Tuesday, April 26, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup April 26: 25+ Districts Pass Resolutions Supporting PA School Funding Lawsuit

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 April 26, 2016:
25+ Districts Pass Resolutions Supporting PA School Funding Lawsuit

Get out and vote today! Polls are open until 8:00 pm



Rally in Harrisburg with the Campaign for Fair Education Funding on May 2nd 12:30 Main Rotunda!  We're rallying for a permanent fair funding formula + increases to basic education in 2016-17 budget
Public schools in Pennsylvania are a far cry from the “thorough and efficient” system of education promised guaranteed under our state constitution. That’s why we want YOU to join Education Law Center and members of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding in Harrisburg on May 2nd! Buses of supporters are leaving from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia - please register below so we can help you arrive on time for the 12:30 press conference in the Main Rotunda! Questions? Email smalloy@elc-pa.org for more details.



25+ Districts Pass Resolutions Supporting PA School Funding Lawsuit
Thorough and Efficient Blog APRIL 25, 2016 by BARB GRIMALDI
Our partners at Education Voters of PA have been helping school districts and organizations pass resolutions in support of the school funding lawsuit. Here is the list of districts and organizations that have passed such resolutions to date.  If your district or organization is interested in passing a resolution, our partners at Education Voters of PA have put together a sample resolution and an FAQ about passing such a resolution. 
For additional resources, check out Tools for Advocates.
Read why these groups are supporting the suit:

School funding: how much does money matter?
WHYY Radio Times with Marty Moss Coane April 25, 2016 Audio Runtime 48:57
Guests: Kevin McCorry, Bruce Baker, Cory Turner
Two elementary schools only a few miles apart might spend wildly different amounts of money on their students. Since school funding depends on the revenue generated from local property taxes, impoverished communities often have the most poorly funded public schools. Pennsylvania has the greatest disparities in funding among the states — the poorest districts receive 33% less money then the richest.  But how much does money matter in education?  Do more dollars automatically mean better schools and better educated students? And how can we make the system of school funding more equitable across the nation?  This hour, Marty talks with three guests about disparities in school funding. BRUCE BAKER is a professor at Rutgers who specializes in school funding, KEVIN MCCORRY is WHYY’s senior education writer, and CORY TURNER, an NPR education correspondent and the co-editor of the new NPR series,

“So, quick recap: While the money in Camden, N.J., has led to relatively little academic progress, our stories from North Carolina, Indiana and Massachusetts offer a compelling counterpoint to the idea that money doesn't really matter.  So, too, do a pair of recent studies that look not at one state but at many where parents, activists and school leaders from low-income districts sued and won increases in school funding.”
Can More Money Fix America's Schools?
NPR by CORY TURNER,  KEVIN MCCORRY, LISA WORF, SARAH GONZALEZ, KIRK CARAPEZZA, CLAIRE MCINERNY April 25, 20166:00 AM ET
This winter, Jameria Miller would often run to her high school Spanish class, though not to get a good seat.  She wanted a good blanket.  "The cold is definitely a distraction," Jameria says of her classroom's uninsulated, metal walls.  Her teacher provided the blankets. First come, first served. Such is life in the William Penn School District in an inner-ring suburb of Philadelphia.  The hardest part for Jameria, though, isn't the cold. It's knowing that other schools aren't like this.  They're always going to be a step ahead of us. They'll have more money than us, and they'll get better jobs than us, always.  Before her family moved closer to the city, where they could afford more living space, she attended the more affluent Upper Moreland district, which is predominantly white and, according to state and local records, spends about $1,200 more per student than William Penn.  That difference adds up, Jameria says, to better buildings, smaller class sizes, take-home textbooks and less teacher turnover.  "It's never going to be fair," she says, comparing her life now to her former classmates. "They're always going to be a step ahead of us. They'll have more money than us, and they'll get better jobs than us, always."  So Jameria's parents have signed onto a lawsuit, arguing that Pennsylvania's school funding system is unfair and inadequate. To the Millers, money matters.  But not everyone agrees.

