One of the benefits of being the benevolent overlord of one's very own Opinion Page is that one occasionally finds oneself on the receiving end of a good, old-fashioned letter-writing campaign on behalf of some worthy issue. Such was the case this Friday morning, when, upon our arrival at PennLive World Headquarters, we found our inbox fairly flooded with missives from parents and educators calling for the approval of legislation that would delay the end-of-year Keystone Exams for Pennsylvania high school students. If you're not in the know, or don't have a kid in high school, students have to pass the exams in order to graduate. They are, to put it bluntly, wildly unpopular, since kids are already tested to within an inch of their lives already. Legislation sponsored by Sen. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster, that would impose a two-year delay on their implementation won Senate and House approval last fall. But the bill has to clear yet one more hurdle in the Senate because of a House-approved amendment to the legislation. It's been sucked into the budgetary vacuum and parents and educators want it kicked loose.
A law enabling emergency responders to carry drug overdose reversal medications has inspired another group of first responders to arm themselves with the life-saving remedy: school nurses. School districts around the region have begun debating and adopting policies that put naloxone, commonly known by the brand name Narcan, in nurses' offices. Many are training nurses, school administrators and security guards in the administration of the antidote. “If you have the ability to be proactive and preventative, why not do that?” said Janet Sardon, superintendent of Yough School District. The district was the first in the state to seek the use of naloxone and prompted Gov. Tom Wolf's administration to write to all 500 districts statewide to inform them they could legally stock the drug and encourage them to do so. “By allowing the trained medical professionals at our schools to be equipped with this critical tool, we will effectively give overdosing individuals a second chance at life, a chance that was not previously made available to them in all cases,” said Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera.
- Central PA — Jan. 30 Nittany Lion Inn, State College
- Delaware Co. IU 25 — Feb. 1
- Scranton area — Feb. 6 Abington Heights SD, Clarks Summit
- North Central area —Feb. 13 Mansfield University, Mansfield
- $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
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.
Wednesday, February 17 - 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. -
Thursday, February 25 - 8:30-11:00 a.m. -
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