Thursday, August 25, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup Aug 25: PA Cyber Charter founder Trombetta pleads guilty to diverting $8 million in tax conspiracy

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup August 25, 2016:
PA Cyber Charter founder Trombetta pleads guilty to diverting $8 million in tax conspiracy

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

AG DePasquale to Discuss Audit of PA Dept. of Education's Handling of Charter School Payment Appeals
The PLS Reporter Email August 25, 2016: Today in the Capitol
Press Conference 11:30 a.m., Lt. Governor's Balcony

With Kenney's blessing, community schools initiative takes flight in Philly
When starting a job, it’s always nice to hear some words of encouragement, especially when those words come from the mayor of Philadelphia.  Jim Kenney greeted 17 of the city’s newest employees Wednesday, all of them hired to help carry out Philadelphia’s community schools initiative. The cohort gathered at a city office just north of Center City for the first installment of a six-day boot camp, after which they’ll be dispatched to schools around the city.  It was a giddy, ribbon-cutting sort of moment for Kenney, who has bet big on community schools and promises to create 25 of them over the next five years.  “I am so excited that you’re willing to do this. I really am,” he told the staffers. “I think you’re just wonderful people that want to do this. This is the height of public service.”  Kenny’s administration envisions community schools as a way to break the cycle of poverty. It’s also been framed by many as an antidote to the turnaround reform model, where schools undergo drastic staffing shake-ups, are converted into charters, or both.

More than $1M donated to Erie 'community schools' pilot program
GoErie By Gerry Weiss  814-870-1884 August 23, 2016 11:53 AM
ERIE, Pa. -- The Erie School District and the United Way of Erie County on Tuesday announced the names of the corporate investment partners for a pilot "community schools" program launching in five city schools this fall.   GE Transportation, Hamot Health Foundation, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and an anonymous donor will combine to donate more than $1 million across the next three years to the initiative, which brings social services directly into school buildings.   The model will likely be in place and operating by late September at Edison Elementary School, McKinley Elementary School, Wayne School, Pfeiffer Burleigh School and Emerson-Gridley Elementary School.   The district and local United Way hosted a news conference Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Edison. Officials outlined the project, which has been used successfully in other districts nationwide.  Community schools bring services likes health care, dental care and after-school programming directly into school buildings, making the services more accessible and available to students in one place.  The United Way earlier this summer funded the program with $60,000 to get it started here. Estimates have the program costing about $100,000 per school per year.  "We cannot expect children to succeed academically if they come to school hungry, sick or too traumatized to learn," Bill Jackson, president of the United Way of Erie County, said Tuesday. "Introducing the community school strategy is one way we will strategically align United Way resources and social services to better address the needs of students and families."

Wolf Administration Establishes New Division of Charter Schools
Governor Wolf’s Website August 24, 2016
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the creation of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Division of Charter Schools, an effort to improve quality and accountability of charter schools in Pennsylvania.  Through technical support and guidance, the office will assist charter school educators and leaders in setting goals to advance student achievement, increase parent and community involvement, and ensure academic and financial responsibility.  “Charter schools play an important role in our education system, but that role must be accompanied by sufficient oversight,” Governor Wolf said. “Establishing this new division within the Department of Education will allow us to maximize our resources to not only ensure charters are being properly supported, but that they are being held accountable to taxpayers.”

“Both the Wolf administration and the charter advocates agree that the state's 20-year-old charter law is badly in need of revision, but consensus hasn't been reached on exactly what those changes should look like.  Momentum grew in early July for a reform bill that traditional advocates believe is too charter-friendly. It was punted to the Fall's legislative session in order to avoid prolonging resolution on the state budget.”
Pa. department of education enhancing oversight of charter schools
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday that he's beefing up the state's oversight of charter schools by creating a new division within the Department of Education devoted solely to the sector.  "Charter schools play an important role in our education system, but that role must be accompanied by sufficient oversight," Wolf said in a statement. "Establishing this new division within the Department of Education will allow us to maximize our resources to not only ensure charters are being properly supported, but that they are being held accountable to taxpayers."  The Wolf administration says the new division more rigorously monitor the fiscal and academic integrity of charters.  "Establishing a division within the Department is the next step to further streamline communication with charter schools, help ensure they receive needed technical assistance from the Department, and ensuring that all public schools in the commonwealth are held to the same high-quality standards," said state education secretary Pedro Rivera in a statement.  Wolf spokesman Jeffrey Sheridan said the move will simply bring the charter sector in line with the oversight the department gives the state's 500 traditional districts.

