Thursday, March 31, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup March 31: “If the governor and General Assembly think schools can weather another eight-month budget impasse, they are sorely mistaken.”

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3900 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 March 31, 2016:
“If the governor and General Assembly think schools can weather another eight-month budget impasse, they are sorely mistaken.”

PSBA Advocacy Forum & Day on the Hill
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. 

Campaign for Fair Education Funding - Rally for Public Education
Save the date: May 2nd at the Capitol

Thanks to all the school board members, superintendents and administrators who attended last evening’s PSBA Region 15 meeting held jointly in Delaware and Chester Counties and heard updates on the budget, the Campaign for Fair Education Funding and advocacy efforts.

“If the governor and General Assembly think schools can weather another eight-month budget impasse, they are sorely mistaken.”
Pa's school funding crisis had no winners, but a few heroes: Nathan Mains
PennLive Op-Ed  By Nathan Mains on March 30, 2016 at 11:00 AM
Nathan Mains is the executive director of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. 
There was a collective sigh of relief and some celebration last week when Gov. Tom Wolf let what's left of the 2015-16 state budget lapse into law without his signature.  The impending crisis for schools and other social service agencies has passed for the moment, but there is no time for prolonged jubilation as we are less than 100 days away from the June 30 deadline for the 2016-17 state budget, and there couldn't be more to do.  Schools will be entering the 2016 academic year in a wounded state after months of funding delays requiring them to borrow money, delay payments and purchases, and cut programs. 

“Start with this: Even under the pressure of an election year, put the unaccomplished items back on the table for the 2016-17 budget. Pension reform. Privatization of the state liquor monopoly. Move ahead with constitutional efforts to downsize the state legislature and enact a fairer system of redistricting.  Legislators should take a tip from the credit rating services, Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investor Services, which recently said Pennsylvania is joining New Jersey in a descent toward junk-bond status. S&P observed that Pennsylvania lacks the political courage to correct its snowballing budget deficits.  Something has to be done. A repeat of the brinkmanship of the last nine months — essentially buying time while the ship of state keeps taking on water — is unacceptable.
Pa. budget just a temporary relief valve | Editorial
Lehigh Valley Live By Express-Times opinion staff on March 31, 2016 at 6:00 AM, updated March 31, 2016 at 6:08 AM
After enduring 38 weeks without a state budget, Pennsylvania is now one week into a "new" budget year. Did we learn anything from that standoff?  Only this: The partisan divide in state government looks like it's going to dictate the budget course for at least a few more years. And that's a political belly-flop  on several levels. The best we can expect is a series of budgets put together with continuing gimmicks and one-shot revenues, pushing off a recurring structural deficit projected at $2 billion for the budget year that begins in three months.  If you thought last year was complicated, the budget stakes are now higher for the same cast of characters with the same agendas.

Letter to the Editor: Courts must enforce state constitution on education
Delco Times Letter by Cécile Lefebvre-Burgert, Haverford POSTED: 03/29/16, 9:49 PM EDT | UPDATED: 1 DAY AGO
To the Times: Finally a new state budget is passed but with continued unequal funding and underfunding for our public schools.  It is time to support the school funding lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania for failing to provide a “thorough and efficient system of public education” as mandated by section 14 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Here in Pennsylvania, we have an unfair school funding formula resulting in fewer resources in low wealth and minority rural and urban school districts.  It is clear that our elected officials are not making the necessary efforts to correct the problems and ensure equal chances for all our children regardless of income or race. It is time for the courts to intervene and ensure fair funding for public schools and equal opportunities for all children.

The budget impasse is over, but schools are still in the dark over funds
Lancaster Online by KARA NEWHOUSE | Staff Writer March 30, 2016
School leaders in Pennsylvania waited almost nine months for a state budget.
Now a $30 billion spending plan is in place, but they are still waiting.
"It's a step forward but I wouldn't call it a full step," said Bob Hollister, superintendent at Eastern Lancaster County School District, which serves about 3,300 students.  "Until we know what kind of money we're talking about, everything's the same."  Gov. Tom Wolf allowed a budget to pass this week without his signature. It delivers a $200 million boost to public school aid, half of what Wolf originally sought, according to The Associated Press.  But the governor vetoed accompanying legislation — the fiscal code — that indicates how portions of the budget will be distributed, including among K-12 schools.  That veto keeps schools in a waiting game for this year's funds even as they plan next year's budgets.

