“By abolishing local control, school boards will no longer be making funding decisions for our schools,” Parkins said during Tuesday’s work session. “School boards, now, are able to use local taxes along with other funding sources to meet the needs of their individual school districts. “By eliminating property taxes, the state will now be given control of the finances for all 500 school districts in Pennsylvania. For these reasons, I asked Senator White to oppose any plan to eliminate school property taxes.”
Just the sound of this bill makes it popular! School Property Tax Elimination! The thinking is that it is expected to be an ‘easy lift’ for the Legislature. So what’s the downside? Here it is: SB76 will virtually eliminate local financial control of schools and create an annual guessing game in the school district budgeting process. I believe this bill is short-sighted, especially for communities like ours, and in fact, for many communities across Pennsylvania. Before considering such a major shift in school funding, our elected leaders in Harrisburg need to make the ‘heavy lifts’ first, which they haven’t done yet. They need to first solve the PSERS crisis, then start controlling expenses, reduce or eliminate unfunded mandates, and balance their own budget.
by Kristen A. Graham, STAFF WRITER @newskag Updated: JANUARY 18, 2017 2:21 PM EST
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer @newskag Updated: JANUARY 19, 2017 1:08 AM
At the very moment his pick for education secretary testified before congress, President-elect Donald Trump was also on the minds of families at a School District of Philadelphia forum. The topic wasn't what Trump will do on education policy, but rather his stance on immigration and border control. Though no one mentioned Trump's name at the district's conspicuously timed forum on diversity and inclusion, panelists repeatedly referenced the president elect's campaign rhetoric on illegal migrants and assured immigrant families that their children would be safe at Philadelphia's public schools. "We want all students and their families to feel welcome and included," said Superintendent William Hite. The school district does not inquire about students' immigration status, said Karyn Lynch, the district's chief of student support services, and therefore could not provide that information to federal authorities. Demographic data, meanwhile, is largely protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), said Lynch. When a parent expressed fears that her child might not be safe at school because he's undocumented, Lynch and others assured her that immigration officials wouldn't be able to march into schools and seize children without a warrant.
Titusville Herald By Natalie Dodd Herald Staff Writer Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2017
The board of directors of the Titusville Area School District approved a resolution to base its next budget on the Tax Payers Relief Act of 2006, which states that a school district must limit how high it raises taxes. The only exception is if a tax increase is voted on by voters in a referendum or if the school district obtains particular exceptions from the Department of Education court of common pleas. The resolution, which received unanimous approval from the school board, states that the board will not go beyond the personalized district index for tax increases. As it currently stands, the district cannot raise taxes beyond 3.8 mills. One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 in a property’s assessed value. The portion of the budget dealing with whether or not a tax increase will be implemented is crucial in the planning of an annual budget, said district Business Manager Shawn Sampson. “The resolution states that the board will not go beyond the index, so the budget planning will start now and work its way into May,” Sampson said. “If the board didn’t want to adopt that resolution, we would have started the budget back in September or October, which is way ahead of schedule.”
In All Podcasts, Union Edge by ProducerJanuary 17, 2017 Runtime: 24:27
EXETER TOWNSHIP, PA The Exeter School Board took a stand at its meeting Tuesday against Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to be the next secretary of education, passing a resolution formally opposing her nomination. The resolution says, among other things, that the Michigan philanthropist lacks credentials as an educator and lacks experience as an administrator. The resolution also says that she has "a pre-disposition towards and long-history of support for charter schools and school voucher programs, which by their very nature eviscerate free and appropriate public education, and enriched the coffers of private companies." It later calls for the U.S. Senate to "stand firm by opposing this nominee until such time as the incoming President's administration presents a vision and plan which supports and enhances public education in America." The resolution passed in a 8-0 vote. Board member Ann M. Hearing was absent. "I think from our perspective, we think it's part of our responsibility as stewards of public education to kind of express our thoughts about a candidate who appears as if she could do some significant damage to education as we know it in America," said Dr. David R. Hemberger, board president.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443942/betsy-devos-nomination-secretary-education-has-kicked-smear-campaign
Who are the real grizzlies?
Esquire BY CHARLES P. PIERCE JAN 18, 2017
Washington, D.C. Phone:(202) 224-4944
COMMUNITY TOWN HALL - SUPPORTING PHILLY IMMIGRANT STUDENTS
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
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,
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.