Will lawmakers stick with new education funding formula next year?
Abc27 By Kendra Nichols Published: April 25, 2016, 5:52 pm
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – After a 10-month state budget stalemate, school districts across the state will start to receive millions of dollars in additional state funding. Governor Tom Wolf allowed the bill to go into effect without his signature.  “Certainly, schools are relieved that the money is going to flow now,” said Jim Buckheit, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.  There are only a few months left in the fiscal year and talks about next year’s budget are just around the corner.  “One of the problems that Pennsylvania has had is that every year they keep changing how they give out money to schools, so there is no predictability,” Buckheit said.  Buckheit hopes lawmakers will stick with the new Basic Education Funding Appropriation which was approved in June.

 “He remembers legislators working together to advance legislation — fighting it out on the House floor but meeting for drinks and dinner later.  Apparently, that is no longer the case.  “I talked to a Republican legislator who told me, ‘You know, Brian, if I was seen talking with you, I would get called into the speaker's office,' ” Clark said. “I said, ‘Is it really that bad?' He said, ‘It is that bad.' ”
Money, partisanship in Harrisburg cited as deterrents to running for Pa. Legislature
Trib Live BY BRIAN C. RITTMEYER AND TOM YERACE | Saturday, April 23, 2016, 11:00 p.m.
Outside of the red-hot presidential primary, voters in the Alle-Kiski Valley are in for a boring primary.  The ballot features few contested primary races for state office. The only state level contested race is for attorney general.  “Running unopposed was unheard of when I was actively involved,” said John Regoli, Sr., a West­more­land County commissioner from 1976 to 1986 and a state senator from 1986 to 1990. “Everybody had opposition in every primary then. The Democrats fought it out tooth and nail.”  Running for office requires raising significant amounts of money, and campaigns are brutal, having become more personal than ideological, according to G. Terry Madonna, a pollster and political scientist at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.  “It's asking a lot for people to venture out into all of this,” he said.  This year, 18 state lawmakers of both parties in the House and Senate announced they are not seeking re-election.

“Shapiro received a $100,000 donation from Students First PA, a political action committee that advocates for school vouchers and charter schools, efforts adamantly opposed by the union representing public school teachers in the city.”
Did campaign donation cost Shapiro the PFT's backing?
by Chris Brennan, Staff Writer Updated: APRIL 26, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
Call it an un-endorsement by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
The union on April 15 endorsed Montgomery County Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro in Tuesday's Democratic primary election for attorney general.  On Monday, PFT spokesman George Jackson said the union is not endorsing any candidate in that election and declined to comment on or even acknowledge the endorsement of Shapiro 10 days ago.  What happened?  While the PFT won't say, Shapiro's foes cite a campaign donation as the source of the controversy.

In Democratic AG race, questions arise about education-sector support
By Chris Potter / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette April 25, 2016 2:24 PM
Just days before a hotly contested primary fight between Democratic attorney general candidates, Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro appears to have lost the support of Philadelphia's teacher union. And while some of the circumstances are murky, the campaign of his chief rival, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, is trumpeting the news.  In a weekend statement, the Zappala campaign asserted that Mr. Shapiro had lost the backing of Philadelphia's chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, because he'd accepted a $100,000 campaign contribution from the Students First PAC. That PAC, largely bankrolled by a handful of eastern Pennsylvania financiers, espouses charter schools.  The Zappala campaign said "American Federation of Teachers leaders in Pennsylvania were not amused" by the contribution. While the AFT's statewide organization previously made no endorsement in the AG's race, the statement noted, the Philadelphia chapter had given its backing to Shapiro -- support "which they have now rescinded."

"As we enter 2016-2017, I look forward to coming together to reach a long-term solution to fix our deficit and to fund education at all levels," Wolf said in a statement. "I remain adamant that we must take additional steps to restore the cuts from the previous administration."  A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, said Senate Republicans were pleased with Wolf's move.  "We are pleased schools will receive their $200 million increase in funding under a bipartisan formula while at the same time fulfilling our commitments to funding school construction and renovation," spokesman Jennifer Kocher said..
Wolf lets last budget bill become law without his signature
Education Week by Associated Press Published Online: April 25, 2016
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Legislation directing the distribution of $200 million to Pennsylvania's public school districts and authorizing up to $2.5 billion in borrowing for the state share of school construction costs will take effect Monday, the governor's office said.  Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said Friday in a brief statement that he would allow the bill to become law without his signature, after a fight with the Republican-controlled Legislature over which school districts should benefit most from the money. It is the same approach he took last month after a long fight with the Republican-controlled Legislature toward a $6.6 billion spending package, part of an overall $30 billion budget that he viewed as inadequate to fairly fund schools and wipe out a long-term deficit.
The law takes effect barely two months before the 2016-17 fiscal year begins July 1.

