Politico website January 20, 2017
Politico By MICHAEL STRATFORD 01/20/17 09:21 PM EST
Huffington Post by Diane Ravitch Research Professor of Education, New York University; Author, ‘Reign of Error’ 01/22/2017 12:46 pm ET
Washington, D.C. Phone:(202) 224-4944
Senator Scarnati’s Website On January 20, 2017
(HARRISBURG) – Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) today announced the Republican members for each of the 22 Senate Standing Committees for the 2017-2018 legislative session. “Senate Committees are the cornerstone of the Senate and provide a proven environment for legislation to be shaped and policies formed,” Scarnati said. “Our Chamber is fortunate to have many members from diverse backgrounds who bring their expertise and knowledge to Harrisburg. We have many challenging issues to tackle this year, and these committees are where much of the work will begin.”
'Wolf in sheep's clothing' or school property tax relief?
Gettysburg Times Staff Reports Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2017 11:25 pm
A bill that would virtually eliminate school property taxes is "a wolf in sheep's clothing," Gettysburg Area School District Business Manager Brad Hunt told his board Tuesday. Hunt is one of many local school officials who are sounding alarms about the proposal, which would increase state income and sales taxes. On the other hand, proponents such as local state Rep. Rich Alloway, R-33, say it would help seniors on fixed incomes. "It sounds very enticing," Hunt said, but "when you look under the cover, it costs Adams County residents more money that doesn't come back to Adams County. "We believe, in total, that taxpayers will pay more. We do not know what the dollar amounts will be," Bermudian Springs School District Business Manager Justin Peart said Thursday in an interview. "Total control over funding for public schools being put in the legislation's hands is scary," Peart said. Citing long delays in passage of past state budgets, Peart asked, "If they did not pass the budget for a year, do we get funding or must our schools close?" Also expressing concern this week were school board members and administrators from the Upper Adams and Conewago Valley districts.
KATHLEEN BOLUS, STAFF WRITER / PUBLISHED: JANUARY 20, 2017
Education Week By Catherine Gewertz January 17, 2017 | Corrected: January 19, 2017
Low-income students across the country are facing a steep hike in the cost of taking Advanced Placement exams this year, and teachers are worried that the change could lead many promising students to bail out of the tests. News of the price hike—from $5 or $15 per test to $53—is just beginning to reach students and counselors as they begin to talk about sign-ups for this spring's AP tests. And it's putting needy students in a bind. "With the way my financial state is, I might not end up taking the test if it's that much money," said Kailee Giles, a junior who's taking AP Language and Composition this year at Tumwater High School, near Olympia, Wash. Giles is feeling the effect of a little-noticed provision in the 1-year-old Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. That law ended a federal grant program that has helped subsidize the cost of AP and International Baccalaureate exams for students from low-income families for 17 years. Last year, $28 million in grants lowered the cost of 862,000 exams in 41 states and the District of Columbia.
Politico By MICHAEL STRATFORD 01/20/17 12:43 PM EST
Bloomberg News by John Voskuhl January 20, 2017, 9:26 AM EST
Corporate Democrats have enabled Betsy DeVos’s privatization agenda for years. It’s time for them to choose which side they’re on.
Jacobin by Andrew Hartman Jan 19, 2017
My children attend an amazing public elementary school in Bloomington, Illinois. The student body is diverse, and the teachers are committed professionals who genuinely care about the wellbeing and education of all their students. The school building is full of joy. Many of the children could not receive such an education — would not spend their days in a place of joyful learning — if not for this public school. Whenever I spend time there, I always leave feeling optimistic about the future of public education in the United States. Then I read the news and my optimism turns to dread. Donald Trump’s nominee to be the nation’s next secretary of education is Betsy DeVos, a longtime Republican operative from two of the wealthiest and most powerful conservative families in the nation. She is the daughter of Edgar Prince, founder of the Prince Corporation; sister of Erik Prince, founder of the private military contractor formerly known as Blackwater; and daughter-in-law of Richard DeVos, the billionaire who co-founded the Amway Corporation. DeVos, who received her entire education from private Christian schools, also has close ties to the conservative Christian Reformed Church. For years, DeVos has used her enormous wealth and power to promote what is euphemistically called “school choice.” Perhaps the most pervasive education reform idea of the last few decades, school choice is sold as a way to give parents more educational options for their children. Under a voucher program, for instance, parents would be able to take public money that normally goes to fund traditional public schools and use it to send their children to private schools. If DeVos has her way, the state would even fund religious schools of the type she attended, which teach deeply conservative curricula that include creationism.
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Alyson Klein January 17, 2017 | Updated: January 19, 2017
A presidential transition always triggers some makeover at federal agencies. But when President-elect Donald Trump's team takes power this month, the transformation of the U.S. Department of Education could be particularly striking. The incoming president and his team have promised to change the culture—or "drain the swamp"—in Washington, with serious implications for the federal bureaucracy. And on the campaign trail, Trump pledged to get rid of the Education Department—or at least cut it "way, way down." That would be a tough political lift, even with Republicans in control of both houses of Congress. But the sentiment has triggered plenty of anxiety about the kind of resources and attention the department can expect from the new administration. Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick for education secretary, is a longtime advocate of school choice, including private school vouchers. But DeVos, a prominent GOP donor, doesn't have a significant record in other areas that fall under the department's purview, from oversight of special education funding and English-learners to student loans for college. It's too early to say just how much will change at the Education Department when Trump takes office at noon on Jan. 20. But conditions are ripe for a culture shift.
DELCO Education Funding Press Conference Fri, January 27, 2017 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM EST
by Delaware County Intermediate Unit
This press conference will discuss some of the key cost drivers school districts and the state of Pennsylvania face concerning education and offer some possible solutions to the burdens school districts and taxpayers face. It will focus primarily on pensions, cyber charter schools, and special education funding. Speakers will include several superintendents and school board members. Interested individuals from the public are welcome to attend.
Details and Registration here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/education-funding-press-conference-tickets-30894052944
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.