax plan - and hope it comes up snake eyes: Analysis
Penn Live By John L. Micek |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on September 30, 2015 at 2:38 PM, updated September 30, 2015 at 4:31 PM
Ok, so I was wrong.  After June's pretend tax vote in the state House, a futile attempt at a veto override in August andGov. Tom Wolf's veto Tuesday of a Republican-authored, $11 billion stop-gap budget, I thought Harrisburg's warring factions had run out of time-wasting political set-pieces.  And then GOP House and Senate leaders went and announced Wednesday that they had dug deep into their well-thumbed copy of"The Big Book o' Parliamentary Maneuvers (Special How to Embarrass a Democrat Edition)," to extract yet another ploy.  Gov. Tom Wolf Says He Is Settling For Nothing Short Of A Finalized BudgetDespite signs of progress and potential plans to meet with Republican leaders for a third time Monday evening, Gov. Tom Wolf said he will veto the stopgap budget that the GOP-controlled Legislature sent him.  Here's what's going to happen - it's a plan an Arizona desert-dwelling Coyote could love.

In Harrisburg, like Washington, it's full stop ahead
LET'S CHECK IN on Harrisburg, also known as Lil' Washington on the Susquehanna.  You've noticed similarities, yes?  Democrat runs the executive branch, Republicans run the legislative branch and the tree not only produces no fruit but also appears to be dead.  Welcome to governing in modern times.  I'm not sure House Speaker John Boehner's stepping aside helps fix Washington, but some suggest House Speaker Mike Turzai's stepping aside might help fix Harrisburg.  OK, actually, that's just wishful thinking by Democrats who see Turzai as least likely among GOP leaders to compromise with Gov. Wolf in order to get a budget in place before, let's say, Christmas.  On the other hand, maybe any change in Harrisburg's hierarchy could move the budgetary needle, which is stuck in place for going on four months now.  What's new?

The Pennsylvania budget: Wolf's costly ploy
Editorial By The Tribune-Review Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
Governing is an exercise in give and take — true compromise not to be confused with capitulation — and always for the common good. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf would be wise to review that basic maxim as he seeks rehabilitation for his predilection to not play well with others.  
The Democrat governor, one man with one stroke of a pen, cost the taxpayers he purports to defend millions of dollars Tuesday when he vetoed the GOP-controlled General Assembly's stopgap budget bill. It was designed to ease the pain of public school districts and some social service agencies as negotiations over a permanent budget continue. The commonwealth has been budgetless for more than 90 days.  The taxpayer tab — as high as $11.2 million — will come in the form of interest incurred by 17 school districts and two intermediate units now forced to borrow because of the stalemate. The Republican majority says the partial spending measure would have prevented the need for such borrowing and reduced pressure on budget negotiators as they continue discussions.  But Mr. Wolf argues it's exactly the kind of pressure needed to force a deal — one, we remind, that includes the governor's demand for damaging tax hikes.

District seeks crowd at Erie stadium budget rally
By ERICA ERWINerica.erwin@timesnews.com29 Sep 2015 — Erie Times-News
The Erie School District hopes to fill Veterans Stadium with fans -- of education funding.
A "Fund Our Schools" rally is set for Friday at 3 p.m. at the stadium, East 26th and State streets, to encourage legislators to pass a state budget. Students in all district schools will be dismissed early at 1 p.m. so students, teachers, administrators and staff can attend.  The rally is open to all concerned community members and taxpayers.  "Everybody who has a stake in the success of our schools should come to this rally," Superintendent Jay Badams said Monday.  The hourlong rally will feature remarks from local and state officials, student representatives, community members and representatives from the Pennsylvania State Education Association, as well as student songs and performances.

School districts borrowing money as budget stalemate continues
Centre Daily Times BY BRITNEY MILAZZO bmilazzo@centredaily.comSeptember 30, 2015
Public school districts statewide have started borrowing money to help cushion the blow from the state budget impasse.  Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released a statement that said some districts, and intermediate units that oversee them, borrowed more than $340 million.  “Our students have returned to their schools, but much-needed state funding is stalled by the budget impasse in Harrisburg,” DePasquale said in the prepared statement. “It’s causing financial insecurity in schools across Pennsylvania and already forcing some to borrow money. Instead of focusing on education, schools across the state are having meetings to try and figure out how to get by every month, and shopping banks for loans that will hopefully allow them to keep the lights on.”  Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District finance director Michael Conte said the district made a commitment for a $4.4 million loan from M&T Bank. The deal was made in August, he said.  “We haven’t actually borrowed money yet, but already made the commitment to the loan,” Conte said. “We’re missing about $3 million from state subsidies.”
Conte said the district is dipping into other fund balances to make up for “budget shortfalls,” and added that the district doesn’t anticipate using the loan until the end of the year.

