WHYY Newsworks BY AVI WOLFMAN-ARENT SEPTEMBER 12, 2016
WITF Written by The Associated Press | Sep 13, 2016 4:46 AM
(Philadelphia) -- Pennsylvania's highest court is about to hear arguments in a case that could revamp how school funding in the commonwealth is divvied up. The state Supreme Court's session today in Philadelphia includes a lawsuit by several school districts, parents and others that challenges the state's method of funding public education. A lower court rejected the lawsuit last year, saying school funding was a political decision that should be ironed out by the governor and state lawmakers. In a brief submitted to the justices last week, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf noted a negotiated funding formula for public schools was enacted on June 1. He also says public school funding has risen in both of his first two state budgets.
Standard Speaker by MARIA JACKETTI / PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 13, 2016
More than 100 residents came out to a school board meeting in Lower Merion last night, the first following a judge's order to roll back a recent property tax increase in the wealthy Montgomery County school district. After becoming suspicious of annual tax hikes, three Lower Merion residents, Arthur Wolk, Philip Browndeis and Catherine Marchand, filed a suit, alleging the district deceived taxpayers and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (DOE) in order to get around limits imposed on annual property tax increases. In August, Judge Joseph Smyth agreed and granted an injunction, ordering the latest tax hike be rescinded. From the outset, Board members and officials defended their practices as both legal and necessary. "The district employs sound, good accounting practices. There is no doubt about that," said superintendent Robert Copeland, who also highlighted the school's commitment to going beyond minimum standards for education by providing an array of gifted classes and special accommodations for students. In a joint presentation with school district business manager Victor Orlando, Copeland explained that ratcheting costs for special education, pensions and increased enrollment made the district's budget unpredictable.
By Mike McGann, Editor, The Unionville Times Sep 9th, 2016
If you’ve been in and around Coatesville recently, you may have seen picketing teachers — as was the case at the district’s three middle schools Thursday night. The contract between the district and the Coatesville Area Teachers Association expired in late August and there has been little movement on a new contract. And the teachers are frustrated that Superintendent of Schools Cathy Taschner was given a new five-year contract, but they can’t seem to get any traction on a new deal with pay hikes anywhere near the cost of living increases. They feel, understandably, unappreciated. But here’s the problem: where is the money for pay raises going to come from? Between diminishing property values and the hard wall that is Act I of 2006 (the law that limits how much property tax can increase) there isn’t enough money to properly pay the teachers. If you support the teachers — and in general most folks do — what programs do you cut to pay to boost salaries, benefits and the pension hit? Not to mention the increasing expense and impact of special education costs, millions of dollars of state and federally mandated spending without much in the way of funding. Add in the fact that charter schools cherry pick the least impaired special education students, then send the district the bill for the full boat cost (nice to have the taxpayers as profit center, right?), making the finances even worse.
As it is presently constituted.
Esquire BY CHARLES P. PIERCE SEP 12, 2016
Here’s a post by the creators of the Schools of Opportunity awards revealing the 2016 winners and explaining why they were selected. The post beneath this one is an accompanying piece about school ratings. This was written by Kevin Welner, Carol Burris and Michelle Renée Valladares. Welner is director of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder and a professor specializing in educational policy and law. Burris, a former award-winning principal who is now executive director of the non-profit Network for Public Education. Valladares is associate director of the National Education Policy Center
Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 5:30 PM
The Crystal Tea Room, The Wanamaker Building
100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA
Honoring: Pepper Hamilton LLP, Signe Wilkinson, Dr. Monique W. Morris
And presenting the ELC PRO BONO AWARD to Paul Saint-Antoine & Chanda Miller
of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
The 2016 Arts and Education Symposium will be held on October 27 at the Radisson Hotel Harrisburg Convention Center. Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Arts Education network and EPLC, the Symposium is a Unique Networking and Learning Opportunity for:
Program and registration information are available here.
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