Thursday, October 8, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Oct 8: 'We hope they don't go into their rooms and close their doors'

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3750 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, Governor's staff, current/former PA Secretaries of Education, Wolf education transition team members, Superintendents, PTO/PTA officers, parent advocates, teacher leaders, business leaders, faith-based organizations, labor organizations, education professors, members of the press and a broad array of P-16 regulatory agencies, professional associations and education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup October 8, 2015
'We hope they don't go into their rooms and close their doors'

Blogger's note: depending upon how the hawks and monarchs are running at the Point, the Ed Policy Roundup might be late or intermittent for a few days….

Education adrift: A tough audit says Pennsylvania has much to do
Post Gazette By the Editorial Board October 8, 2015 12:00 AM
The terrible financial hit that Pennsylvania’s schools absorbed wasn’t the only form of neglect inflicted by the state during the four-year term of former Gov. Tom Corbett. Administrators in Harrisburg also fell down on the job in performing fundamental duties that had little to do with money.  State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s comprehensive review of five years of records called out the state Education Department, and by extension the state Board of Education, for a long list of failures.  The most prominent example of irresponsibility was the employment of Mr. Corbett’s former Cabinet secretary, Ron Tomalis, in a do-nothing job with a salary of $139,542. 

State audit finds special adviser on higher education 'did little work'
The auditor general said he found scant evidence of work by former special adviser on higher education Ron Tomalis.
By Mary Niederberger and Bill Schackner / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette October 7, 2015 12:00 AM
A special adviser on higher education who did no work, a Basic Education Master Plan that had not been updated in 16 years, and no effort to help the majority of the state’s struggling schools were the major findings of two audits performed at the state Department of Education by the office of state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.  The long-awaited performance audits were presented by Mr. DePasquale in a news conference Tuesday during which he blasted the department for its lack of oversight on advisers and assistants and its inaction in helping what he called 561 “poor performing” schools.  He also took the state Board of Education to task for failing to update the commonwealth’s Basic Education Master Plan every five years as mandated by the state School Code and described the education department as “uncooperative” during the course of much of the audit.  The audit covered July 1, 2010, to Aug. 1, 2015, but the work took place largely during the administration of former Gov. Tom Corbett. Mr. DePasquale said the lack of cooperation seemed to stem from department leadership, rather than Mr. Corbett’s office, and improved when Gov. Tom Wolfe took office in January.
The auditor general said he found scant evidence of work by former special adviser on higher education Ron Tomalis, who maintained his Cabinet-level status and salary of $139,542 after he resigned as state secretary of education to become special adviser on June 1, 2013.

Fair funding campaign analyzes Pa. budget proposals
the notebook By Cathering Offord  on Oct 7, 2015 02:41 PM
The Campaign for Fair Education Funding (CFEF), a statewide coalition of more than 50 organizations, has released a new report on the implications of the education proposals being debated in Harrisburg.  The report, “Lifting All Students: Why Pennsylvania Must Act Now to Fairly Fund Public Education and Secure Our Future,” details the practical outcomes for school districts across the state under both the $410 million funding increase in Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget and the $100 million increase proposed by Republican legislators.  “This report was an effort to make clear what is at stake if we get a truly robust education funding formula and an influx of funding this year,” said Ian Gavigan, policy and communications associate at the Education Law Center, a leading member of CFEF.  “It was an effort to ground the discussion in what actually happens in each district.”

Lifting All Students: Why Pennsylvania Must Act Now to Fairly Fund Public Education and Secure Our Future
Campaign for Fair Education Funding September 2015

Pa. House votes down Gov. Tom Wolf's tax package; next moves in budget stalemate uncertain
Penn Live By Charles Thompson | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on October 07, 2015 at 3:31 PM, updated October 07, 2015 at 5:25 PM
House Republicans stamped "rejected" on Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed increase in the state income tax Wednesday on a 127-73 vote that broke mostly along party lines.
Republicans said they hoped the vote would drive the final stake through the heart of Wolf's tax plan.  But with the Democratic caucus rallying around their first-year governor - Dems supported the tax 73 to 9, with two members absent - it was not at all certain that Wolf will be prepared to move to a fresh alternative.  All 118 Republicans on the floor voted against the plan.

