Tuesday, November 10, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Nov 10: Fifty Statewide Organizations Urge Gov & Legislators to Abandon Discussion of Mandatory Backend Referendum and Elimination of Act 1 Index & Exceptions in Budget Framework

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3800 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 November 10, 2015:
Fifty Statewide Organizations Urge Gov & Legislators to Abandon Discussion of Mandatory Backend Referendum and Elimination of Act 1 Index & Exceptions in Budget Framework



Register for PSBA Budget Action Day on Monday, Nov. 16 — Join us!
Capitol Building, Harrisburg NOV 16, 2015 • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM



“Pennsylvania ranks as the worst state in the nation for funding inequality between its wealthiest and poorest school districts, with the spending gap per student between these two groups more than double the national average,” Miranda wrote.  Making matters worse, “funding inequality between the wealthiest and poorest school districts more than doubled between 2010 and 2014,” she said."
Report: Poorest PA school districts still worst hit by cuts
By Evan Brandt, The Mercury POSTED: 11/09/15, 9:24 PM EST | UPDATED: 2 HRS AGO
Pennsylvania’s wealthiest school districts enjoyed the smallest of former Gov. Tom Corbett’s education funding cuts in 2011, and now their funding is being restored more quickly than poorer districts, according to a new study.  A comprehensive study of all 500 school districts by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Centertitled “Undermining Educational Opportunity,” used Pennsylvania Department of Education data to perform the study.  It showed that “bottom line, the funding cuts hurt most the students who could least afford it, and continue to do so,” said Stephen Herzenberg, director of both the policy center and the Keystone Research Center.  He called consistency of those results “amazing and disturbing.”  Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center education analyst Waslala Miranda, the author of the study, put it another way in a release announcing its results, “the higher the share of students who are low income, the deeper the remaining cuts.”

Pennsylvania budget framework unveiled at Capitol: Higher sales tax, lower property taxes at core
Penn Live By Charles Thompson | cthompson@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on November 09, 2015 at 8:30 PM, updated November 09, 2015 at 9:52 PM
Legislative leaders unveiled parts of a state budget framework Monday that could see a major school property tax relief plan roar back to life, on the shoulders of a 20.8 percent increase in the state's 6 percent sales tax.  Under the new proposal, which leaders of all four caucuses briefed their members on Monday:
* The sales tax would be raised to 7.25 percent, generating about $2 billion to be used to create a new fund for property tax cuts. All the money raised from the higher sales tax levy would be restricted to that purpose.
* Taxes collected from the state's 12 casinos that now go for property tax reductions - $616 million in fiscal 2014 - would be re-purposed to help pay the state's ballooning pension system contributions.
* That shift of the slots money, in turn, would free up dollars in the state's general fund that could be used for increases in state aid to public schools, public universities and other needs.
Wolf administration sources noted Monday they've received commitments from GOP leaders that control commanding majorities in the state House and Senate to increase the main state aid line to public schools by $350 million this year,plus another $50 million in additional funding for special education.

VIDEO: Wolf’s press secretary talks education funding and budget framework
The PLS Reporter Author: Alanna Koll/Monday, November 9, 2015 Runtime: 4:05
Gov. Wolf's press secretary Jeff Sheridan discusses education and parts of budget framework with reporters in the Capitol newsroom. 

