Friday, May 6, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup May 6: House Ed Committee Chair Saylor would like to see EITC rise from $150M to $500M/year over next 10 years.

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup May 6, 2016:
House Ed Committee Chair Saylor would like to see EITC rise from $150M to $500M/year over next 10 years.

See guest PA Sec of Education Pedro Rivera next Sunday May 8 at 3:00 pm on EPLC's "Focus on Education" on PCN

Blogger commentary:
Every dollar provided to private and religious schools under the EITC and OSTC tax credit programs is a dollar that does not go into the state’s general fund and is therefore not available to fund constitutionally mandated public education.

Pennsylvania Constitution Article III

"The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth (Sec.14)”

"No money raised for the support of the public schools of the Commonwealth shall be appropriated to or used for the support of any sectarian school (Sec. 15)."

“The next best thing to actual vouchers”
“Pennsylvania caps the EITC program at $150 million. Representative Stan Saylor (R-York) is the chairman of the education committee and he says he’d like to expand it to $500 million over the next ten years.  “We’ve gotta do something to help these kids who are in poverty, escape poverty and that means they have to get a quality education,” Saylor said.  Supporters who came to Harrisburg to rally are hopeful that someday there will be total school choice.
But in the meantime, they are thankful for EITC.”
Capitol rally celebrates tax credit program that provides school choice
ABC27 By Dennis Owens Published: May 4, 2016, 6:24 pm
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – On a raw, damp day, hundreds of school children from across the commonwealth stood on the steps of the Capitol and lifted their voices in unison.  “What do we want?” yelled the man at the microphone.  “Choice,” the students shouted in response, loud enough for lawmakers to hear them.  “When do we want it?” shouted the emcee.  “Now,” the kids screamed in response.  The assembled crowd wants full-blown school choice, also known as vouchers, which allows parents to send their tax dollars with their children to the schools of their choice.  They’re not gonna get that anytime soon.  Too many opponents see full-blown school vouchers as unconstitutional because they would steer tax dollars to religiously affiliated schools. It has been tried many times in the past and it has always failed.  But the crowd did have reason to celebrate.  “If I can’t have choice, I’ll take this,” said David Rushinski, principal at Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School, speaking of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program.  Rushinski calls it the next best thing to actual vouchers.

“The programs differ from state to state, with varying tax benefits for donors and varying rules on who may receive the scholarships. Arizona’s largest program permits donors to recommend students who already attend private schools. Pennsylvania’s program lets them get scholarships and also lets scholarship organizations retain up to 20 percent in administrative fees.”
Reprise 2012: Public Money Finds Back Door to Private Schools
New York Times By STEPHANIE SAUL MAY 21, 2012
When the Georgia legislature passed a private school scholarship program in 2008, lawmakers promoted it as a way to give poor children the same education choices as the wealthy.  The program would be supported by donations to nonprofit scholarship groups, and Georgians who contributed would receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits, up to $2,500 a couple. The intent was that money otherwise due to the Georgia treasury — about $50 million a year — would be used instead to help needy students escape struggling public schools.  That was the idea, at least. But parents meeting at Gwinnett Christian Academy got a completely different story last year.  “A very small percentage of that money will be set aside for a needs-based scholarship fund,” Wyatt Bozeman, an administrator at the school near Atlanta, said during an informational session. “The rest of the money will be channeled to the family that raised it.”  A handout circulated at the meeting instructed families to donate, qualify for a tax credit and then apply for a scholarship for their own children, many of whom were already attending the school.

Reprise 2012:EITC: No Credit to PA
Yinzercation Blog May 29, 2012
While our legislators are busy looking under their sofa cushions for spare change to fund the state budget, they might want to consider the $75 million that just walked out the front door. That’s how much the Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program costs us taxpayers every year.  The misnamed EITC program has nothing to do with educational improvement and everything to do with funneling what would have been state budget dollars into private schools, while increasing profits for corporations. Here’s how it works: corporations can get an EITC tax credit by contributing to a Scholarship Organization, which channels the money to private schools. The companies receive up to 90% of their contributions as a tax credit, worth up to $300,000 per year, and can get a federal tax write-off as well, making the program highly attractive.  Not only do corporations get a tax write-off, but they also receive good publicity and increased access to legislators.

