Wednesday, February 10, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup Feb 10: Statewide #PABudget Coverage and Reactions

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup February 10, 2016:
Statewide #PABudget Coverage and Reactions

RSVP Today for One of EPLC’s Education Policy Forum Series on Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 State Budget Proposal
Thursday, February 11, 2016 – Harrisburg
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - Philadelphia
Thursday, February 25, 2016 - Pittsburgh

This morning's Roundup is a bit abbreviated due to jury duty yesterday; we'll try to catch up....

This AP coverage includes the complete text of the Governor's budget address and a summary of budget highlights.
Wolf, GOP leaders engage in war of words after budget address
Delco Times By Marc Levy and Mark Scolforo, The Associated Press 02/09/16, 5:52 AM EST 
HARRISBURG >> Gov. Tom Wolf warned lawmakers on Tuesday that Pennsylvania’s finances are a ticking time bomb amid a record-long budget gridlock, sending them a spending proposal for the coming fiscal year with no full plan in place for the fiscal year that began back in July.  The first-term Democrat delivered an approximately $33.3 billion plan for 2016-17 to the Republican-controlled Legislature as he tries again to break down resistance to a multibillion-dollar tax increase that has held up passage of a budget for the current year.  Wolf delivered his message in a blunt, 25-minute speech that prompted objections from most Republicans, but allies said Wolf sent the message that people need to hear about the state government’s crisis.

Gov. Wolf delivers “crisis” budget address
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Gov. Tom Wolf didn’t mince words during his FY 2016-2017 budget address Tuesday morning: He believes the Commonwealth faces one of the largest financial catastrophes in history if something isn’t done to increase revenue and close the budget deficit.  "My fellow Pennsylvanians: Our Commonwealth is in crisis. A crisis that threatens our future," he told a joint session of the General Assembly. "And today, I want to be clear – with each member of the General Assembly, and with every Pennsylvanian – about the actions we must take to resolve this crisis, and the consequences we will all face if we don’t."  If that wasn’t clear enough, the governor used the word “crisis” at least 17 times to describe Pennsylvania’s financial outlook, which he said has been caused by years of bad budgeting and one-time funding mechanisms.  The largest of the problems facing Pennsylvania, Gov. Wolf said, is a budget deficit in the coming fiscal year he put in the $2 billion range.

"Statements from the Education Law Center, Pennsylvania School Boards Association and the Pennsylvania State Education Association applauded the governor’s proposed funding increases, but urged legislators to work with administration to approve a budget and get funds flowing to the schools."
Educators more concerned about this year's budget than new proposals
By Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette February 10, 2016 12:00 AM
Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal for significant budget increases to public education drew a uniform response from school officials, teacher union leaders and education advocacy groups: The promise of more money next year is meaningless without a working budget this year.  “It’s hard to get happy with numbers if the numbers don’t mean anything,” said David Seropian, business manager for the McKeesport Area School District. “If the numbers come to fruition then we would be pleased.”  Sto-Rox Superintendent Terry DeCarbo said he was “optimistic but skeptical” of the governor’s 2016-17 proposed spending plan.  And North Hills School District Director of Finance and Operations David Hall said he paid no attention to the governor’s proposal on Tuesday because “right now it’s just pie in the sky.”  Mr. Wolf’s education funding proposals are based on the assumption that the framework budget he reached with Senate Republicans in December will be made into law.  That means his proposal assumes the state adds $377 million in the current year to the main funding line for K-12 education. The 2016-17 budget proposal would add another $200 million in the new budget year.  In addition, the governor would add $60 million next year for early childhood education on top of a $60 million increase he hopes for this year and proposes an additional $50 million for special education on top of $50 million he hopes will be enacted in this year’s budget.  The money would be distributed using the fair funding formula created and adopted by the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission in June 2015.

Schools: New Wolf budget illogical, 'almost futile'
Inquirer by Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer. Updated: FEBRUARY 10, 2016 — 1:07 AM EST
As Gov. Wolf unveiled next year's proposed state budget while this year's spending plan remains in limbo, school administrators said Tuesday that they were no longer just frustrated - they're baffled and furious.  The governor's new proposal is "almost futile," said William Penn School District Superintendent Joseph Bruni, whose district is part of a lawsuit challenging the state's school funding system.  "It's discouraging," he said. "It's mind-boggling. I just think the whole process has become ridiculous, because this year's budget isn't passed, school districts are struggling more than ever, and they're talking about a budget for next year and nothing seems to have progressed."  "We cannot afford further delays or funding instability," said Philadelphia School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr.  "To develop next year's budget when we don't even have a current budget, I don't understand the logic," said John Toleno, superintendent of the Upper Merion Area School District.  "We understand, and share the frustration of schools across the state, that a 2015-16 state budget is not yet complete," said Wolf spokesman Jeff Sheridan, adding that the governor was required by law to deliver a 2016-17 budget by the end of the first week of February. "The governor has been fighting since day one to make historic funding increases to education."

