Monday, August 22, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup Aug 22: Charter Report: Big money, little oversight

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup August 22, 2016:
Charter Report: Big money, little oversight



The Fair Funding Lawsuit is moving forward!  Join us Sep. 13th at Philly City Hall.  Info & RSVP: http://ow.ly/s6sg303hLDm 
Tweet from Education Law Center ‏@edlawcenterpa  August 17, 2016



Wolf administration seeks to move Pa. graduation requirements away from standardized tests
WHYY Newsworks BY KEVIN MCCORRY AUGUST 19, 2016
Pennsylvania continues to wrestle with an essential question for the future of its people and its economy: What should a high school diploma mean, and what should it take to earn one?
In the past decade, the state has moved towards prioritizing standardized testing as a graduation requirement.  But the pendulum now seems to be swinging in the opposite direction.  A quick history lesson - In the mid 2000s, Democratic Governor Ed Rendell's administration pushed to create new standardized tests that students would need to pass in order to graduate high school.  By 2010, the measure became law, and it was decided that there would be 10 end-of-subject "Keystone" exams.  Only three of these were developed — algebra, literature and biology.  Students began taking the tests in 2012, and performance was supposed to affect graduation for the class of 2017.  But then, many more students than expected weren't passing the exams.  Annual pass rates have been below 60 percent for more than half of all district and charter schools, with lower pass rates for low-income students and students of color.  The state offered no additional resources to help students remediate or complete alternate project-based assessments — a nightmare for districts and parents.

“Pennsylvania had planned to use the end-of-course Keystone exams as a graduation requirement beginning with the class of 2017, but legislators and the governor postponed that until 2019. The same legislation instructed the department to develop alternative ways to ensure students are ready to graduate.”
Keystone test no longer an exit exam
Inquirer by Karen Langley, HARRISBURG BUREAU Updated: AUGUST 22, 2016 1:08 AM EDT
HARRISBURG - With use of Keystone exams as a high school graduation requirement on hold, the state Department of Education is recommending that Pennsylvania allow students several ways to demonstrate they merit a diploma.  In a report published this month, the department says that barely half of 2015 graduates achieved a score of proficient on the three required Keystone exams, in algebra 1, biology and literature. The department concluded that exit exams are not the only valid way to measure a student's mastery of a subject or readiness for success after high school.  New Jersey and 14 other states are requiring students in the class of 2017 to pass exit exams to graduate from high school, according to the Education Commission of the States, but it also noted that since 2011 a number of states have dropped exit exam requirements.

Report: Charter administration costs double those of other public schools
Inquirer by Caitlin McCabe, Staff Writer Updated: AUGUST 19, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
Charter-school administrative expenditures are nearly double those of conventional public schools, and their highest-ranking officials are paid far more.  They spend less on instruction than school districts, but more on support services and facilities.  And while charter-school enrollment has jumped significantly over time, payments to the schools are far outpacing their actual rates of growth in admission.  All that is according to a report on Pennsylvania's charter schools issued Thursday by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, made up of nearly 4,500 school board members.  In a 35-page study that came after rounds of records requests during the last 15 months, the conclusions present a broad picture of Pennsylvania's 173 charter schools, which have become part of an ongoing national debate about what effect the charter-school movement is having on traditional public schools.

Big money, little oversight
Bucks County Courier Times August 20, 2016
It's not an exaggeration to say that public school administrators are paid rather handsomely these days, what with at least a few superintendents here in Bucks County having surpassed the $200,000-a-year mark and some school building principals not far behind.  So a recent report noting that charter school administrators are paid even more than their school district counterparts was a bit of a shock.  Of course, that was the intention of the report, which was compiled by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. Among school boards' pet peeves statewide are the funds their districts have to hand off to charter schools.  Public school officials have long argued that charters get too much money and get away with too little accountability for how they spend that money. Now, they have documentation to support their complaints.  The 35-page study released Thursday was compiled with records collected over the past 15 months — though not without some difficulty. The school boards association had to file records requests to obtain the data and said 15 percent of those requests were not met.   