"That means the Commonwealth Court's finding last February that nothing in Pennsylvania's charter school law prevents charter schools from having more than one building is the law of the land for the time being.  Those who want to limit the growth of taxpayer-funded alternative schools say the decision has the potential to increase the strain charter schools place on public school districts."
Pa. Supreme Court dismisses BASD charter school case
Peter Hall Of The Morning Call September 30, 2015
Pa. Supreme Court's dismissal of BASD appeal could make it easier for charter schools to grow.  Bethlehem Area School District's fight to keep a charter school from opening a second building is over, but the legal precedent the case leaves behind means charters across Pennsylvania could have an easier time expanding.  The state Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the school district's challenge of a lower court's ruling that the school board and the state Charter School Appeal Board were wrong to block Lehigh Valley Dual Language Charter School's bid to open a second location.  The dismissal followed the school board's approval of Dual Language Charter's alternative plan to move its entire student body into a single larger building. The high court agreed with the charter school's lawyers that the move made the school district's appeal moot.

Boyertown Area School District to recommend staying within inflation index
By Eric Devlin, The Mercury POSTED: 09/30/15, 6:20 PM EDT | UPDATED: 2 HRS AGO
Boyertown>> Boyertown Area School District announced Wednesday it will recommend approving a resolution certifying that the district will stay within the state inflation index for next year’s budget.  This resolution, if approved by the school board at the Oct. 13 meeting, will ensure any property tax-hike for the district for the 2016-17 fiscal year will stay at or below this adjusted inflation index, according to a press release.  “This will continue to keep the tax rate for residents in the Boyertown Area School District at a low level” Barbara Hartford, finance committee chair, said in a statement.  If approved, this resolution ensures that the district will not seek to use allowable exceptions to raise the tax rate above the established district index, the release states.  Boyertown has the second lowest tax rate in the county, with 23.96 mills, behind the Reading School District’s 17.41 mills. A draft copy of the resolution is available on the district’s website at for public review.

PSSA test numbers way down, as expected
Bucks County Intelligencer By Gary Weckselblatt, staff writer Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 7:15 pm
If they haven't already, many parents are about to receive in their mailbox their child's scores on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment.  Attached to their grades is a letter from state Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera. Make sure you read it first. It might prevent the onset of a headache.  The state on Tuesday officially released the numbers from the PSSAs from last spring. If your child's score fell to 35 percent in math or 9 percent in reading, take heart, that's the state average.  "What I hope parents will realize and take into consideration is that this is a new test," Central Bucks Superintendent David Weitzel said. "They are much more comprehensive and challenging. It appears the tests are the issue now, not whether our students are learning or our teachers are teaching."

PSSA results are in for Lancaster County schools
Lancaster Online by Kara Newhouse September 30, 2015
School leaders have known since July that student scores on the state's standardized tests dropped sharply this year. Now those leaders and the public can see exactly how their schools fared.  The state Department of Education this morning released school and state level results from the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment.  PSSAs in math and language arts are taken by students in grades 3 to 8. Science PSSAs are taken by students in grades 4 and 8. Average scores for Lancaster County schools were better than statewide scores in all three subjects.  Results for Keystone Exams, taken mostly by high school students, haven't been released.   Preliminary statewide PSSA results released this summer showed a 35 percent drop in math proficiency and a 9 percent drop in language arts across the state.  State officials have said the declines are a result of harder tests being rolled out in math and English language arts. Science PSSAs were unchanged this year.  “It’s crucial that people understand comparing old scores to new scores isn’t a reliable indicator of student growth or academic achievement. This year’s results are truly the new benchmark," said Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera in a press release today.

The Data Are Damning: How Race Influences School Funding
Research shows that in Pennsylvania’s public schools skin color, not economics, determines how much money districts get.
The Atlantic by GILLIAN B. WHITE September 30, 2015
PHILADELPHIA—In America, schools with a lot of minority students are chronically underfunded. Is that the case because these students are poor, and poor communities have fewer resources for funding their schools? Or, is it because of the color of these students’ skin?  Unsettlingly, recent research from data scientist David Mosenkis finds that poverty alone does not explain the underfunding. Mosenkis delved into funding data for 500 school districts in the state of Pennsylvania. Because richer school districts are able to drum up more cash through taxes, they should receive less state funding, and poorer districts should receive more. He looked at how much money they received and sorted those findings based on race and income.  Using a broad scope, Mosenkis found what one might expect: On the surface poor districts do receive more state funding than rich schools. But when he delved deeper into the data, sorting by race, what he found was disturbing.

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 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

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 <>

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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