If you were otherwise preoccupied by friends, family, college football, self-improvement or all the other things that make life worth living, and not tuned into the endless debate over the state budget (and who could blame you?), it's something of a gigantic honking mess right now. In short, the state House pulled the plug on its Sunday session after torpedoing the month-old budget "framework"; the Senate is set to start voting on the framework as early as today; the current version of pension reform could make it optional for sitting lawmakers (nice, right?) and there's zero consensus on booze reform.
- Use of federal funds for “Pay for Success” programs allow wealthy investors to make profits from education investments, an issue that has concerned some special education advocates.
- States will be required to fund “equitable services” for children in private and religious schools who are deemed eligible, and they must appoint an “ombudsman” to make sure the schools get their money.
- Provisions in the legislation for the establishment of teacher preparation academies are written to primarily support non-traditional, non-university programs such as those funded by venture philanthropists, and they lower standards for teacher education programs that prepare teachers for high-poverty schools.
- The federal government still will have a say in some areas, such as mandating standardized tests and requiring states to intercede in schools where student test scores are in the lowest 5 percent and then approving the state plans for academic progress.
- $150 per registrant (No charge if your district has a LEARN Pass. Note: 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
- 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
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.
Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania
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