"Kocher said that Senate Republicans would require some sort of long-term "taxpayer protection" as part of any deal that increases levies, but said the details weren't finalized.  One proposal would demand that all property-tax increases go before a local voter referendum.  Anticipating that this could become a key bargaining chip in a final budget agreement, a coalition of education advocacy groups — disparate in ideology — rushed to forward stakeholders a letter Monday denouncing the idea as "reckless, poor policy."
"Imposing mandatory referendum requirements on school districts would preclude them from raising property taxes even up to a limited inflationary index. It would also deny them the ability to seek exceptions from the commonwealth to secure resources to cover major cost drivers that are beyond their control — like special education programs, pension contributions, and grandfathered debt," states the letter from The Campaign for Fair Education Funding.
CFEF is a coalition of more than 50 education-advocacy groups statewide pushing for a fairer formula for dividing state education aid.
"It is ill-advised for policymakers to deny public education a mechanism to support its mission while holding it accountable for outcomes," the letter continued. "We cannot fix Pennsylvania's broken school funding system without the ability to raise local revenue when necessary." 
Pa. budget framework supports major funding boost for public schools
WHYY Newsworks BY KEVIN MCCORRY NOVEMBER 10, 2015
Sources in the Pennsylvania Capitol say that the framework reached Monday for a state budget agreement includes a $400 million increase to K-12 public education this year.  While $350 million would be funneled into the basic education subsidy, an additional $50 million would go to special education. Pre-K programming would also see a boost, but sources differed on the amounts.  The state's budget for higher education would increase by 5 percent.  "This is the first time that we feel like we're moving ahead, and everyone is on the same track — as opposed to having a solid deal or anything final," said Jenn Kocher, spokeswoman for Senate Republicans. "Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to."  Gov. Tom Wolf's administration would not comment on any specifics. Spokesman Jeff Sheridan confirmed, though, that negotiations have progressed.
"We believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

Letter to Governor Wolf and Legislators from the Campaign for Fair Education Funding
Campaign for Fair Education Funding November 9, 2015
Dear Gov. Wolf, Sens. Corman, Scarnati and Costa and Reps. Reed, Turzai and Dermody:
It has come to our attention that budget negotiators are considering the inclusion of mandatory backend referendum for school districts' property tax increases as part of a final budget deal. It is important to note that this drastic change in state policy would have a devastating impact not only on school districts' local control of their budgets, but also on school districts' capacity to deliver the kind of public education that Pennsylvanians want and that their students need. Imposing mandatory referendum requirements on school districts would preclude them from raising property taxes even up to a limited inflationary index. It would also deny them the ability to seek exceptions from the Commonwealth to secure resources to cover major cost drivers that are beyond their control - like special education programs, pension contributions, and grandfathered debt.

"But according to the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials, fewer than 20 percent of school districts use their Act 1 exemptions annually and, on average, use less than 30 percent of the exemptions that have been approved.  Roy called the new referendum proposal a "power grab by the state" to take control of education away from local officials.  Local elections can change the composition of any school board with either four or five seats up for grabs, every two years, Roy said. If the public is dissatisfied with a school budget, the longest it has to wait to vote members out is a year, he added.  "What more accountability for local taxing authority do you need?" Roy said."
School property tax plan alarms Bethlehem Area officials
Daryl Nerl Special to The Morning Call November 9, 2015
Bethlehem Area schools chief sees "prescription for disaster" in back-end referendum
One potential piece of a deal in the works to end Pennsylvania's budget stalemate would require school districts to seek voter approval for every new real estate tax increase, and Bethlehem Area School District officials are dismayed.  District Superintendent Joseph Roy said a back-end referendum would be a "prescription for disaster" for Bethlehem Area and other districts across the state.  "The disturbing part of the referendum is that it is coming from Gov. [Tom] Wolf, not the Legislature," board President Michael Faccinetto said during Monday night's Finance Committee meeting.  District officials and other school officials from across the state believe the governor offered the referendum in exchange for a one-time infusion of cash for public education and operations.

Budget deal near with higher sales tax, more school funding
Morning Call by Marc Levy and Mark Scclforo   Of The Associated Press November 9, 2015
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A potential deal to break Pennsylvania's budget stalemate in its fifth month includes a state sales tax increase, expanded school property tax cuts and hundreds of millions of new dollars for public schools, top state lawmakers said Monday.
Gov. Tom Wolf's office said the new money for public schools amounted to a record increase, a major priority of his, even if the first-term Democrat had made major concessions in other areas, such as losing his fight to impose a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production.  It also appeared that Wolf would get at least a portion of the multibillion-dollar state tax increase that he had sought to help correct a long-term deficit and transform a school funding system that harbors huge disparities between rich and poor districts.
Meanwhile, the Legislature's huge Republican majorities made headway on their goal of imposing major pension changes for future state and school employees, while plans to privatize some or all of the state-controlled wine and liquor system remained up in the air.
Many other crucial details were unresolved Monday and negotiators said a final agreement would not be in place until all of its elements get settled.

