Friday, January 6, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup Jan 6: Taxpayers in PA Senate Ed Cmte Majority Chair Eichelberger’s 22 school districts had to pay chronically underperforming cyber charters $11.6M in 15-16, up from $7.7M in 11-12

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

These daily emails are archived and searchable at http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.org
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup Jan 6, 2017
Taxpayers in PA Senate Ed Cmte Majority Chair Eichelberger’s 22 school districts had to pay chronically underperforming cyber charters $11.6M in 15-16, up from $7.7M in 11-12


Ongoing Blogger Rant:
Taxpayers in PA Senate Education Committee Majority Chairman Eichelberger’s 22 school districts had to pay chronically underperforming cyber charters $11.6M in 15-16, up from $7.7M in 11-12.  None of the school districts ever authorized any cyber charter schools.
Along with increasing pension costs, charter school tuition payments are one of the top two cost drivers for Pennsylvania’s school districts.  While brick and mortar charters have to be authorized by a school board, cyber charters are authorized by the state, with virtually no input by taxpayers who must foot the bill, even if they have higher performing blended school programs operating in their districts at considerable savings to taxpayers.

School District
total cyber spending 11-12
total cyber spending 12-13
total cyber spending 13-14
total cyber spending 14-15
total cyber spending 15-16
Tussey Mountain SD
$237,952.70
$286,289.20
$238,565.00
$301,098.42
$350,400.66
Altoona Area SD
$694,956.36
$1,087,866.77
$1,337,650.12
$1,630,992.75
$1,959,874.38
Bellwood-Antis SD
$126,982.02
$105,282.70
$124,037.40
$96,399.97
$70,129.39
Claysburg-Kimmel SD
$37,591.11
$124,262.27
$131,132.52
$120,219.53
$126,014.85
Hollidaysburg Area SD
$430,758.83
$422,265.70
$598,712.17
$665,880.49
$652,654.26
Spring Cove SD
$192,006.12
$310,650.42
$233,163.36
$312,242.20
$451,443.43
Tyrone Area SD
$382,548.40
$402,522.78
$426,298.02
$448,600.82
$380,759.68
Williamsburg Community SD
$38,554.06
$39,100.15
$40,946.00
$73,820.19
$126,787.65
Penn Cambria SD
$304,910.65
$358,684.56
$298,972.38
$329,602.72
$407,517.52
Big Spring SD
$1,062,897.36
$1,223,638.52
$1,482,075.27
$1,595,901.14
$1,410,995.21
Carlisle Area SD
$1,283,232.17
$1,144,139.62
$1,198,072.57
$1,421,516.20
$1,554,571.12
Shippensburg Area SD
$495,089.10
$821,453.23
$881,767.15
$1,361,717.50
$1,065,189.96
Fannett-Metal SD
$218,652.56
$221,204.49
$192,524.95
$159,368.22
$175,027.56
Greencastle-Antrim SD
$314,280.30
$231,086.61
$242,765.74
$324,808.04
$341,537.68
Tuscarora SD
$416,033.00
$454,663.72
$616,689.67
$747,264.81
$759,684.28
Central Fulton SD
$277,517.98
$261,701.49
$267,104.67
$369,797.78
$303,987.40
Forbes Road SD
$173,404.46
$189,248.40
$166,075.98
$218,755.53
$106,895.08
Southern Fulton SD
$178,302.34
$159,340.65
$171,808.29
$191,433.96
$179,490.68
Huntingdon Area SD
$209,794.66
$218,221.85
$246,712.57
$269,929.50
$295,304.05
Juniata Valley SD
$113,381.87
$17,787.40
$89,802.22
$129,997.44
$132,550.82
Mount Union Area SD
$390,016.56
$231,934.43
$313,986.09
$311,961.83
$245,686.60
Southern Huntingdon County SD
$139,982.39
$207,689.55
$297,525.07
$510,629.04
$551,245.73

$7,718,845.00
$8,519,034.51
$9,596,387.21
$11,591,938.08
$11,647,747.99


A June 2016 study by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, and the 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now (50CAN) found that online charter students lost an average of about 72 days of learning in reading and 180 days of learning in math during the course of a 180-day school year, the study found. That is, in math, it’s as if the students did not attend school at all.

Not one of Pennsylvania’s cyber charter schools has achieved a passing School Performance Profile score of 70 in any of the four years that it has been in effect.  Most cyber charters never made Adequate Yearly Progress during the years that No Child Left Behind was in effect.