“Of the 134 of 173 charter schools that did respond, the report indicates they spent over $4.3 million on advertising and promotional activities in 2014-15. Some $3.7 million of that was spent by five cyber charter schools alone.”
Charter school spending practices come under fire by school boards
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on August 18, 2016 at 4:40 PM
Charter schools received $100 million more in special education funding than they spent on providing those services to students with special needs in 2014-15, and on average that year, outspent school districts on chief administrator salaries by $87 on a per-student basis, according to a report released on Thursday.  Those were some of the findings highlighted by Pennsylvania School Boards Association officials during a conference call about the report it pulled together based on charter school responses received to requests for information sought through the state's Right to Know Law and federal tax forms.  Andrew Christ, education policy analyst for the organization, pointed out during the call that not all charters responded to the Right to Know requests readily or at all and not all of them completed the federal tax forms. That response prompted PSBA to call for the same accountability and transparency rules that are applied to school districts to apply to charters.

PSBA report shows need for greater charter school transparency and accountability
PSBA Press Release August 18, 2016
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) has released a report examining Pennsylvania charter school revenues, expenditures and transparency. The findings highlight the need for reform and suggest the need for further study into how charter schools are operated.  “Financial integrity and operational transparency must be demanded of publicly funded charter schools, just as it is of traditional schools,” said PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains. “Taxpayers have an expectation that public dollars are guarded the same way no matter which schools they fund.”  Data for this report was obtained in three ways: a Right-to-Know (RtK) request sent to each charter school; accessing publicly available data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE); and analyzing organizational tax returns (IRS 990 form) for each charter school where a return could be found.  In May 2015, PSBA sent requests under the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law to all 173 charter schools then in existence. As local agencies under the law, charter schools are required to allow access to public records in accordance with the law. The requests sought information related to salaries of administrators (including contractors), real estate transactions, and marketing/advertising expenditures.
The compliance, or lack thereof, tells a story itself outside of the data that was actually gathered.

Examining Pennsylvania charter school revenues, expenditures and transparency
PSBA website August 18, 2016
Charter schools were created with the intent of allowing communities to establish public schools independent from existing traditional public schools as a means to improve student performance, increase learning opportunities, encourage innovation, create professional development opportunities for teachers, and to provide expanded school choice, particularly to provide opportunities for children that were being underserved.  Under current Charter School Law, school districts are responsible for authorizing the creation of, assessing the performance of, and periodically reauthorizing brick-and-mortar charter schools located within their boundaries. Charter schools receive the bulk of their funding via payments from the school district where the charter school student resides. Many of the laws, regulations and other mandates that dictate what school districts are required to do, how they must do it and, ultimately, how much will be spent to get it done do not apply to charter schools.  PSBA’s report takes a closer look at how charter schools and school districts are spending public funds and highlights some of the issues encountered by PSBA in obtaining information from charter schools under the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law. The full report is available here.
The records submitted by charter schools as part of the RTK request can be accessed here: https://www.psba.org/charter-rtk-docs.

School Performance Profile Scores for PA Cyber Charters 2013, 2014 and 2015

“In fact, not one of Pennsylvania’s cyber charters has achieved a passing SPP score of 70 in any of the three years that the SPP has been in effect.”
How can we improve the performance and accountability of Pennsylvania cyber charters?
The notebook Commentary by Lawrence A. Feinberg August 18, 2016 — 10:04am
If it sometimes seems as if “tuition-free” cyber charter ads are running non-stop, consider that in just one year, tax dollars paid for 19,298 local TV commercials for Agora Cyber Charter, just one of Pennsylvania’s 13 cyber charters. And far from being tuition-free, total cyber tuition paid by Pennsylvania taxpayers from 500 school districts for 2013, 2014 and 2015 was $393.5 million, $398.8 million and $436.1 million respectively.  Those commercials were very effective, especially if you were an executive at K12 Inc., a for-profit company contracted to manage the cyber school. According to Agora’s 2013 IRS tax filing, it paid $69.5 million that year to K12 Inc. According to Morningstar, total executive compensation at K12 in 2013 was $21.37 million.   What the ads don’t tell you is, first, that they are paid for with your school tax dollars instead of that money being spent in classrooms and, second, that academic performance at every one of Pennsylvania’s cyber charters has been consistently dismal. The Pennsylvania Department of Education considers a score of 70 to be passing on its School Performance Profile (SPP). Agora’s score for 2013 was 48.3, for 2014, it was 42.4, and the 2015 score was 46.4. 

