Wednesday, December 21, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup Dec 21: PISA: U.S. schools with poverty levels of 25% or less rank first in reading and science and third in math among OECD countries

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 4000 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, school solicitors, principals, 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 Dec 21, 2016
PISA: U.S. schools with poverty levels of 25% or less rank first in reading and science and third in math among OECD countries

“This very high prevalence of child poverty in the U.S. and the struggle to educate large numbers of disadvantaged students are two of the most important factors underlying the country’s discouraging showing on the PISA exam.
·         U.S. schools with poverty levels of 25% or less rank first in reading and science and third in math among OECD countries
·         By contrast, U.S. schools where >75% of students qualify for FRPL fare very poorly, ranking nearly last in all subjects. Their scores are so low that they drag the overall U.S. average below the median, just above Mexico and Chile.”
Putting PISA Results to the Test
THE 180 BLOG  Dec 19, 2016
Analysis by Eric Yu and Pamela Cantor, M.D.
The 2015 PISA results are out and the mainstream media headlines are in:
·         15-year-old students in the U.S. are middling at best in science and reading
·         American 10th-graders are performing poorly in math and getting worse
These results have led to calls for myriad reforms, ranging from increased standards and testing, to greater emphasis on STEM, to more funding for school choice. However, an analysis of U.S. schools by students’ family income reveals a more nuanced story.
The Impact of Child Poverty on U.S. PISA Results
On the surface, the PISA results are indeed very disappointing. The U.S. ranks 31st in math, 20th in reading and 19th in science out of 35 OECD nations, dropping in two out of three subjects compared to 2012.

Philly's community schools moving forward
Fresh off a legal victory, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney visited Southwark School in South Philadelphia Tuesday to honor the school's community partners and plug the city's community schools initiative.  The event came less than 24 hours after a Common Pleas Court judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate Philadelphia's new tax on sweetened beverages. The ruling means, at least for now, that the programs Kenney plans to support with money from the tax can move forward unabated.  Among them is the city's plan to create 25 community schools over five years. The first nine schools were announced earlier this year, and this initial cohort is about to embark on the next phase of the process. After completing an assessment of needs to gauge what school and community members feel they need, each school's designated coordinator will help create a strategic plan.  Those plans will detail the school's priorities. By early next year, each community school will have a sense of what outside services it wants and how much those services might cost. It's the job of each community school coordinator to work with city staff to find funding for those projects.

As its neediest schools struggle, what can Pa. learn from Ontario's success?
Keystone Crossroads by Kevin McCorry Part five
What little difference four years can make.  Students at Kenderton Elementary have seen five principals and heard countless broken promises in less years.  The school sits in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Philadelphia, and after being kicked back and forth between different managers, it’s in the same sorry state that it was in 2012.  Kenderton’s story may seem extreme, but it illuminates much about how Pennsylvania’s education system treats its most vulnerable children.  Could there be another way?  In nearby Ontario, Canada, the school system is internationally heralded, and our series found a few key differences compared to Pennsylvania.

“Superintendent Joseph Roy, who has been a vocal critic of how charter schools are funded, disagreed with the lawsuit.  "What appears obvious to me is that rather than agreeing to the charter approved by the elected BASD board and saving the taxpayers of Bethlehem $1 million per year, the unelected, privately selected board of this publicly financed school is asking the court to void the charter approved by the duly elected BASD board members," Roy said in an email. "This is another example of why we need reform of the state's charter school law."
Lehigh Valley Academy sues Bethlehem Area, Saucon Valley over enrollment cap
Jacqueline Palochko Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call December 21, 2016
The Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School is suing the Bethlehem Area School District and Saucon Valley School District, accusing the districts of illegally capping the number of children who can enroll in the charter school.  Last month, the Bethlehem Area School Board approved a new five-year charter for Lehigh Valley Academy that capped student enrollment at 90 Bethlehem Area students per grade level. The school district said it would save the district $1 million a year if there was an enrollment cap.  But Lehigh Valley Academy refused to accept the district's request to cap student enrollment.  On Tuesday, Lehigh Valley Academy filed a lawsuit in Northampton County, saying "such enrollment caps are illegal if not agreed to by the charter school."