“Charter school funding also became a sticking point in this year's state budget negotiations. At issue was a House bill that would, among other changes, create a commission that would recommend a formula for funding charters, and establish a state-level board to authorize charter schools.  Public school advocates believed the bill would strip local districts of their authority to cap the number of students enrolled in charters. Legislators also were split on the bill. The measure didn't get enough traction, but legislators said they would try to revive it in the fall.”
Pa. seeks better results, oversight with new charter school division
Inquirer by Kathy Boccella, STAFF WRITER Updated: AUGUST 24, 2016 — 5:36 PM EDT
In the latest sign of increased scrutiny of charter schools, Gov. Wolf announced Wednesday the creation of a division within the state Department of Education dedicated to assisting and improving such schools.  Establishing the Division of Charter Schools "will allow us to maximize our resources to not only ensure charters are being properly supported, but that they are being held accountable to taxpayers," the governor said in a statement.  Privately managed but publicly funded, charter schools have exploded in the commonwealth. During the 2014-15 school year, 176 charter schools with 132,531 students operated statewide. The model has stirred advocates and critics.  A report last week by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association said that charter school administrative expenditures were nearly double those of conventional public schools, and that their highest-ranking officials are paid far more. It also said such schools spend less on instruction than traditional school districts, and more on support services and facilities.
This month, the state's auditor general renewed his concerns about a lack of accounting for reimbursements paid by the state to such schools.

Gov. Tom Wolf seeks more charter school oversight
Morning Call by Steve Esack Contact Reporter Call Harrisburg Bureau August 24, 2016
HARRISBURG — Making good on a campaign promise to put tighter oversight controls on taxpayer-funded charter schools, Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday established a four-person unit within the state Department of Education to oversee the nontraditional public institutions.
It's creation comes after a string of embarrassing — and in some cases illegal — issues have roiled charter schools and comedian John Oliver ripped Pennsylvania for having one of the weakest charter school laws in the country during a segment last week on his HBO show "Last Week Tonight."  The unit will focus on improving financial and academic oversight of the 174 charter schools that operate across Pennsylvania and on the internet. Charter schools, legal since 1997, can open with approval from a locally elected school board, or in the case of cyber charter schools, approval from the Department of Education.  They were supposed to be established as innovative places of learning but have had to follow the same stringent federal and state standardized academic standards that traditional schools follow. They also have to follow the same financial reporting and auditing requirements as public schools, which rely on taxpayers to cover per-pupil cost of educating each student.  But critics, including Wolf and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, say the state has not done enough to ensure charter schools live up to their academic and financial responsibilities.

“There is an affirmative, active role that a parent or family must play in order to get their child engaged with the charter sector. It requires their choice, their activism, their enrollment, their application,” she said.  “The bigger question, really, is how does one engage parents and community with the District schools, where you can be a passive consumer of that service? That’s where the work really needs to go.”
State education secretary Rivera moderates Philly panel on charter schools
The notebook by Darryl Murphy August 24, 2016 — 3:35pm
State Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera moderated a panel discussion on charter schools Wednesday as part of Al Dia News Media's series on the state of education in Pennsylvania.
The panel included Farah Jimenez, president/CEO of Philadelphia Education Fund; Angel Figueroa, founder and CEO of I-LEAD Charter School in Reading; Darcy Russotto, principal of Pan American Academy Charter School in Philadelphia; and Alfredo Calderon Santini, president and CEO of ASPIRA Inc.  The event, held at the Pyramid Club in Center City, comes at a time of renewed national focus on charter schools. In recent weeks, both the NAACP and the Movement for Black Lives have called for a ban on charter expansion, citing concerns about transparency and lack of oversight.  Panelists at the Al Dia event discussed community engagement, alternative methods of education, and the role that charters play in the future of education.  Jimenez, who is also a member of the Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission, said charter schools require a higher level of parent engagement than District schools.

