Thursday, March 17, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup March 17: GOP leaders ponder budget veto override chances

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup March 17, 2016:
GOP leaders ponder budget veto override chances

Redistricting reform is answer to ending government gridlock in Pa., lawmakers say
Penn Live By Jan Murphy |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on March 16, 2016 at 3:01 PM
The gridlock over finalizing a 2015-16 budget and a GOP-dominated congressional delegation in a state that has more registered Democrats than Republicans are signs that redistricting reform is needed in Pennsylvania, a bi-partisan group of rank-and-file state lawmakers say.  Legislation is pending in the state House and Senate to propose a constitutional amendment to change the way that legislative and congressional district boundaries are drawn.  They are calling for a system that is built around a cornerstone that would have an independent citizens commission handle the task in an open and impartial fashion that would respect political subdivisions and make districts as equal in population as possible.  Currently, the state constitution grants redistricting authority to a Legislative Reapportionment Commission comprising the House and Senate majority and minority leaders and an appointed fifth member who is often a legal expert.

VIDEO: Legislative work group focuses on redistricting reform
The PLS Reporter Author: Alanna Koll/Wednesday, March 16, 2016 Runtime: 4:28
Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton) was joined by State Representatives and Senators from both sides of the aisle to announce agreement on redistricting reform principles. 

Blogger note: The Keystone State Education Coalition is an endorsing member of the Fair Districts PA Coalition
Fair Districts PA: Working to Ensure Fair Districts & Fair Elections for Every PA Voter
Fair Districts PA website
Fair Districts PA is a coalition of citizens and organizations who believe that in American democracy, elections should represent the will of all the people, not just the politicians, and should provide citizens with meaningful choices in electing representatives.  When partisan politicians manipulate voting maps to keep themselves and their parties in power, they shape election outcomes before the first vote is cast. When that happens, voters feel they have no voice, and legislators feel less need to listen to constituents.  We believe Pennsylvania needs to reform its redistricting rules and make the process of drawing districts impartial, transparent and accountable - promoting competitive elections and partisan fairness so our government truly is of, by and for the people.

Pa. school districts borrow and borrow as Wolf plans another budget veto
Trib Live BY ELIZABETH BEHRMAN  | Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 11:00 p.m.
Another doomed budget proposal in Harrisburg will likely push school districts deeper into financial trouble as they borrow millions of dollars to compensate for a ninth month without a state budget, school officials said.  “We're treading water at this point,” said Terry DeCarbo, superintendent of the Sto-Rox School District. “That's unfair because this is the only senior year our twelfth graders will have. This is the only kindergarten year our kindergarteners will have. It's unfair that their educational experience this year has been impacted by a political debate.”  Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday that he plans to veto a $6 billion spending bill crafted by Republican lawmakers, arguing that it does not provide enough funding for schools or address a looming $2 billion deficit.  DeCarbo said Sto-Rox has used about $2 million of a $7.3 million line of credit it was forced to take out months ago. Without a state budget, he expects the district next month will have to use another $1 million and incur $9,000 in fees.  His district is not alone. Many borrow to pay salaries and cover daily operating expenses.

“House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) said the governor should reconsider his options.  “I understand he may have more leverage if schools close down, but the fact of the matter is there’s no revenue to be had this year unless he has the votes for a retroactive personal income tax increase, and that’s not going to happen,” he said.  “Let’s close out this year, let’s keep schools open, and let’s get to the business immediately—the very next day—of negotiating 16-17 and get both of these budgets done ideally by Memorial Day.”  He said bringing up a veto override vote is a consideration for “immediately” after the governor’s veto.”
Gov. Wolf vows veto of latest GOP attempt to finish fiscal year’s budget
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday afternoon vowed to veto the latest attempt by the Republican-led legislature to bring about a conclusion to the FY 2015-2016 budget process after they sent a $6 billion-plus supplemental bill to his desk.  With the supplemental added in, the total budget for the fiscal year will ring in at $30.025 billion.  “The math in the latest version still does not work. Even using the Republicans’ questionable math and assumptions, the budget creates a $1.6 billion deficit that will prompt massive cuts to education, teacher layoffs, higher property taxes, and cuts to vital programs for seniors," he said.  "This budget not only does nothing to address Pennsylvania’s challenges, but by continuing to kick the can down the road, it further exacerbates our problems."  As part of the promised veto, Gov. Wolf also said he will reject appropriations to Pennsylvania’s state-related universities and other non-preferred appropriations.