GUEST OPINION: Governor Wolf’s proposed 2016-17 budget aims to close Pennsylvania’s 160 brick-and-mortar charter schools
Bucks Local News Opinion By Tim Eller executive director Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools Published: Wednesday, May 04, 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.  Without understanding how charter schools are funded, the Wolf administration’s proposal selectively aims to cut by at least 50 percent the per-student funding amount charter schools receive for educating disabled students.  Anti-school choice advocates argue that charter school special education costs are a financial drain on school districts; however, they fail to share all of the facts. According to the Department of Education, for the 2013-14 school year, spending on special education in all public schools totaled $3.8 billion; of this amount, $169 million, or 4.4 percent, was attributed to charter schools.

Letter to the Editor: Special interests are blocking charter school reforms in Pa.
Delco Times Letter by James Rpebuck POSTED: 05/05/16, 10:45 PM EDT
State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Philadelphia, Democratic chairman, House Education Committee
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale recently said our state has the nation’s worst charter school law. As Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, I agree. I have introduced legislation to reform this nearly 20-year-old law and bring much-needed accountability in performance and finances to these tax-funded, privately run schools.  The state law that authorized charters hasn’t been reformed since it passed in 1997. It’s just common sense to revisit a major law, especially when significant problems are apparent.  Some Pennsylvania charter schools are doing a good job of educating children and managing taxpayer dollars, but it’s hard to miss the evidence of the need for reforming others.  We keep seeing revelations like the news last year that charter schools in Philadelphia have racked up nearly $500 million in debt. Taxpayers could ultimately be responsible for all of that debt. Many charter schools perform only the same or worse than traditional public schools in educating our kids.  The governor’s office has estimated we can save at least $160 million by passing strong charter school reform. I believe the actual figure is far higher. For example, it does not include the nearly $200 million gap that an Education Law Center study found for 2012-13 between what Pennsylvania school districts paid charter schools for special education and what the charter schools actually spent on services for special-needs students.

Gov. Wolf Says State Must Do More To Help Schools
KDKA May 5, 2016 9:25 PM By Jon Delano
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As school districts across the state struggle to adopt budgets for the next school year without help from Harrisburg, the talk of laying off teachers, cutting programs and raising local property taxes has gotten louder.  “This is something I’ve been talking about. The state needs, in my estimation, needs to take a bigger share of funding public education,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “We’re 45th in the country in terms of the state share of public education funding, which means that too much, in my view, rests on the shoulders of local taxpayers.”  In a sit-down interview, the governor repeated his call for the state legislature to help local school districts.  In his first budget, Gov. Wolf called for a $400 million increase in basic education funding from the state. He got $200 million.

PA-BGT: Isenhour to Head Administration Negotiations
PoliticsPA Written by Jason Addy, Contributing Writer May 5, 2016
Lawmakers in Harrisburg are cautiously optimistic about a productive summer session with news emerging from the Governor’s office about who will (and won’t) be at the negotiating table.  Gov. Tom Wolf’s Chief of Staff Mary Isenhour looks set to lead the administration’s side during budget negotiations this time around, after meetings during last year’s nine-month standoff were bogged down by too many people, Chris Comisac of Capitolwire reports.  Though others will still be included in budget meetings, everything will have to be approved by Wolf and Isenhour, making it clear to GOP legislative leaders who they will be negotiating with.