“For 2016-2017, the formula distributes just $200 million out of a $5.9 billion state education budget - about 3.4 percent. School districts, though, need about $400 million more to cover mandated expenses (pensions, health care, special education, and charter school payments), according to the 2016 Report on School Districts Budgets by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators and Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials.”
Commentary: Pa. has more to do on school funding fairness
Inquirer Commentary By Theodore Arapis Updated: AUGUST 25, 2016 — 3:01 AM EDT
Theodore Arapis is an assistant professor of public administration at Villanova University.
Pennsylvania needs to take a crash course in school funding fairness. That's one conclusion drawn from the 2016 National Report Card (NRC), which gave the Keystone State a D for its inequitable funding system.  Although ranked among states that generally provide high fiscal support to their school districts, Pennsylvania is in the unenviable company of 13 other states deemed regressive in their school-funding levels. According to 2013 data, the most recent available, Pennsylvania school districts with 30 percent of their student body living at the poverty level received 7 percent less per-pupil state funding than school districts with no students living in poverty. Regressive states like Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Nevada "urgently need to overhaul their finance systems to give students a meaningful opportunity to succeed in school," said David Sciarra, a co-author of the NRC.  The NRC, now in its fifth year, is the product of a study by Bruce Baker, a professor at Rutgers' Graduate School of Education and the Education Law Center (ELC), a nonprofit that advocates for public school student rights. Sciarra is ELC's executive director.

After three years of fighting charges, PA Cyber founder Trombetta admits $8 million tax fraud
By Torsten Ove / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette August 24, 2016 3:04 PM
Nicholas Trombetta, founder of the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School in Beaver County, pleaded guilty this afternoon to a tax charge related to the siphoning of $8 million from the school.  He'll be sentenced Dec. 20 by U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.  He and his lawyer, Adam Hoffinger, declined comment as they walked down a courthouse hallway to the U.S. probation office.  Trombetta, regarded at one time as a savior in Midland, where Pa Cyber is based, is now a federal felon and faces up to five years behind bars.  He remains free pending sentencing.  His plea was in doubt for much of the day because he initially refused to agree to the government's detailed summary of the evidence.  The judge began taking the plea this morning but then took a break until this afternoon while the parties haggled.  Trombetta was indicted in 2013 on 11 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud and tax offenses. He pleaded to tax conspiracy from 2006 to 2013 in diverting some $8 million to his sister and four straw owners of a related company he created, Avanti Management, to conceal income from the IRS.

PA Cyber founder Trombetta pleads guilty to tax conspiracy
Beaver County Times Online By Katherine Schaeffer August 24, 2016
PITTSBURGH -- Nick Trombetta, Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School founder and former chief executive officer, pleaded guilty Wednesday to tax conspiracy, one of the 11 federal charges leveled against him.  Trombetta, an Aliquippa native and resident of East Liverpool, Ohio, was indicted in August 2013 on 11 counts, including mail fraud, theft concerning a program receiving federal funds, tax conspiracy and filing a false tax return. The Midland-based cyber charter’s founder pleaded to tax conspiracy from January 2006 to July 2012 as part of a scheme that involved funneling more than $8 million to his sister and four “straw owners” of Avanti Management, a company he created to mask earnings from the IRS.  The scheme involved a web of entities including Lincoln Learning Solutions, formerly known as National Network of Digital Schools (NNDS).   Trombetta faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both, and will be sentenced Dec. 20 by U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti, according to a press release from United States Attorney David J. Hickton’s office.

