Friday, January 13, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup Jan 13: Billionaires .@realDonaldTrump & .@BetsyDeVos want states to kick in $110 billion to privatize public education

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup Jan 13, 2017
Billionaires .@realDonaldTrump & .@BetsyDeVos want states to kick in $110 billion to privatize public education

Drive to kill school property tax headed back to Legislature
Pike County Courier By MARC LEVY, AP PUBLISHED JAN 12, 2017 AT 2:03 PM
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Debate over school property taxes in Pennsylvania is expected to return to the Legislature in 2017.   Senate supporters say the Nov. 8 election provided the necessary votes to eliminate school property taxes entirely and replace them with other revenue streams.   That would mean shifting about $14 billion in taxes from property owners, including businesses, to Pennsylvania consumers and workers through sales and personal income taxes. An Associated Press analysis of state data found that more than 70 percent of school property taxes were collected by the wealthiest half of school districts in 2014-15. Sen. David Argall, R-Schuylkill, will introduce the leading proposal, which would increase the income tax rate by 60 percent and hike the state sales tax rate by 17 percent while applying it to a wider range of goods and services, such as groceries, clothing, basic TV, and funeral services.   In late 2015, the Senate defeated Argall's legislation by a 25-24 vote with Lt. Gov. Mike Stack casting the tie-breaker. The vote split both parties and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association opposed it.   But proponents say a pair of incoming Harrisburg-area senators elected in November are replacing two opponents. 

“No matter how you add up the numbers, there are serious problems with HB76, which is why this bill and all the variations of this bill never passed into law,” Pashinski said. “Complete elimination of property taxes seem highly unlikely. However, property tax reduction is very possible and several proposals have been presented that will balance out our tax structure to smooth out the effect of reducing property taxes.”
Pashinski sees problems with plan to eliminate school property taxes
Times Leader By Bill O'Boyle - Click for more information on Bill   @TLBillOBoyle - 570-991-6118 JANUARY 8TH, 2017 - 7:21 PM - UPDATED: JANUARY 9TH, 2017 - 10:05 AM.
WILKES-BARRE — State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski said he would like to eliminate everyone’s property taxes, however, he said the question is how to do it and where do you find $14 billion to replace that amount.  Ever a hot-button topic locally as well as across Pennsylvania, property tax elimination or reduction is sure to be lobbied this year by taxpayer groups, especially those whose members champion House/Senate Bill 76, which would eliminate school property taxes and replace revenue via an expanded and increased sales tax and an increased personal income tax (PIT).  Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, said his concerns are based on the reports presented by The Independent Fiscal Office and the Department of Revenue, both highly respected financial entities that are utilized by the state and its agencies to complete financial evaluations and present financial reports based on the proposal.

Editorial: Reform school funding carefully, judiciously
Reading Eagle Monday January 9, 2017 12:01 AM
The Issue: Supporters of eliminating school real estate taxes believe they have the votes to get it done.
Our Opinion: Taxation and spending need changes, but school property tax elimination carries big risks.
This might be the year to reform, if not eliminate, school property taxes.  Sen. David Argall, a Schuylkill County Republican who represents a portion of Berks County, is a key proponent of a measure that would eliminate them. He believes the Senate - which narrowly missed passing such a bill in 2015 - now has the votes to do it. Argall says the proposal's increases in the state's income tax rate and expansion and increase in the sales tax would adequately fund Pennsylvania's public schools without a real estate levy.  Under Argall's plan, school districts would be able to continue collecting real estate taxes only to retire debt.  With state finances such a mess - Matthew Knittel, director of the Independent Fiscal Office, said in November that Pennsylvania faces a long-term fundamental imbalance in its revenue vs. spending, a built-in $1.7 billion deficit for 2017-18 that grows to $3 billion for 2021-22 - Republican leaders in the Legislature and Gov. Tom Wolf have been talking about taking a serious look at spending.
Why should such openness to innovation not also include tax reform? If such reform is undertaken, property taxes deserve a look, given their disparate impact on senior citizens on fixed incomes.  Still, eliminating school property taxes raises several concerns.