Charter Schools: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
LastWeekTonight  Published on Aug 21, 2016 Video Runtime 18:12
Charter schools are privately run, publicly funded, and irregularly regulated. John Oliver explores why they aren’t at all like pizzerias.

Why are your property taxes going up? You can blame school pensions.
The Legislature has put more money toward education in recent years, however, a lot of that new money has paid for pensions.
By Eric Holmberg | PublicSource | Aug. 18, 2016
Pennsylvania legislators about a decade ago passed a law to protect homeowners by limiting property tax hikes to the rate of inflation. Has the law, known as Act 1, worked?  Not for some homeowners. Exceptions were built into the law so school districts could raise property taxes as much as they needed only to cover certain rising costs, like pensions.  As a result, school districts have increased property taxes $465 million above the rate of inflation in the past decade and requested raising property taxes much higher.  What has been driving tax increases? Pensions. A 2010 pension reform law increased how much school districts and the state paid into the underfunded school pension system. That helped the pension fund, but increased the burden on schools. The result?  The state’s contribution to school pensions doubled from roughly $500 million to $1 billion from 2010 to 2012. It doubled again to $2 billion by 2014. And doubled again to $4 billion this year. Over the next two years, pension costs are expected to slow and only increase about 15 percent.

More than a dozen measures have been enacted so far this legislative session to boost #education in PA
Tweet from Sen. Pat Browne ‏@SenatorBrowne  August 21, 2016

Penn Hills expands cyber education, makes other changes for 2016-17
Trib Live BY MICHAEL DIVITTORIO | Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, 10:30 p.m.
From new transportation and the addition of more online educational options to adjustments in the dress code and programming cuts, Penn Hills School District parents and students can expect to see a lot of changes this school year.  “It's an exciting time in the district as we continue to implement many positive changes,” Superintendent Nancy Hines said. Aug. 24 was the first day of classes.  Starting this fall, C.H.I.E.F.S. Academy — Cyber High Quality Interactive Education Fostering Student Success — will be open to kindergarten through 12th-grade students with drop-in centers at all schools.  The district's cyber school program in its first year — 2015-16 — enrolled 50 students starting in third grade. It is unclear how many will participate this year.  Academy students will use district-issued equipment, which they will return at the end of the year, including 60 Chromebooks and 25 other laptops.  Penn Hills leaders are trying to keep students in district schools rather than lose them to charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately operated. When students leave their home district to attend a charter school, the state subsidy goes with them in the form of “tuition.”  About 3,800 students are enrolled in Penn Hills School District. Of the roughly 720 students living in the district who attend charter schools, 117 attend cyber schools.

Penn Hills School District shoulders huge debt load from years of bad decisions
Trib Live BY NATASHA LINDSTROM AND MIKE DIVITTORIO | Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, 10:50 p.m.
Tension is high inside the administrative offices of Penn Hills School District as investigators dig for clues about how the three-school system fell into a self-inflicted financial debacle rife with allegations of poor business decisions, missing internal controls and possible criminal conduct.  Two days or so a week, officials with the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office have been arriving unannounced and asked district staff to sift through boxes of files in storage and scour former computer software systems to comply with demands they turn over thousands of pages of documents.  At least once weekly, Superintendent Nancy Hines has been phoning newly installed business manager Robert Geletko to ask, “How much money do we have?”  “It's been daunting, and it continues, and we have no idea when it's going to be over,” Hines said this week at a finance committee meeting.

