Tuesday, November 3, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Nov 3: VOTE: Election Day in Pennsylvania _ a big day for high court

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3785 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 3, 2015:
VOTE: Election Day in Pennsylvania _ a big day for high court

See our special edition October 31 postings focusing on  the Supreme Court race
School Funding Lawsuit: Why Tuesday’s PA Supreme Court Election Is Absolutely Crucial

Pa. must demand accountability from cyber charter schools | Editorial
By Express-Times opinion staff on November 01, 2015 at 6:00 AM
An updated analysis of the performance of students in cyber charter schools across the nation isn't just discouraging, it's a wake-up call for parents who entrust their children to online education — and to state legislators who have been sitting on reform bills to iron out inequities among cyber charters, brick-and-mortar charters, and public schools.  First, the eye-opener: While many families and kids have found a good fit in charter schools, an alarming number of students in cyber programs are falling far behind their counterparts in public school and other charters. Researchers at Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes said their analysis showed the deficit in learning by cyber students was equal to losing 72 days of learning in reading and 180 days in math over a standard 180-day school year.  That's not a misprint. The measure of learning in math was effectively zero — "as if they had not gone to school," said Margaret Raymond, director of the Stanford center.

"In other words, the school districts that have had the least amount of their funding restored since the deep 2011-12 funding cuts are the ones that face the greatest challenges in boosting student achievement.  To maximize student achievement, Pennsylvania should focus its reinvestment in education on these school districts that have the deepest cuts remaining."
Undermining Educational Opportunity: Pennsylvania’s Unequal Restoration of School Funding
PA Budget and Policy Center Posted by Mark Price on November 2, 2015
Gov. Tom Corbett and the General Assembly reduced classroom funding for Pennsylvania’s schools by nearly $860 million in 2011-12. Today, $570 million of the original classroom cuts – or two-thirds – remain in place.  The average cut per student is $330.  This policy brief examines the distribution of the remaining cuts per student by school district and finds large inequities. Specifically, we find the school districts that have had the smallest share of 2011-12 funding cuts restored are low income, high poverty, and have higher non-proficiency rates on PSSA exams. This pattern follows the initial distribution of the 2011-12 funding cuts, which were three times larger in high-poverty school districts than in low-poverty ones.   

The weather forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures around 70 degrees.  The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Election Day in Pennsylvania _ a big day for high court
AP State Wire Published: Today
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - It's Election Day - an important day for Pennsylvania's highest court.  Voters are deciding Tuesday which of seven candidates should fill an unprecedented three open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. They also are settling races for a pair of open seats on the mid-level state appellate courts and many races for local judgeships, school boards and municipal offices.  Campaign contributors have poured about $11.5 million into the Supreme Court campaign, with most of it going to the Democratic candidates. If they capture all three seats, they would lock in a majority for at least the next 10 years that could potentially influence the next legislative redistricting. 

Wolf says budget discussions are ‘moving beyond partisanship’
Centre Daily Times BY LORI FALCE lfalce@centredaily.comNovember 2, 2015
Gov. Tom Wolf is confident about the future of the state budget.  “I think we’re moving beyond the partisanship that has characterized the conversation up until now,” said Wolf on Monday in a press event at U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s office. “We are really stewards of Pennsylvania’s interests and this is not a time to be a Democrat or a Republican and that’s helping the conversation.”  Democrat Wolf, who says his Centre County appearance was a stop on his way back to Harrisburg to continue lobbying for a budget, addressed how the four-month standoff with the Republican-led legislature is impacting services to Pennsylvanians.