“He is charged with creating a series of connected for-profit and not-for-profit entities to siphon taxpayer funds out of PA Cyber and to avoid federal income tax liabilities,” Hickton said when Trombetta was charged. “As the founder and CEO of PA Cyber, Trombetta was the custodian of the public trust, receiving public funds.”  “He said Trombetta conceived Avanti Management Group in 2008 and installed straw owners to use the company as a retirement account while it made money from NNDS. As PA Cyber and NNDS did work for online school programs in Ohio and New Mexico, money flowed to a shell company, one2one, which “operated as Trombetta's checking account for his day-to-day expenses,” Hickton said.”
Cyber charter's former CEO agrees to plea deal in criminal case
Trib Live BY BRIAN BOWLING  | Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, 11:45 a.m.
After some waffling, Nick Trombetta, the disgraced former CEO of Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School based in Midland, agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy.  Trombetta was charged in August 2013 with 11 counts of mail fraud, filing false tax returns and conspiracy. His empire included the state's largest cyber school, a charter school, a performing arts center and a nonprofit education management foundation with 400 clients.  Trombetta agreed Wednesday morning to plead guilty but was hesitant to actually admit to a crime, delaying finalization of the plea deal until the afternoon. He faces up to five years in prison.  U.S. Attorney David Hickton said Trombetta skimmed nearly $1 million for himself, often from work done by employees at Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School and the related National Network of Digital Schools Management Foundation, or NNDS. He said the scheme attempted to hide $8 million in cash and property from the Internal Revenue Service.

School board association's opposition to charters is no surprise: Tim Eller
PennLive Op-Ed   By Tim Eller on August 24, 2016 at 11:00 AM
Tim Eller is the executive director of the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
It's no surprise that the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) – a statewide organization that supports the status quo in traditional public education – doesn't support public charter schools – public schools that provide tens of thousands of children in communities throughout Pennsylvania with a high-quality education in a safe environment.  It's also important to question the credibility and independence of studies and reports that are internally prepared and subsequently published by an organization that opposes public charter schools and public school choice.  Like other traditional public education establishment organizations, PSBA once again attempts, through its recently issued "Special Report: Charter School Revenues, Expenditures and Transparency," to convince the public, policymakers and lawmakers that public charter schools are the problem with Pennsylvania's public education system.

Charter School CEO out After Flier on Drugs at Public School
abc News By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CATASAUQUA, Pa. — Aug 24, 2016, 10:27 AM ET
The CEO of a Pennsylvania charter school is resigning after a mailer promoting the school mentioned a 2015 drug arrest at a nearby public high school.  Loraine Petrillo says she had nothing to do with the mailer but is resigning in the wake of the controversy it has caused for the Innovative Arts Academy Charter School in Catasauqua. She's remaining on the job temporarily so the school can open as planned Sept. 6.  The school says the mailer wasn't authorized. It references the arrest last year of a 17-year-old Liberty High School student and says "Why worry about this type of student at school?"  The charter school is investigating and plans litigation once it finds whoever paid for the mailer.

PA auditor general calls mailer blasting Liberty High School 'despicable,' calls for investigations
Sarah M. Wojcik and Jacqueline Palochko Contact Reporters Of The Morning Call August 23, 2016
Innovative Arts Academy Charter School exploring legal options in wake of mailer blasting Liberty High School
CATASAUQUA — The furor over a direct mailer that went out to Bethlehem Area School District parents over the weekend has attracted the attention of the state's auditor general, fueled a #BASDProud campaign on social media and left a Catasauqua charter school scrambling to find out who sent the "appalling" flier.  Leaders at the Innovative Arts Academy Charter School on Monday said they were looking into what they can do to legally to distance the school from the mailer, which uses the arrest of a Liberty High School student on drug charges to entice parents to send students to the school at 330 Howertown Road.  State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale — using the word "dirtball" to describe the marketing tactic —said he is asking state and federal agencies to investigate the mailer. He also plans to monitor the new charter school, which opens on Sept. 6.  "Unfortunately we have become accustomed to dirtball mailers and tactics like this in political campaigns. But when it spills over into our education system and one public school appears to have attacked another it becomes downright deplorable," DePasquale said in a statement issued Monday.  DePasquale, who has pressed state legislators to fix the charter school oversight law, said he is referring the matter for investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, which he said has strict guidelines for charter school advertising.