Governor Wolf Issues a Statement on Vetoing the Republican Budget
Governor Wolf’s website March 16, 2016
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf released the following statement:
“Despite repeated efforts by my administration to work with Republican leaders to find compromise, including over the last couple days, Republican leaders are once again insistent on passing another irresponsible and unbalanced budget that does not fund our schools or fix the deficit.  “This is further indication that the Republican leaders have no intention of working together with me to produce a final budget. This is the third time they have attempted to pass an unbalanced budget with no consultation with the administration. This is simply unproductive and a waste of taxpayer resources.
“The math in the latest version still does not work. Even using the Republicans’ questionable math and assumptions, the budget creates a $1.6 billion deficit that will prompt massive cuts to education, teacher layoffs, higher property taxes, and cuts to vital programs for seniors. This budget not only does nothing to address Pennsylvania’s challenges, but by continuing to kick the can down the road, it further exacerbates our problems,
“In its current form, I will veto this budget, and I urge Republicans in the legislature to stop the partisan games and come back to the table to negotiate a final budget that funds our schools and eliminates the nearly $2 billion deficit. I look forward to working with both parties in the legislature to finally end this impasse, fix our schools, and eliminate the deficit.”

With growing Democratic support for Pa. budget closure bill, GOP leaders ponder veto override chances
Penn Live By Charles Thompson | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on March 16, 2016 at 10:11 PM, updated March 16, 2016 at 11:00 PM
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a series of Republican-authored budget bills with some bipartisan support Wednesday, setting the stage for a possible veto override battle with Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf next week.  Wolf said earlier in the day he is not satisfied with the latest budget proposal - a set of supplemental appropriations designed to finalize the 2015-16 budget at just over $30 billion - and that he expects to veto it.  Democratic leadership sources downplayed the prospect of a successful veto override. But Republicans, as of Wednesday night, appeared emboldened by their success in peeling away Democratic votes.  In a series of votes that included general fund appropriations and separate votes earmarking funds for Penn State, Pitt and Temple, anywhere from 13 to 28 House Democrats voted with the Republican majority.
A veto override - which would start in the House on this bill - needs 134 votes based on the House's current 200-member makeup (118 R, 82 D). That would require a minimum of 16 Democratic votes.  Penn Live Earlier Wednesday, the bill had passed the Senate, 31-18. with one Democratic vote.

Pa. Senate passes $30 billion budget bill; House action to follow this afternoon
Penn Live By Charles Thompson |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on March 16, 2016 at 2:54 PM, updated March 16, 2016 at 3:06 PM
The Pennsylvania Senate voted 31-18 Wednesday to pass a Republican-built, $30 billion budget bill that supporters hope provides a template to settle the nine-month stalemate over school funding and taxes.  That hope seemed to be flickering at best this afternoon, however, as Gov. Tom Wolf reacted to the Senate vote with an immediate veto threat.  The bill passed with yes votes from all 30 Republicans and one Democrat, Sen. Andy Dinniman of Chester County. It now moves to the state House, where it is expected to be considered later Wednesday.  The Senate debate was delayed for part of the day for a last-ditch effort by Democrats to engage GOP leaders in a new round of negotiations.

Pennsylvania House sends $30 billion budget bill to Gov. Wolf
Penn Live By Charles Thompson | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on March 16, 2016 at 7:13 PM, updated March 16, 2016 at 7:51 PM
The state House of Representatives has passed a $30 billion budget with a 128-63 vote, sending the next shot to get closure in Pennsylvania's unyielding budget impasse to Gov. Tom Wolf's desk.  The budget bill passed with 115 Republican and 13 Democratic votes.  Wolf has treatened to veto the plan, which he has said is not a serious effort to address the state's long-term fiscal problems.  But supporters have said this plan - which includes no tax increases - is the best way to solve pressing needs without hurting Pennsylvanians on Main Street, and then hitting a reset for discussions on longer-term needs with the 2016-17 budget.