Why this charter school is suing 2 Lehigh Valley districts
By Sara K. Satullo | For  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on December 20, 2016 at 5:39 PM, updated December 20, 2016 at 7:20 PM
Lehigh Valley Academy is taking legal action against its chartering school districts after the Bethlehem school district approved a new charter with enrollment caps.  In November, the Bethlehem Area School Board granted the school a five-year charter extension but set caps on the number of district students that can enroll at the regional charter school.   Monday night the charter school's board of trustees voted to appeal the new charter to the state Charter Appeals Board and also filed a complaint in Northampton County Court of Common Pleas. The Saucon Valley School District is also named in the filings because it is also a chartering district.  "The (charter school) board believes those amendments are in fact illegal and would ultimately place LVA in violation of its charter, as the charter school would no longer be able to give preference to siblings of those currently enrolled from BASD," Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School said in a statement.

York Suburban approves full-day kindergarten
York Dispatch by Alyssa Pressler , 505-5438/@AlyssaPressYD12:32 p.m. December 20, 2016
The York Suburban School District will be moving to a full-day kindergarten program next fall.  At Monday night's school board meeting, the board ended several months of discussions by approving full-day kindergarten in the district. The vote was 8-1, with board member Michael Thoman voting no, according to Superintendent Shelly Merkle.  "We're very excited about the prospect of full-day kindergarten for all students," Merkle said. "I think it will really be of value to the students, and I think the larger community will benefit."  Talks of full-day kindergarten in the  York Suburban School District began in October, when administrators first held a public meeting to present research and discuss different options. The school board also discussed the possibility at the Nov. 21 board meeting.

“One thing the report authors state – it’s not current spending levels that are to blame. In fact, they claim, spending has gone down since 1994.  It’s the revenue side that’s been stagnant, at best.  “The problem is basically not a problem of growing state expenditures,” Stier said. “The problem is not that the state is spending more money. We are spending, actually a little less. So, the problem really is the revenue side.”
How to end Pa.’s deficit? Tax the rich, experts say
Delco Times By Kathleen E. Carey, Delaware County Daily Times POSTED: 12/20/16, 10:07 PM EST | UPDATED: 45 SECS AGO
A pair of economic analysts have the answer for staving the cash-gorging hole of Pennsylvania’s deficit that’s on its way to reach $3 billion in the next few years: Tax the rich.  Or, more specifically, have them pay more, as outlined in their “A Fair Share Tax Plan for Pennsylvania” discussed Tuesday.  The report found that those at the lower end of the income spectrum pay a higher percentage in taxes while those at the top pay significantly less. Taxing those at the top 0.03 percent more would create $788 million of additional revenue, the report found. If that rate was 0.8 percent more, $1.2 billion more revenue would be raised.  “We need legislation to raise another $3 billion ... to eliminate the deficit,” said Marc Stier, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. Stier and Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of the Keystone Research Center, were authors of the tax plan report.

Blogger note: In 1974 PA legislature provided 54% of education funding. Now it provides just 37%, exacerbating local property tax burden.
Be careful with property tax cut
Hazelton Standard Speaker Opinion December 20, 2016
An effort to eliminate school property taxes ended this year in a 24-24 deadlock in the state Senate.  Now one of the idea’s principal champions, Republican state Sen. David Argall of Schuylkill County, thinks the Legislature will get past that deadlock in 2017 and finally eliminate school property taxes.  He and fellow supporters have not yet revealed a specific bill, but according to Argall, Pennsylvanians want the change.  “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.  There is zero doubt that the Legislature must diminish the role of local property taxes in funding public education and shift that burden to the state government, which has the broadest possible tax base. And there should be a major reduction in property taxes as a result. But the state government should not eliminate property taxes because doing so would create its own set of problems.

Editorial: There’s unfair, & then there’s Chester Upland
Delco Times Editorial POSTED: 12/20/16, 10:10 PM EST | UPDATED: 1 MIN AGO
We have spent a fair amount of time in this space detailing the uneven playing field when it comes to educating children in Pennsylvania.  In short, the system is rigged. It’s tilted toward school districts that have more vibrant economies and a stable tax base. That’s because the state still relies on local property taxes as the basic building block of school funding. Those districts with a more robust economy are able to raise the funds needed by raising taxes. It’s not that simple in depressed neighborhoods, with stagnant economies. Tax hikes there simply don’t raise as much revenue.  t got so bad that a group of school districts across the state – including William Penn here in Delaware County – are taking the state to court in an effort to address the system and level the playing field so that kids are not offered an inferior education for any other reason than their zip code.  The state has taken some steps toward rectifying this decades-old problem, including adopting a new formula for distributing education funding that is weighted to offer more benefit to those struggling districts most in need.  In the perennially struggling Chester Upland School District, the problem is a bit more basic than that.  Forget education funding. Students and staff in Chester Upland school often are lacking in the simple supplies that are considered routine in most other parts of the county.

