Thursday, November 19, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Nov 19: Case will proceed against founder of PA Cyber Charter School

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup November 19, 2015:
Case will proceed against founder of PA Cyber Charter School


Blogger rant: Unlike brick and mortar charter schools that primarily take funds out of their chartering school district, cyber charters take funds from taxpayers in all 500 PA school districts.  Back in 2007, Mr. Trombetta took $10 million from PA Cyber's fund balance to finance the construction of a performing arts center for the town of Midland.  I have yet to travel out to Midland to play one of the Steinway pianos that my Delaware County taxpayers helped to purchase; I think of that every time I hear one of the hundreds of commercials that their tax dollars also help purchase.

BTW, here are PA Cyber Charter School's SPP scores for 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively: 59.4, 55.5 and 65.3.  A score of 70 is considered passing.

"Mr. Trombetta is charged with siphoning about $1 million from the Midland-based school through various corporate entities he controlled."
Case will proceed against founder of PA Cyber Charter School
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette November 18, 2015 11:31 PM
A federal judge has rejected Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School founder Nick Trombetta’s last remaining bid to have his indictment thrown out on his claim that the government’s case was built on conversations that the FBI improperly recorded between Mr. Trombetta and his lawyers.  U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti ruled this week that Mr. Trombetta’s conversations with attorney Timothy Barry were not privileged and that he can’t prove any government misconduct. She also said he can’t show any “specific and articulable harm” stemming from the government’s interception of those conversations in May 2012.  The ruling means the long-running case against Mr. Trombetta will proceed, with the government able to use all of the recorded conversations.

LNP Editorial: Hope for a budget, with K-12 funding
Lancaster Online by The LNP Editorial Board Nov 18, 2015
THE ISSUE: The “framework” budget agreement being negotiated between Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican legislative leaders includes $350 million more for basic education and $50 million more for special education. The governor’s spokesman, Jeff Sheridan, also says the governor is committed to seeking $50 million more for preschool education. A 21 percent boost in the state sales tax to 7.25 percent statewide (8.25 percent in Allegheny County and 9.25 percent in Philadelphia) would provide property tax relief. Distribution of that relief and safeguards against future property tax increases are being hammered out.
The boosts in funding to public schools that have been agreed to by both sides are perhaps the first true rays of light in Pennsylvania’s now 141-day-old budget stalemate.  Education has, according to polls by Franklin & Marshall College’s Center for Opinion Research, been the top or No. 2 concern of Pennsylvania voters since  June 2014. It was the top issue of Wolf’s successful campaign. So, it’s good that all have agreed to a $400 million increase for K-12 education.  An added $50 million for pre-K programs — when done right save $7 for every dollar spent — should be settled quickly.  “It’s not that we oppose it,” House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin told LNP on Tuesday. “It’s about how much money we have.”  Given pre-K’s payback potential, Wolf is right to dig in on this issue.  A reasonable extraction tax on natural gas should do the trick. And that, unfortunately, is something Republicans have opposed.

School leaders: Voter referendum on property tax hikes would mean 'slow death' for public education
Lancaster Online by Kara Newhouse Staff Writer November 18, 2015
School districts are hurting, and the remedy, say education advocates, is a state budget with sufficient funding that's fairly distributed.  Instead, they could get "a prescription for disaster," said Matt Przywara, Chief Financial and Operations Officer for School District of Lancaster, at a school board meeting last week.  Przywara was referring to a proposal being floated — as part of state budget talks in Harrisburg — that would require school districts to seek voter approval before raising property taxes.  In the week since a budget framework emerged, school leaders in Lancaster County and across the state have said that such a proposal would cause districts to cut programs and also divert administrators' attention away from children.