Budget Impasse Day 99: Sides see revenue plan rejection vote very differently
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Maybe there was something in the air Wednesday.
While the House of Representatives spent nearly seven hours debating Gov. Tom Wolf’s revenue proposal, a prominent lobbyist and a Hollywood actor got into a heated verbal tussle.  Tensions that had been running high since last week when Republican leaders said they would give the governor free reign to try to get as many votes as he could for a revenue plan he would timely submit came to a head when that plan was defeated with 127 votes opposing the measure, including nine put up by Democratic lawmakers.  Following the vote, leaders from both parties responsible for negotiating the budget saw that final vote in dramatically different ways.

'We hope they don't go into their rooms and close their doors,' school officials say after Wolf tax vote flop: Analysis
Penn Live By John L. Micek | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on October 07, 2015 at 6:07 PM, updated October 07, 2015 at 6:15 PM
Eric Eshbach and Michael O'Brien deal with prepubescent temper tantrums all the time.
And that actually might be easier than dealing with the fall-out from Pennsylvania's budget impasse, which turns 100 days old on Thursday.  "Keep the conversation going," Eshbach, the superintendent of the Northern York Schoolsurged the warring factions Wednesday, just moments after the Republican-controlled state House voted 127-73 to shoot down Gov. Tom Wolf's tax package, throwing an already anarchic budget season into further disarray.
"I deal with middle school students all the time," Eshbach said. "You don't go into your room and shut the door. That's not how we'd teach conflict resolution."

Midstate lawmakers share next-step ideas for getting a budget done
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on October 07, 2015 at 5:20 PM, updated October 07, 2015 at 5:21 PM
Some midstate lawmakers saw Wednesday's defeat of Gov. Tom Wolf's $3.8 billion tax plan as a stepping off point to get forward movement in resolving this state budget impasse now in its 99th day.  Some call for passing a stopgap budget until a final budget is negotiated. Others urge Republican and Democratic legislative leaders to work toward an agreed-to budget plan without involving the governor.  Others took Wednesday's 127-73 defeat of Wolf's tax plan as an indication that there is no support for a broad-based tax increase.
In the above video, Reps. Mauree Gingrich, R-Palmyra; Steve Bloom, R-North Middleton Twp.; Patty Kim, D-Harrisburg; Russ Diamond, R-Lebanon; Mike Regan, R-Dillsburg; Mark Keller, R-New Bloomfield; Kevin Schreiber, D-York; and Sue Helm, R-Susquehanna Twp., share their thoughts about what they think should happen next to end this budget impasse.

Pa. House rejects Wolf budget plan
CHRIS PALMER, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU LAST UPDATED: Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 3:46 PM POSTED: Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 3:30 PM
HARRISBURG - In a major blow to Gov. Wolf's agenda, the state House on Wednesday soundly rejected his proposal to increase funding for Pennsylvania schools through tax hikes, creating more uncertainty about how or when the state's 99-day budget impasse would be resolved.  The measure, which sought to raise the personal income tax and impose a new levy on natural-gas drilling, was defeated 127 to 73. It needed 102 votes to pass.  The rejection clouds the future of the budget for Wolf, the first-term Democrat who for months has said the state's budget needed a significant infusion of new revenue.  Speaking on the House floor before the vote, Rep. Bill Adolph (R., Delaware), said Republicans had sent Wolf a consistent message during budget negotiations: There was not enough support for hiking broad-based taxes like the personal income and sales tax.

Pa. House rejects Gov. Wolf's proposal to raise taxes on personal income, gas drilling
By Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau October 7, 2015 4:04 PM
HARRISBURG -- The Pennsylvania House this afternoon turned down Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to increase taxes on personal income and natural gas drilling, as the state continues on in its fourth month without a budget.  Nine Democrats joined the Republicans in opposition, 127-73.  The House Republican leader, Dave Reed, said the vote showed the House does not support the use of broad-based tax increases to close the budget.  "Now we've got to get around the table as quickly as possible with the governor, our colleagues across the aisle in the House, Republican and Democrat in the Senate, to try to negotiate a final spending plan to get money out to the core functions of government," Mr. Reed said.  The vote came the day after the Wolf administration unveiled a revised tax plan that would increase the personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 3.57 percent and enact a natural gas severance tax of 3.5 percent plus 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet.

