Wednesday, February 1, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup Feb 1: Senate HELP Cmte moves DeVos nomination to full Senate on 12-11 party line vote

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup Feb 1, 2017
Senate HELP Cmte moves DeVos nomination to full Senate on 12-11 party line vote

Senate Panel Approves Betsy DeVos as Education Nominee
Vote sets up full Senate consideration; two GOP senators say they are undecided about final vote
Wall Street Journal By JOSH MITCHELL Updated Jan. 31, 2017 2:58 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary cleared a key hurdle Tuesday in the Senate, but her nomination faces a close vote after two Republicans said they hadn’t decided whether to support her.  The Senate committee that oversees education approved the nomination of Betsy DeVosby a vote along party lines, 12 to 11, with Republicans providing the support she needed to advance.  The vote allows Ms. DeVos’s nomination to head to the full Senate, where she needs the support of a simple majority before becoming the nation’s top education official.  Mr. Trump’s Republican Party holds a 52-48 Senate majority. But two GOP senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, said Tuesday they had concerns about Ms. DeVos and hadn’t decided how they would vote. Each supported advancing Ms. DeVos’s nomination to the full Senate.

Trump's Embattled Education Department Pick May Face Senate Fight
New York Times By REUTERS JAN. 31, 2017, 4:06 P.M. E.S.T.
WASHINGTON — Billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos, already known as one of the most controversial nominees for education secretary in U.S. history, now risks a rare congressional rejection.  The deeply divided U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday agreed to send her nomination to the full chamber for a vote, the final step in the confirmation process.  But the committee's executive session showed DeVos faces choppy waters ahead for a post for which there is typically little congressional debate or public attention. The chairman, Republican Lamar Alexander, acted as tie-breaker after all 11 Republicans voted for Republican President Donald Trump's pick and all 11 Democrats voted against. Two Republicans - Maine's Susan Collins and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski - expressed grave misgivings about the charter school advocate's limited experience with public schools. They said they voted yes only so the entire Senate can debate whether DeVos is the right fit. Murkowski said she may not support DeVos in the Senate vote.

Senate Committee Backs Betsy DeVos, But Two Future GOP Votes Uncertain
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Andrew Ujifusa on January 31, 2017 12:13 PM
Washington The Senate education committee voted to move the nomination of Betsy DeVos for education secretary to the full Senate by a vote of 12 to 11 on Tuesday, following remarks that showed the bitter divisions between many Democrats and Republicans about President Donald Trump's nominee.  However, two Republicans on the committee expressed serious concerns about DeVos and wouldn't commit to voting for her in the full Senate. Both Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said they had lingering worries about DeVos' stance on traditional public schools and her understanding of the U.S. Department of Education's role. The 12-to-11 vote broke along party lines, but not before some drama because in the committee's first vote on DeVos, one senator voted by proxy. The date of the full Senate vote on DeVos has yet to be set, but Republicans hold 52 seats, compared to just 48 for Democrats. If Collins and Murkowski decide to vote against DeVos, Democrats would still need to pick up an additional GOP "no" vote on DeVos to defeat her nomination, since Vice President Mike Pence holds the tiebreaking vote. 

“No education secretary nominee before her was the target of such protests, mass email campaigns, petitions and impassioned denunciations at a Senate confirmation hearing.”
Why Betsy DeVos is the most polarizing education secretary nominee ever
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss January 31 at 1:55 PM 
President Barack Obama had two education secretaries who were highly divisive in the education world. In fact, the man who ran Obama’s Education Department for seven years, Arne Duncan, became so controversial that members of two teachers unions — long supporters of Democrats — approved resolutions against him in 2014.  Duncan’s successor, John King, faced the closest confirmation vote, in March 2016, on the Senate floor of any education secretary nominee up to that time.  But Betsy DeVos, the Michigan billionaire chosen by President Trump to be education secretary, brings a whole new dimension to the discussion of polarizing figures in education leadership.  DeVos is clearly the most controversial education nominee in the history of the nearly 40-year-old Education Department. While the Senate education committee on Tuesday sent her nomination to the full Senate on a party-line vote, a few Republican senators said they are not certain if they will support her on the Senate floor. Democrats say they have 48 solid votes against her, but they need 51 to defeat the nomination.

