Tuesday, May 10, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup May 10: Charter, Alternative, Virtual Schools Account for Most Low-Grad-Rate Schools, Study Finds

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup May 10, 2016:
Charter, Alternative, Virtual Schools Account for Most Low-Grad-Rate Schools, Study Finds



Pennsylvania has the widest funding gap between wealthy and poor schools in the country
Campaign for Fair Education Funding Website
Make the new funding formula permanent; pass a budget for 2016-17 that increases funding for public schools by at least $400 million



Charter, Alternative, Virtual Schools Account for Most Low-Grad-Rate Schools, Study Finds
Education Week By Catherine Gewertz on May 9, 2016 6:00 AM
CORRECTED Charter, virtual, and alternative schools account for a disproportionate share of U.S. high schools with low graduation rates, according to a study released Monday. Even though they enroll only a small slice of students, they account for more than half of the U.S. high schools that graduate 67 percent or less of their students in four years.  "Building a Grad Nation," the seventh in an annual series of reports on U.S. graduation rates, concluded that regular district high schools make up 41 percent of those that didn't surpass the 67-percent threshold in 2013-14. Charter, virtual, and alternative schools—a small sector, representing only 14 percent of the country's high schools and 8 percent of its high school students—account for 52 percent of the schools that fell short of that mark. (The remaining 7 percent are vocational and special-education schools.)  The findings offer a challenge to a country that's renewing its focus on graduation rates through the newly revised Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Known now as the Every Student Succeeds Act, the law requires states to report four-year graduation rates for schools that enroll 100 students or more, and districts to provide research-based help for schools that graduate fewer than 67 percent in four years.

Joint public hearing on Every Student Succeeds Act.
PA House and PA Senate Education Committees
Harrisburg Wednesday May 18th 9:00 AM Hearing Room #1 North Office Building

COLUMN: State must adopt fair funding formula for education
Meadville Tribune Opinion By Jody Sperry May 9, 2016
Jody Sperry is president of the Conneaut School District Board of Education. This is the text of a speech she gave May 2 at the Campaign for Fair Education Funding rally in the State Capital rotunda.
Imagine if you started every year not knowing what your salary was going to be for the year. You know you have fixed costs such as your mortgage and your car payment. You know you have some variable costs such as your heating bill, your electric bill and your grocery bill. You know you can make some adjustments to those by turning down the thermostat, turning unnecessary lights off and by putting everyone on a diet. But if there is an increase in any of those beyond your control, you really save nothing. Will your paycheck cover any unforeseen increases? Is there anywhere else you can trim your expenses? What happens in an emergency?  This is the struggle in every school district in Pennsylvania, including the Conneaut School District where I serve. We know we have fixed costs due to contractual obligations. These control over 70 percent of our budget. With the remaining 30 percent there is not much trimming that can be done before we start taking away classes and extracurriculars that are as much a part of the educational experience as reading, writing and arithmetic. We could estimate what we may get from the state budget but what happens if we experience another budget impasse? What happens if we lose funding we had counted on when we pass our budget as constitutionally required by June 30th? Cutting and trimming small budget items with minimal costs do not fix a $2 million deficit.

Editorial: Pa. schools fair funding debate picks up support
Delco Times POSTED: 05/09/16, 10:14 PM EDT | UPDATED: 4 HRS AGO
The cause of fairly funding public schools in Pennsylvania has been simmering for decades.
At its most basic, the issue is that money available to schools is skewed because education is funded largely on the backs of homeowners via the local property tax.  The higher the value of real estate in a district, the more local revenue is collected to fund schools. The poorer the district in property values, the less money available for education and the higher the tax burden per property owner.  That disparity is what has led to the phrase “education by zip code,” referring to the resources available to schools based on the affluence of neighborhoods.  Thus, the call to eliminate the property tax in Pennsylvania goes hand-in-hand with the call for fair funding.