“That belief will likely be put to the test over the next four years. President-elect Donald Trump has proposed spending $20 billion in federal funds — more than the department spends in total to educate low-income students — to give students a ticket to the charter, magnet or private school of their choice. The plan, which would require states to kick in another $110 billion, was formulated with help from DeVos’ school choice advocacy group.  Trump has called DeVos “a brilliant and passionate education advocate” who will help “reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families."
King: Public schools central to American Dream
Greg Toppo , USATODAY Published 5:05 p.m. ET Jan. 11, 2017 | Updated 14 hours ago
WASHINGTON — Days before he is to step down, U.S. Education Secretary John King cautioned against weakening the USA’s public education system, calling public schools “fundamental to who we are as a country.”  King’s slated replacement, Michigan billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos, has called the system a “dead end” and a monopoly, and has spent years working to strengthen competition in the form of lightly regulated public charter schools and taxpayer-supported private school vouchers.  In an interview, King, 42, said the role of the U.S. Department of Education “is to ensure a strong public education system in early learning, in K-12 and in higher ed.”

“Himes said the index, part of the state's Taxpayer Relief Act of 2006, has likely shielded property owners from higher tax increases as school districts struggle with rising costs, most notably pension contributions.  Retirement contributions are still increasing, but not as sharply as in past years. The rate is rising from just over 30 percent to about 32.5 percent of wages; the state reimburses districts for half.”
Most school districts to raise taxes as state money doesn't cover rising costs
Trib Live by BRIAN C. RITTMEYER | Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, 12:01 a.m.
Most school districts can be expected to raise property taxes for the 2017-18 school year, the leader of a statewide school business officials group says.  “I think what you'll see is fairly consistent tax increases,” said Jay Himes, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials. “Even with new state money, we're still going backward in terms of additional costs versus additional revenue.”  But Himes said increases are likely to be at or below the state's inflation limit, which starts at 2.5 percent for the coming school year and is adjusted for each school district.

Question for districts: To tax ... or tax higher
York Dispatch Alyssa Pressler , 505-5438/@AlyssaPressYDPublished 1:01 p.m. ET Jan. 12, 2017 | Updated 10 hours ago
Pennsylvania school districts don't have to finalize their budgets until the end of June, but most are already busy working on rough drafts.  That's because they have to notify the state Department of Education in the next two weeks whether they intend to stay within their state-assigned tax cap or if they might seek permission to hike taxes even higher.  Each year the Education Department assigns individual tax caps for every Pennsylvania school district. That doesn't mean districts will raise taxes by that percent — only that they can't exceed that figure without without asking for either state or voter approval.  School districts must notify the department by Jan. 26 whether they intend to work within their assigned caps or if they might need a steeper tax hike, which would require an exception from the department or voter approval through referendum.  The average cap increase in York County was slight: In the 2016-15 school year the average tax cap was 3 percent, but for the 2017-18 year, that number increased to 3.2 percent, according the state education department.

No Shortage of Ideas To Deal With State’s Budget Deficit From Left Or Right
PA Capitol Digest Blog by Crisci Associates January 12, 2017
We are now 26 days away from Gov. Tom Wolf’s February 7 budget address where he will tell us how he plans to deal with an estimated $2.2 billion structural deficit in the current and next fiscal year.    But the Senate and House have a vote too and you can bet it will still be some combination of budget cuts, government restructuring and new or expanded sources of revenue of some type.  Each of the major budget players have already laid out some very broad directions they want to go in with the budget over the last few weeks.

Lancaster County lawmakers have some of the most conservative voting records in Pennsylvania
Lancaster Online by SAM JANESCH | Staff Writer January 12, 2017
How conservative are Lancaster County’s lawmakers compared to others elected throughout Pennsylvania?  According to one group’s analysis of 2016 voting records, they’re among the most conservative as they come.  The American Conservative Union Foundation looked at all 253 state senators and representatives and found that six of those representing parts of Lancaster County were among the top tier of Republicans who “voted most consistently with the ideals articulated in the U.S. Constitution: limited and transparent government, individual rights, personal responsibility, and lasting cultural values,” the foundation's’ chairman Matt Schlapp wrote in the report.  Out of all 31 Republican state senators in the 50-member Senate, only three scored 90 percent to 100 percent scores. Two of those three were from Lancaster County: Sen. Ryan Aument of Landisville and former Sen. Lloyd Smucker of West Lampeter Township.  The Senate Republican average was 79 percent.  Of the 45 House members celebrated with the “Award for Conservative Achievement” -- considered any score above 80 percent -- were Reps. Mindy Fee, of Manheim; David Hickernell, of West Donegal; Steven Mentzer, of Lititz; and John Lawrence, of Chester County.  The House Republican average was 78 percent.  Here is the full ranking for lawmakers who represent parts of Lancaster County. (Click here to read the full scorecard, including which bills the foundation analyzed.)