School officials: Budget passage sigh of relief, and warning of possible repeat next time
Johnstown Tribune Democrat By David Hurst March 30, 2016
Last week’s passage of the belated 2015-16 budget will be directing dollars to local public schools in the coming weeks.  Or, for many of the area’s school administrators, just in time.  “It’s a huge weight off our shoulders,” Greater Johnstown schools Assistant Superintendent Amy Arcurio said, noting that school officials already borrowed $3 million to get the district through the year.  “After Governor Wolf announced he wasn’t going to veto that budget, it was honestly the best night sleep I’ve had since January,” said Portage Area Superintendent Eric Zelanko said. “It saved us from having to make some very difficult decisions.”  But Zelanko and fellow school leaders across the state are hardly celebrating the fact a historic nine-month budget impasse has come to an end.  The 2015-16 budget’s passage, which frees up $3 billion in basic education funding, comes as local public schools are already preparing budgets for the 2016-17 school year – one superintendents predict could be a repeat of this year, given that little progress was made on a host of issues that deadlocked Wolf and state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for nine months.

Financial uncertainty still lingers for area school districts
Bradford Era By ALEX DAVIS Era Reporter Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 10:00 am
Local school officials are suffering from yet another financial headache caused by the state — and this time it deals with getting reimbursed for school construction and renovation projects.  Gov. Tom Wolf recently vetoed the state's fiscal code that serves as a guide for spending state funds, which Senate Republicans say eliminates $289 million that would have been earmarked for reimbursements for school construction and renovation projects. What’s more, Wolf’s move puts a hold on $150 million in additional school funding, Republican lawmakers say.  “The conversation needs to be about funds that directly benefit our students,” Otto-Eldred School District Superintendent Matt Splain told The Era on Tuesday. “Otto-Eldred is already owed well over a half-million dollars in PlanCon (Planning and Construction Workbook) reimbursement. We have facility repairs that need to be made.”

School districts brace for next round of budget fights
Hazelton Standard Speaker by MARIA JACKETTI Published: March 30, 2016
Cuts in personnel, athletic programs and tax increases — possibly large ones — loom for area school districts as July 1, the due date for the upconing state budget, gets closer.  On Monday, Hazleton Area School District superintendent Craig Butler said that it would constitute “erroneous thinking” not to plan ahead for additional potential fiscal struggles.  “We need to make cuts,” he said, “and put money away and into our reserve.”  To do this, Butler said that staff reductions are inevitable.  He said the district cannot consider a budget which would stay the course of current spending.  Hazleton Area School District Director Tony Bonomo agrees.  “There are going to be cuts in personnel,” Bonomo said. “There is no doubt about it.”

Board OKs cutting 43 teachers in Pennsylvania district
Inquirer by The Associated Press Updated: MARCH 30, 2016 — 8:43 AM EDT
PENN HILLS, Pa. (AP) - The board of a cash-strapped western Pennsylvania school district has approved furloughing 43 teachers - including 23 special education instructors - at the end of this school year.  The Penn Hills School Board voted 7-2 to cut the teacher positions Tuesday night. The teachers' union says that violates an agreement to not cut any teaching jobs until the current teachers' contract expires in 2018.  The district has nearly $30 million in various kinds of debt. It borrowed $18 million in October to cover continued operating expenses and finished last school year with a nearly $11 million deficit.  The district is blaming falling enrollment and increasing payments to charter schools in the district just east of Pittsburgh.

