Friday, August 5, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup Aug 5: PDE Issues Report/Recommendations on Graduation Requirements/Keystone Exams

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3900 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, Governor's staff, current/former PA Secretaries of Education, Wolf education transition team members, Superintendents, PTO/PTA officers, parent advocates, teacher leaders, business leaders, faith-based organizations, labor organizations, education professors, members of the press and a broad array of P-16 regulatory agencies, professional associations and education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup August 5, 2016:
PDE Issues Report/Recommendations on Graduation Requirements/Keystone Exams


Rep. Mike Turzai: State pension fix needed
Unfunded liability puts retirees and taxpayers at risk
Post Gazette Opinion By state Rep. Mike Turzai August 5, 2016 12:00 AM
Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Marshall, is speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Everyone involved in the debate over Pennsylvania’s public pension crisis needs to understand one, vital truth:  Pension reform isn’t simply about saving money. It’s about saving the pensions — benefits earned by thousands of public school teachers and state workers.  If we don’t find a way to reduce the expanding debt around our public pensions, no contract will overcome the unforgiving laws of mathematics. It’s this plain: without meaningful reform, both taxpayers and our retirees could be at risk.  Pennsylvania’s crisis has its roots in a succession of imprudent and poorly-timed decisions that stretch back decades. Our major error as a state was one shared by countless other government entities: We assumed that lavish returns on investments would never end.  Fifteen years, a major recession and countless changes in the financial markets, and we are headed toward a fiscal cliff. No succession of accounting maneuvers and fiscal sleights of hand can hide the fact that our two largest public pension systems have an unfunded liability — a projected debt — of $60 billion.

“Act 1 of 2016 (Act 1), enacted in February 2016, paused the Keystone exam/PBA graduation requirement for a period of two years and provided policymakers with an opportunity to thoughtfully consider options for students to demonstrate readiness for postsecondary success in addition to Keystone exams. Specifically, Act 1 requires the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE or Department) to investigate alternative options for a state level graduation requirement and to provide recommendations to the General Assembly.”
Pennsylvania Department of Education Report on Graduation Requirements
PDE website August 2016
This report fulfills the reporting requirement outlined in Act 1 and also provides the following information and recommendations:
· Describes guiding principles identified by PDE to develop different options for state level graduation requirements to supplement Keystone exams;
· Details the process and materials used to inform these options, and to elicit feedback from stakeholders across the state;
· Lists PDE’s recommendations for the design and implementation of new state level requirements for graduation;
· Describes each of the proposed options for state level requirements for graduation, its rationale and proposed design; and
· Outlines required next steps and the activities/resources necessary to support these next steps. · Includes an appendix summarizing key research considered in the development of the graduation options as well as draft legislation.

Letter: We need fair and equitable school funding
Post Gazette Letter by JANET SARDON Superintendent Yough School District Herminie August 5, 2016 12:00 AM
Education is a powerful tool that we use to prepare children. As a superintendent, I want to thank Pennsylvania’s legislators for passing a budget, timely and with a slight increase in education funding. We are thankful for the monies, and we work to provide students a quality education. Running a district has become a herculean task for those who struggle to meet their mission while mandated costs skyrocket. Since 2009-10, our pension expense has increased 860 percent, charter school costs have doubled, and we have other expenses that, when aggregated, significantly impact education. For a small community, these increases are beyond sustainable and result in unmanageable tax increases.  The 2016-17 budget has been approved and the new formula applied. For our district, funding increased by 1.9 percent. For some of the affluent districts, the increases were 5 to 7 percent. I don’t understand how that translates into fair/​equitable funding. Educating on an even playing field is impossible.  In my opinion, two things need to occur. Funding has to significantly increase, and we need to be allocated funds based on poverty and the communities’ taxing ability. Districts are falling behind because of their ZIP codes. We need to afford all students the same opportunities and learning environment.