Thanks to PCCY for compiling the above figures from cyber charter enrollment and tuition data on the PA Department of Education website


School Performance Profile Scores for PA Cyber Charters
Source: PA Department of Education website
A score of 70 is considered passing
Cyber Charter School Name
2013
2014
2015
2016
21st Century CS
66.5
66.0
69.2
62.2
Achievement House CS
39.7
37.5
44.8
54.5
ACT Academy Cyber CS
30.6
28.9
36.1
40.7
Agora Cyber CS
48.3
42.4
46.4
37.6
ASPIRA Bilingual CS
29.0
39.0
38.4
41.9
Central PA Digital Learning Fdn CS
31.7
48.8
39.3
46.7
Commonwealth Connections Academy CS
54.6
52.2
48.8
47.5
Education Plus Academy Cyber CS
59.0
50.0
67.9
Esperanza Cyber CS
32.7
47.7
31.7
50.7
PA Cyber CS
59.4
55.5
65.3
51.0
PA Distance Learning CS
54.7
50.9
49.2
53.9
PA Leadership CS
64.7
59.3
54.7
57.5
PA Virtual CS
67.9
63.4
64.6
49.7
Solomon CS
36.9
Susq-Cyber CS
46.4
42.4
45.5
49.3



We had reports last evening 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.

Betsy DeVos' confirmation hearing is officially set for Jan. 11 at 10 a.m. in 430 Dirksen

More than 90% of all American children attend public schools.

DeVos would be the first Secretary of Education who has not been a public school parent or student; she has never worked in a public school, attended one, or sent her children to one.  She has never served in any educational or governmental capacity.

Thus far, I have been unable to find any press coverage of her ever having visited a traditional public school.

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

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



“Call Senator Toomey, who took to Twitter to express his joy for this nomination, and tell him that he works for you, and public education is a constitutional right. Betsy DeVos shouldn’t treat your tax dollars as a dispensary for special interests, and she has no right to sell off the future opportunities of American children to make more profits for billionaires. Together we can win and secure the prize we all desire, a free and constitutionally protected system of public education for our nation’s children.”
Another View: Trump education pick no friend of public schools
Delco Times Opinion by Denise M. Kennedy, Upper Darby, President, Southeastern Division, PSEA Education Support Professionals POSTED: 01/05/17, 9:16 PM EST
To the Times: Betsy DeVos, President-elect Trump’s nomination to head the Department of Education, has never been a public-school parent, or a teacher, or worked in a school in any capacity, but her expertise in dismantling public education for profit is unmatched.  The billionaire mega-donor has spent years using her wealth and political influence to destroy Michigan’s public schools and put their students’ futures into the hands of for-profit corporations. DeVos’ ideology includes failed schemes that not only divert public education funds to private schools at taxpayer’s expense, but also takes away local control of public schools from their communities. The privatization tactics and corporate charter schools DeVos supported in Michigan resulted, for the most part, in schools that performed worse than the state average.  The DeVos nomination is equally concerning because the “choice” programs she supports often promote racial segregation and undercut civil rights equality that exists in our public schools. Many of these programs do little to help our most vulnerable students and widen opportunity gaps.

Democrats Demand Betsy DeVos Reveal 'Complicated Web' of Money, Lobbying
Education Week Politics K-12 Blog By Andrew Ujifusa on January 5, 2017 8:11 PM
Six Senate Democrats have a message for Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for education secretary: You owe us a lot of information.  In a Thursday letter to DeVos, the Democrats asked her to provide them information about her role in founding advocacy groups supporting school choice, those groups' expenditures and donor lists, and other connections she has to various organizations.   "Understanding your leadership roles in this complicated web of political and not-for-profit organizations is necessary for us to be able to evaluate any conflicts of interest you may bring to the position, and whether you should recuse yourself from any particular matters that may come before you as secretary," reads a portion of the letter, which was signed by Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.
The information Democrats are requesting from DeVos includes:
·         Her roles in establishing and operating the American Federation for Children and the Great Lakes Education Project, which have supported vouchers and other forms of choice around the country.
·         A list of all donors who have contributed to AFC and GLEP, including their donation amounts and affiliations.
·         A list of all expenditures exceeding $1,000 by both AFC and GLEP.
·         A list of all federal and state legislation and regulations that have been the subject of AFC and GLEP lobbying, and DeVos' role in that lobbying.
·         Donations she and her family have made to 501(c)4 organizations. (These are classified as "social welfare" organizations.)
Ed Patru, a spokesman for Friends of Betsy DeVos, which has been supporting DeVos' nomination and responding to her critics, said in an emailed statement: "The letter helps shed some light on why the country voted for change. None of these signatories were losing sleep over the influence of money in politics prior to Election Day, but today it's keeping them up at night. I think the American people recognize hypocrisy when they see it."