Once again, the budget's main driver is the $10 million combined increase in state-mandated employee pension contributions and tuition payments to charter schools. They account for 21 percent of district spending.  Charter schools are privately operated public schools that are funded by tax dollars funneled from a student's home district. Bethlehem projects spending almost $26 million to educate 2,068 students in charter and cyber schools.  It would cost the district about $7 million to educate all of those students if they returned. There would be no budget deficit, Roy said.  "I think it is important for the public to know there is a cost for school choice," Roy said, adding there are some legislative fixes that politicians refuse to address.
No good scenarios, with $11.6M hole in Bethlehem school budget
Bethlehem taxpayers will be seeing another school tax hike.The question is just how much.
Lehigh Valley Live By Sara K. Satullo | For Email the author | Follow on Twitter on March 30, 2016 at 9:11 PM, updated March 31, 2016 at 1:11 AM
The Bethlehem Area School District is weighing a 4.6 percent tax hike, increasing class sizes and cutting jobs through attrition to close its $11.6 million budget hole.  Wednesday night the administration updated the school board on its efforts to reduce the $15.2 million deficit the district began the 2016-17 budget process with in January.  It looks as if the school board is again pushing for a mix of spending cuts, raising taxes and using district savings to balance the $263 million budget by June 30.  "None of the scenarios are good," school board President Mike Faccinetto said. "Certainly we don't want to tax to the max if we don't have to."  Faccinetto knows another tax hike won't sit well with the community but with such political gridlock in Harrisburg it seems inevitable, he said. The district's current budget raised taxes by 2.9 percent.
"Is this really the best we can do in Pennsylvania?," Superintendent Joseph Roy asked. "We can't pass a budget and we can't support public education appropriately. It's embarrassing."

The Sound of Silence: Where was our voice in Pennsylvania’s Budget Battle?
Blog Post Posted on March 31, 2016 by thesecondhalf61 Charlene M. Brennan, D.Ed., Opinions are my own
“Thinking he had a voters’ mandate when he was elected, Wolf played a strong hand out of the box, expecting that the Republicans would cave after a while when residents and the educational community would put pressure on them to pass a budget with significant funding increases for education. The pressure never came, at least not to the degree to sway the GOP leadership. They calculated — correctly — that residents had no stomach for major tax increases.” (Emphasis mine) From: PA Budget Battle: Gov. Wolf blinked; Editorial by Bruce Fassinelli, Times News, (, March 30, 2016   The pressure never came. So true.  I heard from several legislators that their phone seldom if ever rang about the battle for a state budget.  Although I don’t know the Governor, reliable sources told me he was surprised about the silence from Pennsylvania’s citizens. The silence was deafening.

Plancon: Schools looking at Pennsylvania IOU on construction costs
WHYY Newsworks BY MARY WILSON MARCH 31, 2016
Pennsylvania's budget gridlock is over, but school districts are focusing on another piece of unwelcome news: After years of delayed reimbursements for state-approved construction and building maintenance, they'll go without any state funding for such projects.  About $306 million in construction reimbursements was nixed when Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a budget-related piece of legislation known as the fiscal code last week.  Schools desperate for their state aid were the single largest source of pressure on lawmakers and Wolf to end the nearly nine-month budget impasse. Will the holdup of state money for construction costs prompt a similar outcry?

OPED: Wolf's 2016-17 budget plan would close 160 charter schools
York Dispatch Opinion by TIM ELLER, Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools10:47 a.m. EDT March 30, 2016
Supporters of public school choice next year will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pennsylvania’s Charter School Law. Since 1997, the number of brick-and-mortar charter schools has grown to 160 and enroll nearly 100,000 students, with tens of thousands more on waiting lists.  At a time when the charter school sector should be gearing up to celebrate this significant milestone, instead, it is preparing to battle anti-school choice advocates’ efforts to close down charter schools and force students back into the very schools they fled that failed them year after year.  Governor Wolf in February proposed a 2016-17 spending plan that calls for cutting nearly $500 million in funding to charter schools, which would result in the shutting down of virtually every charter school across the state.

Blogger note: Mr. Eller’s hyperbole above notwithstanding, here’s a 2014 piece by Dan Hardy detailing how the state’s charters are overpaid for special ed services….
“Last year, the state association of school business officials said state data showed that Pennsylvania charters received close to $200 million for special education students that was not spent on services for them. Charter proponents hotly disputed that analysis while arguing that many charters are reliant on excess special ed dollars to stay afloat.”
Reprise 2014: State's special education funding rules are slow to change
The notebook by Dan Hardy October 20, 2014 — 12:36pm
Pennsylvania’s special education funding system is complicated and in flux. But it has generally discouraged districts from identifying too many special education students while rewarding charters that do so.  Until this year, state special education funding for school districts assumed that 16 percent of their students had special needs, allocating money based on that percentage of total enrollment.  A legislative special education funding commission late last year recommended that districts get funding based on the actual numbers, with three tiers of payments based on the severity of a student’s disability. That concept was applied only to the small amount of new special education funding in the 2014-15 state budget.  Charters, however, continue to receive the same amount for each special education student – the District’s average per-student cost – regardless of the actual cost to the charter of services. And they are not required to spend the special education funds on those students.