School leaders: Wolf's budget sounds good, but hard to have confidence
Jacqueline Palochko Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call February 9, 2016
School leaders: 'Hard to have confidence' in Wolf's budget proposal
Gov. Tom Wolf's bid to boost basic education funding by $200 million in 2016-17 was cold comfort to superintendents who are considering raising local taxes, taking out loans and eliminating programs and positions because the 2015-16 state budget has yet to be passed.  On Tuesday, after Wolf called for a hike in education spending for the second year in a row, school leaders expressed frustration over still not receiving full funding — let alone the increases they expected — for the current fiscal year.  It was a stark contrast to this time last year, when school districts were optimistic and thought Wolf's election signaled a change of tide in education funding that was wiped away under former Gov. Tom Corbett.  "It all sounded good, but we don't even have a 2015-16 budget," Parkland School District Superintendent Richard Sniscak. "It's hard to have confidence."  School districts already are knee-deep in preparing their own spending plans for 2016-17.  By law, they must either pass a preliminary budget by January or agree to hold tax hikes to their state caps. Budgets must be finalized by June 30 regardless of what is going on in Harrisburg.

PSBA encouraged by proposed funding increase, but 2015-16 budget needs finalized
PSBA website February 9, 2016
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) is grateful for the continued proposed investment in education under Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2016-17 budget plan, but remains concerned that the 2015-16 budget remains unfinished. Increasing education funding is critical for the success of the commonwealth but the reality remains that budgeting for this year must be completed.  “School districts received a brief reprieve from budget woes when Gov. Wolf released emergency funding to schools at the end of December,” said PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains. “However, any relief districts felt is quickly evaporating as the 2015-16 budget impasse continues.”  PSBA released the result of a survey yesterday. In it, 63% of districts responding said they would be forced to take out loans or additional loans if the current budget is not passed soon. In his statement, the governor did not address pension reform, which is one of the biggest cost drivers and concerns for schools. Many of those schools have now drawn down fund balances to survive the budget impasse leaving little to cover rising pension costs.  Additionally, adoption of the Basic Education Funding formula is critical no matter what budget is passed for this year or next. Having such a formula in place will help distribute funding fairly and equitably.  Pennsylvania’s students are counting on policy makers to come to the table and get this financial crisis solved,” Mains said. “The education of our children is far too important.”

Republicans stomp “Neverland” budget proposal delivered by Gov. Wolf
The PLS Reporter  Author: Jason Gottesman/Tuesday, February 9, 2016
If Gov. Tom Wolf didn’t mince words, Republican legislators didn’t hold back their punches when responding to the budget address and proposal delivered by the governor Tuesday.  “I was hoping [the governor] was going to come back from fantasyland, instead he left for Neverland,” said House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) in response to the governor’s budget address.  “Until he returns to the realities of the challenges facing the people of this state, [Republicans] are going to continue to confront these challenges head on, because we are not going to rubberstamp $3.6 billion in higher taxes for $3 billion in higher spending and ignore all the other issues that are priorities for the people across this entire Commonwealth in the past and in the future.”  Speaking directly to the tax increases proposed in the governor’s budget plan, Rep. Reed said “there is no way the votes exist in the House or Senate” to raise taxes to the levels proposed by the governor, particularly the Personal Income Tax that is proposed to be levied for FY 2015-2016, which he characterized as being applied retroactively.  “It’s absolutely absurd,” he said. “The part [the governor] forgets to tell the people of Pennsylvania, is the only part of the framework he is still proposing is higher taxes for higher spending.”