SRC curtails suspensions for kindergartners and dress code violators
Inquirer by Mensah M. Dean, Staff Writer Updated: AUGUST 19, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission drew praise Thursday from education advocates by banning most suspensions for kindergartners and ending suspensions for students who violate the dress code.  "We can't educate children who are not in school, and the fact that kindergartners are being suspended for things that are not considered violent behavior, that's something that we need to address," School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said after the SRC meeting.  "We have not seen zero tolerance be very effective, particularly for younger students," said SRC Chair Marjorie Neff.  The changes are "not saying there can't be consequences for not wearing your uniform," she added. "It's saying we're not excluding students from school."  The Student Code of Conduct was amended to read, "Kindergartners shall not be suspended unless their actions result in serious bodily injury, and those suspensions shall not be more than three days without an assistant superintendent's approval."

“Perhaps most significantly, Read by 4th took a big leap in reaching more of Philadelphia's students this summer. The coalition expanded by partnering with more than 140 summer camps that are infusing reading into daily activities or focused entirely on increasing literacy skills. Students at camps of all kinds throughout the city took part in read-alouds, literacy games, and a host of other programs. Through this outreach, we brought summer literacy to more than 4,000 additional children.”
Commentary: New chapter for literacy in Philly
Inquirer Commentary By Siobhan A. Reardon and Jenny Bogoni Updated: AUGUST 18, 2016 — 3:01 AM EDT
With the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last month and the presidential debates around the corner, many of the country's most important issues are at the forefront of our public consciousness.  In Philadelphia, where more than one in three children are living below the federal poverty level, and more than half of third graders cannot read on grade level, the issues surrounding childhood literacy and creating opportunities for our youth have never been more important. This summer, our city has worked harder than ever to keep our children academically engaged to prevent summer learning loss. But with summer programming winding down in the gap before school starts, there is still work to be done to prevent the summer slide.  That's why we're calling on all Philadelphians to maintain the reading momentum we've built this summer.

Op-ed: Rethinking school turnaround: A familiar story takes a new turn
WHYY Newsworks COMMENTARY  BY HELEN GYM AUGUST 19, 2016 SPEAK EASY
In May, Scholar Academies — a charter management organization — suddenly announced it was abandoning its contract to manage Kenderton Elementary, a struggling school in North Philadelphia. The charter company was expanding in Memphis, Tennessee, and said it could no longer afford its financial commitments here, such as legally mandated special education services.  “They were full of excuses,” an outraged Kenderton parent told WHYY/NewsWorks. “The children are going to be devastated.”  Earlier in the year, I had called for a moratorium on the Renaissance schools program. In what had become an all-too-familiar story, a charter company bailed on or failed a public school under its control, leaving students, parents, and school communities in the lurch.    This time, though, rather than expose Kenderton families to the mercy of the charter market — where charters effectively pick and choose what schools they want to manage — the Philadelphia School District took the unusual step of bringing the school back under District control.

“Altogether, 10 of the 17 districts in Lehigh and Northampton counties, includingBethlehem Area and Nazareth Area, have abandoned the half-day approach to teaching their youngest students. Five districts will be offering full-day or extended stay programs to some but not all students, while two offer half-days only.”
More Lehigh Valley districts adding full-day kindergarten
Michelle Merlin Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call
SAUCON VALLEY — Thirteen years ago, Saucon Valley asked teacher Jennifer Campbell to spend a year teaching a full-day kindergarten class instead of her usual half-day classes.
Campbell was quickly sold on the idea. "That year we were able to take more time, go more in-depth and make sure every child could go at their own pace. Everybody had more time," she said.  But parents didn't like having their kids in school all day, the pilot program ended with the district offering an extended day for students who needed help.  What a difference a decade makes. Later this month, Saucon Valley will offer full-day kindergarten to all students. It's not the only one making the switch. Allentown and Parkland also will be converting to universal full-day kindergarten this school year.