Amended recovery plan shifts focus to York City district structure
York Dispatch by  Sean Philip Cotter, 505-5437/@SPCotterYD4:13 p.m. EDT March 30, 2016
Carol Saylor's recovery plan for the York City School District focuses on working within the current system — reform instead of the revolution the previous plan sought.  Saylor, the district's chief recovery officer, authored a revised plan, which the district's school board passed earlier this month. The district administration, school board and union broadly support her approach over that of her predecessor, David Meckley.  Formerly a superintendent in Adams and Lancaster counties, Saylor was appointed to her current position in April 2015 by then newly elected Gov. Tom Wolf, a York County Democrat. Meckley, the previous chief recovery officer, resigned the month before that; appointed by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, the local businessman had set the district on a path toward full conversion to charter schools, which drew strong community opposition.

Northwestern Lehigh School Board to vote on fact finder's report in teacher negotiations
Sarah M. Wojcik Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call mARCH 30, 2016
Northwestern Lehigh School Board to vote on fact finder's report in teacher negotiations
LYNN TOWNSHIP — The Northwestern Lehigh School District will vote next week on a fact finder's report that the district and teachers union hope will carve out common ground on unresolved issues for a contract that's 10 months overdue.  District teachers have been working without a contract since July 1. Both sides have been meeting at the bargaining table since January 2015. According to the district, the average salary in the district for the 2014-15 school year was $60,637.  On Feb. 17, the district and the Northwestern Lehigh Education Association mutually agreed to enter the fact-finding process, according to the district. That report was delivered to the district around midnight Monday, but won't be made public until it's voted upon.  A fact finder is an independent, state-appointed investigator brought into the bargaining process to sift through the specifics from both sides and come up with a way to resolve the remaining sticking points.

“Thanks to the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision Citizens United, campaign cash has flowed into national politics at unprecedented levels.  The decision gave birth to, among other things, so-called "dark money," where the identity of donors are shielded from public view.  At the state level, Pennsylvania is one of 11 states that allows for limitless contributions to political candidates. The only prohibition is on direct corporate contributions to candidates.  Apart from that, it's a free-for-all.  And incumbents who benefit from this atmosphere, and from a redistricting system that only shores up their re-election chances, have shown little inclination to upset their very lucrative apple cart.  Proposals that would reform Pennsylvania's campaign finance laws come and go with each legislative session.
Most never escape from committee for a vote on the floor of the state House and Senate.”
A prescription to crash the millionaires' party in Pa. politics: Editorial
By PennLive Editorial Board  on March 30, 2016 at 4:15 PM, updated March 30, 2016 at 9:36 PM
In 2007, Philadelphia-area philanthropist Ronald Krancer  donated $600,000 to support his son, Michael Krancer's, Republican bid for a seat on the state Supreme Court.  In 2014, Louis Appell Jr., of York, a former head of Pfaltzgraff Co., contributed $725,000 to now-Gov. Tom Wolf and now-Lt. Gov. Mike Stack's successful effort to capture the state's top spot.  In 2010, charter school magnate Vaughan Guereghian dumped $325,714 into Republican Tom Corbett's ultimately successful campaign for the Governor's Office.  And in 2006, Christine Toretti, an Indiana County resident, head of S.W. Jack Drilling Co., and a longtime Republican activist, contributed $114,089 to former Pittsburgh Steelers great Lynn Swann's Republican campaign for governor.   What do they all have in common?  They are among the 13 men and women who have donated $1 million or more to political campaigns across Pennsylvania over the last 16 years.

Support an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission
Join Us in Ensuring Fair Districts & Fair Elections for Every PA Voter
Fair Districts PA website
When we vote, we want our elections to be fair. We want our votes to count and we want our voices to be heard.  Partisan redistricting allows politicians to choose voters instead of allowing voters to choose politicians. The process happens behind closed doors, with no transparency and no accountability to voters.  Fortunately, a bipartisan group of legislators from both the Pennsylvania Senate and House wants to change that and put real power back into the hands of voters.  Companion bills SB 484 and HB 1835 would create an impartial, independent citizens redistricting commission with rules ensuring fairness and transparency.
Join Fair Districts PA in asking our legislators to pass these constitutional amendments to restore accountable government that is of, by and for the people.
For more information, visit

Who Gave Millions?
Penn Live by Candy Woodall March 30, 2015
Individual donors have poured nearly $515 million into Pennsylvania political campaigns over the past 16 years.