“Sen. Joe Scarnati, R-Brockway, was the guest speaker at Friday’s Greater DuBois Chamber of Commerce Business Connections Luncheon at Luigi’s Villa in DuBois. The senator spoke about the budget problems in Harrisburg, noting that with Gov. Tom Wolf proposing more taxes and spending in the new fiscal year, that a budget impasse is looking likely.”
Scarnati: Another budget battle likely for state
Tri-County Sunday By Joy Norwood jnorwood@thecourierexpress.com Apr 24, 2016
DuBOIS — Another budget battle seems likely, according to Senator Joe Scarnati, R-Brockway, as the state General Assembly works on a budget for the June 30 deadline.  Scarnati, who was the guest speaker at the Greater DuBois Chamber of Commerce’s Business Connections Luncheon Friday at Luigi’s Villa, said a budget impasse is in the state’s future as Gov. Tom Wolf is allegedly seeking even higher taxes and increases in spending than in last year’s budget proposal.  “It’s necessary to govern in the method in which those who are paying the taxes are living,” Scarnati said.  Pennsylvania has a structural deficit, he said, explaining that the state has expenses that every year increase basically out of our control. Pension costs are going up every year for the commonwealth from $500 (million) to $600 million a year.

Pa. House Appropriations leader says 2016-17 budget "may" be concluded without income or sales tax hike
Penn Live By Charles Thompson | cthompson@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on April 25, 2016 at 4:54 PM
The chairman of the state House Appropriations Committee said Monday he believes Pennsylvania's 2016-17 budget can be balanced without an increase in the state's personal income or state sales taxes.  But Rep. William Adolph, R-Delaware County, studiously refused to back himself into a corner - a lesson Adolph added, he hopes Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf has learned after his budget veto of 2015.  Wolf issued a full veto last summer of a $30.2 billion budget plan crafted by the Legislature's Republican majorities.  While that plan was pushed through at the fiscal year deadline without administration input, supporters noted most of its individual line items matched Wolf's initial proposal.

GOP leadership may seek new money for next Pa. budget
WHYY Newsworks BY MARY WILSON APRIL 25, 2016
Negotiations haven't gotten started for the state budget due in July, but already a top-ranking Republican said he thinks the commonwealth will need more money.  "You're going to need some revenue," said Rep. Bill Adolph, R-Delaware, chair of the House Appropriations committee, at the Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon Monday. "You may be able to get there without a broad-based tax. I do believe — it's just my opinion —that there's going to be some kind of revenue to balance the budget this year."  Adolph cited the state's projected structural deficit — expected to be well over a billion dollars, though he held out hope that the state's April tax collections would minimize the budget gap.  The retiring Delaware County lawmaker said there's no potential menu of tax increases or other new revenue options, since negotiations haven't begun.

CAN GOV. WOLF RE-BOOT?
Tom Wolf is isolated and wounded. Here’s what he needs to do to get his mojo back
Philadelphia Citizen BY JEREMY NOWAK APR. 25, 2016
Put aside the question of blame for Pennsylvania’s budget arriving 200 days late. Who deserves the most blame is now inconsequential. The more important question is: Can Governor Wolf regain political momentum?  The Republicans got what they most wanted from the new budget: No broad-based tax increases. Wolf got less than he wanted in school funding and received no new revenue for the structural deficit. And the citizens of the Commonwealth got nothing in terms of fixing a pension fund time bomb, addressing a structural deficit, or getting local property tax relief.  Wolf lost the battle of his first budget and is losing the battle of his first fiscal code, the operating system for the budget.  The Governor lost the budget battle because the Republican legislative majority, while not veto proof, could hold out longer than the Governor. In a battle between a single protagonist (the governor) and a crowd (the legislature), pressure for relief—from school districts, social service agencies, and local governments—draws strongly towards the one person able to change the situation. This is the risk that any executive leader assumes when he or she signs up for the job.