"One key piece Rep. Reed said was being considered is an increase in the sales tax from six percent to 7.25 percent that would raise around $2 billion and be dedicated to dollar-for-dollar property tax reductions.  In exchange, the current $600 million in slots revenue currently dedicated to the Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program would be dedicated to the General Fund to pay for increases in pension costs.  The focus on the property tax reductions would be on homeowners and farmers, and not for businesses and others who are subject to the property tax."
House leaders discuss tentative budget framework details
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Monday, November 9, 2015
After a day of rampant budget framework agreement rumors, House leaders took to the Capitol newsroom where they briefed the press on some of the details of the tentative budget framework the five parties have been working from in recent negotiations, and which was taken to legislative caucuses Monday.  “We had a good discussion in caucus today on a general framework we’ve been discussing amongst the four caucuses and the administration for several weeks now,” said House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana). “The framework will include a number of different issues, and obviously nothing is a deal until everything is signed into law, and there’s a lot of details to be worked out.”  Overall, Rep. Reed said, the framework addresses many of the policy initiatives being worked out over the last several months including education investments, property tax reform, pension reform, changes to Pennsylvania’s liquor system, and fixing the structural deficit. 

We want a #PaBudget deal by Thanksgiving, top House Repub says: Monday Morning Coffee
Penn Live By John L. Micek | jmicek@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on November 09, 2015 at 8:22 AM, updated November 09, 2015 at 9:41 AM
Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
When it comes to Monday mornings, we generally share the sentiment first voiced by the 1980s new wave band The Boomtown Rats.  No, sir, we don't like them.  But on this chilly Monday, there could be some reason for (very cautious) optimism: An end to Pennsylvania's five-month-old budget stalemate could finally be in sight - at least according to House Majority Leader Dave Reed, R-Indiana.  In an email to House Republicans late last week, Reed says legislative negotiators are "making progress towards the framework of what could lead to a final budget compromise."  And he wants it done by the time you put your turkey on the table.  "Our goal is to work with our colleagues in the Senate  to produce a budget deal that will bring this budget impasse to an end and move Pennsylvania forward," the email obtained by PennLive reads.  And, he added, "Our hope is to have this finished by Thanksgiving, but we still have many details to iron out ... If these talks progress to agreements, please expect the possibility of having session days added. You can expect a more thorough update in Caucus [this] week."

Possible breakthrough in Pa.'s budget stalemate?
By Chris Palmer and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau Updated on NOVEMBER 10, 2015 — 1:08 AM EST
HARRISBURG - For the first time in their five-month-old standoff, Gov. Wolf and Republican legislators indicated Monday that they had reached a tentative agreement on key pieces of the long-overdue state budget.  Republican leaders in the Senate and House told reporters that a $30.26 billion spending plan would likely boost education funding, use a sales-tax hike to generate property-tax relief, and bring changes to the public pension and State Store systems.  "After months of obstruction, we've made real progress on a budget deal," Wolf said in a Monday evening email to his campaign supporters. "For the first time, I'm optimistic we can see the light at the end of the tunnel."  Both sides cautioned that many details remained unresolved - and there seemed to be disagreement about the scope of the pact. It also was poised to address contentious legislative topics that have lingered in the Capitol for years.  "We're not done by any stretch," said Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R., Centre).  Neither side would discuss how or when they reached a breakthrough, when a budget proposal might be ready for legislators to consider, or how soon the money would flow again to the schools, offices, and agencies that have struggled to remain afloat without state aid for months. Several predicted an agreement by Thanksgiving.