York's schools are still failing (column)
York Daily Record by Joel Sears 8:02 a.m. ET Jan. 12, 2017
Joel Sears lives in Spring Garden Township. He is a former York Suburban School Board member.
As the debate over the value of standardized testing rages on, one thing is clear: students in York’s city schools continue to score well below their peers in the suburbs. Whether the absolute scores tell us anything of value is questionable. However, since all students in a given grade take the same tests throughout Pennsylvania, I believe we can learn something useful by comparing results among schools and school districts.  Let’s start with some basic concepts. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, “the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, also known as PSSA, measures how well students have achieved in reading, mathematics, science and writing according to Pennsylvania's world-class academic standards.  By using these standards, educators, parents and administrators can evaluate their students' strengths and weaknesses to increase students' achievement scores.”

Chester Upland and teachers head back to bargaining
Delco Times By Rick Kauffman, on Twitter
POSTED: 01/12/17, 9:04 PM EST | UPDATED: 5 HRS AGO
CHESTER >> Teachers in the Chester Upland School District voted down a contract proposal Tuesday evening.  By a 2-1 margin, members of the Chester Upland Education Association overwhelmingly turned down a contract, which hasn’t been renewed for faculty and staff since 2013.  Michele Paulick, president of the Chester Upland Education Association, on Wednesday said members voted 54-123 to reject the district’s proposal.  “We worked for months, many, many hours of negotiations and research went into this, but it wasn’t something that the membership could live with,” Paulick said.  A team organized by the district and comprised of Chester Upland Receiver Peter Barsz, Chief Recovery Officer Dr. Christopher McGinley, Chief Business Administrator Karen DeShullo, labor attorney Lauren Fox and others drafted the contract.

Without a raise since '11, Chester Upland teachers reject latest contract offer
Years-long gridlock between teachers and management at one of Pennsylvania's most financially challenged school districts continues.  This week, teachers at Chester Upland School District in Delaware County rejected a proposed contract. Union president Michele Paulick said while members want a deal, they are willing to hold out for the right one.  "The members haven't seen a change in their salary since 2011. So, you imagine our frustration," she said. "But it wasn't a tentative agreement our membership could live with."  One problem with the agreement is proposed pay raises were less than newly required contributions to employees health plans, according to Paulick, who declined to share the tentative agreement. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the proposed contract called for employees to make contributions as high as $1,300 a year to their health plans, while most would teachers would have received annual raises of $2,100. The average pay, according to that report, is $75,000.  In members' eyes, "the salary increase that they've offered doesn't truly offset the amount we're going ot have to pay in health care," said Paulick.  The old contract between the district and the Chester Upland Education Association expired in 2013.

SRC schedules special Feb. 8th meeting to vote on new charter schools
Inquirer by Martha Woodall, STAFF WRITER  @marwooda JANUARY 13, 2017 1:08 AM EST
The School Reform Commission will hold a special meeting Feb. 8 to consider four charter applications, but it's not clear whether the commission will be able to muster the three votes needed to approve any of the new schools.  The number of SRC members who will be present to vote on the applications is not known.  Gov. Wolf on Thursday formally nominated Estelle Richman to an open seat on the five-member SRC, but she must still be confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate. A quick turnaround would be required for Richman to be seated in time to vote.  Another seat on the commission will open Friday, when Sylvia Simms' term expires, but Mayor Kenney has said he will name her replacement imminently. Mayoral appointees require no confirmation.  If Richman is not confirmed in time for the meeting, a four-member SRC could prove problematic. Commissioners Bill Green and Farah Jimenez, both appointees of former Gov. Tom Corbett's, are generally warmer to charters than others.  Chair Joyce Wilkerson is new to the commission, but as a mayoral nominee, she and whomever Kenney selects to fill the Simms slot could be more likely to have reservations about charters.  At the special session, the SRC will consider the following proposed schools:

Curriculum and budget questions are raised at hearing on free-market charter application
The notebook by Greg Windle January 12, 2017 — 4:35pm
The conference room at Philadelphia School District headquarters was practically empty Jan. 5 as a row of six people made their case to open a new free-market charter school in Cedarbrook.  The school, Metropolitan Philadelphia Classical Charter, would be the first in Pennsylvania designed by the Barney Charter School Initiative at Hillsdale College, a private conservative Christian college known for its refusal to accept federal financial aid for students who qualify for it. The initiative, which has 16 charter schools in nine states, promotes a free-market economics curriculum, a course on “moral philosophy,” and an exclusively Western humanities curriculum.  The proposed curriculum excludes any course in African or African American history, even though the school would be located in a predominantly Black neighborhood.  The president of the Michigan college is Larry Arnn, one of the candidates that President-elect Donald Trump was considering for secretary of education before naming Betsy DeVos. Referred to by some as the “conservative Harvard,” Hillsdale has been accused of using hateful language against the LGBTQ community in a campus-wide email. Charles and David Koch are among its big donors.    The Metropolitan Philadelphia Classical Charter application drew skepticism from the School Reform Commission’s Charter Schools Office, which reviewed the application, and from hearing officer Allison Petersen.  This was the first, and most controversial, in a second round of hearings on four new charter applications.

Wilmerding residents push for performing arts charter school
Post Gazette By Anne Cloonan January 13, 2017 12:00 AM
Wilmerding residents, parents and officials urged the East Allegheny school board Monday to allow a performing arts high school to open in the former Westinghouse Elementary School in Wilmerding.  The school board is expected to vote Feb. 13 on the proposal to create the Westinghouse Charter School for the Arts in the former school to offer performing arts courses for grades 9-12.  Opponents of the plan include the East Allegheny teachers union and some district officials, who fear the charter school would draw students away from district schools. Proponents say the charter school wouldn’t take away that many students and would bring new life to the former school building and the community.  At a Dec. 12 public hearing on the proposed charter school, developer Mark Masterson of RPA Holding Company LLC said he would renovate the art deco school building and lease it to Westinghouse Charter School for the Arts for five years.

How we created a cutting edge virtual school for our district
Pearson Education website by Dan Mahlandt, Coordinator of Virtual Education, Ephrata Area School District | December 6, 2016 in PreK-12 Education
As education providers, we are always looking for new ways to customize and improve our teaching approach to better serve our students, and many districts are looking outside the traditional school model to meet students’ individual learning needs. Now more than ever that includes online learning – options such as full-time virtual school or blended options.
In 2010, Ephrata Area School District introduced an integrated digital approach to K-12 education, Ephrata Virtual Academy. At that time, the concept of online learning was still relatively new, but what was once a new venture has turned into a proven system with the integration of digital learning platforms like Pearson Connexus, an online program that offers high-quality curriculum, a variety of online courses and credentialed teachers, and face-to-face learning. In our program, students and their families have the flexibility to choose the schedule and classes that accommodate their learning needs. With the success of integrating e-labs and on-site labs – with live teachers reinforcing challenging courses like math – Ephrata Virtual Academy has proven that one size does not fit all when it comes to education.
Ephrata Virtual Academy now offers three unique options for online and blended learning focused on student-centered education.

Analysis Details DeVos Family's Campaign Donations to Republican Senators
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Andrew Ujifusa on January 12, 2017 7:34 AM
An analysis of campaign finance spending done by the left-leaning Center for American Progress states that Education Secretary-nominee Betsy DeVos and her family have given nearly $1 million directly to 21 senators over past election cycles. In addition, the analysis found ten senators on the Senate education committee have received donations from a political action committee controlled by the DeVos family, including Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the committee chairman.  The CAP analysis from Ulrich Boser, Marcella Bombardieri, and CJ Libassi also says that the DeVos family gave more than $3.1 million to two political action committess associated with GOP lawmakers, the Senate Leadership Fund and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.  Last month we highlighted direct donations to GOP senators from Betsy and Dick DeVos Jr., her husband, including five lawmakers on the Senate education commitee and other, mostly Republican, politicians. Democratic senators have requested more information from DeVosabout her history of political donations, as well as her lobbying and advocacy on behalf of school choice programs. CAP, which has close ties to President Barack Obama's administration, is not the only group to call for senators who have received DeVos campaign donations to recuse themselves from considering her nomination.

