Monday, May 9, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup May 9: CFEF: Make new formula permanent; increase 16-17 funding by $400M

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup May 9, 2016: CFEF: Make new formula permanent; increase 16-17 funding by $400M



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



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

“Resolving the deficit is important because Pennsylvania faces downgrades from credit rating agencies such as Moody’s and S&P otherwise. The agencies have said the current budget doesn’t address the deficit or public pension debt. A credit downgrade means higher costs to taxpayers when state government does routine borrowing.”
Capitol Matters: Budget deadline nearing fast
Citizens Voice BY ROBERT SWIFT Published: May 8, 2016
HARRISBURG — Because the state budget for fiscal 2015-16 wasn’t completed until two weeks ago, there is a reluctance to think deeply about the budget for fiscal 2016-17, which faces a June 30 passage deadline.  That’s less than two months away.  Yet April is one of the largest state tax revenue collection months, signaling the arrival of budget season at the Capitol.  The Revenue Department collected $3.7 billion in taxes last month, about 0.7 percent less than estimated. Total tax collections for the fiscal year to date are about $26 billion, or $122 million above estimate. Things won’t change that drastically during May and June as far as revenue is concerned.  That leaves the size of the built-in state revenue deficit due to escalating pension costs and overreliance on one-time revenue sources as the major question hanging over Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers. Unlike Washington, Pennsylvania is legally required to have a budget balanced between spending and revenues.  The Wolf administration pegs the deficit at $2 billion, while House Appropriations Chairman Bill Adolph, R-Springfield, thinks it will be in the $1.3 billion to  $1.5 billion range.

“The Campaign for Fair Education Funding, a coalition of labor unions, social welfare groups and education improvement advocates, is pressing for $400 million in new aid to schools. It is advocating the year-old formula to distribute the money instead of the politically sticky position of backing Wolf's push to wipe out the 5-year-old funding cuts or reducing aid to districts that, arguably, should not be getting it.  Even so, pumping that much new aid into schools year after year will soon iron out funding disparities in Pennsylvania schools, some say.
"If we continue to do it at $150 million a year, like we did this year, it'll take over 20 years," Buckheit said. "If we do a $400 million increase going forward over the next several years, we can get there in six to eight years."
Amid inequity, school funding may be budget flashpoint again
Inquirer By MARC LEVY - Associated Press - Saturday, May 7, 2016
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania’s school funding could once again become a contentious point in fledgling state budget talks after a fight over how school funding helped drive this past year’s historic budget stalemate.  The stalemate came amid the backdrop of federal data showing that Pennsylvania harbors the nation’s most inequitable education system in terms of a funding disparity between wealthier and poorer school districts.  It’s not clear that much has changed, and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said this past week that inequity is still a serious problem.

Hey, ready for another state budget battle?
by John Baer, Daily News Political Columnist Updated: MAY 9, 2016 — 12:16 AM EDT
LET'S ALL WISH our (cough) great state leaders luck.  They're gonna need it.
For the Wolf administration and Republican bigwigs are starting to talk about a new state budget that's due at the end of next month.  That's right. Here we go again.
And as they chat about new taxes or no new taxes, fixing a deficit, funding education and so on, they face the same set of problems and issues that stymied them last time for, well, longer than the duration of a full-term pregnancy.  And after that there was no birth of a new Pennsylvania.  Instead, things that lots of folks want - property tax relief, pension reform, liquor reform, shale tax - died on the vine.  Instead, after cussin' and fightin' and partisan rancor, the Legislature passed a budget that Gov. Wolf allowed to become law that amounts to little more than maintenance.

“It was painful for me to go through the period we went through last year where those were the institutions that were hurt the most because the impasse meant the state funding, however inadequate, wasn’t coming to them and they couldn’t plan because they didn’t know when it was coming through,” Gov. Wolf said.  “That was absolutely appropriate, that was something that I did, that we did in Harrisburg and it did cause a lot of problems for schools.”
Changing DEP’s Drilling Regs May Be At Heart Of Budget Compromises In Harrisburg
Crisci Associates Environmental Digest May 8, 2016
The Wolf Administration this week let it be known the Governor’s Chief Of Staff Mary Isenhour would be the one negotiating the budget this year to avoid last year’s problem of “too many cooks in the kitchen,” according to Capitolwire.com.  The other visible change, so far, is the lack of weekly (or daily) budget salvoes back and forth between Republicans and Gov. Wolf.  But, then again, it’s early.  On KDKA radio in Pittsburgh, Gov. Wolf said the budget impasse was necessary in order to bring all players to the reality of the budget situation.  “We couldn’t keep going down that same road where the state was not coming up with the funding that we should at the state level,” Gov. Wolf said. “We needed to have that impasse, which was a catharsis, to try to shake ourselves into some sense or reality in terms of what the state should be doing.”

