Friday, February 12, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup Feb 12: Gravity Waves Detected; still no sign of a Pennsylvania #PABudget

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3850 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 February 12, 2016:
Gravity Waves Detected; still no sign of a Pennsylvania #PABudget

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

Blogger note: Could this be in PA's future? Kansas Supreme Court gives state until June 30 to properly fund public schools.

“Through this decision, the Supreme Court is making clear that the opportunity for a quality education must be available to all Kansas children, regardless of the zip code in which they live,” Lane said. “This is good news, not only for students in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, but also for students and communities across the state.”
Kansas Supreme Court gives state until June 30 to properly fund public schools
Court says Legislature must implement an equitable financing plan by end of 2016 fiscal year.  If it doesn’t, schools in Kansas “will be unable to operate beyond June 30,” the state high court said.
Kansas City Star BY EDWARD M. EVELD February 11, 2016
The Kansas Supreme Court Thursday gave the state until June 30 to enact an “equitable” school funding formula or, it said, the state’s public schools won’t open for the 2016-2017 school year.  In its ruling, the court said that if a formula isn’t in place by then, the court will decide that “no constitutionally valid school finance system exists.”  “Without a constitutionally equitable school finance system, the schools in Kansas will be unable to operate beyond June 30,” the Supreme Court court said.  “Accordingly, the Legislature’s chosen path during the 2016 session will ultimately determine whether Kansas students will be treated fairly and the schoolhouse doors will be open to them in August for the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year,” the ruling stated.  The ruling affirms a Court of Appeals decision that the state had failed to correct constitutional inequities among school districts in the state’s school funding system.

Kansas Supreme Court ruling"
Kansas Supreme Court: School funding inequitable
Ruling gives lawmakers until June 30 to craft a solution
Failure could lead to court-ordered shutdown of schools
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Legislature has inequitably funded schools and gave lawmakers until June 30 to work out a plan that meets constitutional requirements.  The justices signaled that if the Legislature fails to craft a solution by the end of the fiscal year, it could lead to a court-ordered shutdown of schools.  “The legislature’s chosen path during the 2016 session will ultimately determine whether Kansas students will be treated fairly and the schoolhouse doors will be open to them in August for the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year,” the ruling said.   “The legislature’s unsuccessful attempts to equitably, i.e., fairly, allocate resources among the school districts not only creates uncertainty in planning the 2016-2017 school year but also has the potential to interrupt the operation of Kansas’ public schools. We desire to avoid this uncertainty.”  The court said that “the inequities found to exist” between school districts “have not yet been cured."  The court said it would not enforce an order from a lower court that would have mandated an extra $54 million be allocated to Kansas schools to address inequities between districts and instead set a June 30 deadline for lawmakers.  If the Legislature fails to act, then Thursday’s ruling “will mean no constitutionally valid school finance system exists through which funds for fiscal year 2017 can lawfully be raised, distributed, or spent.”

Court Gives Deadline to Fix Kansas School Financing
New York Times By JULIE BOSMAN FEB. 11, 2016
The Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday gave the state until June 30 to fix its system of financing public schools, or face a court-ordered shutdown before the next school year begins.  Rather than improve the way it doled out state money, the court ruled, the Republican-controlled Legislature has failed to cure inequities between rich and poor school districts.  “The legislature’s unsuccessful attempts to equitably, i.e., fairly, allocate resources among the school districts not only creates uncertainty in planning the 2016-2017 school year but also has the potential to interrupt the operation of Kansas’ public schools,” the court said.  The decision is the latest blow to Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, and the state Legislature, which will probably have to find tens of millions of dollars in its budget for additional education funding.  Kansas is already facing deep fiscal woes in the wake of Mr. Brownback’s decision to cut taxes, which he predicted would help bolster the state economy. Revenue has fallen short of projections and he and lawmakers are scrambling to fill a roughly $200 million budget gap before the close of the session.

That's not a Democratic fact or a Republican fact -- it's just a fact, and it's supported by Standard and Poor's, an independent rating agency.  They have done the math."
With Pa. in crisis, we must pick the path to a better future: Tom Wolf
PennLive Op-Ed  By Tom Wolf on February 11, 2016 at 12:33 PM, updated February 11, 2016 at 12:34 PM
That's not a Democratic fact or a Republican fact -- it's just a fact, and it's supported by Standard and Poor's, an independent rating agency.  They have done the math.  And they agree: Pennsylvania faces a massive structural deficit that will only continue to grow if we fail to address it responsibly.  There are two paths that we can take. One includes a modest income tax increase, ensuring Pennsylvania keeps one of the lowest income tax rates in the country.  The other path, supported by some Republicans in the General Assembly, will lead to massive increases in property taxes, which are already too high and burdensome for seniors and homeowners.  I am ready to do the hard work to build a brighter future for PennsylvaniaIn fact, if we continue down a path of irresponsible budgeting, nearly three-quarters of Pennsylvania homeowners will see their property taxes skyrocket.  Our education system, already threadbare after years of underfunding at the state level, will also take a ruinous hit. And basic state services will face devastating cuts.   These facts are not threats, and they are not political posturing. This bleak outlook is simply what the math tells us will happen if the budget crisis is not resolved.