Blogger commentary: While it is great that these folks are donating money to give toys to kids in their charter schools, over the past 17 years Mr. and Mrs. Gureghian have contributed several times more than $500K to PA legislators and legislative leadership to promote a legal environment favorable to their private, for-profit charter school management company.  Taxpayers have virtually no transparency regarding how their tens of millions of tax dollars are spent each year.  Coincidentally, Mr. and Mrs. G have been able to acquire two beachfront lots in Palm Beach, FL and build a mansion that was recently on the market for $76 million.

“Vahan Gureghian, CEO of CSMI, the school's management company, together with his wife, Danielle, donated approximately $17,000 to fund the purchase of this year's gifts. Thus far, Mr. and Mrs. Gureghian have contributed more than $500,000 to Santa Brigade initiatives, for charter schools students, since the program's inception, 17 years ago.”
Chester Community Charter School Hosts "Pop-up" Holiday Toy Store, Santa Claus Visits More than 1,000 Kindergarten-through-Second Graders
Yahoo Sports Marketwired Dec 20, 2016, 12:42 PM
CHESTER, PA--(Marketwired - December 20, 2016) - On Monday, December 19, Santa Claus hand-delivered gifts to more than 1,000 kindergarten-through-second graders at Chester Community Charter School (CCCS), the largest K-8 charter school in Pennsylvania, as part of the school's annual "Santa Brigade" holiday program, which took place on each of the school's three campuses: East, West and Upland.  Santa Claus will also visit kindergarten-through-second graders at two additional CSMI-managed schools, Atlantic Community Charter School, in Galloway, NJ, and Camden Community Charter School, in Camden, NJ, this week.

“The money has a clear purpose, said Lucy Kerman, Drexel's vice provost for university and community partnerships.  "Our overarching goal is to open the new economy up to our neighbors," Kerman said.  At the school level, the money will fund programs that focus on areas from prekindergarten to college and career readiness, even job placement.  It will aid academics - depending on the school's needs, it might pay for literacy help, extra coaching, after-school programs or extended learning opportunities. It will also focus on community and behavioral health needs, bringing "trauma-informed practice" to each of the schools to educate providers in the effect trauma has on students' ability to learn.”
Drexel gets $6 million to help seven Philly schools
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer  @newskag Updated: DECEMBER 21, 2016 :08 AM
The U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday awarded $6 million to Drexel University to improve opportunities and outcomes at seven schools in West Philadelphia.  The grant came as part of the department's Promise Neighborhoods competition, under which $33 million will go to support children and families nationwide.  The city schools - a mix of traditional public and charters - are West Philadelphia High; Science Leadership Academy Middle School; Locke, McMichael, Powel and Martha Washington Elementaries; and Belmont Charter School.  Three thousand Philadelphia students will benefit from the grant, officials said.  Education Secretary John B. King Jr. made the announcement at a news conference Tuesday.  "A child's zip code should never determine their destiny," King said. "We have to nurture the potential of students in every community."  A two-mile stretch of West Philadelphia encompassing Mantua and parts of Powelton, West Powelton, and Belmont was first designated a "Promise Zone" by the Obama administration in 2014. That designation brought not an influx of federal money, but instead attention and benefits, including AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, designed to help tackle the problems of persistent poverty.

Feds to investigate Upper Dublin schools in racial discrimination complaint
Inquirer by Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer Updated: DECEMBER 21, 2016 — 1:08 AM EST
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights has agreed to investigate allegations that the Upper Dublin School District discriminated against black students by disproportionately giving them out-of-school suspensions, contacting police over infractions, and placing them in lower-track courses.  The complaint was filed last year by the Public Interest Law Center on behalf of a group of parents who alleged that African Americans made up 7.3 percent of the Upper Dublin student population, but received 45 percent of the suspensions in 2014-15, 48 percent in 2013-14, and 63 percent in 2012-13.  Federal investigators declined to look into two other allegations: that no black students were enrolled in gifted classes in the district's four elementary schools and middle school in 2014-15, and that they were harassed at the middle and high schools, creating a hostile environment for them.  The investigation is "a big deal," said lawyer Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg of the Public Interest Law Center, which was notified on Dec. 7. "You can never be sure when you make these allegations if the Office of Civil Rights is going to take it seriously and vigorously pursue it. We hope that the school district sees that this is not going away."