School districts await construction reimbursement money from state
Trib Live BY MARY ANN THOMAS  | Saturday, May 7, 2016, 11:20 p.m.
When the state's nine-month budget impasse ended in March, money for Pennsylvania's 500 school districts was released, but the state's contribution remained short. About $266 million short.  The budget Gov. Tom Wolf allowed to become law without his signature did not include any money for “PlanCon,” the state program that reimburses districts for a portion of their education-related construction costs.  The budget impasse blocked the release of PlanCon money. While both Democrats and Republicans agreed to fund it, they disagreed on how to pay for it.  The result is schools likely won't get any PlanCon money before the school year ends June 30.  And because the state may borrow $2.5 billion to pay for the program, it's unclear when and how much money schools can expect.

“The Basic Education Funding Commission established last year identified 180 school districts that are underfunded by $937 million every year.  …One plan would allocate additional state funding for education with one-fourth of the money going to everybody and three-fourths set aside to boost underfunded schools.  The idea is in the form of legislation proposed by state Rep. David Parker, R-114th Dist., which is scheduled to get a hearing before the House Education Committee in the next few weeks.  The 3-1 ratio dividing $400 million would give every district additional funding each year; it’s just that those in greater need would receive a greater amount.”
Pa. schools fair funding debate picks up support
Pottstown Mercury Editorial POSTED: 05/08/16, 12:01 AM EDT | UPDATED: 11 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 with a 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.  In Pottstown last week, it was the fair funding rallying cry that took center stage.

 “Not to impugn the intentions of the 46 cosponsors of the civics test bill, but the legislation smells suspiciously like an election-year gambit. Who, after all, could be opposed to students learning about the foundations of America?  It would be more impressive if a bipartisan group of representatives could come up with a budget on time. Maybe that budget could lay the groundwork for a reform of the state’s appalling system for financing education, which relies on local property taxes and a regressive state income tax structure that dooms schools in less-affluent areas to perpetual under-funding and under-achievement.  Getting that through the General Assembly would be a true test of responsible citizenship in Harrisburg.”
Pa. schools need more money, not another state-imposed test
Citizens Voice Editorial by THE EDITORIAL BOARD Published: May 8, 2016
a. Why do some states have more representatives in Congress than other states?
b. Can you name one of the writers of the Federalist Papers?
c. When was the U.S. Constitution written?
d. How many amendments are there to the Constitution?
Miss any of those? You’d better go back to school. Or if you’re currently in school, you’d better study up, or you might never get out.  A bipartisan group of state representatives, including Harveys Lake Republican Karen Boback, has introduced legislation that would require all high school seniors to pass a civics test based on the U.S. citizenship test in order to graduate.  It’s hard to argue that Americans wouldn’t benefit from a better grounding in the nation’s history, government and politics. Just witness some of the goings-on in this year’s presidential race.  But is it wise to add yet another standardized test to students’ already full test calendar? The state Department of Education is talking about scaling back reliance on such tests and the Wolf Administration recently postponed the implementation of previously mandated graduation tests until at least 2018-19. The topics covered by the proposed civics test — the form and function of U.S. government, American history and geography — are already part of every social studies curriculum.

“We can get rid of the gerrymandering and install a citizen commission to design election districts fairly. Urge your state legislator to support Senate Bill 484 and House Bill 1835. Check FairDistrictsPA.com for a message to move these bills now.”
Letters: End gerrymandering, make elections fair
Inquirer Letter by Ken Myers, chair, Common Cause of Pennsylvania, Elkins Park Updated: MAY 9, 2016 — 3:01 AM EDT
In the Pennsylvania primaries, with hot battles for president in both major parties and 18 congressional seats and a Senate seat at stake, just 45 percent of registered voters turned out. This was a primary people cared about, with clear, major differences that separated the candidates.  Why did most voters stay home? Many believe the system is rigged, through complicated political party rules for nominating conventions, through superdelegates, and in other ways ("After the primaries," May 1).  The system is rigged in the race for seats in Congress. Voting districts are set up to assure that the incumbent stays in power ("More votes that matter," April 27). The party with less than half the votes routinely walks away with more than two-thirds of our congressional seats. The story is the same in the state legislature.