Metcalfe: Gov. Wolf is out of touch
Trib Live LETTER TO THE EDITOR by State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe | Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, 8:55 p.m.
The author, a Republican, represents the state House's 12th District in Butler County.
No society has ever taxed, spent or borrowed its way to prosperity. So let's be honest and transparent about Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed 2016-17 state budget.  Wolf is once again displaying what we already knew — liberals don't care about people; they only care about increasing government control.  Taxpayers cannot afford to pay billions more in taxes as a means for Wolf to feed his insatiable appetite for spending.  The $33.29 billion proposal is another demonstration of his out-of-touch, leftist ideology to redistribute what belongs to hard-working taxpayers to his public union friends who fund attacks on Republican lawmakers who stand firmly against his massive tax hikes.  Wolf's rabid demands for higher taxes is legalized theft. I oppose any budget calling for increased taxes, irresponsible spending and the confiscation of billions more from taxpayers' pockets.

Another Pa. budget that'll never be
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.

With no state budget and much uncertainty, Pa. schools expect 'convoluted' budgeting process
This week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced a plan to dramatically increase education funding. But heading into 2016-2017 budget negotiations with the current budget still unfinished has created a funding landscape that is "perplexing" and "convoluted" for public schools, say superintendents around the commonwealth.  "Until we know more about the funding, it makes it very difficult when you have two budgets you're looking at right now," said Michael Braun, business manager for the Morrisvile School District in Bucks County.  A small, blue-collar district, Morrisville cut some art and science classes when its state funding was reduced across the board in 2011. The governor's budget proposals aim to restore some of the funding that went away, but have faced an uphill battle in the state legislature.  Some schools hit hard by those cuts are now just holding on — with the added challenge of complete uncertainty about when they'll get money and how much.  "Costs go up all over the place," said Braun. "Your retirement, Social Security, your medical benefits. They've all gone up."  Those costs are legally mandated, said Braun, so the money must be found by taking it away from something else.  Morrisville gets about a quarter of its funds from the state. Many districts in the commonwealth — mostly rural districts and urban centers — get more than half of their funds from state coffers.  The Reading Area School District is relying on Pennsylvania for 73 percent of its 2016-2017 budget. To fill the whole left without state funding, the district has taken out two loans, according to superintendent Khalid Mumin.

Tab for fixing Phila. School District facilities: $5 billion
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer. Updated: FEBRUARY 11, 2016 — 10:59 PM EST
Fixing every Philadelphia School District building - more than 300 schools, athletic fields, offices, shops, and garages - could cost $5 billion, district officials said Thursday.  But amid a perpetual budget crisis, the school system manages to allocate just $160 million yearly on maintaining its buildings, leaving thousands of work orders unfilled and putting students' health at risk daily, some suggested.  "We find ourselves in a very difficult position of having to play catch-up. We focus on things" that are emergencies, said Danielle Floyd, the district's director of capital programs.  Her comments came Thursday evening at a hearing convened by Democratic State Sens. Vincent Hughes and Art Haywood.  The legislators, who represent the city, called the hearing at F.S. Edmonds Elementary in West Mount Airy after an accident there nearly killed a maintenance worker in January. Only the quick action of another employee saved Christopher Trakimas' life and prevented injuries to hundreds of children inside the school.  Hughes and Haywood suggested that they would pursue state-level action to help shore up the crumbling facilities.

Philly councilwoman casts doubts on ethics of SRC charter vote
WHYY Newsworks by Tom Macdonald FEBRUARY 11, 2016
A Philadelphia councilwoman has demanded an investigation into whether the School Reform Commission violated Pennsylvania's "sunshine" law.    Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym said Thursday she has questions on the ethics of a School Reform Commission vote on a resolution to hand Wister Elementary School over to a charter organization without public comment.  "The School Reform Commission has really broken a lot of the public trust and credibility over the years," she said. "It's really time — in light of a very controversial vote that happened in the middle of the night In January at their last meeting — that we take a holistic view of the SRC's ethical practices  and standards. There are none right now."
Gym said it's within the city's authority to investigate the SRC.