State Sen. Scott Wagner: 'We’re purging Senate members out'
York Daily Record by  Ed Mahon, emahon@ydr.com8:38 p.m. EDT March 30, 2016
State Sen. Scott Wagner said lawmakers don’t follow directions from legislative leaders as much as they used to.  “There was a time when leadership in the House and Senate told their members what to do,” Wagner told a crowd at The Yorktowne Hotel on Wednesday. “They went down the hall, they cut a deal with the governor or whatever … and they came back and told their members: You vote for this.”  Wagner, of Spring Garden Township, said most members listened. But now, he said, that day is gone.  “It’s truly over. And I can tell you, we’re purging Senate members out, and there’s a large purge out in the House,” Wagner said. “...There is a movement taking place.”

“The stakes are high this year: Results from the 2015 PSSAs were not included in schools’ 2014-15 School Performance Profile score, the state’s measure of academic performance and growth, because it was the first year the test had been aligned with the more rigorous Pennsylvania Core Standards. This year, the results will be included. To see your school’s SPP score, click here.”
If it’s spring, it must be standardized test time by Erica Erwin     March 30, 2016 8:00 am
Birds chirping.  Motorcycles roaring.  Pencil sharpeners whirring, prepping a batch of No. 2s to tackle the next stack of standardized tests.  Such are the sounds of spring.
The Erie School District will administer the 2016 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA, in reading and math to students in grades three through eight, and in science to students in grades four and eight, in April. Also coming up: Keystone exams to students taking Algebra I, Literature and Biology.  The district recently sent home letters to parents informing them of the tests and some basic rules (no cell phones allowed, please), along with a testing schedule.  “Please encourage your child to try their very best on these tests and be sure they come to school well-rested and ready to demonstrate all that they have learned this year,” Erie schools Superintendent Jay Badams wrote.

Philly releases charter school profiles
Inquirer by Martha Woodall, Staff Writer Updated: MARCH 31, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
For the first time, the Philadelphia School District has created profiles that provide key information for every charter school in the city.  The one-page descriptions - posted on the district's website - provide application deadlines, grades taught, school hours, and information about enrollment, racial demographics, attendance, academic offerings, and extracurriculars.  The summaries also show the college-bound rates for high school charters and break down the percentages of grads who enroll in two- and four-year colleges and whether they are public or private institutions.  The pages for each of the 83 charters also tell when the school opened and when its operating charter is up for renewal.  "The idea is for parents to have charter information in one simple format," Fernando Gallard, district spokesman, said Wednesday.  He said similar information had been available for district schools.  The link for the profiles can be found on the left at

West Chester approves full-day kindergarten to start in 2017-18
Daily Local By Candice Monhollan, cmonhollan@, @CMonhollanDLN on Twitter POSTED: 03/30/16, 3:33 PM EDT | UPDATED: 10 HRS AGO
WEST GOSHEN >> Superintendent Jim Scanlon said voting to implement full-day kindergarten in the West Chester Area School District was the most important decision in his seven years.  After Tuesday night’s school board meeting approved the implementation to begin in 2017-18 with an 8-1 vote, Scanlon, the board and the district will now leave a lasting legacy in the community.  “This is my ninth year on the board … and even over all those times, I don’t think anything came before the board that is more important and more critical to the future of the children and this community than this right here,” said Ricky Swalm, president of the board. “This is powerful. (This) sets this community and district apart from others.”  As has been mentioned during informational meetings with parents and community members, full-day kindergarten has been in discussion in the district for at least 20 years.