Bill to end seniority in teacher layoffs heads to Wolf
Inquirer by Angela Couloumbis and Karen Langley, HARRISBURG BUREAU Updated: MAY 10, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
HARRISBURG - Republicans who control the state legislature have pushed through a hotly contested bill to allow public schools to circumvent seniority when laying off teachers.  The bill passed the Senate by a 26-22 vote Monday that fell largely along party lines. It now goes to Gov. Wolf, a Democrat, who pledged to veto it. Through a spokesman, he said the state's focus should not be on mass layoffs but rather on "how to invest in our schools, which already have the tools to evaluate underperforming teachers."  The measure, dubbed the "Protecting Excellent Teachers Act," hones in on a long-standing and contentious issue in public education: the protection of teachers based solely on tenure.  It would eliminate seniority-based furloughs and instead base those decisions on teacher performance ratings. It would also allow layoffs for economic reasons. Currently, school districts can furlough employees only because of a decrease in enrollment, a change in educational programs, or consolidation of schools.

Senate sends Wolf bill that moves Pa. to allowing performance-based teacher layoffs
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on May 09, 2016 at 6:28 PM, updated May 09, 2016 at 7:05 PM
Legislation that would allow school districts to base furloughs on teacher performance rather than seniority alone won state Senate passage on Monday, sending it to Gov. Tom Wolf for enactment.  But despite the Senate's 26-22 approval of this controversial education reform bill, it stands a dim chance of becoming law.  Gov. Tom Wolf intends to veto it when it reaches his desk, his spokesman said.  "The governor believes this is a local matter to be decided by districts," said Wolf spokesman Jeff Sheridan. "He doesn't believe this is a matter for the state to decide. The focus of our policies at the state level should not be on how to conduct mass layoffs – it should be about how to invest in our schools, which already have the tools to evaluate underperforming teachers."  The bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve Bloom, R-North Middleton Twp., also would add economic reasons as a permitted cause to suspend teachers. Currently, districts can only layoff teachers because of declining enrollment, program curtailment and school or school district consolidations.   "Obviously, I'm very pleased that the Senate is willing to stand up for children in the classroom over the interests of the state teachers union," Bloom said. "This is a momentous step toward reforming education for the benefit of students in Pennsylvania."
Bloom urges Wolf to "consider this opportunity he now has to make an historic change to keep the best teachers in Pennsylvania classrooms" before getting out his veto pen.
The House passed the bill in June by a 100-91 vote with no Democrats voting in support of it. In the Senate, only one Democrat voted for it: Sen. Anthony Williams of Philadelphia.

Corman: "We have to get a much more reasonable spend number"
The PLS Reporter May 10, 2016 (paywall)
While other legislative business might take center stage as the Senate returns to voting session this week, inquiring minds are continually curious about the progress being made on the FY 2016-2017 state budget, due in just over 50 days.  While the House left Harrisburg for a week’s recess last Tuesday with only procedural moves made on the coming fiscal year’s spending plan, sources report that some level of meetings have been taking place as Republicans and Democrats try to come to a consensus on what the spending plan should look like.  Leaders in the Senate told The PLS Reporter Monday that the groundwork for discussions already underway will continue this week.
Read more from The PLS Reporter HERE.

“Despite Gov. Tom Wolf's threats of electoral retribution, lawmakers did not pay a political price for engaging in the budget battle.   The first clue that the fiscal free-for-all was not impacting the electorate came in February when there was no wave of candidates filing to oppose incumbent legislators.   Looking at the primary election results it would be difficult if not impossible to point to a single lawmaker who lost his or her seat because of the sustained budget stand-off.”
The 2015-16 budget fight was an electoral dud: Lowman S. Henry
PennLive Op-Ed  By Lowman S. Henry on May 09, 2016 at 12:30 PM
The final pieces of legislation ending Pennsylvania's longest budget stalemate fell into place just days before the April primary election.  And the story that dominated state news for over nine months had no apparent impact on voters who meted out no electoral punishment for the fiscal fray that had school districts on the cusp of closing, nonprofits cutting services, and politicians at each other's throats.  This budget stand-off was different from those that took place during the Rendell era notably due to the lack of public pressure placed on Governor Wolf and the legislature.   There were no daily protests on the capitol steps. State employees did not go without pay.    When the battle commenced last summer Wolf's first salvo was an attack ad campaign. It fell flat. Outside the halls of state government and the few remaining news media that cover it, the budget battle went largely unnoticed. 