Two Republican senators say they aren’t committed to voting for Betsy DeVos on Senate floor
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss January 31 at 11:39 AM 
Two Republican senators —  Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — said Tuesday they are not yet committed to voting for Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos for U.S. education secretary on the Senate floor. It was the first time that any Republican senators said they might not vote for President Trump’s nominee, the most polarizing education secretary nominee in the department’s history.  Collins and Murkowski made the comments during a meeting of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which voted, on party lines, to favorably send the recommendation to the full House.

“The program that AFC ranked No. 1 in that report was Florida's tax credit scholarships. So it's a good one to take a closer look at if you want a model of how choice programs might work in a DeVos-run Education Department. It unites three broad concepts that DeVos is friendly toward: 1) Privatization 2) religious education and 3) a hands-off approach to accountability for private schools.”
Under DeVos, Here's How School Choice Might Work
NPR by ANYA KAMENETZ January 31, 201711:44 AM ET
A key Senate committee voted Tuesday to approve the nomination of Betsy DeVos, a school choice activist and billionaire Republican donor, to be secretary of education, despite the fierce objections of Senate Democrats, teachers unions and others. There's much speculation as to exactly how she might carry out President Trump's stated priority of increasing school choice. A significant clue comes from the American Federation for Children, the advocacy organization DeVos chaired until she was nominated. AFC supports both publicly funded charter schools and even more so, "private school choice" — publicly sponsored programs that give families money to spend on tuition at private schools.  Last fall, AFC issued a report ranking the existing private school choice programs. There are 50 of them, located in 25 states and Washington, D.C., by AFC's count. AFC included only those programs that explicitly allow students to attend religious schools. DeVos, whose family has long supported causes associated with the Christian religious right, has publicly called education reform a way to "advance God's kingdom."

Coalition forms to call for increased investment in Pennsylvania's public schools, services
Penn Live By Charles Thompson |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on January 31, 2017 at 1:04 PM, updated January 31, 2017 at 2:01 PM
A diverse group of public interest groups rallied at the Capitol in Harrisburg Tuesday, throwing their support behind several targeted tax increases to solve the state's budget deficit with new investment, rather than spending cuts.  Under the slogan that Pennsylvania does better "when we all chip in," the group intends to advocate for:  * A new tax on natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale region.  * A higher personal income tax rate on income derived from sources like capital gains, dividend payments, royalties and business profits.  * Cutting loopholes in the state's corporate net income tax to make sure that it applies to a broader base of Pennsylvania companies.  The coalition includes some of the state's most powerful public sector unions, but also grassroots groups that work on issues like access to health care, pre-school programs and services for the intellectually disabled.  Gov. Tom Wolf is considered likely to call for a boost to state investment in public schools when he unveils his 2017-18 budget proposal next Tuesday.

Bucks school officials question state's ability to dictate spending
Bucks County Courier Times By Gary Weckselblatt, staff writer January 31, 2017
School officials in Bucks County criticized state lawmakers Tuesday for seeking to have greater control over property taxes while the commonwealth has been unable to get its own fiscal house in order.  They expressed concern with a proposal to significantly limit most property taxes in favor of increased sales and income taxes at a time when mandated spending for retirement costs and charter schools have plagued district budgets, forcing property tax increases. "The state is looking at taking over public education totally and turning it into a charter school state," said Wayne Lewis, a member of the Bensalem School Board and Bucks County Technical School Joint Board Committee. "If the state can't control their spending on those issues, how are they going to control the funding for all school districts?  "They're taking away the responsibility of school board members to educate the students in their communities. Let them fix their house first before they control ours."  The press conference, held in the Centennial School District's administrative offices in Warminster, was put together by Tom Seidenberger, a former superintendent of the East Penn School District in Lehigh County, as part of a project organized by several organizations that push for greater school funding.

“PASA has good reason to be opposed to the bill – it would overturn one of the most stable school funding streams and make a sometimes hostile state Legislature entirely responsible for distributing educational funding. While the bill would be a step toward ending unequal funding between rich and poor school districts – long a goal of educational advocates – the current legislation would freeze current inequities in perpetuity as a sop to wealthy school districts.”
The grassroots movement to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania
City & State By: RYAN BRIGGS JAN 26, 2017 AT 11:31 AM
David Baldinger is eating a slice of pizza inside an Italian restaurant outside of Reading when his cellphone rings. The balding, 70-year-old cancer survivor’s eyes light up as he listens to the voice on the other end. It’s state House Majority Leader Dave Reed’s office. They’d like to set up a meeting, please.  Baldinger, a retired radio and TV producer, is quick to animation and articulation in a way that belies his age, but nothing outwardly differentiates him from any other guy in the pizza shop. His phone’s caller ID is the only indication that he leads Pennsylvania’s most powerful grassroots anti-tax coalition and is the public face of a legislative push to make it the first state to abolish property taxes.  “There’s no such thing as property tax reform; there is no such thing as property tax relief,” he said. “It’s the only tax we have that isn’t based on your ability to pay. We just need to get rid of it.”