EdWeek: Click the following hyperlink to see an Excel file with CAP's findings on DeVos family contributions. 

A Few Education Words to Know Ahead of the DeVos Hearing
Prepare to hear “school choice” a lot. Here’s what it actually means.
The Atlantic by EMILY DERUY January 12, 2017
The Trump administration could bring to the fore some education terms that have been largely overlooked in recent years as it moves to dramatically change the way students learn in the United States. And officials and advocacy groups will throw around other words that are commonly heard but not always thoroughly understood. As Congress prepares to decide whether President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is fit for the job, it’s worth reviewing what some of the words and phrases that will be floating around in the coming days and months actually mean:

“Like DeVos, Hubbard is a school choice supporter. (Check out his views on this Education Next podcast.) And like DeVos, his background is in business. He co-founded and now serves as the chairman of E & A Industries, which has invested in companies that make everything from gluten-free foods to "body-slimming" fashion, according to its website.  Also like DeVos: He's a former state party chair (in Indiana, as opposed to Michigan). And like DeVos, he is a wealthy GOP donor. In fact, he was the 12th richest person in the executive branch in 2004, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 
Sources: Former Bush Economic Adviser a Top Contender for Deputy Secretary
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Alyson Klein on January 12, 2017 3:51 PM
Allan B. Hubbard, who served as an economic adviser during both Bush administrations, is a top contender for deputy secretary, the No. 2 job at the U.S. Department of Education, sources say. During the Obama administration, the deputy gig has been a key management position, overseeing implementation of major K-12 policy initiatives. But given Hubbard's background, the job could take on more of the department's post-secondary portifolio.   Hubbard served as the director of the National Economic Council under President George W. Bush. Under President George H.W. Bush, he was executive director of the President's Council on Competitiveness and deputy chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle.  On the surface at least, Hubbard seems to have a lot in common with his would-be boss, Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick to lead the agency.

Betsy DeVos Nomination a New High-Water Mark in Right Wing’s Long War on Public Education
People for the American Way website Jan 2017
The right wing’s long-term campaign to undermine public education is a battle being waged on multiple fronts. Public education’s enemies include religious conservatives who want public tax dollars to support schools that teach religious dogma, ideological opponents of government and public sector unions, and sectors of corporate America who see profits to be skimmed or scammed from the flow of tax dollars devoted to education. Billionaire Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee to be U.S. Secretary of Education, has been actively engaged on all these fronts. DeVos, who like Trump celebrates being “politically incorrect,” has harsh words for the education establishment, declaring in a 2015 speech at an education conference, “Government really sucks.”  DeVos has been, in the words of Mother Jones’s Kristina Rizga, “trying to gut public schools for years.”  Indeed, as the New York Times noted, it is “hard to find anyone more passionate about the idea of steering public dollars away from traditional public schools.” In addition to these ideological concerns, DeVos is simply unqualified for the job: she has never been a teacher, school administrator, or even state-level education policy bureaucrat. She did not attend public schools and neither did her children.

Pennsylvania Education Letter
Education Policy News, Analysis, and Commentary
Email By Ronald Cowell, President The Education Policy and Leadership Center January 10, 2017
Welcome to our new EPLC e-publication, Pennsylvania Education Letter, which will be sent to subscribers only in electronic format. The Letter will highlight significant education policy issues, events and personalities with a focus on Pennsylvania, but will include some coverage of national activities as well. The Letter will be published at least once a month and replaces the Education Notebook previously published by The Education Policy and Leadership Center. We want the Pennsylvania Education Letter to be without cost to our readers, but we will welcome donations and advertising support.

DeVos’s hearing, originally scheduled to take place on Wednesday morning, has been rescheduled for Jan. 17 at 5 p.m.

We had reports from western PA of a telephone campaign by DeVos supporters asking voters to contact their senators to support her nomination.  If you have not already done so, please consider calling Senators Toomey and Casey as noted below.