Charter schools, pension costs create hole in Bethlehem's budget
Jacqueline Palochko Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call April 25, 2016
Charter schools, pension costs create hole in Bethlehem's budget
BETHLEHEM — If it wasn't for rising charter school tuition payments and pension costs, the Bethlehem Area School District would have a balanced budget with a surplus, according to Superintendent Joseph Roy.  But instead, the district is facing a 25 percent increase in charter school costs and 19 percent hike in pension costs. That's led to a $6 million deficit in a $263 million budget that could force the district to raise taxes by 3.9 percent for the 2016-17 school year.  "Pension and charter school payments continue to literally break our bank," Roy said Monday at a school board meeting on the budget.  By comparison, the district is seeing a 3 percent increase in its expenditures.  The school district projects paying $26 million in tuition payments for more than 2,000 students in charter and cyberschools next year. It will also pay nearly $30 million in pension costs.

Editorial: As more students opt out, it becomes even clearer that standardized testing needs to be reassessed in Pennsylvania
Lancaster Online byThe LNP Editorial Board Apr 24, 2016
THE ISSUE
Pennsylvania System of School Assessment exams, or PSSAs,  are administered to students in grades three to eight. As LNP reported last Sunday, students began taking the annual exams earlier this month. The results of those tests are used in the state’s scorecards for schools, as well as in teacher evaluations. In recent years, a growing number of parents have chosen to have their children sit out of the tests using a religious exception. According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the number of students opting out tripled from 2014 to 2015.  Let’s do this in the style of eighth-grade language arts PSSA questions.  School administrators say that if more than 5 percent of eligible test-takers opt out of PSSAs, schools will face penalties. Which sentence most accurately states what those penalties might be?
A. Classroom teacher evaluations may be affected.
B. A school will receive a poor rating on the state’s school performance profile.
C. The negative label, “focus school,” may be applied to a school.
D. No one really knows.
If you answered “D,” you are correct.

Sen. Jake Corman and county officials celebrate new pre-K classroom
  • Pre-K education in Pennsylvania gets a $30 million funding boost
  • Allowed for the opening of a new pre-K classroom in downtown State College
Centre Daily Times BY JEREMY HARTLEY jhartley@centredaily.com April 25, 2016
An additional $30 million in funding has brought the opportunity for prekindergarten learning to more children in Centre County.  State Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, met with educators and law enforcement officials at St. Paul’s Christian Preschool and Childcare in downtown State College on Monday to discuss the infusion of funds and recognize the school’s new pre-K classroom and students.  The funding came as part of the state’s 2015-16 budget, said a joint news release from Fight Crime: Invest in Kids in Pennsylvania and Pre-K for Pa. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts received $25 million while the Head Start Supplemental Assistance program received $5 million.  This new funding for the remainder of the school year has allowed the county to serve an additional 47 children with pre-K education, the release said.

No more school buildings, sports teams; All students should be taught via cyber school: PennLive letters
Penn Live By Letters to the Editor  by DALE G. FORBES, Spring Creek Twp., Warren County on April 25, 2016 at 8:20 AM
Recently the local news outlets have reported on school districts having difficulty balancing their budgets, or having a shortage of substitute teachers.  I feel it's time we move our education system into the 21st century, think outside the box as some would say, and move education to cyber schooling, all done at home on a computer. The State could buy each student a new computer each year if need be, and furnish schooling or lessons via cyber. All students in the State would be taught with the same lesson plan, those that have a higher IQ or understanding could advance faster without waiting for those that can't or are less inclined.

Pennsylvania Department of Education
Cyber Charter School Performance Profile Scores
for 2013, 2014 and 2015

A score of 70 is considered passing.  No cyber charter has achieved a score of 70 in any year.  Additionally, most cybers never made AYP under No Child Left Behind during the period 2005 thru 2012.