“According to Business Manager Peggy Gillespie, that is because of two factors: an increased contribution to the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System and a lack of state reimbursement for school construction work.”
Kiski Area School District budget avoids tax increase, but shortfall expected
Trib Live BY TOM YERACE | Sunday, May 8, 2016, 11:36 p.m.
Real estate taxes will not increase under the Kiski Area School District preliminary budget presented Wednesday.  But the $58.3 million spending plan is looking at a shortfall.
According to Business Manager Peggy Gillespie, that is because of two factors: an increased contribution to the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System and a lack of state reimbursement for school construction work.  “We are looking at a $3 million spread between the two of them,” Gillespie said.  She said the PSERS payment, which was $5.5 million last year, will be $6.9 million this year — a $1.4 million increase.  The reimbursement is actually for the debt service on the $30 million bond issue used to finance construction and renovation in the elementary schools dating to 2010.  “According to the state's calculations, we would be looking at a $1.5 million reimbursement,” Gillespie said.

Hempfield School District considers 2.4 percent tax increase
Lancaster Online JUSTIN STOLTZFUS | LNP CORRESPONDENT May 8, 2016
Homeowners in Hempfield School District would see their tax bills rise by 2.4 percent as part of a nearly $117 million proposed budget likely to win approval Tuesday.  A majority of school board members who attended a finance committee meeting last week said they support the tax increase, the maximum allowed by the state without seeking an exception.  The increase would raise school tax rate from 19.653 to 20.125 mills, an increase of around $80 for the average district homeowner with a property assessed at $169,470. A property owner with a house assessed at that amount would pay about $3,411 in school taxes in the fiscal year that begins July 1, up from about $3,331.  The board has been wrestling for nearly two months with the issue of how much of a tax hike is crucial to deliver K-12 educational programming to 6,826 students. Like other schools, Hempfield is facing the rising costs of salaries, benefits and pensions, as well finding ways to invest about $21 million in building maintenance over the next eight years.

Commentary: Education efforts that would make Mr. Rogers proud
Inquirer Opinion By Gregg Behr and Maxwell King Updated: MAY 9, 2016 — 3:01 AM EDT
What happens when one of the most divisive presidential primary campaigns in memory sweeps through Mister Rogers' Neighborhood?  From our positions at Pennsylvania foundations that have long invested in continuing Fred Rogers' legacy of innovation in children's education and development, the question has occurred to us more than once over the past few weeks.  A primary contest should be a fantastic opportunity to excite children about the political process and the issues important to their futures. Instead, it has at times devolved into an R-rated, cringe-inducing media spectacle. And while we're convinced that Fred would be troubled by the bickering, brawling, and name-calling, we think he would be even more concerned about what is not being said: anything substantive about children and their development.

“Though the bill easily passed the House, not everyone was in support. Rep. Jordan Harris, a Philadelphia Democrat, said that he is a churchgoing Christian, but that people "have a right to believe in the god of their choosing or believe in no creator at all."  He said that's why he voted no. And he suggested that concerns about students' understanding of history would be better remedied by making sure schools are adequately funded.  "If my colleagues are concerned about young people knowing the history of the country, then let us get to the business of fixing the $2 billion structural deficit" and providing enough funding "so we can have the money in the schools," Harris said.”
Pa. bill would add a motto
Inquirer by Karen Langley, HARRISBURG BUREAU Updated: MAY 9, 2016 — 3:01 AM EDT
HARRISBURG - The way State Rep. Rick Saccone sees it, American children are being bombarded with bad influences.  Instead of being taught patriotism, he says, they are playing violent video games and listening to vulgar music.  "Our culture celebrates all the negative things: materialism, vulgarity, pornography, every type of lawlessness," said Saccone, a Republican from Allegheny County.  His solution, or at least a step in a better direction, can be summed up in four words:  In God We Trust.  For years now, Saccone has been pushing a bill that would tell Pennsylvania schools they can post the national motto, as well as the Bill of Rights.