Wolf's tax plan rejected
Steve Esack Contact Reporter Morning Call Harrisburg Bureau October 7, 2015
HARRISBURG — The Republican-controlled House has defeated Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's plan to raise taxes on workers and gas drillers to close the state's budget deficit, put more money in classrooms and reduce local property taxes for some homeowners.  The 127-73 vote was issued at about 3:20 p.m. today, more than six hours after debate began in the legislative chamber.  The plan would have raised the personal income tax 16 percent. The extra money generated would have went to close $3.5 billion deficits this fiscal year and next fiscal year. It also would have been used to reduce or eliminate local property taxes and rent costs for more seniors, disabled adults, including veterans, starting in 2016-17.  The higher tax of 3.5 percent on extracted natural gas, plus another fee on the fuel, would have put another $400 million in the state education budget over the next two fiscal years, according to Wolf's plan.  Wolf's plan stood no chance in the House where Republicans, many deeply conservative, out number Democrats 119 to 84. Not all members voted; two Democrats were absent and one Republican was, too.

State House knocks down Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf's tax plan
Breaking ranks: W.Pa. Democrats who voted against the governor's tax plan:
• Rep. Joe Petrarca of Vandergrift
• Rep. Chris Sainato of Lawrence County
• Rep. Pam Snyder of Carmichael
• Rep. Robert Matzie of Ambridge
• Rep. Tim Mahoney of Uniontown
• Rep. Nick Kotik of Coraopolis
• Rep. Ted Harhai of Westmoreland
• Rep. Jaret Gibbons of Ellwood City
• Rep. Frank Burns of Johnstown
Source: Tribune-Review
Trib Live By Brad Bumsted Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, 10:30 a.m.
HARRISBURG — Nine Western Pennsylvania Democrats broke ranks with Gov. Tom Wolf and joined Republicans on Wednesday to defeat his plan to raise the personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 3.57 percent and levy an extraction tax on natural gas drillers.  House Republican leaders had invited Wolf to offer his plan to rank-and-file lawmakers to see whether support exists for a broad-based tax. A stalemate over the budget is in its 100th day.  House members defeated the measure 127 to 73. All Republicans opposed it. Two Democrats and one Republican were excused.  Though GOP leaders said the vote was a recognition that broad-based state taxes are not viable, Wolf refused to concede that.

House votes down new Wolf plan for income, drilling taxes
Lancaster Online By MARK SCOLFORO Associated Press October 7, 2015
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf's hopes of ending Pennsylvania's 99-day-old state budget impasse were dashed Wednesday when nine of his fellow Democrats joined all House Republicans to vote against his revised plan to raise billions in income and gas drilling taxes.  The House voted 127-73 against Wolf's plan to increase the state's personal income tax rate by a half percentage point and create a new extraction tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production.  Democrats needed more than a dozen Republican votes, but were unable to keep on board some moderate members of their own caucus from western Pennsylvania. Wolf told reporters he was encouraged that so many Democrats voted yes.  "There is a bipartisan recognition that we have a big problem in Pennsylvania," Wolf said.

"This time around, the district is taking another approach.
Parents will not get to vote for or against charter conversion. A few will be invited (in a still to-be-determined way) to join a review committee (of still to-be-determined size) that will have a say on which charter operator Hite will eventually propose to the SRC as a match for the school."
Parents at Philly's Cooke elementary push back against charter conversion
It began with a whimper; ended with a bang.
On Tuesday evening, the Philadelphia School District hosted its first parent engagement meeting on its plan to convert Jay Cooke Elementary School in Logan into a neighborhood based charter.  Last Thursday, the district announced a set of sweeping proposals that would affect 15 schools and 5,000 students — moves that include new school openings, closings and district-led and charter conversions.  Cooke is one of three district elementary schools that Superintendent William Hite has tapped to become a neighborhood based charter starting in 2015-16.  The meeting for Cooke was to start at 6 p.m., but with the room empty save for district officials and journalists, leaders opted to wait a bit.  When new assistant superintendent, Randi Davila, commenced the district's presentation 15 minutes later, only one Cooke parent was in attendance.  An hour into the gathering, attendance peaked at a little more than a dozen parents. The school serves more than 400 students.  Many of the parents in attendance attributed the small showing to the district's convoluted method for informing the community of the details of the meeting. It purposely omitted the meeting's address from the letter it mailed to parents that alerted them of the district's plan.  To find out the details, parents were supposed to call a special hotline, leave a message, and then wait for a call back from a district staffer.