Pennsylvania budget talks eye limits on school tax increases
Philly.com by MARC LEVY, The Associated Press Updated on NOVEMBER 9, 2015 — 11:54 AM EST
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Discussion about a budget deal in Pennsylvania includes tougher restrictions on school property tax increases, while chances are dimming that a deal will include a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production sought by Gov. Tom Wolf.  House Democratic Whip Mike Hanna said Monday that leaders of the Legislature's Republican majorities remain unwilling to support a Marcellus Shale tax.  Under a 2012 law, the industry has paid a drilling impact fee of about $200 million a year.  Meanwhile, negotiators are discussing measures to further limit the ability of school boards to raise taxes. That's part of a budget-related package under discussion to offset school property tax cuts by raising state taxes.
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association says that ignores the underlying problem of inadequate state funding for schools.

State budget moves forward
By Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau November 9, 2015 3:20 PM
HARRISBURG — Legislative leaders and the governor’s office said Monday that they have tentatively agreed to a framework for an end to the impasse that has delayed the Pennsylvania state budget more than four months.  Leaders from both parties in the House and Senate briefed their members on the proposals under discussion, which Republican leaders said include increases in education funding, a hike in the sales tax and a large increase in relief from local property taxes.  It was clear that disagreement remains. While a spokesman for Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, insisted that Republicans had committed to particular increases in the main K-12 education funding line and funding for special education and pre-K over the next two years, aides to the top Senate Republicans said that was not entirely the case.  “We’re moving, which is obviously a huge step forward for all of us,” said Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre. “I think we can resolve these other issues in a fairly short period of time, but until they’re resolved, I can’t tell you we’re done because we’re not.”

Pa. lawmakers consider 'broad framework' to end 5-month budget impasse
Trib Live By Brad Bumsted Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, 11:06 p.m.
HARRISBURG — House and Senate lawmakers of both parties, as well as Gov. Tom Wolf, on Monday were considering the “broad framework” of a potential deal to break Pennsylvania's five-month budget stalemate that includes an increase in the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7.25 percent, significant property tax relief and as much as $750 million over two years for public schools.  “This is the first time we have seen a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Jeffrey Sheridan, Wolf's spokesman.  The details were hazy, such as descriptions of long-sought reforms of the state liquor store system and on curbing the spiraling costs of the state pension system, both priorities of Republicans controlling the legislature.  It appears that a tax on extraction of natural gas is “not a point of discussion at this point,” said House Majority Leader David Reed, R-Armstrong County.  The proposed budget would spend more than $30 billion and increase spending about 6 percent.

PA Charter schools file to intervene in court case to stop diversion of gaming funds
By Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette November 3, 2015 11:08 PM
The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools is seeking to intervene in the Commonwealth Court case filed recently by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association asking that gaming revenues be redirected from charter schools to public school districts.  The school boards association, along with two school districts, filed suit in Commonwealth Court on Oct. 21. The suit was an attempt to stop the state Department of Education and state treasurer from redirecting property tax reduction funds, which come to districts through gambling revenues, to pay charter school tuition in districts that can’t pay their charter school bills as a result of the state budget impasse.  Because of the impasse, public school districts are not getting their basic education subsidy from the state. As a result, some have maintained they don’t have the money to pay charter bills.  The Department of Education had ruled that charter school law called for charters to be paid from any available state funds and determined that the gaming money was eligible state funding that could be used.  At around the same time the PSBA suit was filed, state Treasurer Timothy Reese announced he would comply with a request from Senate Democrats to halt the diversion of the funds, which were due to be paid Oct. 23. Since that time, the money has been withheld from both the charters and the school districts.

Potential irony at Pa. Society?
By John Baer Daily News Political Columnist. November 9, 2015
Among many twists and turns developing around the still unresolved state budget impasse is a potential political irony connected with this year's annual Pa. Society weekend in New York City next month.  Why? Well, because this year's gold medal honoree at the weekend's anchor event -- a black-tie dinner Saturday, December 12, in the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan -- is former Gov. Ed Rendell.  And as Gov. Wolf and the Republican Legislature continue to struggle to reach a budget accord on a state spending plan that was due July 1, at least one GOP leader points to what he says could be pure political irony.  Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman notes there's a possibility we could have "the king of late budgets being honored in New York and nobody's there because we have a late budget."  (Every state budget during Rendell's eight years as governor was late.)  There is some sentiment suggesting diminished attendance at the gala weekend if a budget's not in place.