Proposed Philly soda tax gets wide attention
Inquirer by Julia Terruso, Staff Writer Updated: MAY 8, 2016 — 3:01 AM EDT
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have weighed in. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a billionaire couple from Houston are writing checks. Tax wonks and health advocates from Seattle to Washington, D.C., are setting up Google alerts so as not to miss the latest news.  The debate over Mayor Kenney's 3-cents-per-ounce sugary drink tax, it seems, is reverberating far beyond city limits.  "In my circles, people are talking about Philadelphia constantly," said Marlene Schwartz, director of the Connecticut-based Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, which supports such taxes.  Some experts say a win for Kenney in Philadelphia could be a tipping point for enacting soda taxes in other major metropolitan areas. That's good or bad news depending on where you fall on the issue.  But both sides are anxiously watching, particularly because of the unique pitch being used to sell the levy here. Rather than push it as a health measure to fight obesity, as done elsewhere, Kenney is offering his measure as a way to fund early childhood education.

Philly District gives up on Source4Teachers, poised to hire new firm
The notebook by Dale Mezzacappa May 6, 2016 — 1:17pm
The School District is ending its relationship with Source4Teachers.
The School District has thrown in the towel with Source4Teachers to provide substitute service to schools after a disastrous year, but it is poised to hire another firm that has more experience dealing with large urban areas.  The School Reform Commission plans to vote on a contract with Kelly Educational Staffing at its next meeting on May 19.  Officials expressed hope that Kelly, a national firm – unlike Source4Teachers, which is mostly regional and based in Cherry Hill – will be able to do better. Source4Teachers, hired last summer, set ambitious goals for providing substitutes but never met them, leaving tens of thousands of students without consistent instruction and throwing schools into chaos as other teachers scrambled to cover for absent colleagues.  Kelly has experience in providing substitutes for large districts, including Duval County, Florida, which includes Jacksonville, the capital city.

Philly schools' new subs contract criticized, cheered
Inquirer by Martha Woodall, Staff Writer Updated: MAY 6, 2016 — 10:04 PM EDT
Now that the Philadelphia School District is parting ways with substitutes contractor Source4Teachers, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan isn't exactly saying, "I told you so."  But he notes that he predicted last fall that the Cherry Hill firm would be unable to deliver on its pledge to fill 75 percent of the positions that were vacant on the first day of school and 90 percent by Jan. 1. Yet Jordan opposes the district's proposal to replace Source4Teachers with another company. He believes the district can do a better job of providing substitutes at a fraction of the cost.  "This is another outsourcing experiment," Jordan said Friday. "If you do the arithmetic, you will see it is a substantial amount of money. The School District can manage this in house much more cheaply."  The School Reform Commission is expected to vote May 19 on a proposed contract with Kelly Services to take over placement of substitutes in the fall.


“It’s critical to kids’ futures to look beyond the celebrity haze and see “National School Choice Week” for what it truly is, a profit-driven wolf in sheep’s clothing that stands to erode our nation’s public schools. Read “Top 10 Reasons School Choice is No Choice“ to shake off any lingering stardust.”
K-12 Education for Sale - Buying and Selling Kids’ Futures
The for-profit assault on public education is real - and growing.
Huffington Post by David A. Pickler May 7, 20116
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.
It’s a deft turn of phrase, “school choice” - until you scratch the surface and discover that it is a marketing ploy. Simply put, the tug-of-war between public and private interests is, at its core, about money, placing the interests of the few over the needs of the many.  The battle to control the fate of America’s K-12 education market is not new - but the profit potential is higher. A 2014 article in The Nation outlined how venture capitalists and for-profit firms are “salivating over the exploding $700 billion+ market in public education.”  For 6 days in late January, National School Choice Week, “the largest series of education-related events in U.S. history,” held more than 16,000 separate events across 50 states, a 45 percent increase over 2015. Celebrity firepower included former Cosby child star Keshia Knight Pulliam Hartwell, Vivica A. Fox, Louis Gossett, Jr., Kathie Lee Gifford, and other celebrity “champions for choice.”

