Virtual charter school company K12 Inc. rejected a transparency proposal Thursday that would have required the company’s board of directors to create a new report detailing K12’s lobbying efforts. The proposal came from a group of shareholders, represented by Arjuna Capital, who said the company spends millions on state lobbying, even as its stock has been dropping and revenues have decreased. K12 Inc. has spent at least $10.5 million to hire lobbyists in 21 states, according to more than a decade of state lobbying disclosure forms examined by Education Week as part of a recent investigation into the lobbying efforts of for-profit virtual charter school operators. The shareholders called on the company’s board to prepare an annual report detailing spending on “direct or indirect lobbying or … grassroots lobbying communications.” They also wanted the company to report K12’s membership in, and payments to, any tax-exempt organization that writes and endorses model legislation — such as the American Legislative Exchange Council. The K12 shareholder effort to push for more transparency was headed by Bertis Downs, the legal counsel for the rock group R.E.M. as well as a traditional public school parent and advocate in Athens, GA. Downs also sits on the board of the Network for Public Education, the group co-founded by education historian and traditional public schools advocate Diane Ravitch. K12’s board of directors opposed the proposal. In a proxy statement put out ahead of the annual shareholder’s meeting, the board said the requirements outlined in the proposal are not necessary and could hurt the company. “The expanded disclosure requested by this proposal could place the company at a competitive disadvantage by revealing strategies and priorities designed to protect the economic future of the company, its stockholders and employees,” the statement said.
PCCY website December 16, 2018
Keystone State Education Coalition October 16, 2016
Source: PA Department of Education website; A score of 70 is considered passing
Total cyber charter tuition paid by PA taxpayers from 500 school districts for 2013, 2014 and 2015 was over $1.2 billion; $393.5 million, $398.8 million and $436.1 million respectively.
Not one of Pennsylvania’s cyber charters has achieved a passing SPP score of 70 in any of the four years that the SPP has been in effect.
WITF Written by Radio Pennsylvania | Dec 18, 2016 8:27 AM
(Harrisburg) -- A state lawmaker pushing for full property tax elimination in the commonwealth says he believes 2017 is the year it will get done. A bill to stamp out property taxes from Republican Senator David Argall failed on a tie-breaker vote in the last session, but he's hopeful the new class of legislators will see the measure over the finish line in the coming year. Argall says he believes Pennsylvanians want to see property taxes completely eliminated, not just reduced or reformed. "They know that the property tax system is old, it's archaic, it's rotten at the core. The only way to fix it is to eliminate it, and that is our number one goal for next year," Argall said. Specifics on the new bill haven't been released. Argall's previous bill raised the sales and personal income tax in order to do away with property taxes.
Inquirer by Michaelle Bond, Staff Writer Updated: DECEMBER 17, 2016 — 1:07 AM EST
Post Gazette Letter by NIKOLE BRUGNOLI SHEAFFER, Highland Park December 19, 2016 12:00 AM
Diane Ravitch’s Blog By dianeravitch December 18, 2016 //
Washington, D.C. Phone:(202) 224-4944
Did you know that quality early childhood education sets our children up for success? It reduces the need for special education, raises graduation rates, and narrows the achievement gap. These benefits ripple throughout our schools, neighborhoods, and local economy.
That’s why the City of Philadelphia is expanding free, quality pre-K for 6,500 three- and four-year-olds over the next five years. In fact, the first 2,000 pre-K seats are available now. Families should act fast because classes begin on January 4th at more than 80 locations.
Please help us spread the word. Parents/caregivers can call 844-PHL-PREK (844-745-7735) to speak with a trained professional who will help them apply and locate quality pre-K programs nearby. For more information, visit www.PHLprek.org
Pennsylvania Every Student Succeeds Act Public Tour
The Department of Education (PDE) is holding a series of public events to engage the public on important education topics in Pennsylvania. The primary focus of these events will be the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal education law signed by President Barack Obama in late 2015. A senior leader from the department will provide background on the law, and discuss the ongoing
development of Pennsylvania’s State Plan for its implementation, which will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in 2017. Feedback is important to PDE; to provide the best avenue for public comment as well as provide an opportunity for those who cannot attend an event, members of the community are encouraged to review materials and offer comments at http://www.education.pa.gov/Pages/tour.aspx#tab-1
Upcoming Public Events:
Bucks County Free Library Quakertown Branch
401 West Mill Street Quakertown, PA 18951
Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County
3201 Rockwell Avenue Scranton, PA 18508
PSBA Virtual New School Director Training, Part 1
JAN 4, 2017 • 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
The job of a school board director is challenging. Changing laws, policies, and pressures from your community make serving on your school board demanding, yet rewarding at the same time. Most school directors – even those with many years of experience – say that PSBA training is one of the most important and valuable things they have done in order to understand their roles and responsibilities. If you are a new school board director and didn’t have the opportunity to attend one of PSBA’s live New School Director Training events, you can now attend via your computer, either by yourself from your home or office, or with a group of other school directors.
This is the same New School Director Training content we offer in a live classroom format, but adjusted for virtual training.
Fee: $149 per person includes all three programs. Materials may be downloaded free, or $25 for materials to be mailed to your home (log in to the Members Area and purchase through the Store/Registration link).
Register online: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6607237329490796034
PSBA Third Annual Board Presidents Day
JAN 28, 2017 • 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM Nine Locations Statewide
Jan. 28, 2017 (Snow date: Feb. 11, 2017)
Calling all school board presidents, vice-presidents, and superintendents — Join us for the 3rd Annual PSBA Board Presidents Day held at nine convenient locations around the state.
This is a day of meeting fellow board members from your area and taking part in thought-provoking dialogue about the issues every board faces. PSBA Past President Kathy Swope will start things off with an engaging presentation based on her years as board president at the Lewistown Area School District. Bring your own scenarios to this event to gain perspective from other districts. Cost: $109 per person – includes registration, lunch and materials. All-Access Package applies. Register online by logging in to the Members Area (see the Store/Registration link to view open event registrations, https://www.psba.org/members-area/store-registration/)
Join school directors around the country at the conference designed to give you the tools to advocate successfully on behalf of public education.
- NSBA will help you develop a winning advocacy strategy to help you in Washington, D.C. and at home.
- Attend timely and topical breakout sessions lead by NSBA’s knowledgeable staff and outside experts.
- Expand your advocacy network by swapping best practices, challenges, and successes with other school board members from across the country.
Plan to join public education leaders for networking and learning at the 2017 NSBA Annual Conference, March 25-27 in Denver, CO. General registration is now open at https://www.nsba.org/conference/registration. A conference schedule, including pre-conference workshops, is available on the NSBA website.