Gov. Wolf on budget: “The key is, I can’t do this by myself”
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Monday, November 2, 2015
Gov. Tom Wolf spoke Monday on the progress of resolving Pennsylvania’s budget impasse, which entered its 125th day.  “The key is I can’t do this by myself,” he said of efforts to come up with a compromise proposal. “I’m governor in a democracy and so it takes two sides to have a negotiation, a conversation, and I need for them to come forward with their proposals, their plans, and that’s what our conversations need to include.”  He added he has already made offers in terms of pension reform, liquor privatization, the total spend number, and on a severance tax.  “They need to come forward with their suggestions, that’s the way negotiations go,” he stated.  Jenn Kocher, spokesperson for the Senate Republican Caucus said in response Monday that Republicans have put forward their own proposals already as well.  "We have come forward with multiple proposals and plans – one of which included fully funding his request for basic education at $400 million and the governor rejected it," she said. "We have been telling him since March that we do not have the support for his unrealistic spending plans because of the massive tax increases required to meet his reality."

Confused? Don't worry - Gov. Tom Wolf knows who you should vote for on Election Day: Monday Morning Coffee
By John L. Micek | jmicek@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on November 02, 2015 at 8:31 AM, updated November 02, 2015 at 9:07 AM
Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.  Election Day is a mere 24 hours away.
And, if you're like most of us, when you step into the ballot box to exercise your Constitutional right to the franchise on Tuesday, you'll regard the dizzying array of choices for Pennsylvania's three appellate courts and you'll utter those six, timeless words:  "Who the &^**^%@# are these people?"  But not to worry: If you're a Pennsylvania Democrat, Gov. Tom Wolf has it sorted for you.  Late last week, Wolf, courtesy of the state Democratic Party, blasted the mailboxes of the party faithful across the state in a key, get-out-the-vote push.

"Between the 2012-2013 school years and the 2014-2015 school years, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has seen a 62 percent drop in Pennsylvania residents seeking teacher certifications — from 16,361 to 6,215.
And there’s more.  There has been a 78 percent drop during the same two-year time period in the number of teachers who are already certified seeking additional certifications, and a 57 percent drop in out-of-state teachers looking to get certified in Pennsylvania.  “This is what’s coming,” said Rodriquez. “This could go on for several years.”
Pa. teacher shortage seen in lack of substitutes
By Evan Brandt, The Mercury POSTED: 11/02/15, 2:00 AM EST
Say what you want about substitute teachers — and over the years, a lot has been said — but talk to any school principal and they’ll tell you it’s hard to run a school without them.  And as the school year unfolds, it has become increasingly obvious that there are fewer subs and more hardships for those principals.  It is also becoming obvious that the substitute shortage is the leading edge of a larger and more permanent problem — there are simply fewer people willing to be teachers, according to public education officials.  The problem is being recognized throughout Montgomery County, according to Jack Hurd, director of human resources for the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit.  “Our schools are definitely having trouble filling absences,” said Hurd. “They’re not as critical as Philadelphia, but our fill rates are definitely lower than last year.”

"I mean, we've elected these folks to govern," SRC Chair Marjorie Neff said after a special commission meeting. "And I guess at this point, I'm more concerned that it doesn't feel like governing is happening. That we're at this place and that you have school districts that are going to collapse sooner than Philadelphia might. And there just doesn't seem to be the urgency."
Philly schools to borrow $250 million just to stay open
KRISTEN A. GRAHAM, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER LAST UPDATED: Monday, November 2, 2015, 3:04 PM POSTED: Monday, November 2, 2015, 12:55 PM
Two weeks ago, the School Reform Commission warned that without a state budget it would be forced to borrow hundreds of millions just to keep schools open through the end of December.  On Monday, it did just that, authorizing the borrowing of $250 million and shifting $40 million from its capital funds to pay for everyday costs.  In all, if the Philadelphia School District needs to use all the funds now allowed, the state budget stalemate will cost the Philadelphia School District $2.5 million in interest and fees.  As the state budget stalemate dragged into its fifth month, SRC officials underscored their dismay with what one called a seeming failure of lawmakers to do their basic jobs. Philadelphia is among dozens of districts statewide that have had to borrow to make ends meet in the absence of state budget. 