Betsy DeVos' political contributions over the last five years detailed in documents sent to Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee:
Tweet by Caitlin Emma ‏@caitlinzemma at Politico January 5, 2016

Ten Questions for Betsy DeVos' Confirmation Hearing
By Charles Taylor Kerchner on January 5, 2017 12:04 AM | 3 Comments
The Senate Education Committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing for U.S. education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos for Wednesday, Jan. 11.  She is a mega donor to the Republican Party and a longstanding advocate of loosely regulated charter schools and vouchers, which President-elect Donald J. Trump advocated during his campaign.  She is a controversial nominee, one of eight targeted by Democrats for special scrutiny.  'On California' reached out to education policy experts of various political persuasions for questions that the Senate ought to pose to Mrs. DeVos.  My compilation of their responses follows.
1.     You've been a strong advocate for charters. Nationally, only about 6% of students attend these schools. Leaving aside the question of whether charters have outperformed non-charter public schools, what are your plans to improve the non-charter public schools: improve the teacher force, build capacity, and strengthen leadership and teaching?
2.     Do you believe in adequate school funding? You have been a major supporter of ALEC, which has encouraged governors to cut funds for public education. Following the ALEC playbook since the recession, Indiana reduced funding for public schools which serve 93% of the children by over $3-billion while giving a $539-million increase to charters and $248-million increase for voucher students who represent only 7%.  Many other states such as North Carolina have followed suit.  Is this your plan for the nation?
3.     The federal IDEA requires states and school districts to provide all necessary services to students with disabilities, but federal funding to support these services has steadily declined, and there is evidence that spending on special education is encroaching on spending for other educational services.  Should federal funding for special education be increased, or reduced?  Should states and local districts be given more flexibility in how they serve students with special needs?

Turzai Announces House Committee Chairs for the 2017-18 Session
PA House Republican Caucus Website 1/5/2017
HARRISBURG – Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) today announced the appointments of both Republican and Democratic committee chairmen for the 2017-18 Legislative Session.   House committees study each bill and determine which proposals will go to the full House. They conduct public hearings on key issues, allowing citizens and interested groups to have a say in the legislative process, and they serve as a resource for members and others.  “The men and women who chair the House committees are getting the work done to prepare legislation for the full House to consider,” Turzai said. “Through public hearings and meetings, committee chairs lead the way by vetting proposed solutions to the serious issues and challenges facing Pennsylvania.” Committees are outlined in the House Rules that are enacted for each session.  Turzai made the following appointments, which are unofficial until announced on the House floor: 

Editorial: Fortify charter accountability
TIMES-TRIBUNE EDITORIAL BOARD / PUBLISHED: JANUARY 5, 2017
Growth of charter schools has boosted inequality within educational experiences for students, a new study asserts.  A new Economic Policy Institute analysis authored by Bruce Baker, Ed.D., a Rutgers University expert on school finance, links charter school growth to strained resources and budget deficiencies among school systems. Districts drained by tuition transfers for charter school expansion face increasing financial stress, the analysis states. They try to reduce expenses to avoid crises through measures that often harm student performance, including smaller teacher-student ratios, the study concluded. The survey included the Philadelphia and Chester Upland school districts in Pennsylvania.  The substantial financial impact of charter schools on public resources has been cited in other studies, as well.  Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has issue reports on shortcomings among charter operations and has argued for them to be subjected to the state’s open-record laws. Some state charter operators formed entities to own school buildings that were leased to charter schools, for instance, and Pennsylvania’s charter school oversight is among the weakest nationally, Mr. DePasquale found. Much of the trouble involving charters results from a lack of oversight.
http://thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/fortify-charter-accountability-1.2138481

Blogger note: The Students First PAC has spent millions of dollars on political contributions to school privatization candidates in Pennsylvania over the past several years, including $6 million to State Senator Anthony Williams when he ran for Governor as a pro-voucher candidate in 2010.

Dick and Betsy DeVos’ American Federation for Children has also contributed handsomely to the Students First PAC.

Here are some prior Keystone State Education Coalition postings detailing the Students First PAC money trail:

Follow the Money: Students First PAC Spends to Privatize Democratically Governed Public Education In PA
Sunday, October 30, 2016
http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.blogspot.com/2016/10/follow-money-students-first-pac-spends.html

FOLLOW THE VOUCHER MONEY: Students First PAC
Sunday, March 25, 2012
http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.blogspot.com/2012/03/follow-money-students-first-pac-from.html

January 9, 2012 FOLLOW THE MONEY: Contributions to Students First PAC - Not Exactly Grassroots $6.66 Million from just 19 donors

October 22, 2011: Students First PAC Contributions to Senate Ed Committee Members

April 22, 2011: Students First PAC Ramps up ...