Outrage over charter school ad that portrays Liberty High kids as druggies
By Sara K. Satullo | For lehighvalleylive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on August 21, 2016 at 4:12 PM, updated August 21, 2016 at 4:35 PM
A promotional mailer claiming to be from a new Catasauqua charter school paints Liberty High School students as drug users, sparking outrage among manyBethlehem residents. 
Innovative Arts Academy Charter School denies it had anything to do with sending out the promotional mailer, which lists the school's return address.   The postcard references the September 2015 drug arrest of a 17-year-old Liberty student and asks "Why worry about this type of student at school? Come visit Arts Academy Charter School. Now enrolling grades 6-12."  It shows a stock image of a teenager holding their head in their hands and reprints a Morning Call headline: "Teen busted by Liberty HS officials with more than $3,000 of heroin, cocaine."

"The real issue is a failed Pennsylvania charter school law that uses the mantra of 'school choice' to undermine the integrity of public schools. The mission of public education is corrupted when the profit motive replaces the public good as the primary driver of our community's schools," Roy wrote on Sunday. "Hopefully, this outrageous mailer incident will fuel a desire on the part of our state legislators to lead the charge in Harrisburg for legislation that fixes the state's failed charter policy."
Unauthorized mailer claims Liberty High School has a drug problem, urges parents to enroll in charter school
Christina Tatu and Jacqueline Palochko Contact Reporters Of The Morning Call August 22, 2016
CATASAUQUA — A mailer claiming to be from a new Catasauqua charter school and referencing the arrest of a Liberty High School student for possession of heroin and cocaine hit the mailboxes of Bethlehem area residents this weekend.  Officials from Innovative Arts Academy Charter School took to social media over the weekend to speak out about the promotional mailer, which they said was never authorized.  The mailer is the second unauthorized ad purporting to be from the charter school. A full-page, color advertisement from an un-named individual appeared in The Morning Call earlier this month. The latest ad stirred outrage on social media over the weekend.


Condemnation of Charter Schools Exposes a Rift Over Black Students
New York Times By KATE ZERNIKE AUGUST 20, 2016
With charter schools educating as many as half the students in some American cities, they have been championed as a lifeline for poor black children stuck in failing traditional public schools.  But now the nation’s oldest and newest black civil rights organizations are calling for a moratorium on charter schools.  Their demands, and the outcry that has ensued, expose a divide among blacks that goes well beyond the now-familiar complaints about charters’ diverting money and attention from traditional public schools.  In separate conventions over the past month, the N.A.A.C.P. and the Movement for Black Lives, a group of 50 organizations assembled by Black Lives Matter, passed resolutions declaring that charter schools have exacerbated segregation, especially in the way they select and discipline students.  They portray charters as the pet project of foundations financed by white billionaires, and argue that the closing of traditional schools as students migrate to charters has disproportionately disrupted black communities.  Black leaders of groups that support charter schools have denounced the resolutions, saying they contradict both the N.A.A.C.P.’s mission of expanding opportunity and polls showing support for charters among black parents. The desire for integration, the charter school proponents say, cannot outweigh the urgent need to give some of the country’s poorest students a way out of underperforming schools.

School takeovers leave parents without a voice in education
By Lily Altavena, Rose Velazquez and Natalie Griffin | News21. Published Aug. 20, 2016.
HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. — In at least 20 states, lawmakers have stripped locally elected school board members of their power in impoverished, mostly minority communities, leaving parents without a voice — or a vote — in their children’s education, according to a News21 state-by-state analysis of school takeovers.  More than 5.6 million people live in places where state officials took over entire districts or individual schools in the past six years, according to News21 data collected from state government agencies. About 43 percent are African-American and around 20 percent are Hispanic. On average 29.2 percent of people in those areas are living below the poverty level. The U.S. average is 15.5 percent.  In Highland Park, Michigan, where grass grows knee-high around decaying, long-abandoned schools, the state turned the troubled suburban district over to a private company and shut down the city’s only high school.  “As a voter, what do you do when they stole your vote?” said Danielle Floyd, a mother in Highland Park. “I can’t say that we can go out and vote. Because we’ve done that. And it didn’t work.”  In the Delta town of Drew, Mississippi, education advocates say there aren’t enough books to go around four years after state legislators consolidated the small school system into a countywide district.  In Little Rock, Arkansas — a historic symbol of school desegregation — black parents worry that the city’s schools once again are becoming segregated. They say their concerns have fallen on the deaf ears of the state, which removed the city’s school board more than a year ago.  And in New Orleans, the majority of the public schools are under the jurisdiction of the state, but charter companies make most of the educational decisions, a trend that was further accelerated after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Charter schools are tuition-free, independently operated public schools.