Education in Crisis and the Threat of Privatization
Huffington Post by Diane Ravitch Research Professor of Education, New York University; Author, ‘Reign of Error’ 03/29/2016 12:59 pm ET | Updated 1 day ago
It has become conventional wisdom that “education is in crisis.” I have been asked about this question by many interviewers. They say something like: “Do you think American education is in crisis? What is the cause of the crisis?” And I answer, “Yes, there is a crisis, but it is not the one you have read about. The crisis in education today is an existential threat to the survival of public education. The threat comes from those who unfairly blame the school for social conditions, and then create a false narrative of failure. The real threat is privatization and the loss of a fundamental democratic institution.”  As we have seen again and again, the corporate education industry is eager to break into U.S. public education and turn it into a free marketplace, where they can monetize the schools and be assured of government subsidization. On the whole, these privatized institutions do not produce higher test scores than regular public schools, except for those that cherry-pick their students and exclude the neediest and lowest performing students. The promotion of privatization by philanthropies, by the U.S. Department of Education, by right-wing governors (and a few Democratic governors like Cuomo of New York and Malloy of Connecticut), by the hedge fund industry, and by a burgeoning education equities industry poses a danger to our democracy. In some communities, public schools verge on bankruptcy as charters drain their resources and their best students. Nationwide, charter schools have paved the way for vouchers by making “school choice” non-controversial.

“Several large, diverse states still maintain state school finance systems in which the highest need districts receive substantially less state and local revenue per pupil than the lowest need districts. These states include Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, among others.”
Is School Funding Fair?   America’s Most Fiscally Disadvantaged School Districts  - March 2016
By: Bruce Baker, Theresa Luhm, Danielle Farrie and David G. Sciarra; Education Law Center and Rutgers University
This report identifies the most fiscally disadvantaged school districts in the country — those with higher than average student needs in their labor‐market location and lower than average resources when state and local revenues are combined.  This report is a companion to Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card (NRC), in which we evaluate and compare the extent to which state finance systems ensure equality of educational opportunity for all children, regardless of background, family income, place of residence, or school location. The NRC shows that both the overall level of state funding and the extent to which states provide additional resources to districts with higher concentrations of children in poverty vary widely.  

ESSA May Offer Megaphone for Parent, Community Voices
Advocates See Chance for Greater Impact Under New K-12 Law
Education Week By Andrew Ujifusa & Sarah Tully Published Online: March 22, 2016
Advocates for parent and community engagement see the newly revised federal K-12 law as an opportunity to expand their impact on states' academic goals, plans for school improvement, and other areas of policy.  Requirements in federal education law for parental involvement in public schools are nothing new. But because the new Every Student Succeeds Act shifts significant responsibility over accountability and other matters to states and districts, there's renewed hope that parent, community, civil rights, and other groups will have more sway over what has been, in many cases, a narrower decisionmaking process.  There are some caveats, however.  Since ESSA deals only with authorizations for programs, federal funding for some of these engagement efforts is not guaranteed. And various groups say that it's up to all sides—including policymakers, advocates, and community members—to become more active so that the promise ESSA holds for them is fulfilled.

Electing PSBA Officers – Applications Due by April 30th
All persons seeking nomination for elected positions of the Association shall send applications to the attention of the chair of the Leadership Development Committee during the month of April, an Application for Nomination to be provided by the Association expressing interest in the office sought. “The Application for nomination shall be marked received at PSBA Headquarters or mailed first class and postmarked by April 30 to be considered and timely filed. If said date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, then the Application for Nomination shall be considered timely filed if marked received at PSBA headquarters or mailed and postmarked on the next business day.” (PSBA Bylaws, Article IV, Section 5.E.).
Open positions are:
In addition to the application form, PSBA Governing Board Policy 302 asks that all candidates furnish with their application a recent, print quality photograph and letters of application. The application form specifies no less than two and no more than four letters of recommendation, some or all of which preferably should be from school districts in different PSBA regions as well as from community groups and other sources that can provide a description of the candidate’s involvement with and effectiveness in leadership positions. PSBA Governing Board Policy 108 also outlines the campaign procedures of candidates.
All terms of office commence January 1 following election.

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.

Join the Pennsylvania Principals Association at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, at The Capitol in Harrisburg, PA, for its second annual Principals' Lobby Day.
Pennsylvania Principals Association Monday, March 21, 2016 9:31 AM
 To register, contact Dr. Joseph Clapper at by Tuesday, June 14, 2016. If you need assistance, we will provide information about how to contact your legislators to schedule meetings.
Click here for the informational flyer, which includes important issues to discuss with your legislators.

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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