Wolf vows to veto latest GOP budget bill
Inquirer by Angela Couloumbis, HARRISBURG BUREAU Updated: MARCH 16, 2016 3:06 PM
HARRISBURG - In yet another turn of what has become the political carousel that is the state budget, Gov. Wolf said Wednesday that he will veto the latest spending plan the Republican-controlled legislature is preparing to send his way.  "Republican leaders are once again insistent on passing another irresponsible and unbalanced budget that does not fund our schools or fix the deficit," the governor said in a statement. "This is further indication that the Republican leaders have no intention of working together with me to produce a final budget."  Both the House and the Senate are expected to approve a $30 billion spending plan Wednesday that would increase funding for public schools, but would not raise any new revenue through increases to the sales or income taxes.

'Is the sky falling? Somewhat': How school districts are getting by without a state budget
Penn Live By Julianne Mattera | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on March 16, 2016 at 11:50 AM, updated March 16, 2016 at 1:13 PM
As legislators consider the most recent round of legislation to belatedly divvy out education funding, some school districts are considering increasingly dire measures to stay afloat.
And school officials make one thing clear: Time is of the essence.  Today, the GOP-controlled Legislature is planning to send Gov. Tom Wolf legislation to increase funding for school districts across the state. So far, districts have received about a half a year's worth of funding.  In December, lawmakers sent Wolf a budget that would have provided for $5.6 billion for basic education, but Wolf, through line-item vetoes, reduced that to $2.5 billion to keep schools from closing and to use that as leverage to try to get the Legislature to put closer to $6 billion toward basic education.  While the back and forth continues in Harrisburg, school districts across the state are facing increasing pressure from the lack of funding.

Education Voters of PA’s Statement on HB 1801, the Supplemental Appropriation Bill
Posted on March 16, 2016 by EDVOPA
Susan Spicka, Director of Education Voters of PA, made the following statement about HB 1801,
“We are disappointed that Republican leadership is moving yet another irresponsible, unbalanced budget that contains wholly inadequate funding for schools. HB 1801 will not allow schools to begin to heal from the damage caused by years of underfunding and inequitable distribution of state dollars; instead this budget proposes once again to shift the cost of paying for schools onto local taxpayers and will result in the loss of more vital programs and services in our children’s schools.  “Because lawmakers chose not to reimburse school districts for the extraordinary interest payments and fees they have been incurring as a result of the budget impasse, more than 25% of the very modest $200 million increase in Basic Education Funding in this budget will be sent to banks instead of children’s classrooms.
“The budget significantly reduces grant funding for college students,  underfunds medical assistance and corrections costs by $110 million, and creates a structural deficit of $1.6 billion in the ’16-’17 budget.  “In addition, Republican leadership has also proposed a separate fiscal code bill that would add to the Commonwealth’s debt significantly by floating $2.5 billion in bond debt in order to have enough money to provide school districts with promised reimbursements for their construction projects.  “It is deeply troubling that so many lawmakers in Harrisburg continue to shirk their fundamental responsibility of ensuring that there is sufficient revenue in the budget to pay for the investments that we need them to make in the Commonwealth.
“It is deeply troubling that so many lawmakers in Harrisburg continue to defend Pennsylvania’s appalling state funding system for schools that that systematically underfunds and hurts vulnerable students and communities the most.