Legislature’s Democrats see path forward in governor’s proposed budget
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Democrats in the General Assembly reacted favorably to Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed FY 2016-2017 budget and the budget address delivered Tuesday.  Noting the stark tone of the governor’s budget address, House Minority Whip Mike Hanna (D-Clinton) pointed out the governor didn’t “take any prisoners” with his speech.  “He had to come into this building and get folks to understand the crisis that we’re in,” he said. “We’re clearly in a crisis. I’ve had the opportunity to knock on a lot of doors in the last two weeks and certainly that’s what my constituents are telling me.”  Speaking to the revenue increases proposed by the governor, House Appropriations Minority Chairman Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny) said the revenue package is similar to the one that had agreement from all four legislative caucuses back in December.  “[Republicans] used their prerogative of just adjourning the House to avoid it, so now here we are two months later, when we could’ve had this done before the holidays,” he said.  Rep. Hanna said the governor and Democrats do not need House Republican leaders to sign off on the tax plan, but just to get out of the way and stay out of the way like they agreed to do in December.

Winner: Public schools, pre-K receive more funding in Gov. Tom Wolf's budget
Penn Live By Julianne Mattera | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on February 09, 2016 at 12:38 PM, updated February 09, 2016 at 1:03 PM
At a glance: Gov. Tom Wolf is continuing to seek increased state funding for public schools. He's asking for a $200 million, or 3.3 percent, increase in basic education funding for 2016-17 — on top of the $377 million increase he's already seeking in the 2015-16 unfinished budget — and he wants it distributed using the school funding formula recommended by the Basic Education Funding Commission in June.  Wolf also is seeking a $60 million, or 30.5 percent, increase in funding for preschool programs in 2016-17 — an increase that would be on top of the $30 million he didn't receive in this year's unfinished budget.  Additionally, Wolf's budget proposal includes increases in special education funding and adjustments to charter school reimbursements to more accurately reflect actual costs of educating special-needs students. The change would be phased in over three years and is estimated to save districts more than $180 million.

Fighting from Day One: GOP lawmakers hate Wolf proposal, see red over his tone
Penn Live By Jan Murphy |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on February 09, 2016 at 5:39 PM, updated February 09, 2016 at 8:32 PM
Gov. Tom Wolf may have yet to figure out how to finalize a budget agreement with the Republicans who control the General Assembly but one thing he has nailed down is how to get under their skin.  The tone of his 2016-17 budget address on Tuesday riled House and Senate Republicans in ways that none could recall a previous governor doing.  They said they didn't like being lectured to by the Democratic governor and said it did nothing to curry their favor for his proposed $33.2 billion budget and $2.7 billion tax increase package he says is needed to balance it.

Gov. Wolf's green machine: A tax-by-tax look at the revenue raisers in the proposed state budget
Penn Live By Charles Thompson |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on February 09, 2016 at 2:15 PM, updated February 09, 2016 at 4:11 PM
This post was updated at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday to correct some incorrect information provided at a budget briefing about the level of "promotional play" at the state's casinos.
Say this for Gov. Tom Wolf.  He does not cheat himself when it comes to asking for tax increases.  One year after fiscal conservatives in the state House fought Wolf to a stalemate over higher taxes in the 2015-16 budget cycle (so far), Wolf went back to the well Tuesday in his 2016-17 budget proposal.  In fact, the governor would even draw more taxes on the paycheck you probably received last week, setting a new personal income tax rate at 3.4 percent, retroactive to Jan. 1.  He asked the Legislature Tuesday for what would be one of the biggest tax increases in state history: $2.7 billion through 2016-17 fiscal year, and this time, there are no school property tax cuts to offset it.  If approved on Wolf's schedule, the new taxes would also raise $892.6 million in the current fiscal year, enough to balance the 2015-16 budget at the $30.8 billion spending level the governor is still seeking.

'We are facing a trainwreck': Gov. Tom Wolf discusses state budget with Pennsylvanians online
Penn Live By Christian Alexandersen |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on February 09, 2016 at 4:59 PM, updated February 09, 2016 at 5:00 PM
Gov. Tom Wolf took questions on property taxes, education and more during a Facebook town hall Tuesday hours after he gave a fiery 2016-17 budget address.  The Democratic governor pulled no punches as he answered questions and doled out blame for why a state budget was not passed last year. Wolf spoke about the dire financial situation the state is in and the importance of developing a balanced budget.  "We are facing a trainwreck now," Wolf said. "Maybe in the past, you could get by with some one-time fixes, some patches, some Band Aides."  Gov. Tom Wolf plans to unveil his 2016-17 budget Tuesday; but how can he do that without first passing last year's full budget?  Here's a breakdown of the most important things Wolf spoke about during his town hall:

