How the other half learns: a field trip from Kensington to the suburbs
WHYY Newsworks BY AVI WOLFMAN-ARENT and BY KEVIN MCCORRY JANUARY 25, 2017
WITF Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jan 26, 2017 3:59 AM
(Harrisburg) -- Just about two weeks before the governor gives his annual budget address, the state's Independent Fiscal Office has released an updated revenue report. Like most of the IFO's reports in the last several months, this one does not contain good news. After some promising growth in November, Pennsylvania's economy has slumped back down according to Matthew Knittel, the IFO's director. He said he doesn't know where the weakness is coming from, but it's everywhere. "It's really broad-based," Knittel said. "It's hitting all individuals, businesses, investment income. It's all weaker than we had projected." So how does that affect the commonwealth's bottom line?
School districts throughout the region could end up like the struggling Erie School District within a few years unless Gov. Tom Wolf and the state legislature create a more equitable state education funding system and address some of the most pressing cost drivers. School superintendents from Girard, Corry, Conneaut and Iroquois gathered on Wednesday morning to relay that message and highlight the challenges their school districts face as they await news on the state's 2017-18 budget. The Democratic governor is expected to give his third budget address on Feb. 7. "Without fair and equitable funding, districts will be required to reduce programs, increase class sizes, and reduce career related electives for students," said Bill Nichols, Corry Area School District superintendent, from the Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit building in Edinboro. Nichols said uncertainty over the 2017-18 state budget has left Corry school officials considering cuts to school supplies and vocational training equipment. The Conneaut School District is in a similar position, Superintendent Jarrin Sperry said. Such cost-cutting measures would harm students but do little to stave off the massive cuts that would be necessary down the line in the absence of reform on pension and cyber-charter school mandates. Sperry said his district is only about six years away from having to make significant cuts to programs under the current funding system.
Washington, D.C. Phone:(202) 224-4944
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
Forum #2 – Harrisburg Area (Enola, PA) Tuesday, February 28, 2017 – Capital Area Intermediate Unit – 55 Miller Street (Susquehanna Room), Enola, PA 17025
Forum #3 – Philadelphia Thursday, March 2, 2017 – Penn Center for Educational Leadership, University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street (5th Floor), Philadelphia, PA 19104
Forum #4 – Indiana University of Pennsylvania Tuesday, March 14, 2017 – 1011 South Drive (Stouffer Hall), Indiana, PA 15705
Forum #5 – Lehigh Valley Tuesday, March 28, 2017 – Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21, 4210 Independence Drive, Schnecksville, PA 18078
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.