“In his 2016-17 budget, the governor has proposed a $200 million increase to basic education funding, along with a $50 million increase to special education, and a $60 million increase to early childhood education. He has also outlined a charter school reform plan that will save $180 million for school districts across the commonwealth over the next three years by adjusting charter school reimbursements to better reflect actual costs of educating students with special needs. His budget also calls for a new funding formula for cyber charter schools, which are fundamentally different than brick-and-mortar charter schools. This will save $50 million annually for Pennsylvania school districts.”
Governor Wolf’s BLOG: Kudos To Pennsylvania’s Top High Schools
May 05, 2016 By: Sarah Galbally, Secretary of Policy & Planning
You may have already seen U.S. News and World Report’s Top 30 Public High Schools in Pennsylvania, and those schools deserve a great deal of recognition for their accomplishments in helping students achieve the very best possible academic outcomes.  At the same time, this list also reminds us that Pennsylvania’s education system is the most inequitable in the country. Right now, a child’s zip code alone dictates the quality of his or her education — and that is simply unacceptable.  The commonwealth is one of only three states without a school funding formula. Pennsylvania’s school districts, on average, receive just 35 percent of their funding from state dollars — which leads to soaring property taxes at the local level.  Further, the $1 billion in cuts made under the previous administration have been detrimental to students in all 500 districts — but especially those in low-income areas. Governor Wolf is working to turn this around.

GOP wants relief for schools if Pennsylvania budget stalemate strikes again
Meadville Tribune By John Finnerty CNHI News Service May 4, 2016
HARRISBURG — In a sign of pessimism heading into budget season, Republicans are pushing for relief valves that will automatically release school funding even if no deal is struck by the end of June.  Democrats say those triggers will diminish the pressure to finish a budget on time.  “While my colleagues and I are all working to meet the June 30 budget deadline, history has shown that intractable positions can result in costly delays,” said state Rep. David Hickernell, R-Lancaster County, who wrote a plan for the automatic payments.  During the last budget stalemate, which lingered nine months, schools throughout the state spent $40 million and $50 million in interest charges on short-term loans to cover money they were expecting from the state.  That cost will fall to property tax payers, Hickernell said.  Under the Republican plan, if by Aug. 15 lawmakers and the governor haven't agreed on basic education funding, school districts will start getting subsidies patterned from what they received the previous year, until an appropriations bill is passed.  The House Education Committee agreed to the measure Monday. An identical bill passed the Senate's Education Committee two weeks ago.  Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer County, one of eight Democrats who voted against the bill in the House Committee, said it's tantamount to planning for failure.
“Our job is to get a budget done by June 30," he said.

Report: School funding inadequate to meet everyday needs
Bradford Era By MARCIE SCHELLHAMMER Era Associate editor Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2016 10:00 am
“A child is in kindergarten once, and can never get that year back,” said Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg, staff attorney with the Public Interest Law Center in Philadelphia.  Yet the current rate of funding Pennsylvania’s schools is inadequate to make kindergarten — and every subsequent year — the best it can be, he explained.  While the nine-month state budget impasse dragged on, Ackelsberg decided to file a Right to Know request for “funding impact plans” submitted by school districts to the state at the beginning of the 2015-16 budget process.  “When the governor came in, he proposed this historic increase in basic education funding and   the districts were required to submit reports on how they would use the funds,” Ackelsberg said. “We thought — looking forward to next year’s budget fight — it would be helpful to look back to last year to see what opportunities were lost.  “It’s really pretty sobering.”  He prepared a report detailing those requests from each district in the state. The results are available on the center’s website at

School advocates press support for new funding formula
Philly Trib by Wilford Shamlin III Tribune Staff Writer  Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 12:00 am
Representatives for five local school advocacy groups traveled by bus to Harrisburg on Monday morning to push state lawmakers for on-time funding to Pennsylvania’s 500 public schools.  The officials from the Public Citizens for Youth and Children, the Public Interest Law Center, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, the Education Voters of Pennsylvania and the Education Law Center made the trip.  The groups praised state lawmakers last week on the steps of the School District of Philadelphia administrative building for adopting a new weighted school-funding formula, but said it means little without appropriating money for the public schools. The legislature recently adopted the funding formula but officials want to make sure the plan stays on track.