“But cyber charters are not under the jurisdiction of any local district. Because they can accept students from all over the state, they are overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. One enrolls nearly 10,000 students, making it larger than most school districts.  Even though districts have no control over the cybers, they are required to pay the per-pupil price to the cyber school for students residing in their district.  Cyber charters receive the same per-pupil amount from districts as brick-and-mortar charters, making them no less expensive for the districts.  And because school districts throughout the state have different per-pupil costs, the cyber schools can get anywhere from $6,000 to almost $20,000 from a student’s local school district, although all the students have the same educational program.”
Cyber Charters: Districts’ only link to cyber charters: Money
Each one pays its own per-pupil charter rate, but oversight of the online schools is solely Pennsylvania’s responsibility.
The notebook by Melanie Bavaria June 7, 2016 — 10:45am
Only a small percentage of U.S. children attend school completely online, but the population that online schools serve has increased dramatically over the last few years and it is projected to continue to climb. In some states, the online charter school industry has seen exponential growth in recent years.  Nationally, about 200 cyber charter schools serve 200,000 students, according to a series of reports published in October by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, Mathematica Policy Research, and the Center for Reinventing Public Education.  As the state with the second-highest cyber charter enrollment, Pennsylvania has 17 percent of the national cyber charter school population, or 35,000 students.
Dismal academic records - However, most of Pennsylvania’s cyber schools have shown consistently dismal academic records. According to the state’s School Performance Profile website, only three — 21st Century, PA Cyber, and PA Virtual — had an SPP score above 60. The state considers 60 and below to be substandard.  None scored higher than 70, which is the state’s minimum goal for all schools, and some scored in the 30s.

“Pennsylvania has about 35,000 students attending online charter schools, nearly 18 percent of the national total, making it the state with the second-highest cyber charter population.”
Cyber Charters: Why cybers? Safety, individual learning, second chances
Some families choose this option despite generally low achievement data and other problems with cyber schools
The notebook by Melanie Bavaria June 14, 2016 — 3:16pm
Like most parents, Clea Jones starts her day by waking up her children and getting them ready for school. But instead of putting them on a school bus, navigating public transportation, or carpooling with other students, Jones’ children only have to walk down the stairs of their Southwest Philadelphia home. Jones’ three school-aged children – 10th grader Muhammed, 5th grader Aaliyah, and 1st grader Jameel Burgess — are students at Agora Cyber Charter School, one of Pennsylvania’s 14 cyber charters.   The option to attend school completely online is relatively new, but the number of cyber charter schools and the number of students attending them have increased dramatically over the last few years. About 200 cyber charter schools serve 200,000 students nationally, according to a series of reports published in October by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, Mathematica Policy Research, and the Center for Reinventing Public Education. Half of the national cyber charter population is concentrated in the three states where enrollment is highest: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California.

Cyber Charters: Charter advocacy groups' report urges overhaul of cyber funding and regulation
The groups say that poor-performing cybers should be closed.
the notebook by Melanie Bavaria June 17, 2016 — 4:04pm
A group of national charter school advocacy groups released a controversial report this week recommending that poor-performing virtual, or cyber, charter schools be closed. It also proposed that states overhaul the funding and oversight systems to regulate them.  “We believe that existing policies for oversight of full-time virtual charter schools are particularly inadequate,” reads the report, titled A Call to Action: To Improve the Quality of Full-Time Virtual Charter Public Schools.”  The organizations that created the report — the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, and 50CAN — make clear that they do support the existence of virtual charter schools. At the same time, they stressed that the systems in place across the 23 states (and D.C.) that allow for virtual charter schools are deeply flawed and largely failing.

Charter Reform: Lots of complaints, but few solutions
Many agree that the charter law should be changed. But political gridlock, powerful lobbies, and scarce funds make that difficult.
The notebook by Dan Hardy June 6, 2016 — 3:36pm
Nearly 20 years after Pennsylvania lawmakers established charter schools, serious concerns about the law’s fairness are still stirring debate. But few prospects for changing it are in sight, even as many school districts’ finances deteriorate steadily, partly due to charter growth.
Problematic consequences of the 1997 law that are widely acknowledged include:
§  The continued financial drain on school districts caused by the growth of charters, which are funded from school district budgets.
§  A charter funding formula that districts say pays charters too much because some parts of it do not reflect actual district or charter expenses.
§  A charter funding formula that charters say pays them too little because it lops off 30 percent of a district’s costs – such as transportation and pre-K that charters don’t incur – before calculating the per-pupil payment.
§  A  formula that doesn’t explicitly provide funds or reimbursements for building purchases and renovations, so charters have to pay for those projects out of operating expenses.
§  An authorizing system considered flawed by charter advocates and school boards, but for different reasons. The advocates find it flawed because only local school boards, which compete with charters for students, can vote to create these schools. The school boards consider it flawed because they are prevented from considering the financial impact of new charters on their districts.
§  Vague criteria for charter renewal and lengthy appeal processes, leading to protracted disputes about closing charters for poor academic performance or mismanagement.
§  A financial formula that gives cyber charters, which are authorized by the state, the same amount per student as brick-and-mortar schools, which results in widely varying per-pupil payments by districts to cyber charters for providing the same educational services to all students.