Editorial: Property tax reform takes a new hit
Delco Times POSTED: 11/18/15, 10:21 PM EST | UPDATED: 31 SECS AGO
The road to property tax relief – that bane of every Delaware County homeowner – has never been a smooth one.  It’s getting a lot bumpier.  Just ask Tom McGarrigle.
The first-term Republican state senator who filled the large shoes of longtime Sen. Ted Erickson in the 26th District made property tax reform one of the keystones of his campaign. As a former Springfield Township commissioner, McGarrigle saw first hand the burden skyrocketing property taxes were having on senior citizens and others on fixed incomes.  That is one of the reasons he was an early supporter of legislation to eliminate property taxes. Senate Bill 76, along with its counterpart House Bill 76, are known as the Property Tax Independence Act. Its boosters are vociferous, as McGarrigle is now learning.
That’s because the Delco senator recently pulled his support for the bill.

"A memo sent to legislators by a coalition of groups - including the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the Pennsylvania Business Council, the Pennsylvania Bankers Association, and the National Federation of Independent Business - voiced strident opposition, citing "uncertainties and significant risks" of a measure with such a steep hike in income taxes."
Pa. budget twist: Attack on school property tax
by Matthew Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer Updated on NOVEMBER 19, 2015 — 1:08 AM EST
HARRISBURG - It might be a wake-up call to anyone expecting a smooth path to a final state budget.  Senate Republicans plan to vote next week on a proposal to eliminate property taxes as a source of school revenue and replace them with hikes in the sales and personal income taxes. And the bill's key sponsor says he has support from both parties.  "You don't reform property taxes," Sen. David Argall (R., Berks) said Wednesday. "The only solution is to eliminate them."  Even if his measure fails, its emergence could signal cracks in the tentative $30 billion budget deal Gov. Wolf and Republican legislative leaders touted last week. Neither side has offered details, but both said the plan they hope to finalize by early next month will include a 1.25 percent increase in the state sales tax, changes to the liquor and pension systems, and a reduction in property taxes.  But all that does nothing, Argall and others say, to stop school boards from raising taxes in future years.

Pension reform’s goals start to take shape despite lack of agreement
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Wednesday, November 18, 2015
While budget negotiators continue to hammer out the finer points of what the pension reform portion of the budget framework will entail, those close to the negotiations game The PLS Reporter a closer look of what goals the reforms hope to achieve as vehicle legislation continued to make its way through the General Assembly Wednesday.  Senate Bill 1071, the current vehicle bill, passed through the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday along a party-line vote.  Committee Minority Chairman John Blake (D-Lackawanna) encouraged his Democratic colleagues to vote in the negative on the legislation since it is in the form of the previously vetoed Senate Bill 1, though he noted through is involvement in the negotiations on pension reform this year that the current discussions are “progressing satisfactorily.”  After the meeting, he told The PLS Reporter that Democrats are continuing to push for a number of specifics on pension reform.

Blogger note: These tax credit programs divert tax dollars to unaccountable private and religious schools, reducing the funds that are available in the general fund to provide constitutionally mandated public education to all children.  There are virtually no academic or fiscal accountability requirements for the funds.
EITC/OSTC: Politics imperil 2,000 low-income scholarships
by Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer Updated on NOVEMBER 19, 2015 — 1:08 AM EST
Officials from the state's largest K-8 scholarship program warned Wednesday that Harrisburg politics were jeopardizing $2.5 million for 2,000 new scholarships to help low-income Philadelphia children attend nonpublic schools next year.  Ina Lipman, executive director of the Children's Scholarship Fund Philadelphia, told families at the National Constitution Center that unless the state Department of Community and Economic Development approves $10 million in tax credits for 2015-16 by Dec. 31, those philanthropic dollars "will disappear."  Lipman said that without the state's "approval letters," donors cannot write the checks to support the scholarships.  "The political leadership right now in Harrisburg is holding up" the letters approving the tax credits that companies need.  "It's not a budget issue," Lipman said. "It's not an appropriation issue."