January 3, 2011 - Follow The Students First PAC Voucher Money



“The investor, along with his business partners, Joel Greenberg and Arthur Dantchik, has long seen school choice as the civil rights issue of our time. Janine Yass, his wife, founded Boy’s Latin,”
Jeff Yass: This Billionaire’s Plan Could Save Philadelphia Schools
Huffington Post by Laura Goldman Currently freelances for ABC and the Daily Mail 01/04/2017 10:28 pm ET | Updated 13 hours ago
Public education in Philadelphia has reached a crisis point. Only 65% of students  enrolled in Philadelphia public school students graduated high school in 2015.  A local billionaire has a revolutionary idea that would overhaul public education in Philadelphia. The co-founder of Susquehanna Investment Group (SIG), Jeff Yass, presented his bold initiative at Philadelphia Magazine’s Thinkfest. It would be easy to dismiss his idea as one from the clueless elite, but anyone who has known the renowned trader for a long time, including this reporter, knows that he can see profit or potential at the poker table, race track, and the stock market that others failed to notice. Unlike Donald Trump, he’s a billionaire that did not start his empire with a “small” loan of $1 million from his father. He secured the stake to start his company, which is one of the world’s most successful trading firms, the modern way-by winning at poker. Unlike many on Wall Street, he did not earn his fortune taking advantage of those less fortunate than him. The only toes he may have stepped on were of his fellow millionaire traders.
a charter school in West Philadelphia.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-goldman/this-billionaires-plan-co_b_13963394.html

Newly seated senator responds to criticism about reneging on promise to not take a state pension
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on January 05, 2017 at 4:33 PM, updated January 05, 2017 at 4:34 PM
A newly seated state senator defends his decision to sign up for a state pension after making a campaign promise to not accept this benefit.    Sen. Wayne Langerholc, R-Cambria County, issued a statement, saying he signed up for the pension because he was told if he didn't he would be "forever barred" from participating in a 401(k)-style plan like the one the Legislature proposed offered during the last legislative session.  "After reflection on the information provided, I elected to be in the SERS system to preserve my ability to opt into a 401(k) style plan," Langerholc said. WHTM-TV first reported Langerholc's decision to take a state pension on Wednesday. His decision reneged on a commitment memorialized on a campaign mailer paid for by Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania to shun this benefit.
http://www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/01/newly_seated_senator_responds.html#incart_2box_politics

Here's why we need to eliminate school property taxes: Mike Folmer
PennLive Op-Ed   By Mike Folmer on January 05, 2017 at 11:00 AM, updated January 05, 2017 at 11:24 AM
State Sen. Mike Folmer, a Republican, represents the 48th Senate District, which includes parts of Dauphin, Lebanon and York counties.
As state Sen. David Argall, R-Schuylkill, and I continue to push for elimination of school property taxes with a newly reintroduced bill, I often think about the impact property has had throughout history.  A shortage of land, dismal living conditions, and lack of both religious freedom and economic opportunity led some Europeans to seek better opportunities.   In 1585, a group of English investors sponsored settlers to colonize America.  However, the British were unable to keep the Roanoke Colony supplied and those colonists disappeared waiting for provisions.
http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2017/01/heres_why_we_need_to_eliminate.html#incart_2box_opinion

Ambridge Area students, teachers return to school after 3-week strike
By Karen Kane / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette January 5, 2017 7:56 AM
Students in the Ambridge Area School District returned to school this morning following a teachers strike that began Dec. 12.  By law, the teachers were compelled to return to the classroom today. The school district confirmed this morning that classes did resume as planned for the more than 3,000 students impacted by the strike.  About 190 teachers in the Ambridge Area Education Association walked off the job after negotiations broke down following months of bargaining sessions.  School board President Scott Angus had issued a statement at the time the strike began: "The board stands firm in its intent to be responsible stewards of public education and to negotiate a teachers' contract that reflects the financial realities of this district." He added that "we cannot bend to the union's unreasonable demands that would cripple our budget." Mr. Angus said a state-appointed, independent fact-finder recommended salary increases lower than those sought by the union.  The district said the teachers' four-year contract expired June 30, 2015, and there have been more than 18 negotiating sessions.
http://www.post-gazette.com/local/west/2017/01/05/Ambridge-Area-students-return-to-school-after-3-week-teachers-strike-pennsylvania/stories/201701050141?utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_source=Twitter&utm_term=Autofeed#link_time=1483621369