Veteran state Sen. John Wozniak drops re-election bid, report: Thursday Morning Coffee
Penn Live By John L. Micek | jmicek@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on August 04, 2016 at 7:16 AM
THE MORNING COFFEE
Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
Facing a tough re-election campaign in a district that was redrawn to favor Republicans, long-serving Sen. John Wozniak is dropping his re-election bid.  The Cambria County Democrat, 60, tells The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat that he was "cognizant of my lifespan."  "I've got 10 good years left to do things before I kick back and smell the roses," he told the newspaper.  
Wozniak, one of the state's longest-serving legislators, planned to spend one more term representing his Johnstown-based 35th District before packing it in, the newspaper reported.

With Rep. Kevin Schreiber dropping out of the race, York County Democrats look for a replacement
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on August 04, 2016 at 5:02 PM, updated August 04, 2016 at 6:37 PM
The York County Democratic Party website features a headline that essentially screams "help wanted" in announcing Rep. Kevin Schreiber's announcement on Thursday that he is withdrawing from his re-election bid.  Schreiber, 36, has served in the House since 2013, representing the 95th District. He is taking over as the president and CEO of the York County Economic Alliance on Dec. 1, the day after his current House term expires.  He is the second incumbent lawmaker this week to announce plans to withdraw from the race. The other is longtime Sen. John Wozniak, a Democrat from Johnstown, who announced on Tuesday his time in the Senate would be up when his term expires Nov. 30. He said on his Facebook page he wants to "seek new opportunities, pursue other ventures and life experiences."

Pittsburgh schools to offer more music, arts opportunities
By Molly Born / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette August 5, 2016 12:00 AM
A renewed discussion about arts education in the Pittsburgh Public Schools this year has resulted in a school board proposal that could provide students exposure to other arts disciplines.  And while that proposed policy for a district-wide “arts education delivery model” was tabled at a meeting last month, some new offerings will roll out in the 2016-17 school year that beginsAug. 29.  Four additional instrumental music instructors will bring to eight those who will rotate once every six days in all schools that have fourth through eighth grades. Last school year, four instructors rotated among 23 schools once every seven days.  And an exploratory instrumental music pilot — a hybrid of general music and instrumental with a focus on the latter — will be added for third- and sixth-graders in eight schools. Students will explore one musical family every nine weeks and can then select instruments in which to receive specialized instruction.

Some see racial overtones in Upper Darby superintendent flap
Upper Darby Superintendent Richard Dunlap Jr. was quietly placed on paid leave.
Inquirer by Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer Updated: AUGUST 5, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
The Upper Darby school board's surprise decision last month to place Superintendent Richard F. Dunlap Jr. on paid administrative leave was at least partly rooted in a dispute over a redistricting proposal for the system's crowded schools - a controversy that some officials say is tinged with racial resentments in one of the region's most diverse suburbs.  Dunlap had been promoting a plan that would have given him the discretion to move students to schools outside their neighborhoods to correct imbalances in class sizes throughout the district. Rather than hard and fast, the lines separating attendance areas would become "fluid."  The proposal drew fire from some elected leaders of the Delaware County community, including Mayor Thomas N. Micozzie, and plaudits from others.  State Rep. Margo Davidson (D., Delaware) said the 12,000-student Upper Darby School District "is and has been . . . segregated for decades," and the plan would have helped change that. But "the keepers of the status quo are kicking and screaming," she said, "and refusing to go into the future."

ASD's interim chief lists equity plan, restructuring administration as top priorities
Interim Superintendent Gary Cooper to serve Allentown School District for one year.
Jacqueline Palochko Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call August 4, 2016
ASD interim schools chief notes equity, restructuring administration as top priorities
ALLENTOWN – For his year as interim superintendent of the Allentown School District, Gary Cooper sees his role as putting the district on the right track, which he said includes developing an equity plan and restructuring the administration.  Cooper, 65, started this week as interim superintendent, replacing Superintendent Russ Mayo, who is going on a one-year sabbatical for restoration of health with no plans to return when it ends.  The Buffalo, N.Y., native has 35 years in education, almost 20 of which have been in a leadership role  Describing himself as a "recovering superintendent," Cooper hasn't led a district since 2007, but has kept a foot in education. Since then, he has served as an adjunct professor at Lehigh and West Chester universities, opened STEM schools in Egypt and coached principals in the Allentown School District.