“In June, she said three large expenses in the 2015-2016 school year budget would be an increase of roughly $800,000 in one year to the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System for district pensions; $2.3 million in tuition for district students attending charter schools; and about $1.6 million in transportation costs.”
Property tax in East Allegheny school district to rise
Post Gazatte By Anne Cloonan May 10, 2016 12:01 AM
The East Allegheny school board voted 5-4 tonight to approve a $32.5 million budget for the 2016-2017 school year.   In April, the district received state approval to raise taxes by 1.17 mills. The district had to request permission to raise taxes above the state’s Act 1 inflation index for the 2016-2017 school year.  Last year, East Allegheny business manager Toni Valicenti said the district’s deficit increased from $1,158,236 on July 1, 2013, to $2,433,696 by June 30, 2014.

“The major budget cost drivers are charter school tuition payments and employee pension contributions. Come next year, Bethlehem taxpayers will spend $26 million on charter schools and almost $30 million on pension contributions.”
Bethlehem taxpayers face likely school tax hike
By Sara K. Satullo | For lehighvalleylive.com  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on May 09, 2016 at 7:01 PM, updated May 09, 2016 at 11:39 PM
A tax hike is looking likely for Bethlehem Area School District taxpayers.  The Bethlehem school board approved a tentative budget in an 8-1 vote Monday night. (lehighvalleylive.com file photo)
Monday night the school board voted 8-1 to pass a 2016-17 tentative spending plan that hikes taxes by 3.9 percent. Director Tom Thomasik voted against the budget.  The final budget vote is scheduled for June 13.  The $261.6 million budget does not cut jobs or increase class size, two things considered earlier in the budget process.  The district began the 2016-17 budget season with a $15.2 million deficit. Bethlehem plans to close it by raising taxes, using $2.9 million in savings and through budget cuts.

313 water tests show Bethlehem schools' water safe, district says
By Sara K. Satullo | For lehighvalleylive.com  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on May 09, 2016 at 8:37 PM, updated May 09, 2016 at 11:43 PM
The Bethlehem school district says its drinking water is lead free after 313 water tests only turned up lead above federal standards 13 times on sinks not used for drinking water.  The district is replacing all of the plumbing fixtures in any of those areas and then the the water will be retested to ensure it is within acceptable limits.  The district decided to voluntarily test the water in all of its buildings after a report on WFMZ-TV 69 asserted water samples from two Allentown schools and Northeast Middle School in Bethlehem showed lead levels above federally set acceptable levels.  Both districts independently tested their water and found lead levels below EPA action levels. But it prompted the districts to commit to voluntary water testingof their school buildings.

Norwin schools budget proposal could signal property tax hike, staff cuts
Trib Live BY JOE NAPSHA  | Monday, May 9, 2016, 11:00 p.m.
The Norwin School Board Monday was presented with a draft of a preliminary budget that projects a $2.1 million deficit for 2016-2017 school year, which could result in another property tax hike, a tapping of the district's financial reserves and possibly a reduction in staff, school officials said.  The proposed preliminary budget projects expenditures at $68.3 million, a 3.9 percent increase from the current school year, but only $66.1 million in projected revenue, a $1.15 million increase from the current school year.  Norwin levies a real estate tax of 72.95 mills, which includes 1.2 mills for the annual library tax.  Norwin would be allowed to raise property taxes by 2.26 mills, the maximum under the state index that limits tax increases to no more than 3.1 percent of the prior year's budget, said Jude Abraham, the district's interim director of business affairs. Norwin could generate about $1.2 million if it raises taxes to the maximum level, Abraham said.  The school board could cover the $2.1 million deficit currently projected by tapping into the district's $3.58 million financial reserve, which would reduce its fund balance to $1.44 million.