PA-BGT: Impasse Tightening Its Grip on Services, School Funding
PoliticsPA Written by Jason Addy, Contributing Writer November 2, 2015
With a budget agreement nowhere in sight, the future looks bleak for many PA school districts and social service providers.  School districts are “begging for more time” on their bills, domestic violence shelters are shutting their doors and pre-Kindergarten programs are ceasing across the state, according to Marc Levy of the Associated Press.  For months, lawmakers have seen the budget impasse as a victimless political exercise, as the state government continues to function unimpeded. Under a 2009 court ruling, state employees can still receive paychecks and prisons, state parks and driver license centers can stay open.  For the rest of the state, however, the effects of the 125-day streak of inaction are real.

“School districts have already missed three state subsidy payments, and across the state many are operating under contingency plans and emergency efforts in order to make ends meet as debt is accumulating and payrolls must be met,” said William LaCoff, president of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, at a Senate hearing last week.  School districts have borrowed $431 million so far to get by, said state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. That amount will spike if a budget deal isn’t done by Thanksgiving."
Budget gridlock grips Harrisburg
Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice BY ROBERT SWIFT, HARRISBURG BUREAU CHIEF Published: November 2, 2015
HARRISBURGPennsylvania’s budget stalemate has dragged on long enough that Harrisburg is becoming synonymous with partisan gridlock. The deadlock and brinkmanship that has been part of the Washington, D.C., scene in recent years has come to the banks of the Susquehanna River.  Ironically, as the state budget stalemate entered its fifth month, Washington showed a rare moment of bipartisan cooperation by passing a two-year budget deal last week.  The stalemate in Harrisburg started July 1, as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a budget and related pension and liquor privatization legislation passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Wolf has sought a combination of tax hikes to erase a stubborn revenue deficit and provide school property tax relief. GOP lawmakers have resisted broad-based tax hikes and pointed to potential revenue from selling the state liquor stores as a solution instead.  Efforts by GOP lawmakers to pass overrides of the governor’s veto and short-term “stopgap” budgets have been futile. House lawmakers rejected last month a revised tax proposal from Wolf.  Because of court rulings and more than $6 billion in revenue coming from existing state taxes, state employees are being paid and agencies are open for business.  School districts are borrowing money to stay open and human services agencies are cutting services because of the lack of state aid.

Fell Charter Elementary School begins shortened schedule
Scranton Times Tribune KATHLEEN BOLUS, STAFF WRITER Published: November 2, 2015
FELL TWP. — Teachers began working without pay and students started a compressed schedule Monday at Fell Charter Elementary School.  The state budget impasse has severely impacted the charter school’s finances. The teachers agreed to go without pay so about 180 students at the school can continue to receive an education. On Oct. 26 the school board voted to begin the new schedule. Classes begin at 7:45 a.m. and end at 2:15 p.m. four days a week, the school is closed on Fridays. The school calendar is also altered — Fell Charter will close Nov. 23 - Nov. 30 and Dec. 21 through Jan. 1, 2016.  The 25 unpaid teachers, administrators and staff will be reimbursed for missed paychecks once the state budget passes.

Harrisburg School District eying credit if state budget impasse lingers
Penn Live By M. Diane McCormick | Special to PennLive on November 02, 2015 at 7:12 PM, updated November 03, 2015 at 6:56 AM
A $20 million line of credit, if needed due to a continuing state budget impasse, would last Harrisburg School District about two months, according to Interim Chief Financial Officer Bill Gretton.  One line of credit under consideration would charge about 1.7 percent interest on funds as they're drawn down, Gretton told the school board's Budget, Finance, and Facilities Committee Monday night.  The board's Nov. 16 meeting agenda could include a vote on starting the application process, Gretton said.  "This is all contingent upon the Commonwealth budget, and we're just preparing ourselves to go forth in the event we need funds," he said.