Does charter school have legal case against person behind unauthorized mailer?
Sarah M. Wojcik Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call August 24, 2016
CATASAUQUA — Almost as loud as the denials regarding involvement in an unauthorized direct mailer that has shaken the Innovative Arts Academy Charter School are the vows for legal action by school leaders.  But any legal recourse will hinge greatly on learning the identity of the person who sent the mailer and whether the Catasauqua school can prove it was harmed by its distribution, according to academic law experts.  "Typically, you're going to need some powerful direct evidence to prove this," Mark Rahdert, professor of law at Temple University's Beasley School of Law, said Wednesday.  Innovative Arts officials certainly think the school, which is slated to open for the first time on Sept. 6, was harmed by the mailer that was sent to Bethlehem area residents over the weekend without their authorization.

Is this any way to promote a charter school? | Your comments
By Jim Flagg | For on August 23, 2016 at 11:52 AM, updated August 23, 2016 at 11:55 AM
A postcard sent to many homes in the Lehigh Valley supporting the fledgling Innovative Arts Academy Charter School in Catasauqua has attracted attention — mostly because of its approach highlighting the drug arrest of a student last year at Liberty High School in Bethlehem.  The mailer, which reprints a Morning Call headline — "Teen busted by Liberty HS officials with more than $3,000 of heroin, cocaine" — was not produced or distributed by school officials, according to the school's attorney. The school is opening this month in a building owned by Abe Atiyeh and leased to the charter operator. Previously Atiyeh had paid a consultant a per-student fee for each enrollment secured for a charter school in Allentown, another Atiyeh-owned property. Atiyeh declined to comment when reached by Express-Times reporter Sara Satullo.  Bethlehem School Superintendent Joseph Roy considers the mailer demeaning to public schools, and says he hopes it would spur the Legislature to reform the state's charter school law. Pennsylvania's charter schools are supported by taxpayer dollars.

Philly principals likely to follow teachers into labor limbo
With a week left until their current labor deal expires, Philadelphia’s public school principals and administrators are increasingly likely to begin the school year without a contract.  The existing agreement between Teamsters Local 502 of the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators — which represents administrators along with a smattering of other school employees — and the School District of Philadelphia ends Aug. 31. Union president Robert McGrogan acknowledged that his members are unlikely to ratify a new deal before next Tuesday, or even before school opens Sept. 7.  “The opening of the school is the highest priority right now for my members,” he said. “They can’t divert their attention to too many other things.”  The ongoing rift between CASA and the district means Philadelphia students will almost certainly walk into buildings this fall where most staff — and nearly all instructional staff — are working under expired contracts. The School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers  have been unable to strike a new labor deal for nearly three years.

School district to review enrollment procedures in response to refugee lawsuit
Lancaster Online by KARA NEWHOUSE | Staff Writer August 24, 2016
EASTON — School District of Lancaster is studying its enrollment practices in response to a lawsuit brought by six refugee students, district officials said in federal court Monday.  The students are suing the district over denied or delayed enrollment, as well as their placement at a school they say doesn’t meet their needs.  “We’re in the midst, because of all this, of reviewing all practices of enrollment,” said Jacques Blackman on the last day of a preliminary injunction hearing in U.S. District Court.  Blackman is the district’s coordinator of counseling and dropout prevention. Newly enrolled students and their families must meet with him to be placed in the appropriate grade and school.  That’s been the practice since Rita Bishop was superintendent, Blackman said. Bishop left the district in 2007.  For some older refugee students, the practice has resulted in delays of weeks or even months between enrolling in school and actually beginning classes, lawyers for the students argued in court over the last week and a half.