PA Gov. Tom Wolf, seeing fiscal crisis, tells lawmakers to negotiate a budget or get out
Republicans in both the Pennsylvania House and Senate respond to Governor Wolf's budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
Steve Esack and Emily Opilo Contact Reporters Of The Morning Call February 9,2016
Tom Wolf seeks taxes to fix budget crisis
HARRISBURG — Speaking before a sea of lawmakers, Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesdaychristened his $33.3 billion budget proposal with a warning of impending financial catastrophe that "was no act of God," but instead the fault of uncompromising politics.  Wolf's budget plan for the 2016-17 fiscal year starts where he left off last year without success: a clarion call to fix the state's deficit and add more money for education by increasing taxes.  Wolf's proposal would raise an additional $2.7 billion by increasing taxes on workers, smokers, gamblers and natural gas drillers, among others. He also would add new sales levies on some consumer purchases that now are not taxed, such as cable television and movie tickets.  In making his pitch for new revenue, the Democratic governor also unloaded a verbal barrage on House Republicans. His criticisms — including telling unyielding lawmakers to get a new job — could make Harrisburg's budget gridlock worse, at least in the short term.

Wolf proposes $32.7B budget for 2016-17, warns of 'time bomb' deficit
Trib Lilve BY BRAD BUMSTED  | Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, 11:45 a.m.
HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a $32.7 billion state budget Tuesday that would raise the personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 3.4 percent and expand the sales tax base to boost education spending and close a deficit expected to hit $2 billion in 2017.  Republicans said the governor's plan actually would amount to $33.3 billion. Wolf, a Democrat, acknowledged that he moved more than $500 million for school pensions off-budget to a restricted account.  He gave a sobering account of Pennsylvania's future if lawmakers don't address a deficit that Wolf called “a time bomb, ticking away, right now, even as I speak.”  “If it explodes, if the people in this chamber allow it to explode, then Pennsylvania will experience a fiscal catastrophe the likes of which we have never seen,” he said.  He told lawmakers who can't face that reality to “find another job,” drawing jeers.

Gov. Wolf challenges GOP with his second state budget
By Kate Giammarise & Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau Feb 10, 2016 12:28 AM
HARRISBURG — With his first Pennsylvania budget still unfinished, Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday delivered a combative second budget address, telling Republican legislators that if they won’t send him a sound proposal, they should find a different job.  After a year of division at the Capitol over Mr. Wolf’s first call to raise taxes and increase school spending and resistance to that call from the Republican legislative majorities, the scene Tuesday suggested neither side is about to budge. Mr. Wolf’s new budget proposal would raise the personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 3.4 percent, and it assumes the General Assembly will agree to additional spending increases this fiscal year and then more increases in the year beginning July 1.  Groans arose from the Republican side of the chamber at points during Mr. Wolf’s address, while Democrats applauded.
“If you can’t agree to the budget reforms I’ve proposed, then help me find a sustainable alternative,” Mr. Wolf said. ”But if you won’t face up to the reality of the situation we’re in, if you ignore that time bomb ticking, if you won’t take seriously your responsibility to the people of Pennsylvania, then find another job.”  Republican reaction was swift and harsh. Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, called the governor’s proposal “a massive tax-and-spend budget built on a pile of rubble.” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, called the governor’s address the “most absurd” of the 18 budget addresses he has heard, and its tone divisive.  “I don’t know how he thinks that gets him votes in either caucus. My guess today is that we are further away than we were in June of last year,” Mr. Corman said.

Gov. Wolf just picked another #PaBudget fight - where do they go next?: Analysis
Penn Live By John L. Micek | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on February 09, 2016 at 12:47 PM, updated February 09, 2016 at 9:02 PM
Gov. Tom Wolf's second budget address Tuesday lasted not quite a half-hour.  But the truth is, it ended long before he finished speaking.  It ended halfway through, amid the scalding rhetoric that netted him a chorus of catcalls and boos from House Republicans who were its intended targets.   Wolf scorched Republicans, telling them they should "find another job," if they couldn't (or wouldn't) fix the state's fiscal mess.  The speech to a joint session of the state House and Senate came more than seven months into a fiscal year that still hasn't resulted in an agreement on his first budget.  And putting the "bully" in bully pulpit, the York Democrat, sounding like nothing so much as an enraged headmaster, warned that the state's fiscal train had been "careening" down the tracks for years.  And it was up to lawmakers to stop it - or not.