Protesters target outsourcing at Delco schools
By Alex Rose, Delaware County Daily Times POSTED: 11/02/15, 10:28 PM EST 
MEDIA >> A large crowd of parents, teachers and support professionals rallied in front of the county courthouse Monday evening to voice opposition to outsourcing positions at local school districts.   “These are family sustaining, decent jobs,” said Zeek Weil, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Education Association. “No one is getting rich becoming a bus driver or a custodian. They do this work because it helps their family and they’re committed to their communities.”  The pushback comes about one month after the Garnet Valley School Board voted to look into the possibility of subcontracting in the areas of transportation, custodial work and food services. Tina Jaep, president of the Garnet Valley Education Support Professionals Association and a paraprofessional teaching assistant, said the move put 144 jobs in danger.

Outsourcing: Clearing the record on Source4Teachers pay rates
the notebook By Paul Socolar on Nov 2, 2015 06:07 PM
The embattled substitute teacher supplier, Source4Teachers, announced a boost in some of its pay rates last week. There's been confusion and inaccuracy in past press reports, including our own, about how much the company is paying to whom. So we held up our story on that news to make sure we're getting the details correct.  It has been a slow process, but the Notebook has finally gotten answers that may clear up some confusion.  The increased pay rates for some substitutes were first announced by Source4Teachers and reported at the end of September, but did not actually take effect until Oct. 16.  The Notebook had erroneously reported that the pay rate for retirees who work as subs had been boosted to $200 per day at the end of September.
The inaccuracy wasn't simply that the Source4Teachers pay increase didn't kick in until mid-October. It was not made clear that the new $200 rate only applies to long-term positions filled by "District Originals" – the term being used to describe the 1,100 people who subbed during the 2014-15 school year.  To be paid that rate, it doesn't matter whether or not the subs are retirees. If teachers are certified, subbed for the District last year, and are now in long-term positions (more than three months), substitutes can earn this new top rate.   If they are not District Originals, no such luck. Certified teachers who did not work for the School District in 2014-15, including many District retirees who couldn't get hired as substitutes last year, are not eligible for these premium rates. The District has not been inviting retirees to become part of its substitute pool in recent years.  Here are the recently increased rates, as reported by Source4Teachers in a press release last Thursday:

Beaver County districts favor fewer, but quality standardized tests
Beaver County Times By Katherine Schaeffer kschaeffer@timesonline.com November 1, 2015
When scores for the newly rewritten Pennsylvania System of School Assessments were released in September, districts knew to take the results with a grain of salt.  “Last year, the PSSA was completely different,” Western Beaver Superintendent Rob Postupac said, adding that district students -- in line with kids across the state -- scored poorly on the test’s math portion. “They’re asking (students) to think in a different way and answer questions in a more open-ended way.”  The PSSAs, revamped to reflect the PA Common Core Standards, dipped statewide as students and teachers adjusted to updated curriculum and a new test format, raising questions about the high stakes attached to standardized testing.  PSSA scores dipped so drastically that Gov. Tom Wolfe called for a waiver exempting schools educating students in grades three through eight from receiving School Performance Profiles, rankings which are tied to PSSA scores.

Problem-solving with STEM: La Academia students initiate school recycling program
Lancaster Online by Kara Newhouse Staff Writer November 3, 2015
Fifteen-year-old Leslie Suarez has a simple belief: "With cans, if they're reusable, we should be able to reuse them instead of wasting them."  But that's not what was happening at her school, La Academia Partnership Charter School, in Lancaster — with cans or any other recyclable items.  So Leslie and 21 of her classmates developed a recycling program through their "Problem-solving with STEM" course.  Their initiative, they say, has changed their school for the better. And they've learned a good deal about science, technology, engineering and math — STEM — along the way.

Hite's wish list includes a contract for teachers
IF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT is funded properly, Superintendent William Hite said yesterday, his wish list for Philadelphia schools would include a new contract for teachers.  "I would acknowledge teachers who have been committed, passionate and working hard without what they needed for the past three years," Hite said. He quickly added that "we have to make that investment this year."  The superintendent's comments came during a one-on-one conversation with Inquirer reporter Kristen Graham at the National Constitution Center. The discussion was part of a program on the role of the Constitution and the courts in improving education.