Cooperative charter school official gets probation
Inquirer by Martha Woodall, STAFF WRITER. Updated: FEBRUARY 11, 2016 — 4:07 PM EST
Nearly four years ago, Anthony Smoot's life was upended.  The former business manager of Dorothy June Brown's charter school network was indicted - along with Brown and three others - for participating in a scheme to defraud the charters Brown founded of more than $6 million.  Smoot, 53, pleaded guilty the next year, 2013, to federal charges of conspiring to obstruct justice and aiding the obstruction to assist Brown.  He testified against her during in a fraud trial that ended in a hung jury in December of 2013. And Smoot was poised to testify against the 78-year-old educator again. But the retrial was scrapped and the Brown's criminal charges were dropped last fall after medical experts found she was not competent because she was suffering from dementia.  Thursday it was time for Smoot - one of two former charter officials who entered guilty pleas - to be sentenced.  "It's kind of surprising [Smoot] is standing in front of me," U.S. District Court Judge R. Barclay Surrick noted before handing down a sentence to the resident of New Castle, Del.: three years of probation and a fine of $3,500.

Districts may bank on spring loans as subsidies wane
Sunbury Daily Item by Justin Strawser February 11, 2016
As Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled General Assembly continue to squabble over a 2015-16 budget that is 226 days past due, many Valley school districts are operating with less than half of the subsidies they expected for the academic year.  Lewisburg has received only 42 percent of what it anticipated in basic education subsidies; Mifflinburg, 43 percent; Milton, 46 percent; and Shikellamy, 47 percent.  Danville officials announced Tuesday night the school district would be out of money by June 30.  “It does not reflect a state that values the education of their children,” Kathy Swope, president of the Lewisburg school board and the Pennsylvania School Board Association, said of the funding shortage.  “This is impacting some (non-Valley) districts to the level that they don’t even know if they can reopen in the fall. They don’t have the reserves or the ability to weather the storm. They are the ones suffering the most and in the greatest danger.”  In his budget address Tuesday, Wolf predicted dire consequences if a 2015-16 budget is not passed. Among them, higher property taxes, teacher layoffs and increased class sizes.

Governor: Invest in education
By Russ O’Reilly ( , The Altoona Mirror February 11, 2016
Followed by a throng of students, school board members and school administrators, Gov. Tom Wolf walked the halls of Altoona Area Junior High School Wednesday, capping off his visit with a short speech about the state budget address he delivered Tuesday and the future he envisions for education in the state.  "I'm sorry if it was taken by anybody as anything other than a straight dose of reality," he said of his state budget address that ruffled feathers of Republican lawmakers.  Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr., R-Blair, blogged after Wolf delivered it: "His condescending tone and attacks on the Legislature got most of the attention. ... He used numbers only a few times to describe his version of 'structural deficits.' His budget book revealed that he again proposed massive tax increases to pay for his big government plans."  Gov. Tom Wolf talks with Altoona Area High School seniors Allan Buchness and Fiona Lynch about their projects in the Technology Student Association (TSA) program after school on Wednesday at the Altoona Area Junior High School.  Wolf was flanked by none of the local GOP legislators during his visit to Altoona.  He said he didn't announce his visit to them.  He didn't speak about big government plans, but about what he said should be government's biggest priority.  "Government is not supposed to do many things. It shouldn't over-reach. But it also shouldn't do too little," Wolf said.

A defensive Wolf takes his budget show on the road, report: Thursday Morning Coffee
Penn Live By John L. Micek |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on February 11, 2016 at 8:18 AM, updated February 11, 2016 at 8:20 AM
Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
It's one of the rites of the season: Deliver a budget, take the show on the road to build public support for it.  Gov. Tom Wolf is no exception -- even if the York County Democrat finds himself in the unusual position this week of having not one, but two, budgets that he can pitch to the voters.  As our friends at The Tribune-Review report,Wolf was in Clairton, Allegheny County on Wednesday, where he was pitching his $33.2 billion spending plan (the second one, not the first) to a friendly crowd at a local elementary school.  There, Wolf hit back at Republican accusations, hurled in the wake of his scorching Tuesday budget address, that he was holding schoolkids hostage to win passage of his taxing and spending priorities.  "That's complete, utter nonsense," Wolf told the newspaper "That's just not true."