School district drops faith-based organization from teen parenting program; Facebook photo drew complaints
Lancaster Online by Kara Newhouse Staff Writer October 7, 2015
The School District of Lancaster has dropped a partnership with a faith-based pregnancy services organization that had been running teen parenting classes at the district since August.  The organization, Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services, said its Christian mission was not at play in its work with Lancaster students; however, the partnership drew complaints from some city parents and residents over the last month.  "To have a religious organization doing something that critical with students in our public schools just doesn’t seem appropriate to me," said Marylee Sauder, a Lancaster Township resident whose daughters graduated from McCaskey High School.  On its website, Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services lists its vision as "Partnering with God for a salvation-full and abortion-free region" and its mission as "to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and uphold the sacredness of human life through sexual integrity education, unplanned pregnancy intervention, and post-abortion restoration."  The school district issued a written statement on Friday that said administrators were taking "a closer look" at the partnership in response to "individual inquiries from board members, parents and others."

Employees help drive the walking school bus in Pottstown
By Michilea Patterson, The Mercury POSTED: 10/07/15, 6:09 PM EDT | UPDATED: 2 HRS AGO
POTTSTOWN >> Adult volunteers and Rupert Elementary students participated in the official launch of the walking school bus Wednesday morning.  The program started Wednesday to coincide with the International Walk to School Day. The “walking bus” is made up of trained volunteers who walk children to school on predetermined safe routes. David Genova, wellness coordinator for the school district and walking bus program, said the walk went very well for the first day.  “Obviously there are some things that we can do better,” he said adding that timing was the biggest issue. He said as volunteers and children become more familiar with the routes then they’ll arrive at school earlier.

Blogger note: Leo Rosten in The Joys of Yiddish defines chutzpah as "gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible 'guts', presumption plus arrogance such as no other word and no other language can do justice to"  See the next few postings for context…..
Gov. Tom Wolf still trying to cut special ed funds for charters By Evan Grossman  /   October 7, 2015  /   4 Comments
Gov. Tom Wolf is still trying to turn around the cash-strapped Chester Upland School District and charter school advocates still want him to back off.  Wolf is calling for a decrease in special education funding to charter schools in the district as a means of closing a forecasted $50 million spending gap.  “This plan is nothing more than the district’s budget being balanced on the backs of charter school students and their families,” said Tim Eller, executive director of the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools.  Eller is skeptical of Wolf’s recovery plan because it defunds charter schools in a district with long-existing financial problems.

"The owner is a trust linked to Philadelphia lawyer and charter-school entrepreneur Vahan Gureghian and his lawyer wife, Danielle. Three years ago, she told town officials the house was the couple’s dream home, but their plans appear to have changed."
North End mansion listed at $84.5M
Under-construction house has bowling alley, 242 feet of beachfront
Palm Beach Daily News By Darrell Hofheinz Daily News Real Estate Writer March 30, 2015
Priced at $84.5 million, a direct-oceanfront mansion under construction on the North End has entered the market as the island’s most expensive property, according to the local multiple listing service.  Sporting its own bowling alley, the French-style house is rising on the double lot – expansive even by Palm Beach standards – that measures about 2 acres with 242 feet of beachfront at 1071 N. Ocean Blvd.  With about 35,000 square feet of living space, inside and out, the house should be ready for occupancy some time next season, according to listing broker Christian J. Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate.  Angle’s sales listing showed up Friday in the Palm Beach Board of Realtors MLS. The roughly H-shaped floor plan includes six bedrooms in the main part of the house plus a pair of two-bedroom guest apartments with ocean views. The house stands a third of a mile north of the Palm Beach Country Club.

'Trade secret' -
"Randi J. Vladimer, an attorney representing the charter school, said in the appeal, filed Monday in Delaware County Common Pleas Court, that the management company's records were not covered by the Right to Know Law because it was a private business.  She also argued that the Office of Open Records made a technical error in the timing of its decision that invalidated it. Further, she said the records were a "trade secret or confidential information" that could hurt the management company's competitive position if disclosed."
Reprise Inky June 2009: Charter files to halt release of its records The Delco school and its management firm said The Inquirer's request for data was invalid.
The Chester Community Charter School has filed a court appeal to a recent Pennsylvania Office of Open Records ruling that gave The Inquirer access to a wide range of financial records from the management company that operates the school.  The Delaware County school, the state's largest charter, and Charter School Management Inc., a private, for-profit management company, have repeatedly denied requests by the newspaper for details about how millions of dollars in public money were spent and how much the company and its owner, Vahan H. Gureghian, were making. Because Charter School Management Inc. is a private business that hires all school employees and manages the school's finances, it has been able to keep many aspects of its financial operations secret, in contrast to most charters, which have to disclose more information in nonprofit reports.