Donors behind Massachusetts charter push keep to the shadows
Boston Globe By Michael Levenson GLOBE STAFF  AUGUST 20, 2016
A new $2.3 million ad boosting the expansion of charter schools in Massachusetts lists the campaign’s top five donors on screen, in accordance with state law. But the singularly bland names, including Strong Economy for Growth and Education Reform Now Advocacy, give no hint of who is writing the checks.  Four of the five donors to the procharter committee are nonprofit groups that do not, under state law, have to disclose their funders, allowing the individuals backing the effort to remain anonymous.  The cloak of secrecy surrounding the financing of what could be the most expensive ballot campaign in state history has frustrated election officials and underscored the proliferation of untraceable money in political races across the country.  “Would we like to see every donor disclosed? Absolutely,” said Michael J. Sullivan, the director of the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance. “But the statute does not provide for it at this point. This dark money issue is a puzzle that every state is facing right now.”  The ballot campaign known as Question 2 — which would allow for the creation or expansion of up to 12 charter schools per year in low-performing districts — is expected to smash the $15.5 million that was spent, mostly by gambling interests, to defeat a 2014 ballot question that would have repealed the state’s casino law.

Revisiting “Savage Inequalities” of School Funding
EWA Radio: Episode 85
Education Writers Association AUGUST 16, 2016
For more than two decades, “Savage Inequalities” — a close look at school funding disparities nationwide — has been required reading at many colleges and universities. And with a growing number of states facing legal challenges to how they fund their local schools, author Jonathan Kozol’s work has fresh relevance. Education journalists Lauren Camera (US News & World Report) and Christine Sampson (East Hampton Star) talk with EWA public editor Emily Richmond about how Kozol’s book has influenced their own reporting.
http://www.ewa.org/ewa-radio/revisiting-savage-inequalities-school-funding

The U.S. Olympians Who Won Gold—But Not in Rio
An American team triumphed at the International Math Olympiad for the second-straight year, despite concerns of student diversity in STEM.
The Atlantic by EMILY RICHMOND   AUG 19, 2016
After learning of their gold-medal victory in the world’s most prestigious high-school mathematics competition—held recently in Hong Kong—six American teenagers engaged in a celebratory ritual familiar to many of their peers back home: They went to McDonald’s. But the victors weren’t quite ready to leave the math behind. They ordered 99 Chicken McNuggets, a tribute to a popular brain teaser based on the fast-food chain selling boxes of six, 12, or 20 pieces.  This is the second consecutive year that U.S. students have finished on top in the International Mathematics Olympiad, although there have been impressively strong showings by American teams for much longer than that. While these wins obviously don’t negate the very real problems facing the nation’s public schools when it comes to teaching and learning of math fundamentals, the Olympiad victories are certainly worth celebrating.
http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/08/the-us-olympians-who-won-goldbut-not-in-rio/496529/