Sen. Patricia Vance, a West Shore political mainstay, calls this her last term
Penn Live By Charles Thompson | cthompson@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on November 18, 2015 at 11:28 PM, updated November 19, 2015 at 5:48 AM
Pat Vance, once a pioneering female community volunteer who became one of the West Shore's political mainstays, made official Wednesday what had become a badly-kept secret in recent months: she will not seek re-election in 2016.  For Vance, 79, that will bring to a close a political career that jump-started in 1977 when the then-career nurse and Republican committeewoman from Silver Spring Twp. was elected Cumberland County's recorder of deeds.  Moving to the state legislature in 1990, Vance has spent the last 25 years watching her brand of moderate politics slowly give way to a more conservative orthodoxy in Harrisburg's GOP caucuses.

Blogger note: In addition to being a founding member and Co-Chair of the Keystone State Education Coalition, Master School Board Member Roberta Marcus served as President of PSBA in 2010 and was the 2nd recipient of PSBA's Timothy M. Allwein Advocacy Award.  She has a long record of distinguished volunteer service at the local, state and national levels.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Education Policy and Leadership Center, where you can read about her tireless advocacy and public service here.
Parkland School Board president steps down after two decades of service
Officials heaped praise upon Roberta Marcus for about 25 minutes during a meeting Monday.
Stephen Althouse, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com Posted: 0:18 AM EST Nov 18, 2015 ALLENTOWN, Pa. - School board meetings are rarely associated with good cheer and joy, but Tuesday night's Parkland School District meeting could easily have been labeled as such. The reason was the retirement of President Roberta Marcus after more than two decades on the dais. "Thank you for listening to me all these years," said Marcus in her farewell address. QUICK CLICKS Residents mad over decision at old Stine Stump Farm One City Council member opposes Bethlehem tax hike Local Scoreboard ASD superintendent speaks out in wake of recent violence Local students prepare for Luminaria Night Superintendent Richard Sniscak lauded Marcus for her "dedication to the school district" and for serving as a fierce "advocate for public education." Marcus continued offering her opinions right up to the rap of the final gavel Tuesday night. She called public education "the best investment" a community could make, adding that she was against legislation in Harrisburg that sought property tax and Act 1 exceptions reforms.
Read more from WFMZ.com at: http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-lehighvalley/Parkland-president-steps-down-after-two-decades-of-service/36515570

Radnor district and teachers reach deal
by Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer Updated on NOVEMBER 19, 2015 — 1:08 AM EST
After months of contentious talks and a dispute that roiled one of the region's elite school districts, Radnor Township's school board and teachers have approved a three-year contract.  Teachers will receive annual raises, but starting next school year they will have to pay a share of any health-insurance increases, according to details released Wednesday night by the Radnor Township School District.  The 320-member union ratified the contract Tuesday, and the board unanimously approved it Tuesday night.  Salaries will rise by 3.62 percent in the current school year, 2.95 percent in 2016-17, and 3.37 percent in the final year. But it was not immediately clear how much of those increases would be mandated "step" raises that teachers receive as they gain experience, and how much would be the cost-of-living hikes that the union was seeking.
The dispute - which also included protracted contract fights with bus drivers and support staff - may have cost three incumbents their seats on the board. President Kimm Doherty, Vice President Lisa Borowski, and chief negotiator Eric Zajac lost reelection bids in November, but remain on the board through this year and voted on the pact.

Elizabeth Forward school directors OK loan to offset state budget impasse
By Janice Crompton/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette November 18, 2015 10:03 PM
School directors in the Elizabeth Forward School District tonight unanimously approved a $6.5 million tax anticipation loan from PNC Bank to keep the district financially afloat while the state budget impasse continues.  District director of finance and operations Richard Fantauzzi told the board the district would need to secure the loan by the end of the year so that another loan can be obtained if the stalemate in Harrisburg continues next year.  "We may need to borrow again next year," said Mr. Fantauzzi, who said the district is limited to $10 million in tax anticipation notes by the state each year.  The district will pay a 0.93 percent interest rate that will total $27,198 by the end of April, when the debt is to be paid. The district will also pay about $6,551 in additional fees.