From Judge Chad Kenney's ruling regarding the Chester Upland School District:
"The Charter Schools serving Chester-Upland Special Education students reported in 2013-2014, the last reporting period available, that they did not have any Special Education students costing them anything outside the zero (0) to twenty-five thousand dollar ($25,000.00) range, and yet this is remarkable considering they receive forty thousand dollars ($40,000.00) for each one of these Special Education students under a legislatively mandated formula  This means the legislative formula permits the Charters to pocket somewhere between fourteen thousand ($14,000.00) and forty thousand dollars ($40,000.00) per student over and above what it costs to educate them.  While this discrepancy needs to be seen in most instances as the operators of Charters taking advantage of legal mandates, it is clear that the Legislature did not mean for its averages to produce such windfalls to the Charter School industry in a distressed district."
Is this any way to run a school district?
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss August 31 at 8:55 AM  
Back in 2012, the long-beleaguered Chester Upland School District in Pennsylvania ran out of money — literally — and the unionized teachers and staff agreed to work without pay. (When it made national news, first lady Michelle Obama invited a Chester Upland teacher to sit with her at the State of the Union speech that year.) Well, it’s happened again — at least the part about the district being out of cash and all of the teachers, support staff, bus drivers and other adults in the system agreeing to work for free when the 2015-16 academic year starts on Wednesday.
“We knew we had to do it, again,” said John Shelton, who has been an educator in the district for 23 years and now is dean of students at a district middle school. “With great pain, we agreed to work as long as our families allow us to.”
Why does this keep happening?

There Are Way More Homeless Students Than There Used To Be
But that’s partly because states are better at finding them.
FiveThirtyEight 6:00 AM OCT 7, 2015 By HAYLEY MUNGUIA
The number of homeless students in the country’s classrooms has more than doubled since before the recession, according to recently released federal data. That’s an alarming trend, but a new report offers some hope: At least part of the increase, the authors say, is not because more students have become homeless, but because states have gotten better at identifying homeless students.  There were about 1.4 million homeless students nationwide in the 2013-14 school year, according to the Department of Education, twice as many as there were in the 2006-07 school year, when roughly 680,000 students were homeless.

For Goldman, Success in Social Impact Bond That Aids Schoolchildren
New York Times By NATHANIEL POPPER OCT. 7, 2015
Financial results at Goldman Sachs are going to look a little bit better this quarter because of the educational success of 100 or so kindergarten pupils in Utah.  The students were part of a relatively new financial experiment in which Goldman put up money to pay preschool costs for students who had been expected to need special education services.  When the students were tested this year — after a year in preschool — and found not to need extra help, the State of Utah paid Goldman most of the money it would have spent on special education for the children.  The payment represented the first time a so-called social impact bond paid off for investors in the United States.  The idea of social impact bonds is still very new. The first one was started in England in 2010; Goldman started the first in the United States in 2012.  The bonds are already being talked about as one of the most promising ideas to come out of finance recently — providing a new way to fund social programs in an era of government budget cuts.

Constitution Center, Philadelphia Monday, November 2, 2015 at 4 p.m.
Free for Members • $7 teachers & students • $10 public
Become a Member today for free admission to this program and more!
Click here to join and learn more or call 215-409-6767.
Does the Constitution guarantee an “equal education” to every child? What do the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions say about school choice, teacher tenure, standardized testing, and more? The Constitution Center hosts two conversations exploring these questions.
In the first discussion, education policy experts—Donna Cooper of Public Citizens for Children and Youth, Mark Gleason of the Philadelphia School Partnership, Deborah Gordon Klehr of the Education Law Center, and Ina Lipman of the Children's Scholarship Fund Philadelphia—examine the state of Philadelphia public education, what an "equal education" in Philadelphia would look like, and their specific proposals for getting there. They also explain what, if anything, the Pennsylvania state constitution says about these questions, and how state government interacts with local government in setting education policy.
In the second discussion, James Finberg of Altshuler Berzon and Joshua Lipshutz of Gibson Dunn—two attorneys involved in Vergara v. California, a landmark dispute over the legality of teacher retention policies—present the best arguments on both sides and discuss what's next in the case. They also explain what the U.S. Constitution and major Supreme Court cases like Brown v. Board of EducationSan Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez and Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 say about education and our national debates.

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.

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 – 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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