STATEMENT: PSBA calls upon governor and General Assembly to pass state budget – March 16, 2016
On behalf of the 4,500 elected officials who govern the commonwealth’s public school districts, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) is requesting the immediate action of the General Assembly to pass and the governor to sign into law House Bill 1801, which was recently amended to contain an education budget for fiscal year 2015-16.  “No longer can the state hold schools and students hostage to politics,” said PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains. “We need a state budget now before schools close.”  PSBA believes it is unfortunate that it took schools nearing the brink and PSBA suing the state several times before a possible resolution was presented.  To ensure that school districts are not forced into a similar financial crisis in future years, PSBA also calls on the legislature and the governor to:
  • Take swift action in implementing an equitable and predictable basic education funding formula as recommended by the Basic Education Funding Commission in 2015.
  • Approve an appropriation or pass the agreed-to borrowing legislation to fix the broken school construction reimbursement system.
  • Pass both short- and long-term pension reform that would provide cost control and saving measures for school employers.
  • Provide adequate funding moving forward through timely completion of the 2016-17 state budget by June 30, 2016.
  • Reimburse districts for any and all interest payments they have made, or will have to make, as a result of borrowing money due to the state’s lack of fiscal responsibility.

School boards group seeks release of state funds while Wolf calls latest GOP-led budget 'irresponsible'
Intelligencer By Gary Weckselblatt, staff writer Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:00 pm
With school districts in financial pain as Harrisburg sits on $3 billion targeted for basic education, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association is calling for the money to be released.  "No longer can the state hold schools and students hostage to politics," said PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains. "We need a state budget now before schools close."  On Wednesday, as the Republican-led House passed bills for an amended 2015-16 budget, Gov. Tom Wolf called the funding measure "irresponsible and unbalanced" and said he would veto it.

York City School Board approves recovery plan
York Daily Record by  Angie Masonamason@ydr.com9:57 p.m. EDT March 16, 2016
The York City School Board approved its revised recovery plan, which sets out goals and priorities for the district for the next several years.
The York City School Board approved its revised recovery plan, which sets out goals and priorities for the district for the next several years.  The board has seen the draft of the plan multiple times, and on Wednesday, chief recovery officer Carol Saylor presented it with some slight updates from the state department of education. The plan, required because the district was declared in financial recovery a few years ago, lays out a framework for improving district infrastructure and sets academic goals related to test scores and graduation rates.  The plan still projects future deficits, if there are no major funding changes, and it includes some savings to be pursued by improving the district's cyber academy and reviewing the special education and English language learner populations to ensure there was no improper overlap.

Nazareth teachers plan strike district calls illegal
Sarah M. Wojcik Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call March 16, 2016
Nazareth teachers intend to strike Friday
NAZARETH — Nazareth Area School District teachers, who got a show of support from dozens of parents and students this week, say they will go on strike Friday — a move that is coming on the day the school board plans to vote on a proposed contract born out of mediation.  Hours after the teachers' announcement Wednesday, the district, long quiet on its position on a bargaining impasse, issued a nine-page news release saying it is reviewing legal options for preventing a walkout they said is possibly illegal.  The district further blasted the teachers union for calling the walkout on the first day school directors could legally vote on the mediators' recommendations on salaries, health care and other provisions. The school board plans to vote at 9 a.m. Friday on a four-year deal.

Outsourcing opponents crowd Garnet Valley meeting
Delco Times By Susan L. Serbin, Times Correspondent POSTED: 03/15/16, 10:08 PM EDT
CONCORD >> An overflow crowd, mostly members of the Garnet Valley Education Support Professionals Association, filled the school board’s meeting room Tuesday night in a show of solidarity against outsourcing. T-shirts sported by many read “I am 1 of 144.”  In late September 2015, the Garnet Valley School District began discussing outsourcing certain services. The district’s support groups represent eight departments of 409 employees, but the investigation is focused on food services, custodians and transportation, numbering 144 individuals. The union’s current contract expires June 30.  The board and administration are still exploring options; they say no decisions have been made.  Christine Jaep spoke to the board about concerns she has as a taxpayer, parent, employee and the union president.  “Outsourcing, contracting out, subcontracting and privatization, on the surface, may have seemed like an answer to solving the pension crisis and other administration woes. The support professionals didn’t cause the (state pension) problem, nor are they the reason for administrative issues. These dedicated, loyal and long-time employees will be the ones to pay for others’ mistakes,” said Jaep.