$5M shortfall in Spring-Ford school budget blamed state stalemate
By Eric Devlin, The Mercury POSTED: 11/18/15, 6:16 PM EST | UPDATED: 2 HRS AGO
Royersford >> Harrisburg’s inability to pass a budget has made it nearly impossible for officials in the Spring-Ford Area School District to present a 2016-17 proposed budget.  During Monday night’s meeting, James D. Fink, the district’s new business manager, who’s only been on the job for three months, stood with Superintendent David Goodin to present the preliminary proposed budget, which as it stands now has a 4.8 percent gap that needs to be filled.  Both men said they don’t yet have all the information needed to accurately predict what the budget might look like, especially since the General Assembly can’t agree on a budget of its own.  “It’s still too early to tell without the insight of what’s going to happen with the state budget,” Fink said. “It’s very difficult to tell what our budget is going to look like.”

York City School Board denies arts-focused charter
Angie Mason, amason@ydr.com8:42 p.m. EST November 18, 2015
The York City School Board denied an application for arts-focused charter school in York on Wednesday.  In September, the board had heard a proposal for the Arts to the Core Charter School. The applicants wanted to start a K-8 charter school that would "infuse" arts into core subjects.  At a hearing in September, district administrators targeted what they said was a lack of information in the application. Representatives of the proposed school had said that many details requested couldn't be determined until after a charter was obtained.  The board did not discuss the application during Wednesday's meeting, but voted 7-0 to deny the application. A written decision explaining the denial listed a number of areas deemed lacking in detail, such as instructional plans and financial plans.  "It was expected," Bob Marquet, treasurer and secretary for the proposed school, said of the decision. Most charter applications are rejected by school boards in the state, he said. Asked if the decision would be appealed to the state Charter Appeal Board, Marquet said probably.  "We'll see," he said.

Understanding the PSSA exams
the notebook By Paul Jablow on Nov 18, 2015 12:37 PM
What are the PSSAs?
The Pennsylvania Department of Education launched the PSSAs (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) in 1992. They are standardized tests administered annually and are based on state standards for what students should know and be able to do at various grade levels.
Who put them together?
They are developed and scored by the Minnesota-based Data Recognition Corp.
The state sets “cut scores,” determining what results are considered Advanced, Proficient, Basic, or Below Basic.
Who takes them and when?
Every Pennsylvania student in grades 3 through 8 is assessed in English Language Arts and Math. Every student in grades 4 and 8 is also assessed in Science & Technology. This applies to students attending District schools, charters, and cyber charters. About 775,000 students took the PSSA tests in 2015.

"Literacy for young readers is crucial because science, social studies and English at higher grade levels all hinge on the student's ability to read and understand the material, the report says.  "These efforts are focused on raising student achievement levels early in their school experiences, the time when most of the essential and fundamental learning for future school success is taking place," Reinhart said."
Almost a third of Easton Area 2nd graders can't read on grade level, report says
By Rudy Miller | For lehighvalleylive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on November 19, 2015 at 6:05 AM, updated November 19, 2015 at 6:08 AM
Almost a third Easton Area School District second graders can't read on grade level, according to a report attached to Tuesday night's school board meeting agenda.  That's why the school board hired Step By Step Learning consultants to help boost comprehension for young readers.  The report says 32 percent of second graders tested in 2013-14 were unable to read grade-level text accurately. That's below the nationwide average of about 10 percent below grade level, the report says.  Less than 70 percent of K-2 students met their composite score goals on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills test, the report says.

Integration: What happens when magnet school suddenly drops admission criteria?
WHYY Newsworks BY KEVIN MCCORRY NOVEMBER 18, 2015
For many Philadelphia families, the city's special admissions magnet schools are key resources that keep them from moving out of town.  But what would happen if one of these schools was suddenly required to drop its acceptance requirements and begin enrolling students performing at far lower academic standards?  One Northwest Philadelphia public school is on track to find out.