Survey: Classroom, Formative Tests Far More Useful Than End-of-Year Exams
Education Week Curriculum Matters By Catherine Gewertz on May 5, 2016 7:30 AM
Parents, students, teachers, and administrators place greater value on classroom tests and formative assessments than they do on summative tests used for accountability, according to a new survey.  The results, from a Gallup poll released Thursday, reflect a view reported widely: that families and educators find statewide accountability testing to have limited value. It was commissioned by theNorthwest Evaluation Association, which has a keen interest in these matters: NWEA is the maker of the widely used MAP formative assessments. In the last four years, it has conducted periodic surveys gauging public opinion on assessment, such as this one, from 2014, about the amount of time students spend taking tests.  In the most recent poll, Gallup examined the attitudes of 4,200 students, parents, teachers, principals, and superintendents. The survey was conducted just as states begin contemplating the new testing flexibility they have under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

‘I have seen the school of tomorrow. It is here today, in Finland.’
Washington Post By Valerie Strauss May 7 at 1:30 PM 
William Doyle is a 2015-2016 Fulbright Scholar who joined the faculty of the University of Eastern Finland last year as a lecturer on media and education. He has enrolled his 7-year-old son in a Finnish public school and has been dazzled at what he has seen. His Fulbright project title: “Global Education Forum: The Schools of Tomorrow.” In this post, he talks about an approach to education in Finland that he thinks would do well in the United States.  Doyle served as director of original programming and executive producer during seven years at HBO. In 2014, he co-wrote with civil rights icon James Meredith the American Child’s Education Bill of Rights, which you can read about here. He is the co-author, with former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, of the New York Times bestseller, “American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms.”  His other books include “A Soldier’s Dream: Captain Travis Patriquin and the Awakening of Iraq,” “An American Insurrection: James Meredith and the Battle of Oxford, Mississippi” (winner of the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award and the American Library Association’s Alex Award), “Inside the Oval Office” (a New York Times Notable Book), and “A Mission from God” (with James Meredith). He was co-producer of the PBS special “Navy SEALs: Their Untold Story,” for which he co-wrote the companion book. His latest book is “PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy.”  When he isn’t in Finland, he lives in New York City.

How Parental Power(lessness) Distinguishes Suburban Public Schools from Urban Charters
Edushyster Blog By Emily KaplanMAY 3, 2016 by EDUSHYSTER2012
This is how you get your child into a public school in an affluent suburb:
1. Make a lot of money.
2. Buy a house in an affluent suburb.
Congratulations! Your child will now receive a top-tier education!*
*If you ever feel that your child is not receiving the education to which she is entitled, exercise your right to go directly to the administration and complain. (Your tax dollars pay their salaries, after all.) Work with teachers and administrators, many of whom have decades of experience, to create an individualized education plan for your child. Do not fear retribution: your child cannot legally be driven from the district in which you have chosen to live.**
  • **If you still feel that your child is not receiving the best education property taxes can buy, you may choose among several courses of action, including: going to the school committee (an elected board on which sits one or more parent representatives like yourself); running for a seat on said committee; sending your child to a private school; or moving to another suburb, where you may repeat the steps above until you are satisfied.
This is how you get your child into a Boston charter school:

Survey: Linda Darling-Hammond, Ben Carson Most Likely Ed. Secretary Picks
Education Week Politics K-12 By Andrew Ujifusa on May 9, 2016 7:10 AM
Education researcher Linda Darling-Hammond and former Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson are the most likely picks to be U.S. Secretary of Education for White House candidatesHillary Clinton and Donald Trump, respectively, according to an "Education Insiders" survey by Whiteboard Advisors released Monday. And who's second on the list for Clinton? American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, say these insiders.  The survey of roughly 50 to 75 current and former White House and U.S. Department of Education leaders, current and former congressional staff members, state education officials, and think tank leaders also found that a slight majority of them believe that over the next two years, more states will stop participating in two consortia (PARCC and Smarter Balanced) that were originally funded by Washington and create tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards.   And these "insiders" are generally pessimistic about the extent to which both the media and presidential politics will focus on education, although there's some belief that higher education could be an exception.

Donald Trump on education: Wrong, wrong and wrong
Washington Post By Valerie Strauss May 8 at 1:59 PM 
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, doesn’t talk all that much about education issues, but when he  does, it is usually about the Common Core, rankings and spending. And usually he is wrong, wrong and wrong.  In one Trump ad this year, he hit all three in just a few sentences:  “I’m a tremendous believer in education. 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. So Common Core is a total disaster. We can’t let it continue. We are rated 28th in the world, the United States. Think of it, 28th in the world. And, frankly, we spend far more per pupil than any other country in the world. By far. It’s not even a close second.”  And on May 2, he said:  Now, if you look at education. Thirty countries. We’re last. We’re like 30th. We’re last. So we’re last in education. If you look at cost per pupil, we’re first. So we — and by the way, there is no second because we  spent so much more per pupil that they don’t even talk about No. 2. It’s ridiculous.
Talk about ridiculous.


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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