Pottsgrove School District, teachers union reach tentative agreement on new contract
By Evan Brandt, The Mercury POSTED: 11/02/15, 12:15 PM EST | UPDATED: 2 HRS AGO
LOWER POTTSGROVE >> The Pottsgrove School District and its teachers union announced Monday morning they have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.
Details of the agreement are not being released until votes on both sides of the negotiating table make the agreement permanent.  The Pottsgrove Education Association has not yet set a date for a membership vote on the terms, according to union president Megan DeLena.  No date or time for a special school board meeting, if any, has been set yet either. The next scheduled meeting is Nov. 10 at Ringing Rocks Elementary School.  The terms were agreed to at the end of a bargaining session on Friday, according to a release issued by Michael Wagman, the district’s director of technology and communication.  The tentative agreement comes after 10 months of bargaining. The teachers have been working without a contract since Sept. 1

Northern lights may be seen over Pennsylvania this week
The northern lights may be visible everywhere in Pennsylvania on Tuesday night.
Penn Live By Lisa Wardle | lwardle@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on November 02, 2015 at 8:45 PM, updated November 02, 2015 at 10:40 PM
A solar storm is pushing the northern lights, or aurora borealis, southward tonight and Tuesday night.  Northern Pennsylvanians will have the best visibility tonight, but sightings are possible throughout the state. Conditions should improve Tuesday, creating good visibility for all of Pennsylvania and several states in the midwest.  While spotting the northern lights is usually more common farther north, cloud cover over much of Canada actually means the best viewing ranges from Massachusetts to Nebraska.
For the best chance of seeing the lights, get to a dark area and look toward the northern horizon.

Big Education Groups to Congress: Finish ESEA Reauthorization
Education Week Politics K-12 Blog By Alyson Klein on November 2, 2015 7:11 AM
Attention members of Congress: You've come really far on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Please finish the job so schools don't have to live under the very outdated and pretty much universally despised No Child Left Behind Act (aka the current version of ESEA) for yet another school year.  That's the message ten big-name education organizations representing teachers, school administrators, principals and state officials are taking to Facebook, Twitter, Politico, and other media through a weeklong digital ad campaign.
Here's a quote from the ad: "Please pass a final bill that focuses on opportunity for all students, no matter their ZIP code. Great progress has already been made on this legislation. We can't let it slip away. Our students cannot wait any longer for a revised law."

Dear Congress, We represent the millions of students, parents, educators and administrators of America, and we are writing to say:  It's time to get ESEA done
Please pass a final bill that focuses on opportunity for all students, no matter their ZIP code.
Great progress has already been made on this legislation. We can’t let it slip away. Our students cannot wait any longer for a revised law.  This isn’t the first time you’ve heard from us. We hope that you will keep your focus on the needs of our nation’s public school students.
We are all counting on you to deliver a bipartisan bill by the end of the year.
National Education Association
AASA - The School Superintendents Association
National Association of Secondary School Principals
Council of Chief State School Officers
Association of School Business Officials International
American Federation of Teachers
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National School Boards Association
National PTA
National Association of State Boards of Education

School Choice Backers Lukewarm on Portability Provision in ESEA Rewrite
By Andrew Ujifusa Published Online: October 27, 2015
After years of success in statehouses from Florida to Nevada, supporters of educational choice might have seen this year's push to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as a way to bolster K-12 choice options at the federal level.  What they got instead has failed to excite them—to the point where some would prefer to gamble on the election of a Republican president who could promote school choice more aggressively, rather than accepting the deal on the table.  The ESEA rewrite passed by the House of Representatives has a provision that would give states the option to have their Title I aid, which is earmarked for disadvantaged students, follow students to the public schools of their choice. That option is generally called Title I portability. (The bill also includes a provision that states would have to set aside 3 percent of their Title I aid for competitive grants that would allow districts to offer school choice or free tutoring services.)