First marking period in Phila. ends with many teacher shortages
by Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer Updated on NOVEMBER 19, 2015 — 1:08 AM EST
Some Philadelphia schoolchildren have gone an entire marking period without a permanent teacher. Others have multiple courses - in major subjects - without one.  Two and a half months into the school year, 136 teacher vacancies remain in the Philadelphia School District. Some of the jobs have been unfilled since September.  Both the district and the teachers' union agree: Combined with a substitute teaching situation that leaves hundreds of short- and long-term jobs unfilled every day, too many students lack stability in their classrooms.  "The effect on kids is huge," said Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.  Jordan attributes the problem to a management failure and to poor working conditions for teachers.  He and Arlene Kempin, the PFT vice president responsible for working with the district on human-resources issues, said they had never seen this many vacancies this late in a year - that in prior school terms, human-resources officials were by this point already focused on next year's hiring needs.

Outsourcing contract to be revised
by REGINA MEDINA & SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writers medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985 Updated on NOVEMBER 19, 2015 — 3:01 AM EST
SCHOOL DISTRICT Superintendent William Hite's patience appears to have run out on Source4Teachers.  Hite plans to ask the School Reform Commission tonight to revise the district's two-year, $34 million contract with the Cherry Hill-based outsourcing firm, district spokesman Fernando Gallard confirmed yesterday.  Source4Teachers has failed to provide the "guaranteed" number of substitute teachers for the district, resulting in a chaos of vacancies. Hite last month said his patience had run out.  News of proposed changes to the contract was first reported by KYW 1060 radio earlier yesterday.  Gallard would not specify what would change in the contract.  "They're looking at revising the contract and focusing their work on more specific things that we believe they would be more successful at," Gallard said.  The multiyear contract won't be canceled, even though Source4Teachers has yet to meet its "guaranteed" fill rate of 75 percent on the first day of school.  Monday's fill rate was 27 percent and Tuesday's was 31 percent, higher than the 11-to-12-percent average during the first week of school.

Source4Teachers is the right partner for the District
the notebook Opinion By Kendley Davenport on Nov 18, 2015 03:44 PM
Kendley Davenport is the chief executive officer of Source4Teachers.
For a number of years, the School District of Philadelphia has been challenged to recruit and place enough substitute teachers to cover its teacher absences. The percentage of classrooms covered by a substitute when a teacher was absent, commonly referred to as “fill rate,” hovered between 50 and 60 percent.   The District is not alone. Many districts throughout the country have been struggling to develop a large enough pool of substitutes to cover absences. Large urban districts, where teacher absences are noticeably more frequent, tend to be the most challenged. It’s an operational problem that requires considerable effort and resources, and most districts will readily admit they are ill-equipped to tackle the problem without outside help.  Recognizing the need to improve, in July 2015, the School District awarded a contract to Source4Teachers to develop and manage a substitute program that would not only remedy the low fill-rate problem, but also serve as the foundation for a more sustainable long-term solution.
As the leader of Source4Teachers, I want to publicly acknowledge that we have underperformed. We’ve got to do better. We will do better. 


Guest Post: The Leaders We Need 
November 18, 2015 | The Leader In Me
This is a guest post written by Pedro Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA.
Now, more than ever, education is the subject of great controversy and conflict. Every politician running for office, whether that office is President, governor, congress or dogcatcher, claims that if elected, they will fix our schools. As our nation contends with serious matters—war, global warming, disease, poverty and inequality, education continues to rise to the surface as an issue that cannot be ignored.  Why?
Education should be a topic that is so ordinary and mundane that we simply forget about it and take it for granted. After all, we have been educating children for as long as human society has existed. Yet, it is increasingly the subject of hot debate. There are debates over high stakes testing, charter schools, the common core standards, bilingual education, school choice, violence and safety, and even “sexting.” These issues compete for space and attention in the news right alongside the other major issues of the day.