Citing long list of violations, Northwestern Lehigh moves to close Circle of Seasons Charter School
Sarah M. Wojcik Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call May 5, 2016
WEISENBERG TOWNSHIP — The Northwestern Lehigh School District has started the process of shutting down Circle of Seasons Charter School, alleging a long list of violations including discouraging special education students from attending and failing to do mandated background checks on all staff.  Circle of Seasons, a school for students in kindergarten to fourth grade in Weisenberg Township, was seeking to renew its charter for five years, but the school board voted 6-3 last month to start the non-renewal process.  After a comprehensive review, the board said Circle of Seasons, which opened in 2013, violated a host of state and federal laws.  Among the alleged violations were failure to do state and federal background checks on all workers, failure to follow public bidding laws, missing payments to the state teacher retirement fund and not having a certified school principal.  The district also noted that discrimination claims against the school were filed by five former employees with the state Human Relations Commission and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

ALEC comes to Pittsburgh
It will convene special interests and work to undermine our democracy
Post Gazette Opinion By Allen Kukovich and Barry Kauffman May 6, 2016 12:00 AM
A secretive, well-organized and generously financed lobbying group that works to shift power away from the people and toward a ruling class of corporate lobbyists, executives and wealthy special interests meets today in Pittsburgh’s Omni William Penn Hotel. The spring meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council provides a forum for highly paid lobbyists to persuade conservative legislators to do the dirty work of undercutting democracy.
This national organization has roots in our area. In the early 1970s, local billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife provided a half-million dollars to help start ALEC; the funds constituted most of the organization’s budget at the time.  At the ALEC confab, state legislators from across the country will sit down with corporate executives and lobbyists to consider “model” bills affecting everything from your access to health care to your and your co-workers’ ability to collectively bargain with your employer over wages, hours and working conditions. Among other things, ALEC wants your tax dollars to be used to support private, for-profit schools and it wants to repeal laws and regulations designed to clean up the air you breathe and the water you drink.
ALEC’s corporate sponsors include some of the nation’s biggest companies: ExxonMobil, Pfizer, UPS, Comcast, Koch Industries and AT&T, among others. At the Omni, they’ll share legislative and policy wish lists with lawmakers, lubricating their pitches with fine wine, cocktails and multi-course meals. Then the legislators and lobbyists will vote — as equals — to endorse the model bills and join forces to get them passed across the country.

“What I like about the conference is that the job creators of the world are sharing their positions of the unintended consequences, which a lot of folks don't pay attention to nowadays,” said state Rep. Brian Ellis, R-Butler, who plans to attend. Ellis said that since joining ALEC in 2005, he has found “dealing with legislators from other states to be invaluable.”
ALEC summit in Pittsburgh to attract lawmakers, controversy
BY NATASHA LINDSTROM  | Thursday, May 5, 2016, 7:24 p.m.
Hundreds of U.S. lawmakers will descend Friday on Downtown Pittsburgh to swap policy and review “model” laws drafted by one of the most influential and controversial legislative advocacy machines in America.  The American Legislative Exchange Council, a Washington-based libertarian organization, expects roughly 400 state lawmakers to attend ALEC's one-day spring task force summit at Omni William Penn Hotel.  “We don't go into the states and lobby. We develop model policy,” said ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson, who took the helm about a year and a half ago, after working in public and governmental affairs for Visa, AOL Time Warner and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.  Participants at the private, no-press event will discuss hot-button issues, such as public pension and tax reform. They'll also hear from panelists of industry representatives and research analysts promoting examples of legislation drafted by ALEC's task forces in areas including energy, criminal justice and economic development.  Labor and other groups have said they plan to stage protests Friday, accusing the group of bringing together corporate interests, lobbyists and lawmakers to the detriment of workers.  “Working people in Pennsylvania deserve a legislature that represents everyone, not just corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors,” said Jack Shea, president of the Allegheny County Labor Council.