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau teaches South Side pupils agricultural education
Beaver County Times By Katherine Schaeffer kschaeffer@timesonline.com January 6, 2017
GREENE TWP. -- This week’s visitors to South Side Elementary School might have noticed something different about the parking lot: a 40-foot trailer sitting around back, emblazoned with ears of corn, red apples and children toting glass beakers in front of a sweeping crop field. The trailer, one of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s Mobile Agriculture Education Science Labs, allowed the district to bring agricultural education to its youngest learners.  South Side pupils in kindergarten to fifth grade tackled science experiments with titles such as Fungi Fun, Little Red Hen, Pod to Candy Bar and Tree Story. Each lesson was designed to connect agriculture to children’s everyday experiences, such as eating a slice of pizza or coloring with a crayon. The farm bureau first started the program in eastern Pennsylvania 12 years ago and has since expanded the program to include six trailers and 22 certified instructors across the state, said instructor Barb Rupert, who has brought the program to South Side for three years.


EdWeek: Pennsylvania Earns a B-Minus on State Report Card, Ranks Eighth in Nation
An Education Week State Highlight Report
Education Week December 30, 2016
The 21st annual edition of Quality Counts—Under Construction: Building on ESSA’s K-12 Foundation—continues Education Week’s long-standing tradition of grading the states on their performance. A state’s overall grade is the average of its scores on the three separate indices tracked by the report.
State Overview This year, Pennsylvania finishes eighth among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with an overall score of 80.2 out of 100 points and a grade of B-minus. The nation as a whole posts a grade of C. Diving into the findings for the three graded indices, Pennsylvania earns a B-minus in the Chance-for-Success category and ranks 15th. The average state earns a C-plus. In School Finance, Pennsylvania receives a B and ranks eighth. For the K-12 Achievement Index, last updated in the 2016 report, it finishes tenth with a grade of C. The average state earns grades of C and C-minus in School Finance and K-12 Achievement, respectively. More details on results in these categories are reported below.

How Can We Raise Future Black Female Mathematicians? Start by Asking Them
The National Interest: Like the women in the film Hidden Figures, high-achieving black students in the sciences are well-aware of the stereotypes that brand them incapable. And like their predecessors, many students are driven by these perceptions.
The Root BY: ANDRE PERRY PH.D.Posted: January 5, 2017
Editor’s note: Once a month, this column will tackle broader questions about what the country should do to increase educational opportunities for black youths.
Studying the successes of black female mathematicians opens a window into how we can produce more black STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) grads. It also exposes the bigotry that prevents us from doing so. The new movie Hidden Figures, based on the book of the same title by Margot Lee Shetterly, tells the story of Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). These black women represented dozens, if not hundreds, of black female “computers” whose largely unrecognized intellectual contributions after World War II gave rise to the U.S. space program.  The lesson? The U.S. will continue to cut off its nose to spite its face by not treating the advancement of black girls’ achievement like the space race.  When victory is in the balance of war, it’s easier to see why a country must reap the talents of all its citizens—including black women—to protect everyone from existential threats. World War II made clear to the military the advantages of recruiting across racial lines. Later, the country’s collective talents led to the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit in 1962, along with the science that went along.
Unfortunately, the participation of black women in the sciences has not rocketed.

Trump Taps Rob Goad as White House Education Adviser
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Alyson Klein on January 5, 2017 7:50 PM
Rob Goad, a one-time top aide to Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., will serve as the education policy point person on the White House Domestic Policy Council under President-elect Donald Trump. The gig sounds a lot like the one that's been filled by Roberto Rodriguez for the past eight years under President Barack Obama.  Goad took temporary leave from Messer's office last year to help the Trump campaign with education issues, including a $20 billion school choice proposal.  Goad's former boss, Messer, is one of the most prominent school choice champions in Congress. When Congress was considering what ultimately became the Every Student Succeeds Act back in 2015, Messer crafted an amendment that would have allowed federal Title I money for disadvantaged kids to follow students to the schools of their choice, including private schools.
That amendment didn't make it into the final deal, but some experts are betting that Trump could back similar legislation once he takes office. Messer also founded the Congressional School Choice Caucus, and Goad served as its director.


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: http://wp.me/p3bR9v-2aO

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

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 http://www.education.pa.gov/Pages/tour.aspx#tab-1
Upcoming Public Events:
  
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.

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, https://www.psba.org/members-area/store-registration/)

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 Jamie.Zuvich@psba.org. Learn more about the Advocacy Institute at https://www.nsba.org/events/advocacy-institute.

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 https://www.nsba.org/conference/registration. 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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