Ligonier Valley School Board OKs budget with deficit, leaves tax hike possible
Trib Live BY JEFF HIMLER  | Monday, May 9, 2016, 11:00 p.m.
Ligonier Valley School Board on Monday approved a tentative $29.9 million budget for the 2016-17 school year that projects $634,930 in deficit spending and a possible 1.8-mill property tax increase.  District Business Administrator Michelle Krebs explained that Ligonier Valley would have had to tap its reserve fund for about $1.2 million to cover the expected revenue shortfall.  Instead, some of that gap will be reduced by: $69,300 in reimbursements the district expects to receive through federal reimbursements for telecommunications and information services; and $245,960 the district has set aside to help cover its contribution to the state teachers' pension fund, set to increase by $548,275.

Highlands School District budget balances on board actions
Trib Live BY TOM YERACE | Monday, May 9, 2016, 11:10 p.m.
Highlands School District could go from a negative $2.6 million on its preliminary budget to a positive $530,000.  That is what Business Manager Jon Rupert told the school board Monday night, but he said it all depends on how many changes the board wants to implement.  He said the district is looking at a 2016-17 budget where expenditures are about $2.6 million more than revenues.  Rupert said among the changes he gave the board to ponder are about $1.9 million in budget cuts.

'Teachers on welfare': Harrisburg teachers flood meeting outlining district's academic, financial plan
Penn Live By Julianne Mattera | jmattera@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on May 09, 2016 at 10:46 PM, updated May 10, 2016 at 12:24 AM
Harrisburg School District's chief recovery officer on Monday night presented a proposed road map for the district's academic and financial future to a sea of protesting teachers demanding a new contract and wage increases.  Whereas public school board meetings usually attract a handful of people at best, as many as 400 Harrisburg teachers — who rallied before the meeting in blue shirts bearing their union's name and holding high picket signs calling for "healthy schools," "smaller class sizes" and "materials and supplies" — lined the perimeter of the large school board room at the district's Lincoln Administration Building in Harrisburg.

McDevitt student invited to William Penn prom
York Daily Record  Angie Mason, amason@ydr.com8:53 p.m. EDT May 9, 2016
A high school student who wasn't allowed into her own prom because she wore a suit is welcome at William Penn Senior High School's prom — whatever she's wearing, according to school officials.  Brandon Carter, principal at William Penn, said social studies teacher Maggie Mafnas brought him the idea of inviting Bishop McDevitt High School student Aniya Wolf to the prom at the York school.  According to the Associated Press, Aniya said she was thrown out of the prom because she defied a last-minute email saying girls must wear dresses and instead wore a suit to her prom. The school, in Harrisburg, said the dress code, including that girls must wear dresses, was sent out months ago, according to the AP.  Carter said that when Mafnas asked if William Penn could invite Wolf, he said absolutely. It's a great gesture, he said, and shows what William Penn is all about.

Student leaders outline gaps at Philly schools
Inquirer by Martha Woodall, Staff Writer Updated: MAY 10, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
At the first citywide roundtable on schools, students outlined a litany of problems: a lack of resources, cuts to art and music programs, violence inside and outside some schools, and a systemwide lack of access to clean, safe drinking water.  "We come from different schools, but we share the same issues," Morgan Bacon, a student at Masterman High School, told city officials and School Reform Commission Chair Marjorie Neff during the session in City Hall.  The event, which was organized by several City Council members and Mayor Kenney's Office of Education, drew dozens of students from individual schools, as well as those involved with activist organizations such as the Philadelphia Student Union and Youth United for Change.

Millions more pledged to promoting education innovation
Trib Live BY NATASHA LINDSTROM  | Monday, May 9, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
A foundation-backed education network of Western Pennsylvania schools, companies and nonprofits said Monday it is pumping $25 million into innovative learning projects across the region.  The hefty cash infusion — hailed by White House officials during the announcement inside Google's offices in East Liberty — signals the rapidly growing momentum of the Remake Learning network, a local blueprint for cross-sector collaboration that is drawing national recognition.  “You really are a model for the country,” Thomas Kalil, deputy director of policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, told a private audience of local dignitaries, philanthropists and educators kicking off the start of Remake Learning Days, a week-long celebration showcasing projects throughout the region.