Blogger Note: If you teach in Vision Academy Charter School, PA Truebright Sci. Academy, Young Scholars of Western PA or Central PA, then you should be aware of this perspective….
If You Teach In A Concept School
Tim Furman’s Blog TUESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2016
If you are a teacher at a Concept School here in Illinois (CMSA, Horizon Science-Belmont, Horizon Science-McKinley Park, Horizon Science-Southwest), the the following statements are incontrovertibly true for a person in your situation:  The people running your school, and the CMO managing your school, are deeply connected to the upper echelons of the Gulen Movement. Your school exists as a revenue stream for the Gulen Movement, which appears to be permanently resettling here in the States during this post-failed coup period in Turkey. The Gulenists have been here in small numbers since before Fethullah Gulen himself arrived, and their numbers have grown rapidly since then.  Your school is an economic engine for them; the school receives a great deal of tax money, and all of this money is available for the Movement. Unlike a normal public school, it is basically impossible to determine who receives the money a charter school spends, particularly the portion that goes directly to the CMO. The schools generate business for Gulen-linked contractors, and the whole thing snowballs into a walled-off economy that brings in more and more of the Gulenists from Turkey. This, of course, is all in addition to the real estate deals and financing deals that make charter investors wealthy.  It's all for the Movement, minus whatever paltry salary they are paying you to be the American face of it all.  The Turkish men managing your school all know this to be true, and the Turkish men working in your schools on H-1B visas know it to be true. The American teachers are not part of the equation, other than as cover.

More Comments on Proposed ESSA Rules, From Parent, Principal Groups
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Andrew Ujifusa on August 24, 2016 9:54 AM
Can't get enough of public comments about proposed accountability rules under the Every Student Succeeds Act? We've got you covered.  This week, we've highlighted several commenters from key groups that have weighed in on the draft ESSA regulations covering accountability. But of course, we didn't have room in that story to touch on all the notable organizations that have shared their thoughts with the U.S. Department of Education through June and July. So we're serving you another helping of comments.   And let's note that since we compiled noteworthy comments on the proposed ESSA accountability rules on this blog earlier this month, the number of comments published has grown and now tops 21,000. So, way to go, ESSA commenters. Now, on to some more comments:

Federal lawsuit seeks to establish a constitutional right to education
Washington Post By Emma Brown August 24 at 4:33 PM 
An advocacy group best known for using the courts to challenge California’s teacher tenure laws has now taken its legal strategy to Connecticut, where it has sued state officials over “anti-opportunity” laws that restrict the growth of magnet and charter schools and that limit inner-city students’ ability to transfer to more affluent suburban school districts.  The California-based group Students Matter argues that those limitations trap thousands of poor and minority children in terrible schools that are failing according to Connecticut’s own rating system, violating what should be considered a right to education under the U.S. Constitution. Federal courts have never recognized a fundamental right to education, but the plaintiffs argue that they should do so now.  “The fundamental principles of equality in our country demand that every child have a chance to get an education, to learn and to have that platform to succeed,” said Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., an attorney for the plaintiffs.

Parents suing State of Mississippi about charter schools receiving public money
WJTV12 By Beth Alexander Published: August 23, 2016, 6:19 pm  Updated: August 24, 2016, 9:02 am
JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Should charter schools receive taxpayer money?  That’s the question that a group of Jackson parents want answered and quickly.  Those parents are suing the state.  The Southern Poverty Law center announced they’ve asked a Hinds County judge for a summary judgement.  They hope to speed up the process to determine if charter schools can constitutionally receive tax payer money.  Parents and lawyers want a decision and fast.  The Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit against the state in July saying that money taken from the Jackson Public School District and given to charter schools is unconstitutional and that property taxes shouldn’t be shared with schools they don’t control.

The Most Economically Segregated School Districts
Some U.S. school districts have childhood poverty rates that differ from their neighbors by more than 40 percentage points.
US News By Lauren Camera | Education Reporter Aug. 23, 2016, at 1:17 p.m.
The most economically segregated school districts in the country have childhood poverty rates that differ from neighboring school districts by more than 40 percentage points, highlighting the stark contrast among K-12 schools located just miles apart from each other.
The finding, included in an analysis released Tuesday from EdBuild, a nonprofit focused on education funding inequality, is just the latest in mounting pile of research focused onschool funding inequality.  The organization identified more than 33,500 borders between school districts and compared the childhood poverty rates from the U.S. Census Bureau for the two districts on either side to identify the 50 most segregating school borders.  The report shows that a school district border separates two school districts whose childhood poverty rates differ by 7 percentage points on average. But the difference between the 50 most segregated districts identified in the report ranges from 34 to 42 percentage points – more than five times the national mean.

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.

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

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   (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

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

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.

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