Baer: Another Pa. budget that'll never be
Philly Daily News by John Baer, Daily News Political Columnist. Updated: FEBRUARY 10, 2016 — 3:01 AM EST
NOT TO UNDULY alarm anyone, but it appears that Pennsylvania never will have a budget again, at least not one from Democratic Gov. Wolf and the current Republican legislature.
Wolf on Tuesday growled at lawmakers, gave them what-for, saying, "Get back to work." Then, close to employing the royal we, said that if they sent him another budget like the ones they like, "I will not be amused."  Not so sure the tactic worked.   Afterward, Senate GOP Leader Jake Corman said, "We're further apart than we ever were." And House GOP Leader Dave Reed said, "I was hoping he [Wolf] was going to come back from fantasy land . . . instead he left for Neverland."  Ah, Harrisburg.  Such was the fallout after Wolf on Tuesday offered another tax-and-spend plan that he says is needed to save the state, while legislative leaders told him to stick it.

Inky Editorial: No budget, no pay for Pa. legislators
Inquirer EditorialUpdated: FEBRUARY 9, 2016 — 3:01 AM EST
It's unfortunate for Pennsylvanians that they must put their trust in the same plodding politicians responsible for a record seven-month budget stalemate to work out their differences and reach an acceptable compromise.  With taxes and spending for the current year unresolved, Gov. Wolf must present a proposed budget for next year, which he will do today. Both sides should use the occasion to commit to negotiating an agreement in days, not weeks. This has gone on too long.
Perhaps Wolf should bring in an experienced negotiator who could help make a deal with Republicans that allows everyone to walk away knowing they put the state's best interests above any political considerations.  For Wolf, that may mean taking bigger steps away from the state's liquor monopoly and doing more to reduce future pension costs. But he should not back down from reducing the state's $2 billion deficit and providing more money to debt-ridden public schools.  Meanwhile, responsible Republicans need to rein in reckless members of their caucuses in the House and Senate who act as if they care more about their reputations with tax-averse interest groups than about their constituents who in poll after poll say they would pay more taxes to make their schools fiscally sound.

Blogger comment: PA tax credit programs have diverted $900 million in tax revenue to private and religious schools, making those funds unavailable to support constitutionally mandated public education that serves all children.  I think that it is great that businesses want to support their favorite school or program; let them make a tax deductible donation instead of removing tax revenue from the state's general fund.
Despite budget fight, an effort focused on students
Inquirer Opinion By N. Aaron Troodler Updated: FEBRUARY 10, 2016 — 3:01 AM EST
N. Aaron Troodler is an attorney and the Pennsylvania regional director for the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, the nonpartisan public policy arm of the nation's largest Orthodox Jewish organization.
Pennsylvania has long been a pioneer in school choice, providing tax-credit programs that enable tens of thousands of low- and middle-income families to place their children in the most appropriate educational settings. But the state's budget stalemate threw these crucial programs into a dangerous limbo.  Ultimately, Gov. Wolf took the necessary steps to free up the $150 million in scholarship funding from Pennsylvania's unique tax-credit programs, which give pre-K-to-12th-grade students the ability to attend the nonpublic schools best suited to their needs and beliefs. If not for the governor's last-minute approval, this year's funding would have been lost.  
The establishment of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) in 2001 and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) in 2012 enabled companies to support school choice opportunities for Pennsylvania children. To date, these programs have yielded approximately $900 million, providing scholarships for more than 50,000 students annually.

PSBA Members Budget Update Webinar
FEB 12, 2016 • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Join PSBA Assistant Executive Director of Public Policy John Callahan as he hosts PA Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera to discuss the proposed 2016-17 state budget. Participants will learn about issues impacting public education related to the budget impasse and the recent release of emergency funding to school districts during this live, complimentary members-only webinar.
PLEASE NOTE: Registration is only open to PSBA members. All registrations must be manually verified before links are sent so please allow for a delay in receiving this information. We cannot guarantee receipt of this information in time if registering less than one hour before the presentation starts at noon on Feb. 12.

Public Interest Law Center: Discipline, Truancy and More
Philadelphia, PA Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
This seminar is designed to address disciplinary issues. The presentation will include disciplinary rights of students not yet identified for special education services or 504 plans; the disciplinary rights of students with IEPs and 504 plans, and an advocate’s view of assisting families with truancy issues.  Tickets range from $50 (webinar) to $200 (private attorneys), and there is a "Pay What You Can Option" so that no one is turned away from this important program. 
CLE credit is available for attorneys licensed in Pennsylvania that attend the seminar in person.
Questions? Contact Michael at or call 267.546.1303.