FINANCIAL DATA ELEMENTS
PA Department of Education Website
This page contains various school district financial data elements (Aid Ratios, Avg. Daily Membership, Personal Income, Real Estate Tax Rates) calculated by or reported to the Department of Education.  Other data elements not listed below are available as part of the files on the Summaries of AFR Data pages.   


“This new model essentially splits the difference: The schools will keep the flexibility and autonomy, particularly over hiring and teaching, that have made charters most unlike traditional public schools. But the board becomes manager and regulator, making sure schools abide by policies meant to ensure equity and provide broad services, like managing the cost of particularly expensive special education students, that individual schools might not have the capacity or desire to do.  Cities from Boston to Los Angeles are locked in fierce fights over charter schools, which critics say siphon off money and the most engaged families from local districts, while skimming the best students and steering away the most challenging — not always with better results. Families in districts with majorities of poor black and Latino children are increasingly pushing back against educator recruitment groups like Teach for America, scorning their efforts as education tourism for privileged Ivy Leaguers.”
New Orleans Plan: Charter Schools, With a Return to Local Control
New York Times By KATE ZERNIKE MAY 9, 2016
NEW ORLEANS — Nothing has defined and even driven the fractious national debate over education quite like this city and the transformation of its school system in the decade since Hurricane Katrina.  Reformers say its successes as an almost all-charter, state-controlled district make it a model for other failing urban school systems. Charter school opponents and unions point to what has happened here as proof that the reformers’ goal is just to privatize education and strip families of their voice in local schools across the country.  Now comes another big moment in the New Orleans story: The governor is expected soon to sign legislation returning the city’s schools to the locally elected school board for the first time since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Strikingly, that return is being driven by someone squarely in the pro-charter camp, the state superintendent, John White. He is a veteran of touchstone organizations behind the efforts to remake public schools —Teach for America and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and its superintendent training program — as well as the hard-charging charter school efforts in New York City. He represents the wave of largely white, young idealists who rushed to this city post-Katrina to be part of the Big Thing in education.

“Wiggins credits a little-known provision in the federal child-nutrition bill for boosting participation and feeding more of Detroit’s students at school. But those nutritional benefits are now at risk, as Congress moves to reauthorize the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. A proposed rule change to the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)—widely praised by budget experts and school officials—would effectively leave thousands of impoverished Detroit students, who now eat breakfast and lunch at school, unfed.”
When All Kids Eat for Free
Congress is considering a rule change to the school-nutrition law that would bar thousands of schools from offering complimentary lunch to all students.
The Atlantic by Melinda D. Anderson May 9, 2016
Much has been made recently of Detroit’s resurgence and growth. In January, President Obama made a swing through the Motor City, touting “something special happening in Detroit.” Yet the comeback has not been evenly felt across the city. The Michigan League for Public Policy’s 2016 Kids Count Data Profilerevealed a major fault line earlier this year. From 2006 to 2014, child poverty in Detroit increased by 29 percent, to about 94,000 children or well more than half (57 percent) of the city’s population under the age of 18.* The unavoidable conclusion: Many of Detroit’s youngest residents remain mired in hardship and hunger.  During the school day, the job of filling children’s empty stomachs rests with Betti J. Wiggins, the executive director of Detroit Public Schools office of school nutrition. The district enrolls about 46,000 students, and advertises free breakfast and lunch for every child—not just those who qualify and apply for the benefit.

“Nine out of every 10 school-age children attend our nation’s public schools - more than 50 million nationwide. While pundits debate America’s future, short shrift around public education risks leaving America’s K-12 students, teachers and schools without public champions.”
Make Public Education Part of Our National Dialogue
Huffington Post by David A. Pickler  03/22/2016 03:25 pm ET | Updated Mar 22, 2016
David A. Pickler, J.D., is president of the American Public Education Foundation, a past president of the National School Boards Association, and Vice-Chair of a new Standards Recommendation Committee for Mathematics and English Language Arts formed by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and other state officials.
Many Americans view our nation’s best days as behind us. About one-fourth of Americans - only 26% - feel that the country is headed in the right direction, based on a recent Rasmussen survey of 2,500 likely U.S. voters.  Across both sides of the aisle, Presidential hopefuls argue that their platforms will restore hope, promise and opportunity - but other than taking aim at Common Core or mislabeling “choice” as a proven reform solution, informed dialogue on K-12 public education remains in short supply.  It is time to take America’s greatest promise for the future - its public education system - off the back burner and prioritize it within our national dialogue.
America is only as strong as its citizens, with America’s most important citizens our children.