Donald Trump and School Choice: An Increasing Focus?
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Andrew Ujifusa on August 18, 2016 7:59 AM
In a Tuesday speech in West Bend, Wisc. tailored for the African-American community, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump expanded on his brief mention of K-12 at the Republican National Convention by mentioning a few teacher-related policies and his thoughts on charter schools. In fact, since the convention, he seems to be putting a little more emphasis on school choice policy in particular.  Trump first criticized the performance of schools in Milwaukee, which is about 40 miles from West Bend, saying the city has only a 60 percent graduation rate and that 55 city schools are rated as failing. Despite Trump's record of stretching facts, these two particular claims are based on data. Politifact Wisconsin reported in May that 61 percent of Milwaukee students graduated after four years in 2014. And the state did rate 55 Milwaukee schools as "fails to meet expectations"on the state report card, based on data from the 2013-14 school year.   He then pivoted to K-12 policy questions, which he has largely neglected during the 2016 race.   "On education, it is time to have school choice, merit pay for teachers, and to end the tenure policies that hurt good teachers and reward bad teachers. We are going to put students and parents first," Trump told the audience.
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2016/08/donald_trump_and_school_choice_focus.html

Editorial: States have power to curtail ‘dark money’ in politics
Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board EDITORIALS 08/17/2016, 06:54pm
If your congressman has been bought, at the very least you have a right to know who bought him. Wouldn’t you agree?  With that in mind, we’re cheering for an effort in South Dakota — conservative, sparsely populated South Dakota — to put a measure on the November ballot there that would require people and groups who throw big money into elections to put their names on their donations for all to see — no more secret or “dark” money.  If South Dakota can pull this off, despite an enormously expensive campaign against the measure by the very same people who should be pulled out of the shadows, we figure Illinois could be next. Which would be great. Nobody has ever called Illinois a model of open and transparent democracy.
http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/editorial-states-have-power-to-curtail-dark-money-in-politics/


REGISTER NOW for the 2016 PA Principals Association State Conference, October 30 - November 1, at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College.
The Early Bird Discount Deadline has been Extended to Wednesday, August 31, 2016!
PA Principals Association website Tuesday, August 2, 2016 10:43 AM
To receive the Early Bird Discount, you must be registered by August 31, 2016:
Members: $300  Non-Members: $400
Featuring Three National Keynote Speakers: Eric Sheninger, Jill Jackson & Salome Thomas-EL

2016 National Anthem Sing-A-Long - September 9th
American Public Education Foundation Website 
The Star-Spangled Banner will be sung by school children nationwide on Friday, September 9, 2016 at 10:00am PST and 1:00pm EST. Students will learn about the words and meaning of the flag and sing the first stanza. This will be the third annual simultaneous sing-a-long event created by the APEF-9/12 Generation Project. The project aims to bring students together – as the world came together – on September 12, 2001.

Registration for the PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference Oct. 13-15 is now open
The conference is your opportunity to learn, network and be inspired by peers and experts.
TO REGISTER: See https://www.psba.org/members-area/store-registration/   (you must be logged in to the Members Area to register). You can read more on How to Register for a PSBA Event here.   CONFERENCE WEBSITE: For all other program details, schedules, exhibits, etc., see the conference website:www.paschoolleaders.org.

PSBA Officer Elections Aug. 15-Oct. 3, 2016: Slate of Candidates
PSBA members seeking election to office for the association were required to submit a nomination form no later than April 30, 2016, to be considered. All candidates who properly completed applications by the deadline are included on the slate of candidates below. In addition, the Leadership Development Committee met on June 24 at PSBA headquarters in Mechanicsburg to interview candidates. According to bylaws, the Leadership Development Committee may determine candidates highly qualified for the office they seek. This is noted next to each person’s name with an asterisk (*).  Each school entity will have one vote for each officer. This will require boards of the various school entities to come to a consensus on each candidate and cast their vote electronically during the open voting period (Aug. 15-Oct. 3, 2016). Voting will be accomplished through a secure third-party, web-based voting site that will require a password login. One person from each member school entity will be authorized as the official person to cast the vote on behalf of his or her school entity. In the case of school districts, it will be the board secretary who will cast votes on behalf of the school board.
Special note: Boards should be sure to include discussion and voting on candidates to its agenda during one of its meetings in September.

PA Supreme Court sets Sept. 13 argument date for fair education funding lawsuit in Philly
Thorough and Efficient Blog JUNE 16, 2016 BARBGRIMALDI LEAVE A COMMENT


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