"Southeastern Region Forum Series"Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Networking and Coffee - 9:30 a.m. Program - 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Penn Center for Educational Leadership (5th Floor)
University of Pennsylvania - 3440 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19104-3325
SUBJECT: Governor Wolf's Proposed Education Budget for 2016-2017
An Overview of the Proposed 2016-2017 State Budget and Education Issues Will Be Provided By:
Representative of The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
Ron Cowell, President, The Education Policy and Leadership Center
Statewide and Regional Perspectives Will Be Provided By:
Donna Cooper, Executive Director, Public Citizens for Children and Youth
Deborah Gordon Klehr, Executive Director, Education Law Center
Dr. George Steinhoff, Superintendent, Penn Delco School District
One or more representatives of other statewide and regional organizations are still to be confirmed.
RSVP for Southeastern Forum on-line at

"Capital Region Forum Series" Thursday, February 11, 2016
Continental Breakfast - 8:00 a.m. Program - 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Harrisburg Hilton Hotel - Two North Second Street Harrisburg, PA 17101
SUBJECT: Governor Wolf's Proposed Education Budget for 2016-2017
An Overview of the Proposed 2016-2017 State Budget and Education Issues Will Be Provided By:
Representative of The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
Ron Cowell, President, The Education Policy and Leadership Center
Statewide and Regional Perspectives Will Be Provided By:
Dr. Brian Barnhart, Executive Director, Lancaster-Lebanon IU #13
Thomas Gluck, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units
Representatives of other statewide and regional organizations are still to be confirmed.
While there is no registration fee, seating is limited and an RSVP is required.
RSVP for Harrisburg Forum on-line at 

PSBA New School Director Training Remaining Locations:
  • North Central area —Feb. 13 Mansfield University, Mansfield
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

Save the Dates for These 2016 Annual EPLC Regional State Budget Education Policy Forums
Sponsored by The Education Policy and Leadership Center
Thursday, February 11 - 8:30-11:00 a.m. - Harrisburg
Wednesday, February 17 - 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania)
Thursday, February 25 - 8:30-11:00 a.m. - Pittsburgh
Invitation and more details in January

Attend the United Opt Out Conference in Philadelphia February 26-28
United Opt Out: The Movement to End Corporate Reform will hold its annual conference on Philadelphia from February 26-28.

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center will host its Annual Budget Summit on Thursday, March 3, 2016 9:00 - 3:30 at the Hilton Harrisburg.
PA Budget and Policy Center website
Join us for an in-depth look at the Governor's 2016-17 budget proposal, including what it means for education, health and human services, and local communities. The Summit will focus on the leading issues facing the commonwealth in 2016, with workshops, lunch, and a legislative panel discussion.  Space is limited, so fill out the form below to reserve your spot at the Budget Summit.
Thursday, March 3, 2016 Hilton Hotel, Harrisburg Pennsylvania
The event is free, but PBPC welcomes donations of any size to help off-set costs.

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

PenSPRA's Annual Symposium, Friday April 8th in Shippensburg, PA
PenSPRA, or the Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association, has developed a powerhouse line-up of speakers and topics for a captivating day of professional development in Shippensburg on April 8th. Learn to master data to defeat your critics, use stories to clarify your district's brand and take your social media efforts to the next level with a better understanding of metrics and the newest trends.  Join us the evening before the Symposium for a “Conversation with Colleagues” from 5 – 6 pm followed by a Networking Social Cocktail Hour from 6 – 8 pm.  Both the Symposium Friday and the social events on Thursday evening will be held at the Shippensburg University Conference Center. Snacks at the social hour, and Friday’s breakfast and lunch is included in your registration cost. $125 for PenSPRA members and $150 for non-members. Learn more about our speakers and topics and register today at this link:

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.

2016 PA Educational Leadership Summit July 24-26 State College
Summit Sponsors: PA Principals Association - PA Association of School Administrators - PA Association of Middle Level Educators - PA Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development 
The 2016 Educational Leadership Summit, co-sponsored by four leading Pennsylvania education associations, provides an excellent opportunity for school district administrative teams and instructional leaders to learn, share and plan together at a quality venue in "Happy Valley." 
Featuring Grant Lichtman, author of EdJourney: A Roadmap to the Future of Education, Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera (invited), and Dana Lightman, author of POWER Optimism: Enjoy the Life You Have... Create the Success You Want, keynote speakers, high quality breakout sessions, table talks on hot topics and district team planning and job alike sessions provides practical ideas that can be immediately reviewed and discussed at the summit before returning back to your district.   Register and pay by April 30, 2016 for the discounted "early bird" registration rate:

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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