Too many charter schools exclude the ‘hardest-to-teach’ students
Washington Post Letter by Kevin G. Welner November 18 at 5:48 PM
The writer is director of the National Education Policy Center.
The Nov. 14 editorial “Turning her back on children” took Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton to task for saying “most” charter schools “don’t take [or keep] the hardest-to-teach kids.” As a researcher who has studied charter schools, I would have said “many” instead of “most” because the system is far too deregulated for us to know how widespread any given practice is. But Ms. Clinton is right to call attention to this serious problem. Charter schools can and do control access by recommending other schools to students with special needs, by deciding what programs and resources they offer and what conditions they place on applications and on attendance, by threatening to flunk students and by repeatedly suspending them for minor disciplinary violations. Whether “many” or “most,” the problem is real.
Also, the editorial said, “Most charters have more applicants than desks.” According to the same report cited in the editorial, “Only 16% of charter schools report having a waitlist at all.” One out of six is not “most.” Please be more careful and please acknowledge that far too many charter schools find ways to exclude the “hardest-to-teach” students.  

ESEA Conference Committee Kicks Off, NCLB One Step Closer to Extinction
Education Week Politics K-12 Blog By Alyson Klein on November 18, 2015 4:48 PM
UPDATED - School districts and state offiicials have been pleading with Congress for years to update the much-maligned No Child Left Behind Act, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. And now it looks like they are finally on the verge of getting their wish.
Lawmakers on the U.S. Senate education committee and more than a dozen House members met in a conference committee Wednesday to begin reconciling two bills—one a Republican-only measure that barely passed the U.S. House of Representatives in July, and the other a Senate version that cleared the U.S. Senate with big, bipartisan support a few days later. 
Even before the official start of the conference, the lead negotiators, Reps. John Kline, R-Minn.,Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., came to a preliminary agreement or "framework" to jump-start negotiations. The agreement, called the "Every Student Succeeds Act" is not the final word, but it will help guide the conference process, which could conclude this week. The legislation is expected to be on the floor of both chambers shortly after the Thanksgiving recess. 

ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ACT
Comparison Chart of Pending Changes
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Congress is currently considering sweeping changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA),1 with bills having passed both the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R.52 ) and the U.S. Senate (S.11773 ). This chart provides a breakdown of pending changes compared to current law and highlights ASCD’s position on key provisions.

The new ESEA, in a single table
Flypaper Blog by Michael J. Petrilli November 18, 2015
As first reported by Alyson Klein at Education Week’s Politics K–12 blog, Capitol Hill staff reached an agreement last week on the much-belated reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The conference committee is expected to meet today to give its assent (or, conceivably, to tweak the agreement further). Final language should be available soon after Thanksgiving, with votes in both chambers by mid-December. If all goes as planned, President Obama could sign a new ESEA into law before Christmas.  So what’s in the compromise? Here’s what I know, based on Education Week’s reporting and my conversations with Hill staffers. (There are plenty of details that remain elusive.) I’ll display it via a new version of my handy-dandy color-coded table. (Previous editions hereherehere, and here.)

ESEA Conference Framework: "Every Student Succeeds Act"
Education Week Campaign K-12 Blog tweet November 18, 2015


Delaware/ Chester County Public Forum on PA Budget 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM  - Thursday, Nov.19, 2015 West Chester
THE PENDING PA BUDGET AGREEMENT - How will it Impact Your Schools and Your Taxes; and is it What You Want for Pennsylvania?
ST PAUL’S BAPTIST CHURCH AUDITORIUM ONE HAGERTY BLVD JUST OFF RT 202 BYPASS AT the MATLACK ST EXIT WEST CHESTER, PA 19382 610-692-2446
It’s time for the law makers to pass a budget. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN WITHOUT YOUR INPUT!  Pennsylvania needs a responsible budget that invests in the future.

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

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

The Network for Public Education 3rd Annual National Conference April 16-17, 2016 Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Network for Public Education is thrilled to announce the location for our 3rd Annual National Conference. On April 16 and 17, 2016 public education advocates from across the country will gather in Raleigh, North Carolina.  We chose Raleigh to highlight the tremendous activist movement that is flourishing in North Carolina. No one exemplifies that movement better than the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, who will be the conference keynote speaker. Rev. Barber is the current president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, the National NAACP chair of the Legislative Political Action Committee, and the founder of Moral Mondays.

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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