Philly district ending deal with subs contractor
Inquirer by Martha Woodall, Staff Writer Updated: MAY 6, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
The Philadelphia School District will sever its ties with a New Jersey company that failed to deliver on its promise to provide substitute teachers to staff classrooms across the city.
"I am committed to resolving the substitute teacher staffing challenges long facing our schools," Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Thursday evening. "Our effort to improve substitute coverage this year fell woefully short." District officials said that they and Source4Teachers of Cherry Hill had mutually agreed to end the contract June 30 after one year.  On May 19, the School Reform Commission is expected to vote on hiring another company - Kelly Services - to take over placement of substitutes in the fall.  A draft of the SRC resolution was expected to be posted on the district's website Friday.  "I am confident that Kelly Services will be successful, given its track record with large urban school districts," Hite said.

Philly Council president says 3-cent soda tax is too high
Philadelphia City Council's president is pessimistic that Mayor Jim Kenney's proposed tax on sugary drinks will pass "as is."   Darrell Clarke said he doubts the 3-cents-per-ounce tariff on soda and other sugary drinks will win enough votes from his colleagues.  "That number just is not reflective of reality," Clarke said Thursday.  If the levy is not approved, Councilman Curtis Jones said, there will be no viable way to pay for Kenney's proposed citywide pre-K and improvements to recreation centers and libraries.  "This is a small town and a network of villages that people get to spend summers at, whether it's a pool or at a baseball field or a boxing gym, and we want to preserve that," he said. "And they're crumbling around our heads."

In final state budget, Lancaster County schools get $8.1 million increase
Lancaster Online KARA NEWHOUSE | Staff Writer May 5, 2016
With one month of school remaining, administrators can finally stop wondering how much state funding they’ll get this year.  The state Department of Education released updated figures this week for how $200 million in new funds will be divided among Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts for 2015-16.  Lancaster County schools will receive about $8.1 million more than last year’s allocations — totaling about $177 million.  The largest increase of 13 percent goes to Conestoga Valley School District. The smallest increase is 2.9 percent at Manheim Central.
For most school leaders, the boosts are higher than they were expecting under a distribution plan from Gov. Tom Wolf. Under that plan, Lancaster County schools would have received increases totaling $3.6 million.  Instead, state money will be distributed using a formula recommended by a bipartisan legislative committee last year.

Introducing the new faces in the Mayor’s Office of Education and their plan for community schools in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development Interview by Caitlin Fritz Posted on April 29, 2016
2016 has brought Philadelphia a new Mayor, Jim Kenney, who has outlined an expansive vision for education in the city. A crucial component of Mayor Kenney’s plan is his pledge to create 25 community schools over the next four years. Leading the effort to develop a community school strategy for Philadelphia is the Mayor’s Office of Education, including Chief Education Officer Otis D. Hackney III, and Director for Community Schools, Susan Gobreski. I recently had a chance to talk the Mayor’s new team about the plan to expand community schools in Philadelphia.

Senator-elect Killion to be sworn in on Wednesday
The PLS Reporter Email May 6, 2016
Senator-elect Tom Killion (R-Delaware) is scheduled to be sworn into office during Senate session on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, Senate leadership announced Thursday.
Sen.-elect Killion was elected to office during a special election held during the primary election on April 26th. He replaces Dominic Pileggi, who resigned for office after being elected to the Delaware County bench.  With the swearing in, the Senate will return to full complememt of 50 members: 31 Republicans and 19 Democrats.