Here are the 2013, 2014 and 2015 SPP scores for Pennsylvania’s cyber charter schools:

School                                                                 2013                 2014                 2015
21st Century Cyber CS                                       66.5                 66.0                  69.2
Achievement House CS                                      39.7                 37.5                 44.8
ACT Academy Cyber CS                                    30.6                 28.9                  36.1
Agora Cyber CS                                                  48.3                  42.4                 46.4
ASPIRA Bilingual CS                                          29.0                  39.0                  38.4
Central PA Digital Lrng Foundation CS            31.7                  48.8                  39.3
Commonwealth Connections Academy CS     54.6                  52.2                  48.8
Education Plus Academy Cyber CS                 59.0                  50.0                 N/A
Esperanza Cyber CS                                          32.7                  47.7                  31.7
Pennsylvania Cyber CS                                     59.4                  55.5                  65.3
Pennsylvania Distance Learning CS                54.7                  50.9                  49.2
Pennsylvania Leadership CS                            64.7                  59.3                  54.7
Pennsylvania Virtual CS                                    67.9                  63.4                  64.6
Solomon Charter School Inc.                            36.9
Susq-Cyber CS                                                   46.4                  42.4                  45.5


Commentary: Time to end Pa.'s corporate welfare handouts
Inquirer Opinion by Nathan Benefield Updated: APRIL 26, 2016 — 3:01 AM EDT
Nathan Benefield is vice president of policy for the Commonwealth Foundation
Conservatives loathe government handouts. Liberals denounce special favors to corporations. One thing can unify these two sides: ending Pennsylvania's budget-busting corporate-welfare handouts.  Every year, state government gives millions in taxpayer dollars to favored businesses under the guise of "economic development." In reality, these giveaways represent political development, enriching special interests and their well-connected lobbyists.  ncredibly, Pennsylvania leads the nation in corporate-welfare spending, according to a recent study by the Commonwealth Foundation. This year, the commonwealth will award nearly $700 million in corporate welfare. In fact, Pennsylvania has topped the nation in business subsidies since 2007, spending nearly $6 billion of taxpayers' money on them.

School District backs converting three Philly schools to charters
Inquirer by Martha Woodall, Staff Writer Updated: APRIL 26, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
Three days before the Philadelphia School Reform Commission is scheduled to vote on whether to turn three district schools into charters, district officials said they would recommend the controversial changes.  Reports posted on the district's website late Monday showed that teams that evaluated the turnaround proposals submitted by providers would urge the SRC to convert the following schools into Renaissance charters in the fall: Jay Cooke in Logan, Samuel Huey in West Philadelphia, and John Wister in Germantown.  The Great Oaks Foundation has applied to take over Cooke. Global Leadership Academy is seeking to run Huey, and Mastery Charter Schools wants to take control of Wister.  District teams that examined the proposals said all operators met the criteria to convert the schools to Renaissance charters and should be granted five-year agreements with conditions.

Sisters of controversy
New "parent congresses" stoke claims of hidden agendas and conflict of interest.
The notebook by Bill Hangley Jr. April 25, 2016 — 3:19pm
Activist Quibila Divine has launched a citywide series of “parent congresses” meant to teach residents citywide how to advocate for change in their schools.  The new effort is underwritten by a combination of federal grant funds tied to Divine’s sister, School Reform Commissioner Sylvia Simms, and undisclosed funding connected to a group supported by the Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP), a private organization that supports charter expansion.  The inaugural parent congress was held on April 16 at Audenried Charter High School in South Philadelphia. The next will be held in May at Lewis Elkin Elementary.  Divine is expanding her role as a Philadelphia education advocate even as questions about her financial backing remain unanswered and possible conflict-of-interest issues for Simms – particularly as they relate to Thursday’s final vote on charter conversion for Germantown’s Wister Elementary – remain unexplored.
Despite calls for clarity, including from Mayor Kenney, Divine declined to share any details of the funding supporting her activities at Wister or the parent congresses.

Pittsburgh Public Schools, teachers union reach deal on contracts
By Molly Born / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette April 26, 2016 12:30 AM
The Pittsburgh Public Schools and its teachers union on Monday announced that they have reached a tentative agreement to extend their contracts through June 30, 2017.  Pacts with nearly 3,000 teachers, paraprofessionals and clerical-technical workers represented by the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers expired on June 30.  Neither party will comment on the proposal until after members have voted on the matter, according to a joint statement by union president Nina Esposito-Visgitis, superintendent Linda Lane and school board president Regina Holley.  The teachers union will hold informational meetings for each bargaining unit. Voting will occur May 16 at the union headquarters on the South Side. The school board also will schedule a meeting to vote on the plan.