Charter schools don't always save school districts money: PennLive letters
Penn Live Letters to the Editor  by JAMES HANAK, CEO, PA Leadership Charter School, East Goshen Township, Chester County on December 20, 2016 at 2:00 PM, updated December 20, 2016 at 6:42 PM
According to PennLive Opinion Editor John Micek, Alan N. Johnson, superintendent of the Woodland Hills district in western Pennsylvania, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Woodland School District "has lost more than 1,000 students to charter schools and pays about $11,000 a year in tuition for each student and covers their transportation costs. The cost for special education students is about $30,000 each ... that's about 20 percent of the district's overall budget."  Only 80 percent of the home school district money follows each student to their charter school of choice. This means that easily 25 percent of the Woodland Hills student body has chosen a charter school as their school of choice.

Blogger Note: Richard and Helen DeVos are major funders of the Heritage Foundation.  “The Richard and Helen DeVos Center on Religion and Civil Society will help policy-makers, scholars, journalists and other leaders examine the important role of religious thought and activity in the United States, how it influences society and how it affects-and is affected by-public policy.  A $1.8 million grant from Richard and Helen DeVos of Grand Rapids, Mich., made creation of the new center possible, Heritage President Ed Feulner said.”
A voice for school choice
Trib Live Letter by LINDSEY M. BURKE | Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, 9:00 p.m.
Lindsey M. Burke is a fellow in education policy at The Heritage Foundation.
Teachers unions and the education establishment reacted with predictable scorn to the nomination of Betsy DeVos as secretary of Education.  But parents have reason to be optimistic, and for one simple reason: DeVos has been a champion for school choice across the country.  Her support goes beyond mere lip service. She has worked to advance viable options for students and families, including charter schools, vouchers, tuition tax credit scholarships and education savings accounts.  That support for education choice will be a welcome change of pace, particularly for poor children living in the nation's capital.

Trump-Fueled Cyber Boom
Curmuducation Blog by Peter Greene Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Pundits and the commentariat may not be able to say what exactly will happen to education under Herr Trump, but at least one group thinks they have a pretty good idea-- investors.
Molly Hensley-Clancy covers business for Buzzfeed (yes, that's apparently a real job) and she reports that since election day, investors have been expressing some exuberance about K12, the infamous major player in the cyber-school arena. The stock has shown a steady climb since November 8, working its way from 11.19 up to 17.24, hitting a two-year high for the embattled manufacturer of education-flavored cyber-product.  You may recall that times have been tough for cyber-charters. This summer they were slammed by actual bricks-and-mortar charter operators on the heels of a report from CREDO that showed that students lost a full 180 days by being cyber-charter... well, students hardly seems like the word.
K12 itself has had a host of other problems, including the loss of major contracts in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Tennessee. The NCAA decided that it wouldn't accept any credits from any cyber charter using K12 materials. California just hit K12 with a $169 million settlement over false advertising allegations. This is not even close to the first time that the cyber-charter giant has been in trouble for shenanigans involving not-quite-truth-telling and general financial misbehavior.
What could possibly cause this creaking cyber-disaster-area to come bouncing back?

Blogger note: this is a paid “advertorial” placed in the Beaver County Times by a PR firm on behalf of the school choice organization previously known as the Friedman Foundation.
ADVERTORIAL: K-12 Education Savings Accounts And How They're Changing Kids' Lives
Beaver County Times By NAPS, North American Precis Syndicate December 20, 2016
 (NAPSI)—If you’re like many American parents, you may not be aware of a way to give your children a better education at little or no cost to you.
How It Works - A program known as education savings accounts (ESAs) lets parents withdraw their children from a public district or charter school that’s not working for them and get a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts with restricted but multiple uses. Those funds—often distributed via debit card—can cover private school tuition and fees, online learning programs, private tutoring, community college costs, higher education expenses and other approved customized learning services and materials. Some ESAs can even be used to pay for a combination of public school courses and private services.