How Much Does It Cost To Educate A Student In Michigan? (Or, In The U.S.?)
NPR by JENNIFER GUERRA May 4, 20165:56 PM ET
There's no magical spending threshold for student success. Solutions are also complicated by the fact that children with different needs require different levels of support.  To better understand those needs — and what it will cost to meet them — a state can commission what's called an "adequacy study."  Most states have already done at least one.
Michigan is a late-comer. Its first adequacy study is due out this month.  Many times, states get back their adequacy studies and do nothing.  But it's a start.
The story of Michigan's quest for the perfect dollar amount is part of the NPR reporting project School Money, a nationwide collaboration between NPR's Ed Team and 20 member station reporters exploring how states pay for their public schools and why many are failing to meet the needs of their most vulnerable students.

Trump’s Education Agenda, in 52 Seconds
Education Writers Association Educated Reported Blog MAY 4, 2016 ERIK ROBELEN
With Donald Trump now seen as the presumptive Republican nominee for president, after his strong victory in the Indiana primary, attention surely will grow to what he would actually do if elected.  If you want to know where Trump stands on education, you might think the first place to go would be his campaign website.  But don’t expect to find much information there. Education is not among the seven “positions” cited, which include “pay for the wall” with Mexico, healthcare reform, and 2nd Amendment rights. Under “issues,” education is one in a series of 20 videos on Trump’s campaign site and lasts all of 52 seconds.  “I’m a tremendous believer in education,” Trump begins, “but education has to be at a local level. We cannot have the bureaucrats in Washington telling you how to manage your child’s education.”

Zuckerberg and Chan Recruit Former Ed. Dept. Official to Head Giving Efforts
Education Week By Arianna Prothero on May 4, 2016 2:53 PM | No comments
By Benjamin Herold. This story originally appeared on the Digital Education blog.
Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education James Shelton will head the education efforts of the multi-billion dollar philanthropic organization created by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, pediatrician Priscilla Chan.  To date, Zuckerberg and Chan's education investments include launching a tuition-free private school for low-income students in East Palo Alto, Calif. and, perhaps most notoriously, investing$100 million in a plan to revamp public education in Newark, N.J., which included expanding the city's charter school sector.
"I am honored to join the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and work with Priscilla and Mark," Shelton said in a statement accompanying the announcement. "Their vision for the future is bold and I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to expand opportunities for every child."
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was formed last fall, when the couple announced their intent to give 99 percent of their Facebook stock, valued at an estimated $45 billion, to a variety of causes, headlined by technology-enabled personalized learning in K-12 education. Created as a limited liability corporation, the organization is free to make philanthropic donations, invest in for-profit companies, and engage in political lobbying and policy advocacy.

Teacher on testing: We did everything state asked. Didn’t matter.
Atlanta Journal Constitution By Maureen Downey  May 5, 2016 
Sometimes, I get a column submission that nails it. Here’s one of them. Christine Cato, a third-grade teacher from Vidalia City, sheds some light on why Georgia teacher are feeling frustrated right now.
By Christine Cato
When the state of Georgia said, “You have to make sure you differentiate all of your lessons to meet the needs of each individual student,” I said, “Absolutely.”
When the state said, “Your students learn better when they are able to collaborate with each other in small groups,” I said, “You got it!”
When the state of Georgia said, “Move away from paper/pencil assessments. Instead, have your students create a product,” I said, “Sounds like fun!” When the state said, “Kids are kinesthetic learners…don’t make them sit in their desks all day­. They need to move around,” I said, “Anything for my students!”

Survey: Nearly half of teachers would quit now for higher-paying job
 Greg Toppo, USATODAY2:56 p.m. EDT May 5, 2016
They may be smiling, America, but your public school teachers are a frustrated bunch.
About six in 10 are losing enthusiasm for the job, and just as many say they spend too much time prepping students for state-mandated tests. Nearly half say they’d quit teaching now if they could find a higher-paying job.  The grim findings come from a wide-ranging survey of K-12 public school teachers released Thursday by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Education Policy, a centrist think tank. Maria Ferguson, executive director for the center, said the results show teachers are “constantly feeling yanked in a million different directions.”

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:

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 (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 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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