Phila. schools launch effort to fill 800 teaching positions
Inquirer by Martha Woodall, Staff Writer Updated: MARCH 17, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
To try to make sure there's a teacher in every classroom in every Philadelphia public school in the fall, the School District has launched an ambitious new early-hiring strategy.  The goal is to ensure that principals have their teaching staffs chosen by June 30.  "We are looking to hire at least 800 teachers," Kendra Lee-Rosati, the district's acting chief talent officer, said Wednesday.
To fill the posts, the district wants to have 5,000 applications so that it can select from the best candidates.  "We want really good people to apply," said district spokesman Fernando Gallard.
"Great teachers and staff are critical to our focus on building a more equitable system of schools across our city," Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said in a statement. "We are committed to hiring educators and support staff who believe deeply in the potential of all students."

Court disagrees with arbitrator in test-cheating cases
The principals' union, which is appealing the decision, called the ruling "a gross overstep."
The notebook by David Limm March 16, 2016 — 3:11pm
A Philadelphia court has overruled decisions by arbitrators to reinstate two former principals who were implicated in the city’s standardized-test cheating scandal and fired for failing in their duties as school leaders.  The principals' union is appealing the judge's ruling, citing procedure and contract language in arguing that they should be reinstated.  Marla Travis-Curtis, former principal of Lamberton Elementary, and Michelle Burns, former principal of Tilden Middle School, were sanctioned by the School District in the multi-year investigation of widespread cheating that led to statistically improbable gains on PSSA exams at some schools. 

Early-Ed. Measures Percolate at State, Local Levels
Education Week By Christina A. Samuels Published Online: March 15, 2016
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has a sweet idea to boost early-childhood education in his cash-strapped city.  In his first budget address, the freshman mayor proposed a 3 cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks that he says would generate $400 million over the next five years, more than half of which would be allotted to universal prekindergarten in the city.  "There is simply nowhere else to find this revenue. We all know we can't raise property taxes again," said Kenney in his March 3 address.  Philadelphia's proposal to expand prekindergarten is just one of several ideas percolating among city and state leaders around the country during this legislative year. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 450 bills with some tie to early childhood are pending in 46 states.  At this early stage, it's unclear how many of those proposals will be enacted into law. But if local and state lawmakers follow the trend of previous years, many places will see increased early-childhood investment.

Five Things to Ponder for Negotiations Over ESSA's Testing Regulations
Education Week Politics K-12 Blog By Alyson Klein on March 16, 2016 7:39 AM
Soon, a team of education practitioners and advocates will spend at least a half-dozen eight-hour days at the U.S. Department of Education, hashing out the rules under the Every Student Succeeds Act for supplement-not-supplant (a spending issue that Andrew wrote about here) and assessment (aka testing and tests).    The process, which is known as "negotiated rulemaking," requires the department to sit down with folks in the education community and flesh out sometimes vague or unclear language in the law.  To be sure, assessment, and supplement-not-supplant are not the main events when it comes to ESSA regulation. In fact, if the new law is Thanksgiving dinner, these are the hot rolls and maybe the green bean casserole. Accountability, the turkey-and-stuffing of ESSA, will be dealt with through the regular rulemaking process.   So why is the department going through negotiated rulemaking on just these issues? Because it has to, under ESSA. The process is mandated in the law for supplement-not-supplant and assessment, but not for accountability. If the process of regulating on supplement-not-supplant and assessment fails, the department will use the normal regulatory process for those pieces of the law—it just has to try negotiated rulemaking first.  

Charter Schools Suspend Black and Disabled Students More, Study Says
New York Times By MOTOKO RICH MARCH 16, 2016
Black students are four times as likely to be suspended from charter schools as white students, according to a new analysis of federal education data. And students with disabilities, the study found, are suspended two to three times the rate of nondisabled students in charter schools.
These inequities are similar to those in traditional public schools, where black and disabled students are disproportionately disciplined for even minor infractions, and as early as preschool — although on average, charter schools suspend pupils at slightly higher rates than traditional public schools.  The analysis of charter school data from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights of close to 5,000 charters was done by the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the University of California, Los Angeles, a nonprofit civil rights research and policy organization.  Still, the report is likely to fuel an often fierce debate about disciplinary practices in charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run. Some charter networks have come under fire for “no excuses” behavioral codes, under which students can be suspended for offenses like clothing violations.