Yes, the feds could pull North Carolina’s education funding for violating transgender civil rights
Washington Post By Emma Brown May 9 at 2:36 PM 
North Carolina receives more than $4 billion in federal education funding each year. Now the federal government is considering withholding that money because, the Justice Department says, the state has passed a law that violates the civil rights of transgender individuals by forcing them to use bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates instead of their gender identity.  But would federal officials really withhold billions of dollars meant to help educate poor children, children with disabilities, and college students who can’t afford to go to school without federal aid?  They’ve done it before.  The federal government withheld funds in the 1960s from more than 100 school districts in the south that refused desegregation, according to Gary Orfield, an  education scholar and co-director of the Civil Rights Project at the University of California-Los Angeles.  “That was the first time in American history that there had been a massive cutoff of federal aid funds,” Orfield said. “And it worked dramatically.”  School districts adopted plans to integrate to turn the federal-funds spigot back on.

Why Dark Money Is Bad Business
New York Times Opinion By KATHLEEN M. DONOVAN-MAHER and STEVEN L. GROOPMAN MAY 10, 2016
Boston — IT’S only May, but this presidential election is on track to be one of the most expensive ever. So far two-thirds of election dollars have largely come from anonymous corporate donations, funneled through what have been referred to as “dark money” nonprofit groups that freely engage in electoral and legislative politics, but don’t have to disclose their donors, expenditures or even their members.  One of the most promising strategies to stem the tide of corporate dark money is a proposed rule at the Securities and Exchange Commission that would require public companies to report the amounts and recipients of their political spending. The rule has received a groundswell of support from a bipartisan group of former S.E.C. commissioners, state treasurers and law professors, and has generated more than one million public comments.
Defenders of the status quo argue the companies are simply exercising their right to free speech; critics contend that such speech, when anonymous, does immense harm to the democratic process.


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:

“NATIONAL ANTHEM “SING-A-LONG”
When: September 9, 2016, 10:00 am PST/1:00pm EST
Where: Schools across America
Sponsor: American Public Education Foundation (APEF)
The National Anthem “Sing-A-Long” is a movement to teach K-12 students the words, meaning,
music and history of the Star-Spangled Banner. This annual event is held each year on the
second week of September to honor 9/11 families, victims and heroes and celebrate the historic
birthday of the National Anthem on September 14. Those who join the “Sing-A-Long” are singing in unison at the exact same time at multiple sites across the U.S. The APEF has also created a robust, companion curriculum recognized by numerous State Departments of Education, available online at www.theapef.org (see the “Educate” tab) for free download.
The Foundation hopes to have the support of the Alabama Department of Education as we
commemorate the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 this year. Teachers are encouraged to sign up
before the end of the school year at www.theapef.org. Also online is a "how-to" guide on
holding an event at your school and sample press release. If you do not wish to hold a full
ceremony at the school, your students can simply stand up and sing at 10 am PST/1:00pm EST.
The Star-Spangled Banner Movement is a simple, elegant way to honor 9/11 while also teaching students how the world came together in the days, weeks and months after the September 2001 terrorist strikes. The APEF also offers a host of other free educational material on its website, including polls, contests and grant information.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC), a statewide children's advocacy organization located in Harrisburg, PA has an immediate full-time opening for an Early Learning and K-12 Education Policy Manager.  PPC's vision is to be one of the top ten states in which to be a child and raise a child. Today, Pennsylvania ranks 17th in the nation for child well-being. Our early learning and K-12 education policy work is focused on ensuring all children enter school ready to learn and that all children have access to high-quality public education. Current initiatives include increasing the number of children served in publicly funded pre-k and implementing a fair basic education formula along with sustained, significant investments in education funding.

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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