Tough decisions ahead for Dubois Area SD
Tri-County Sunday By Elaine Haskins ehaskins@thecourierexpress.com Apr 17, 2016
DuBOIS — Despite a potential tax increase in its 2016-17 budget, directors of the DuBois Area School District talked Thursday night about how the district will still be facing a deficit of at least $3 million.  Director Bob Wachob, along with Director of Finance Jeanette Buriak and other directors, painted a bleak and uncertain picture of the district’s financial future during a building and maintenance committee meeting.  “I think the community needs to understand that we are in serious financial shape,” Wachob said. “We are running a $3 million deficit this year, possibly $4.5 million, and if we do not get PlanCon money, we are looking at a $3 million deficit next year. And I don’t know how that will continue in years down the road. We only have about $7 million in the bank so you don’t have to be a mathematical genius to realize that in two years on our current track, we will be out of money.”  No amount of a tax increase in the world is going to fix that, Wachob said.


What Are Kids Learning From This Presidential Election?
Third-grader Victor Reza was watching CNN in the living room in Houston with his family when Donald Trump was announced as the winner of the Florida Republican primary. Victor teared up, his older sister, Maria, said in a telephone interview.  "I don't want him to win," he announced. "If he wins, I'm never going to see any of you again." Victor, 10, is a U.S. citizen, but members of his immediate family are not. And, says 21-year-old Maria, "I'm pretty sure he's heard hateful rhetoric from his classmates at school. His friends at school were saying, 'Ha-ha, your family's going to be deported now because Donald Trump is going to win.' "
This has been an unusually long and hotly contested presidential campaign, in both parties. Trump and other candidates have used language that wouldn't be acceptablein most classrooms.  The tone of the debate, and specific statements about building a wall on the Mexican border, deporting millions of immigrants and how "Islam hates us," have raised concerns about how all this is affecting students. Especially given that nearly a third of the children in U.S. public schools, like Victor Reza, have foreign-born parents.

Top business leaders, 27 governors, urge Congress to boost computer science education
Washington Post By Emma Brown April 26 at 6:00 AM 
Leaders of dozens of the nation’s top businesses — from Apple and Facebook to Target, Walmart and AT&T — are calling on Congress to help provide computer science education in all K-12 schools, arguing that the United States needs far more students who are literate in the technologies that are transforming nearly every industry.  They worry that the United States could lose its competitive edge without significant efforts to boost computer science among the nation’s youth. A bipartisan coalition of 27 governors has joined the effort, saying they see teaching coding and programming as a way to draw middle-class jobs to their states, and dozens of school system superintendents and nonprofit leaders say they see computer science courses as essential for giving children the skills they’ll need to be successful in the modern economy.  “Our schools should give all students the opportunity to understand how this technology works, to learn how to be creators, coders, and makers — not just consumers,” they wrote Tuesday in an open letter to lawmakers. “Instead, what is increasingly a basic skill is only available to the lucky few, leaving most students behind, particularly students of color and girls.”


Education INC, film screening and panel discussion - Drexel University April 27th, 6:30 pm
Public schools in America are under attack.  Reformers seek to turn our public education system over to private investors.  Communities are catching on and fighting back.  Education INC tells the story of what happens when a local public school district is turned over to corporate ED reformers and how a community fights back to keep control.  Following the documentary film, Drexel University School of Education Professor, Dr. Erin McNamara Horvat will moderate a talk on issues raised in the film.  The talk will feature State Rep James R. Roebuck, Education Committee, Democratic Chairmen, Philadelphia Councilwoman, Helen Gym, councilwoman-at-large and Mark B. Miller, School Board Director, Centennial School District.  The event is free and open to the public.
When: Wednesday, April 27th | 6:30 pm Film, discussion immediately after
Where: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Drexel University
Film Screening Annex: 3401 Filbert St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Rally in Harrisburg with the Campaign for Fair Education Funding on May 2nd 12:30 Main Rotunda!
Public schools in Pennsylvania are a far cry from the “thorough and efficient” system of education promised guaranteed under our state constitution. That’s why we want YOU to join Education Law Center and members of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding in Harrisburg on May 2nd! Buses of supporters are leaving from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia - please register below so we can help you arrive on time for the 12:30 press conference in the Main Rotunda! Questions? Email smalloy@elc-pa.org for more details.

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.

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 clapper@paprincipals.org 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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