DeVos’s hearing has been rescheduled for Jan. 17 at 5 p.m., according to a joint statement from the HELP committee chairman, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and ranking member, Patty Murray (D-Wash).

Betsy DeVos' confirmation hearing is officially set for Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. in 430 Dirksen

Over the past three weeks, I have been unable to find any press coverage of her ever having visited a traditional public school.  She would be welcome to come visit my school district.

In a constituent response letter regarding the nomination of Betsy DeVos dated December 2, 2016, Senator Toomey stated: “I believe she is a great pick.”  His Washington, D.C. phone number is (202) 224-4254  You can find phone numbers for his Pennsylvania offices here

Senator Casey is a member of the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee that will be holding the confirmation hearing.  His Washington, D.C. phone number is (202) 224-6324  You can find phone numbers for his Pennsylvania offices by clicking on the “Regions” link at the bottom of this “Contacts” page

NPE Pennsylvania alert: Betsy De Vos
Network for Public Education January 2, 2017 by Carol Burris
The confirmation hearings for Betsy DeVos will happen shortly. Please call your senators this week and let them know you oppose her appointment as Secretary of Education. If you called already, please call again.  It is most effective to call a local office. Below is the list of local office locations to drop off a letter, and local numbers to call your senators.  If you want a script for your call, you can find it here.  Please pick up the phone and call.
You can share this alert with friends and family in your state by posting this link:

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

MLK D.A.R.E. March for a Better America January 16, 11:30 am
POWER website By powerinterfaithadmin January 8, 2017 Publications
For the past several weeks people of good will from organizations across the region have joined together, as the MLK D.A.R.E. (Day of Action, Resistance, and Empowerment) coalition, to prepare for our Monday, January 16th “March for a Better America” march and rally. We continue the push for a progressive agenda for the United States in these trying times as we honor and move forward the unfinished business begun by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Below you will find information regarding the details and logistics of our Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day march and rally.
March & Rally Details
The “March for a Better America” will begin at the slave quarters on Independence Mall (6th and Market Streets) at 11:30 AM and conclude at historic Mother Bethel AME Church (419 S 6th St. Philadelphia, PA) for an outdoor rally. At the rally – we will unveil our 21st Century Declaration of Rights which calls on politicians, community leaders, and common citizens to support the basic human rights we cherish, such as affordable housing, health care, and quality public education for all.

Tuesday, January 24,  6:00pm - 7:30pm
Community College of Philadelphia 1700 Spring Garden Street 19130
Bonnell Building (Large Auditorium BG-20) Entrance Between Spring Garden and Callowhill  on  N. 17th
Hosted by:
Councilmembers Helen Gym, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, Jannie Blackwell
Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent, Philadelphia School District
Faculty and Staff Federation, Community College of Philadelphia
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC)
United Voices for Philadelphia
For more info, or to reserve free childcare for ages 3 and up,
Contact: Office of Councilmember Helen Gym 215-686-3420

Register for the 2017 PASA Education Congress, “Delving Deeper into the Every Student Succeeds Act.” March 29-30
Offered in partnership with PASA and the PA Department of Education March 29-30, 2017 at the Radisson Hotel Harrisburg - Camp Hill, PA .    Approved for 40 PIL/Act 48 (Act 45) hours for school administrators.  Register online at

PSBA Governing Board seeks nominations for position of At-Large Representative (Central) Nominations are due by 9 a.m. on January 16. 
PSBA Website
Because no one ran for the open seat of At-Large Representative (Central) on the PSBA Governing Board during the 2016 elections, this position is currently vacant. According to PSBA Bylaws (Article III, Section 4), the Governing Board shall fill the vacancy.  The Governing Board is currently seeking nominations for this position from individuals in the Central Section, including Regions 4, 5, 6, 9 and 12, (see map). The selected person will fill the position for 2017, and the seat will be open for election for the remaining two years (2018-19) of the three-year term, according to PSBA Bylaws (Article III, Section 4, Part B, 2). The selected person may run for election for the remaining two years.

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!

Save the Date 2017 PA Principals Association State Conference October 14. 15, 16, 2017
Doubletree Hotel Cranberry Township,  PA

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