BREAKING: PA-16: PA Senate Education Committee Chairman Lloyd Smucker Announces Congressional Campaign
PoliticsPA Written by Nick Field, Managing Editor November 9, 2015
State Senator Lloyd Smucker is running for Congress.  Sen. Smucker will be seeking the seat in PA’s 16th district, which Congressman Joe Pitts has represented since 1997. Rep. Pitts announced his impending retirement last week.  Smucker has represented Pennsylvania’s 13th Senate district since 2009.

"He was appointed this year as chairman of the Senate Education Committee and participated in a commission that developed a new basic education funding formula to disperse state funding to schools based on factors like demographics and relative wealth of a school district."
State Sen. Lloyd Smucker launches bid for Congress
Lancaster Online by Sam Janesch Staff Writer November 9, 2015
State Sen. Lloyd Smucker said Monday he is running for retiring U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts' seat in Congress, becoming the first candidate to enter what could be a crowded Republican primary race in 2016.  Smucker, a Republican from West Lampeter Township, said he has received "an outpouring of encouragement and support" from residents here to run for the 16th Congressional District seat.  "We live in a diverse district made up of hard-working people with strong values," Smucker said in a written statement announcing his candidacy. "I want to take our shared commitment to commonsense problem solving, hard work and strong family values to Congress.”
Smucker was one of four Lancaster County Republicans who immediately expressed their interest in seeking the congressional seat following Pitts' announcement on Friday.

"Governor Wolf is a bright light in Pennsylvania, fighting for students and the future. For that matter, he is a bright light in the nation.  If you want to stay informed about Pennsylvania, sign up for the regular news summaries from the Keystone State Education Coalition."
Ravitch: Pennsylvania: Gov. Wolf Fights to Fund Schools
Diane Ravitch's Blog By dianeravitch November 9, 2015 //
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is locked in a budget impasse with the legislature. For five months, the state has been without a budget, and social services–including achools–are suffering. Apparently, he and legislators may reach a deal by Thanksgiving Wolf wants to increase funding for education and to tax the fracking industry; the legislature doesn’t. After four years of Republican Tom Corbett, the legislature thinks it is acceptable to allow schools to go bankrupt (the easier to privatize them) and that the fracking industry must never be taxed to pay for the natural resources it extracts.  The voters don’t agree. A recent poll shows overwhelming support for taxes on gas drillers. 67% agree that the industry should be taxed.

What Did Hillary Clinton Really Mean on Charter Schools?
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Alyson Klein on November 9, 2015 5:04 PM
So as I'm sure you've read by now, over the weekend Hillary Clinton, a longtime charter fan, had some tough words for charters, specifically when it comes to equity.  And that sent the Internet into a bit of a tizzy as folks tried to parse her words and figure out what they might mean for charters in a potential Clinton administration, take two.  To recap: During a town hall meeting in South Carolina, Roland S. Martin, a commentator for TV One, asked Clinton what she thought of charter schools and school vouchers, which he pointed out, black parents in South Carolina overwhelmingly support some school choice.  In response, Clinton called out charters for not educating the toughest kids, while public schools have to. And she argued that the point of charters is to figure out what works in education, to benefit regular public schools. (Some charter advocates see the school's purpose differently, more as an alternative.)  

Behind The Shortage Of Special Ed Teachers: Long Hours, Crushing Paperwork
NPR by LEE HALE NOVEMBER 09, 2015 6:33 AM ET
There is a letter that school districts really don't like sending home to parents of special education students. Each state has a different version, but they begin with something like this:
"Dear Parent, as of the date of this letter your child's teacher is not considered 'highly qualified.' " And then: "This doesn't mean your child's teacher is not capable or effective. It means they haven't met the state standards for teaching in their subject."  In any other subject, that's an annoying problem that suggests students may not be well served. In special education, it means the school district is breaking the law.  The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, requires that every student have what's known as an IEP — Individualized Education Program. And almost always, those IEP's spell out that students — either some of the time or all of the time — must be taught by a teacher fully certified in special education.