Philly to test for lead in water at 40 District schools
The notebook/WHYY Newsworks by Avi Wolfman-Arent August 4, 2016 — 4:33pm
The School District of Philadelphia is reviving a program that will test for elevated lead levels in the drinking water at 40 city schools.  The project will take four months to complete and focus on schools at risk for dangerous concentrations of lead. Between 2000 and 2010 the district tested all of its drinking water outlets through the Safe Drinking Water Program, replacing or remediating those that tested positive for elevated lead.  “This retesting project will allow us to add another level of oversight and assurance to our water quality program,” said Fran Burns, the district’s Chief Operating Officer, in a statement. “It is important that we reassure our students and families that the quality of our drinking water is safe and in compliance with federal and local regulations.”

Eastern York district's fund balance down 71 percent
York Dispatch by  Alyssa Jackson, 505-5438/@AlyssaJacksonYD5:07 p.m. EDT August 4, 2016
An audit of the Eastern York School District found the general fund balance has decreased drastically — by 71 percent — since the fiscal year that ended in June 2011. The decline contributed to a 6.7 percent tax hike for the district this year and more tax increases to come in the future.  The audit followed the school's spending from the 2010-11 fiscal year through the 2014-15 fiscal year. Overall, the general fund balance dropped $4.2 million. The fund balance was at $1.71 million at the end of June 2015, making it 4.2 percent of the school's overall expenditures.  School board policy 620, which relates to the fund balance, states the district will maintain a general fund balance between 5 percent and 8 percent of its overall expenditures.

Montour schools able to limit layoffs while cutting positions
Post Gazette By Sonja Reis August 5, 2016 12:00 AM
The Montour School District has eliminated 16 full- and part-time positions as planned, but because of retirements, resignations and leaves of absences, nowhere near that many people will lose their jobs, officials said.  Superintendent Michael Ghilani said the job reduction has resulted in only 1.5 positions in which people are being furloughed.  Due to the reductions, however, some employees are being shifted from full- to half-time roles. Part-time employees pay more for health benefits than full-time employees, and Mr. Ghilani said the district will look at ways to ease that expense for them.  The board on July 28 approved the furloughs for the 1.5 positions as part of the district’s effort to save money.  The 16 position cuts are being made in classes where student enrollment is low and include music, art and physical education programming. Other cuts will include technology coaches, custodians, one mechanic and two security guards, among others.


“After years of educational “disruption,” some of the results are ugly. In this important post, Pam Grossman, dean of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and a specialist in teacher education and development, writes about the dangerous effects of this type of “disruption” in the public schools.”
Reformers ‘disrupted’ public education. Now an Ivy League dean says the consequences for kids are ‘devastating.’
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss August 4 at 12:46 PM 
You’ve heard it before. Traditional public schools in America once worked but don’t anymore. They are failing. It is imperative, some say, to “disrupt” the situation. That is what corporate school reformers have attempted to do — with efforts to expand school choice, elevate the importance of education technology, and use test scores to drive policy as well as the evaluation of students, schools and teachers. Anyone who questioned the notion of failing schools, or the need for disruption, was called a lover of the status quo, someone who didn’t really want to help kids.