Democracy Endangered When ‘Philanthro-Barons’ Try to Tip Courts
Chronicle of Philanthropy By Joanne Barkan DECEMBER 16, 2016    
Charles Wiggins, running for re-election to the Washington State Supreme Court this year, did what state judicial candidates do nowadays: He raised campaign funds, about $200,000 in 10 months. This looked substantial — until Bill Gates and Paul Bill Gates and Paul Allen swamped his effort in a single day. The Microsoft founders-turned-multibillionaire philanthropists gave $200,000 and $300,000, respectively, to Wiggins’s opponent on October 17.  In so doing, Mr. Gates and Mr. Allen joined the corps of superrich donors who pour money into state supreme-court races, usually through outside interest groups. They used Citizens for Working Courts — Enterprise Washington. Enterprise Washington sets up political-action committees for the state’s business community, pledging in its online mission statement to help members "get the best return on their political investments."  This trend is growing and worrisome. Judicial races attract only modest public attention and even less grass-roots money. When the megawealthy write checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars to a single candidate, they can overwhelm opponents’ campaigns and sway the vote. According to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, spending on television ads by outside interest groups in state supreme-court elections surpassed all previous records this cycle.  The flood of money "raises troubling questions about whether crucial judicial decisions on issues such as voting rights and equality in education are on the docket, on the ballot, or up for sale," the center said.  Big-time donors rule American politics as never before, but among the most problematic of them are philanthropist barons. They can combine outsize political contributions with the glow of their reputations as selfless doers-of-good and the nonstop advocacy of their tightly held, tax-exempt foundations, which fund large swaths of the nation’s immense nonprofit machinery. The result is excessive influence over public policy, far outstripping that available to most citizens or organizations. Philanthro-barons exert this sway without public input or accountability.

Blogger note: Have an opinion about the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education?  Call these three senators today.
1. Senator Lamar Alexander, Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
Washington, D.C. Phone:(202) 224-4944
2. Senator Toomey's Offices
Washington, D.C. Phone: (202) 224-4254
Senator Casey is a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
3. Senator Casey’s Offices
Washington, D.C. Phone: (202) 224-6324
Toll Free: (866) 802-2833

PHLpreK Now Enrolling!
Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Education
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

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
Upcoming Public Events:
Wednesday, January 4- Quakertown- 5:30 pm- Bucks County Free Library
Bucks County Free Library Quakertown Branch
401 West Mill Street Quakertown, PA  18951
Tuesday, January 10- Scranton- 4:00 pm- Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County
Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County
3201 Rockwell Avenue Scranton, PA  18508

“The “Success Starts Here” campaign is a multi-year statewide effort to share the positive news about public education through advertising, web, social media, traditional media and word-of-mouth with the goal of raising understanding of the value of public education in Pennsylvania. The campaign is led by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, but relies on the support of a wide variety of participating organizations.”
Share Your School’s Story: Success Starts Here Needs You!
Success Starts Here needs you! Show your support by sharing stories, using social media and applying window clings to all of your school buildings. Below are some links to resources to help you help us.
Not sure where to start? This simple tool kit will provide to you everything you need to get involved in the campaign, including ways to work with the media, social media tips, a campaign article to post, downloadable campaign logos, and photo release forms.
We know you have great stories, and it’s easy to share them! Just use our simple form to send your success story to be featured on our website. Help spread the word about how Success Starts Here in today’s public schools.
All school entities have been sent a supply of window clings for school building entrances. Need more? No problem! Just complete the online order form and more will quickly be on their way to you.

PASBO is seeking eager leaders! Ready to serve on the board? Deadline for intent letter is 12/31.
PASBO members who desire to seek election as Director or Vice President should send a letter of intent with a current resume and picture to the Immediate Past President Wanda M. Erb, PRSBA, who is chair of the PASBO Nominations and Elections Committee.

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.
Part 1
·         Role and responsibilities of the school board director.
·         How to work with PSBA’s member services team.
·         Your role as an advocate for public education.
·         The school board’s role in policy.
(See also: Part 2, Jan. 11Part 3, Jan. 18)
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:

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,

NSBA Advocacy Institute 2017 -- Jan. 29-31, Washington, D.C.
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.
This event is open to members of the Federal Relations Network. To find out how you can join, contact Learn more about the Advocacy Institute at

Register now for the 2017 NSBA Annual Conference 
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 A conference schedule, including pre-conference workshops, is available on the NSBA website.

SAVE THE DATE LWVPA Convention 2017 June 1-4, 2017
Join the League of Women Voters of PA for our 2017 Biennial Convention at the beautiful Inn at Pocono Manor!

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