“This is not a market of schools being selected by families, but rather, a market of students being selected by schools,” she writes. “And since markets are driven by competition, some children will win and some will lose, by design. The very antithesis of equity.”
Markets, Equity & School Choice Taken On by Hazen Foundation
Non Profit Quarterly By RICK COHEN  November 3, 2015; National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
Ever since the “Philamplify” debate on the pros and cons of school privatization, drawing on the review of the Walton Family Foundation issued by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, there has been a lot of controversy over where progressive philanthropy really stands on charter schools and school vouchers, two of the core tenets of the Walton school reform agenda.  One of the commentators on stage that NCRP recruited for the debate was Lori Bezahler, the president of the Edward R. Hazen Foundation. The foundation’s 2015 through 2019 program goals strongly emphasize “educational justice” as a grantmaking priority. The structure of the Philamplify debate didn’t fully allow the three commentators to weigh in as specifically as they might have on the issues raised by the two primary debaters—a representative of the Chicago Teachers Union on the anti-privatization side and an executive of the Thomas Fordham Institute defending charters and vouchers. Bezahler has taken to the NCRP blog to amplify what she tried to get across in the debate.


PSBA New School Director Training
School boards who will welcome new directors after the election should plan to attend PSBA training to help everyone feel more confident right from the start. This one-day event is targeted to help members learn the basics of their new roles and responsibilities. Meet the friendly, knowledgeable PSBA team and bring everyone on your “team of 10” to get on the same page fast.
  • $150 per registrant (No charge if your district has a LEARN PassNote: All-Access members also have LEARN Pass.)
  • One-hour lunch on your own — bring your lunch, go to lunch, or we’ll bring a box lunch to you; coffee/tea provided all day
  • Course materials available online or we’ll bring a printed copy to you for an additional $25
  • Registrants receive one month of 100-level online courses for each registrant, after the live class
Nine locations for your convenience:
  • Philadelphia area — Nov. 21 William Tennent HS, Warminster (note: location changed from IU23 Norristown)
  • Pittsburgh area — Dec. 5 Allegheny IU3, Homestead
  • South Central PA and Erie areas (joint program)— Dec. 12 Northwest Tri-County IU5, Edinboro and PSBA, Mechanicsburg
  • Butler area — Jan. 9 Midwestern IU 4, Grove City (note: location changed from Penn State New Kensington)
  • Allentown area — Jan. 16 Lehigh Career & Technical Institute, Schnecksville
  • Central PA — Jan. 30 Nittany Lion Inn, State College
  • Scranton area — Feb. 6 Abington Heights SD, Clarks Summit
  • North Central area —Feb. 13 Mansfield University, Mansfield

Register for PSBA Budget Action Day on Monday, Nov. 16 — Join us!
Capitol Building, Harrisburg NOV 16, 2015 • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
For more than four months Pennsylvanians have gone without a state budget, and school districts are feeling the pain.  As the budget stalemate continues, many school districts across the state are depleting savings or borrowing to meet expenses. In addition to loan interest payments and fees, schools are taking many other steps to curtail spending and keep school doors open.
PSBA is asking you to join us at the Harrisburg Capitol on Monday, Nov. 16 to take action. Let our legislators know that a state budget is critical to the education of our public school children in Pennsylvania.  Budget Action Day, Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA; Monday, Nov. 16, 2015; 9 a.m.-1 p.m.  Meet at 9 a.m. in the Majority Caucus Room, Room 140, to hear from legislators on top issues that are affecting the budget stalemate and receive packets for your legislative visits. 

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/>

NSBA Advocacy Institute 2016; January 24 - 26 in Washington, D.C.
Housing and meeting registration is open for Advocacy Institute 2016.  The theme, “Election Year Politics & Public Schools,” celebrates the exciting year ahead for school board advocacy.  Strong legislative programming will be paramount at this year’s conference in January.  Visit www.nsba.org/advocacyinstitute for more information.

PASBO 61st Annual Conference and Exhibits March 8 - 11, 2016
Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania

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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