New York Community schools supported
Officials promise to help programs pushing medical, social help as well as academics
Times Union By Bethany Bump Published 9:49 pm, Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Rensselaer - As New York increasingly turns to community schools as a solution for educating the impoverished, state education officials pledged Tuesday to fight for recurring funding that would give the emerging school model a chance at sustainability.  State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia told a crowd of more than 100 community school leaders and supporters who had gathered at the University at Albany's east campus in Rensselaer on Tuesday that she would work to ensure the recent state aid designated for community school conversions would be more than "a flash in the pan."  "We're very committed to making sure this is in front of the legislature and governor's office as a key point in continuing support for schools and districts," she said.
Regents Chancellor Betty RosaVice Chancellor T. Andrew Brown and Regent Judith Johnson also attended Tuesday's event in a strong show of support from the Board of Regents, which sets education policy for the state. Rosa, who led a community school in the Bronx in the 1990s, told the crowd in opening remarks that community schools are an important tool in the fight for educational equity and social justice.  The gathering was the first-ever statewide convening of New York community school leaders and supporters. The disparate groups and organizations decided to come together Tuesday to form one cohesive network, vision and advocacy agenda — one that will likely inform New York's continued transformation of struggling schools into community schools.  Such schools are based on the premise that preparing a child for success requires as much emphasis on medical, social and emotional support as it does on academics and instruction. As a result, they often partner with local agencies and organizations to open health clinics and counseling centers on site, or offer extended-day learning opportunities.

“The secret to VLACS’ success may be that it does things differently from most virtual schools. It puts a focus on building strong student-teacher relationships. It breaks up traditional courses into specific skills and abilities, called “competencies,” that students master through a personalized blend of traditional lesson plans, offline projects and real-world experiences. Also, VLACS’s funding is based on student performance rather than enrollment.  By zigging when others zag, not only is VLACS outperforming much of the online field using the old yardstick of standardized tests, it might also radically change how students learn.”
Inside the Online School That Could Radically Change How Kids Learn Everywhere
CHRIS BERDIK, FOR THE HECHINGER REPORT 08.04.16.
EMILY DUGGAN, 16, spends most afternoons at a dance studio tucked behind a shopping plaza near her home in Exeter, New Hampshire. Blond and doe-eyed, Duggan has been dancing since she was two, everything from tap to ballet. She puts in about 12 hours a week at the studio, including classes and rehearsals with the dance team for weekend competitions. Duggan also prides herself on getting good grades in school. But two years ago, the stress of managing both dance and academics overwhelmed her.  She was exhausted and losing weight. Some nights, Duggan faced four hours of homework after a day of school and dancing that stretched into the evening, “I would just break down crying and saying, ‘I can’t do this anymore!’ ” she recalled.  Her parents agreed. In January 2015, Duggan enrolled in New Hampshire’s self-paced Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, joining about 200 full-time middle and high school students and about 10,000 part-timers from brick-and-mortar schools statewide who take online VLACS courses a la carte. There is no entrance exam, screening or application required to attend VLACS, which is free for any New Hampshire student.

“Gulen's movement espouses religious tolerance, science and high regard for education. The charter schools often have science themes. They enroll tens of thousands of students nationally and receive hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds.  They also share particular characteristics, according to Robert Amsterdam, an attorney who is counsel to Turkey's government in a civil lawsuit against Gulen accusing him of human rights abuses in Turkey.   "They all have majority Turkish board members," he said. "Number two, they only take foreign teachers from Turkey. Number three, around 75 percent of all vendors are Turkish, and normally have strong ties to Gulen."  He said the suspicion is that school staff and related vendors pay Gulen's movement from their salaries and business deals.”
How U.S. Charter Schools May Be Tied to Turkey's Political Unrest
Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen's movement has been linked to many charter schools, raising questions about the nature of their relationship
WNYC Aug 5, 2016 · by Beth Fertig

The attempted coup in Turkey last month refocused attention on a Turkish dissident currently living in the Poconos region of Pennsylvania, an imam named Fethullah Gulen who is suspected of having financial ties to charter schools across the United States.  Just this week, a Turkish court issued an arrest warrant for Gulen. Although he has denied any involvement in the coup attempt, Gulen's critics claim he’s leading a movement to undermine the current Turkish government, a movement they say is funded in part by a network of about 150 charter schools.  The charter schools share characteristics, such as being run by Turkish immigrants. There are six of them in northern New Jersey and four in upstate New York. The FBI and other federal agencies are investigating charter schools in Ohio and Illinois with possible links to Gulen and a Georgia audit found found three schools engaged in bid-rigging to vendors with ties to him.  The New York charters were audited by the state comptroller in 2013. The office cited problems with their bidding processes. The audit of the Buffalo Academy of Science Charter found the school leased its building in a way that netted millions of dollars for a New Jersey company with ties to Turkey, Apple Educational Services. In the end, the company sold the building to the Buffalo charter.