"Robert Bruchak, the district's business administrator, said the word in Harrisburg is there is unlikely to be a state budget approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor until after the April primary, because legislators up for re-election don't want to be seen as voting for a state tax hike.  But Bruchak pointed out that if the state doesn't substantially increase funding for school districts to pay for the huge cost of payments to the Public School Employees' Retirement System, districts will have to raise property taxes more to meet those obligations. So it will put a heavier tax burden on homeowners."
Salisbury school director calls out state for double standard
Salisbury district looks to close $1.1 million budget gap
Morning Call by Margie Peterson February 11, 2016
SALISBURY TOWNSHIP — As the Salisbury School District struggles to close a nearly $1.1 million budget gap and hold down a likely tax increase for 2016-17, a school director complained about the state's double standard in budgeting.  By Pennsylvania law, school districts that expect they'll have to raise taxes beyond the Act 1 Index must follow a strict timeline for approving a preliminary budget, unveiling a proposed final budget and then passing a final budget in June.  At Wednesday's school board meeting, School Director George Gatanis noted that Pennsylvania's June 30 deadline for its own budget came and went more than seven months ago with no approved spending plan. So Salisbury and other school districts have no idea how much they can expect in state funding to help pay for their own budgets.  "The frustrating thing is the state government has established our deadlines for our budget and they're not practicing what they preach," Gatanis said. "They make it more difficult for us in that they set the deadlines, but they can't meet their own deadlines."

Pennsylvania treasurer race may hold key in budget standoff
By Chris Potter/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette February 12, 2016 12:11 AM
This year’s race for state treasurer may be the most crucial of the 2016 election.
No, wait! Don’t go! Come back!
OK, it’s not as if the state treasurer has access to nuclear launch codes. But the outcome of this year’s treasurer’s race may tip the balance of power in an already topsy-turvy Harrisburg budget fight between Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled Legislature.  Who wins the race “certainly matters, because different treasurers will view themselves as independent to a greater or lesser extent from the governor,” said Michael Dimino, a law professor at Widener University’s Commonwealth School of Law.  Such questions have become more pressing since December, when Mr. Wolf approved only part of the budget that was sent to him by legislators. The resulting spending plan left the prison system short of money, prompting the governor to ask the Treasury Department to pay bills beyond what the budget anticipates.

"But in New York, he oversaw a rocky rollout of both the Common Core academic standards in math and reading as well as a teacher evaluation system tied to new tests based on those standards.  Critics said the state rushed the rollout, without properly training teachers and then holding them accountable for the new standards before local districts had completed new curriculums and classroom materials. Scores from the new tests were used as an element of a controversial evaluation system that affected personnel and salary decisions for some teachers. More than a third of principals in the state signed a letter protesting the new system, saying it was unfair to educators and created an unhealthy focus on test scores. They were joined by thousands of parents, teachers and administrators."
Obama to nominate John B. King Jr. to officially take the role of education secretary
Washington Post By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel and Lyndsey Layton February 11 at 3:40 PM 
President Obama is nominating John B. King Jr. to officially lead the Department of Education, where he has served as acting secretary since the start of the year, according to several people familiar with the decision.  Officials at the White House, who later confirmed the nomination, say the president is encouraged by the bipartisan support King has received in Congress, especially the commitment Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has made for a speedy consideration of his nomination. King, who took office when Arne Duncan stepped down in December, was originally going to remain the acting head of the department for the rest of Obama’s time in office.

Gravitational Waves Detected, Confirming Einstein’s Theory
New York Times Dennis Overbye OUT THERE FEB. 11, 2016
About a hundred years ago, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, but until now, they were undetectable.  A team of scientists announced on Thursday that they had heard and recorded the sound of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, a fleeting chirp that fulfilled the last prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.  That faint rising tone, physicists say, is the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago. (Listen to it here.) It completes his vision of a universe in which space and time are interwoven and dynamic, able to stretch, shrink and jiggle. And it is a ringing confirmation of the nature of black holes, the bottomless gravitational pits from which not even light can escape, which were the most foreboding (and unwelcome) part of his theory.  More generally, it means that a century of innovation, testing, questioning and plain hard work after Einstein imagined it on paper, scientists have finally tapped into the deepest register of physical reality, where the weirdest and wildest implications of Einstein’s universe become manifest. 
Conveyed by these gravitational waves, power 50 times greater than the output of all the stars in the universe combined vibrated a pair of L-shaped antennas in Washington State and Louisiana known as LIGO on Sept. 14.  If replicated by future experiments, that simple chirp, which rose to the note of middle C before abruptly stopping, seems destined to take its place among the great sound bites of science, ranking with Alexander Graham Bell’s “Mr. Watson — come here” and Sputnik’s first beeps from orbit.

See the Millions of Places Migrating Birds Have Gone—in One Gif
A new animation from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology tracks 118 species along their journeys across the Americas.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology By Purbita Saha January 27, 2016
Ever wondered what bird migration looks like across the entire Western Hemisphere? Well, thanks to the visionaries at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, now we know:

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.

"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

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
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

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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