The ‘Walmartization’ of public education
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss March 17 at 4:00 AM  
The Walton Family Foundation — which says it has given some $1.3 billion in K-12 education across the country over the last two decades — announced early this year that it is committing $1 billion over the next five years to help expand charter and other school choice options across the country. What the effect of that financial support will be on public education is explored in this post, by Jeff Bryant, director of the Education Opportunity Network, a partnership effort of the Institute for America’s Future and the Opportunity to Learn Campaign. He has written extensively about public education policy. This appeared on AlterNet, and I am republishing it with permission.

Education researchers blast Common Core standards, urge ban on high-stakes tests
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss March 16 at 2:31 PM  
More than 100 education researchers in California have joined in a call for an end to high-stakes testing, saying that there is no “compelling” evidence to support the idea that the Common Core State Standards will improve the quality of education for children or close the achievement gap, and that Common Core assessments lack “validity, reliability and fairness.”  The California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education,  a statewide collaborative of university-based education researchers, recently released a research brief (see in full below below) describing concerns with the Common Core standards and the assessments being given to millions of students in California and other states around the country this spring.

What can happen when a neighborhood school is forced to share its space with a charter
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss March 17 at 5:00 AM  
One of the features of the charter school movement that may be unknown to many  is what is  called “co-location,” when a charter is permitted to open up in a traditional school building to share space with a functioning school. The schools are run independently but resourced differently. In this post, Carol Burris, a former New York high school principal who is now executive director of the nonprofit Network for Public Education, explains how co-locations work and problems they can create. She was named the 2010 Educator of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State, and in 2013, the same organization named her the New York State High School Principal of the Year.

Ravitch: Help Us Raise Money to Help Our Allies
Diane Ravitch’s Blog March 6, 2016
The Network for Public Education Action Fund exists to help friends of public schools compete for election to state and local school boards, as well as other elected offices.  We can't match the spending of our adversaries, but our numbers are far greater than theirs. If we get our friends and neighbors to vote, if we get every parent and teacher to vote, we would win every seat.
 We have the power to reclaim and rebuild our schools, making them palaces of learning rather than dreary places to take tests.

PSBA Advocacy Forum & Day on the Hill April 4th
APR 4, 2016 • 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Join PSBA and your fellow school directors for the third annual Advocacy Forum on April 4, 2016, at the State Capitol in Harrisburg. This year’s event will have a spotlight on public education highlighting school districts’ exemplary student programs. Hear from legislators on how advocacy makes a difference in the legislative process and the importance of public education advocacy. Government Affairs will take a deeper dive into the legislative priorities and will provide tips on how to be an effective public education advocate. There will be dedicated time for you and your fellow advocates to hit the halls to meet with your legislators on public education. This is your chance to share the importance of policy supporting public education and make your voice heard on the Hill. Online advanced registration will close on April 1, 4 p.m. On-site registrants are welcome.

Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) 2016 Education Congress April 6-7, 2016
professional development program for school administrators
Focus: "The Myths of Creativity: The Truth about How Innovative Companies Generate Great Ideas"  Featured Presenter: Dr. David Burkus
April 6-7, 2016 Radisson Hotel Harrisburg in Camp Hill
The program will focus on how school leaders can develop and utilize creativity in education management, operations, curriculum and leadership goals. The second day will allow participants to select from multiple discussion/work sessions focusing on concepts presented by Dr. Burkus and facilitated by school leaders who have demonstrated success in creative thinking and leadership in schools across the commonwealth.
Deadline for hotel accommodations: March 15
See the PASA website for more information at:

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:

Briefing: Public Education Funding in Pennsylvania
Join attorneys Michael Churchill, Jennifer Clarke and Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg for a briefing on:
  • the current budget impasse
  • the basics of education funding
  • the school funding lawsuit
  • the 2016-2017 proposed budget
 1.5 CLE credits available to PA licensed attorneys.  Light breakfast provided.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM (EDT)
WHERE: United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey - 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway 1st Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103

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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