Coalition Including Black Lives Matter Calls for 'Fully Funded Education'
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Andrew Ujifusa on August 4, 2016 9:46 AM
A coalition of groups that includes the Black Lives Matter network has released an education policy platform calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring the country to provide a "fully funded education" in order to ensure adequate and appropriate educational resources.  The platform from the Movement for Black Lives policy group was released earlier this week with the backing of over 30 advocacy organizations. In addition to action in Washington, the platform calls on state-level ballot initiatives to increase funding for schools, and highlights an unsuccessful school funding ballot measure in Mississippi voted on last year as an example of positive action.  Two recent federal reports highlight the issues that the coalition urgently wants addressed, said Kesi Foster, a coordinator at the Urban Youth Collaborative, which helped develop the platform. The first is a May study by the Government Accountability Office showing that the share of racially and socioeconomically isolated schools is on the rise in the U.S. The second is a July policy brief from the U.S. Department of Education showing that spending on incarceration grew at triple the rate of K-12 spending growth in states from 1979 to 2013.
Those snapshots highlight the need for both more adequate and more equitable funding for black children in all settings, from big cities to rural states, according to Foster.  "We need to divest funding from policing, jailing, and harmful institutions for black communities, and invest funding into education for those communities," Foster said in an interview.

Explainer: #Vision4BlackLives Agenda Highlights School Reform Critics' Priorities (With Some Key Exceptions)
Scholastic Administrator This Week in Education August 3, 2016 | Posted At: 11:01 AM | Author: Alexander Russo  
Most of the attention on the Movement for Black Lives' agenda, released earlier this week, focused on the call for reparations and other agenda items.  However, a little-noted part of the comprehensive agenda was its education section, which calls for "An End to the Privatization of Education and Real Community Control by Parents, Students and Community Members of Schools Including Democratic School Boards and Community Control of Curriculum, Hiring/Firing, and Discipline Policies."

An Unacceptable Irony: Disparities Threaten U.S. Public Education System
Learning First Alliance By National School Boards Association on August 3, 2016
By Thomas J. Gentzel, the executive director of the National School Boards Association
Like the tiles in a mosaic, each interesting on its own but collectively presenting a separate image, the current state of public education in America generally does not appear as a complete picture when reading individual news stories or research studies. The challenges facing public schools are many, but together they conspire to threaten this most vital institution if left unaddressed.  At the outset, we need to acknowledge that America is changing – both in terms of its racial and ethnic composition, as well as in its income disparities. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office found that the percentage of schools in which students mostly are Hispanic and black, as well as from low income families, has risen significantly, and frequently is accompanied by fewer resources and educational opportunities.  Poverty is having a particularly profound impact on children. More than 50 percent of students in U.S. public schools today are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, according to the Southern Education Foundation. Although this should be deeply troubling, the prevalence of childhood poverty is hardly discussed by elected officials, and it has been virtually ignored in this year’s political debate.

LEBRON JAMES DONATES $41 MILLION TO SEND 1,100 KIDS TO COLLEGE, BECOMES 6TH MOST CHARITABLE ATHLETE IN WORLD
By Amanda Froelich Source: True Activist JULY 24, 2016
Basketball star Lebron James didn’t have the easiest childhood. Born in Akron, Ohio, his parents often struggled to make ends meet, which is why they sent him to live with the family of Frank Walker. It is a fortunate thing they did because it was through Walker that James learned of his love and talent for basketball.  Now a professional athlete, James has the ability to help others. And, he’s proven just how loyal he is to the community that raised him by donating a momentous amount of funds to help kids from Akron go to collegeESPN reports that the star, who often refers to himself “as just a kid from Akron,” partnered with the University of Akron to provide a guaranteed four-year scholarships to the school for students in his “I Promise” program who qualify.The scholarship will cover tuition and the university’s general service fee – approximately $9,500 per year. All in all, the scholarship should cover the costs for 1,100 kids, which will cost his foundation a total of $41.8 million.  The NBA star announced the good news in June while hosting an event for students at Cedar Point Amusement Park. He said:
“It’s the reason I do what I do. These students have big dreams, and I’m happy to do everything I can to help them get there. They’re going to have to earn it, but I’m excited to see what these kids can accomplish knowing that college is in their futures.”
The criteria to qualify for the scholarship is still being determined, but most likely will entail students needing to graduate high school within Akron’s public school system and achieve standard testing requirements. Applicants will also likely be required to fulfill a community service obligation.


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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