Walton Foundation’s new education investment strategy: Scary or what?
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss November 2 at 12:39 PM  
The Walton Foundation is one of the biggest players in the education philanthropy world, having poured some $1.3 billion in K-12 education over the last two decades largely to support charter schools and fuel the “school choice” movement. But foundation honchos aren’t exactly satisfied with the results of their work and now they are using a new investment strategy to make a broader impact. For people who like the foundation’s philosophy, that’s good news. For those who think the foundation works against public education, it’s scary.

Bill Gates spent a fortune to build it. Now a Florida school system is getting rid of it.
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss November 3 at 4:00 AM  
Here we go again. Another Bill Gates-funded education reform project, starting with mountains of cash and sky-high promises, is crashing to Earth.  This time it’s the Empowering Effective Teachers, an educator evaluation program in Hillsborough County, Florida, which was developed in 2009 with major financial backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A total of more than $180 million has been spent on the project since then  — with Gates initially promising some $100 million of it — but now, the district, one of the largest in the country, is ending the program.
Why?  Under the system, 40 percent of a teacher’s evaluation would be based on student standardized test scores and the rest by observation from “peer evaluators.” It turned out that costs to maintain the program unexpectedly rose, forcing the district to spend millions of dollars more than it expected to spend. Furthermore, initial support among teachers waned, with teachers saying that they don’t think it accurately evaluated their effectiveness and that they could be too easily fired.

A 16-Year Old Programmer Just Made a Plugin That Shows Where Politicians Get Their Funding
TheHigherLearning.com June 26, 2014    Mbiyimoh Ghogomu
Nicholas Rubin is a 16-year old self-taught computer programmer from Seattle, Washington. He is also the inventor of Greenhouse, a new browser plugin that lets you know exactly where politicians get their campaign funding from.  When the plugin is active, the names of House or Senate members on any given webpage are highlighted. All you have to do is hover your mouse over the name of a politician, and a box will pop up showing all the industries and groups that contributed funds to their campaign, as well as how much the politician got from each sector.  The box also shows you what percentage of their contributions came from small donors (contributions of less than $200), and let’s you know whether or not they are in favor of reforming our relatively seedy campaign finance system.

Job Announcement – Publisher, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook
Application deadline is now November 7th
Founded in 1994, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook is an independent, nonprofit news organization serving thousands of readers who strive for quality and equality in Philadelphia’s public education system. A pioneering resource and voice for the parents, students, teachers, and other members of the community, the Notebook is Philadelphia’s go-to source for news, information, and conversation about its public schools. With six annual print editions and a website updated daily with news and commentary, the Notebook is among the few resources of its kind in the U.S.

WESA Public Forum: Equitable Education Funding Nov. 9, 7 pm  Pittsburgh
WESA By EBAISLEY  October 27, 2015
Governor Tom Wolfe has proposed spending 6.1 billion dollars on basic education, yet Pennsylvania is one of just three states that does not use a formula to distribute funding to local school districts. What is the best and most equitable way to allocate state education funding? How can educators and lawmakers ensure a fair education for all students?
90.5 WESA will convene a "Life of Learning" community forum November 9 at the Community Broadcast Center on the south side.  to discuss the Basic Education Funding Commission’s proposed funding formula as well as strategies used in the state’s history.  Doors open at 6:30; forum starts at 7. It will be recorded for later broadcast. The event is free, but space is limited; registration is recommended.Register online to attend.
Panelists include State Senator Jay Costa, member of the Basic Education Funding Commission; Ron Cowell, President of the Education Policy and Leadership Center;  Linda Croushore, Executive Director of the Consortium for Public Education; and Eric Montarti, Senior Policy Analyst for the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy; and Linda Lane, superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools. 90.5 WESA’s Larkin Page-Jacobs will moderate.
WHAT: Community Forum on Equitable Education Funding
WHEN: November 9, 2015, 7 PM
WHERE: Community Broadcast Center, 67 Bedford Square, Pittsburgh PA 15203
COST: Free. Register to attend.

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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