GUEST COLUMN: Eliminating school property taxes will hurt poorer districts
Pottstown Mercury Opinion by Michael Churchill POSTED: 01/29/17, 5:38 PM EST
Michael Churchill is an Attorney, Public Interest Law Center
Eight state senators are sponsoring the Property Tax Independence Act, a bill to end all property taxes for schools in Pennsylvania. If passed, the bill as drafted would end all chances for equitable funding in Pennsylvania and would be the single most unfair and destructive piece of school legislation in the 130 years since schools became mandatory.  There are much fairer alternatives to fixing property tax inequity, including proposals that would virtually end residential property taxes.  What is wrong with eliminating property taxes for schools? Start with the fact that it will end not only residential property taxes but also property taxes on commercial, industrial and oil and gas properties. The state will need to raise $12 billion from new income taxes and sales taxes paid primarily by individuals. Shifting the burden of commercial and industrial property taxes to individual taxpayers is unnecessary to fix the problem of residential taxpayers.

Gerrymandering: Congressional redistricting event draws surprising crowd in Philly
This week, more than 800 people filled Arch St. United Methodist Church, to learn about a subject that you may have missed in civics class — congressional redistricting.   Carol Kuniholm, chair of Fair Districts PA, walked the audience through the process of Gerrymandering, where Congressional districts are redrawn to serve one political party.  Gerrymandering has a long history in the US.  It gets its name from a Massachusetts governor back in 1812. Pennsylvania, because it's swing state where the legislature gets to draw district lines is a prime target. The state is also not growing as quickly as the rest of the country, putting it at risk for losing seats in Congress.  Comparing district maps over the past 50 years, Kuniholm described how political parties have adopted advanced mapping technology, and accelerated redistricting efforts.

Educators must bargain for sick days under new proposal; 'it's a fairness issue,' lawmaker says
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on January 31, 2017 at 4:18 PM, updated January 31, 2017 at 4:19 PM
Sabbatical, sick and bereavement leaves have been a staple in public school educators' benefits package for decades because state law required them to be.  Legislation that narrowly won Senate Education Committee approval on Tuesday would change that and allow them to become a topic at the bargaining table.  The bill, sponsored by committee Chairman John Eichelberger, passed by a 7-5 vote and was one of the first pieces of business the committee dealt with in the new legislative session.  "This is a major step backwards particularly for women." Pa. State Education Association's David Broderic  Senate Bill 229 was offered at the request of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association to give school directors more flexibility in managing their personnel and costs associated with it.

Scott Wagner loans himself $4M to kick-start run against Gov. Tom Wolf
Penn Live By Wallace McKelvey |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter on January 31, 2017 at 3:25 PM, updated January 31, 2017 at 3:38 PM
Republican state Sen. Scott Wagner kicked off his gubernatorial campaign with a nearly $4.3 million war chest, thanks in large part to a $4 million loan from the candidate himself.  Wagner, who owns a York County waste-hauling company, listed the loan in his first campaign finance filing with the Department of State for the 2018 race. The campaign also received a $90,000 contribution from his senatorial campaign.  Tom Wolf, another York County millionaire, has not yet filed his report. In 2014, he contributed $10 million to his gubernatorial campaign.

Senate Republicans revive effort to limit public unions' use of dues for political activity
Penn Live By Wallace McKelvey | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on January 31, 2017 at 2:26 PM, updated January 31, 2017 at 2:46 PM
Senate Republicans revived an effort Tuesday to limit public-sector labor unions' ability to marshal the political power of their membership. Legislation passed out of the State Government Committee would prohibit the unions from using automatically deducted dues and contributions for any political purpose, including get-out-the-vote efforts, lobbying or voter registration drives. Historically, both public and private labor unions were powerful forces in state politics although their influence waned in recent election cycles due to dwindling membership. In recent years, many unions formed their own political action committees to pool resources to be used in both electoral and lobbying efforts in Harrisburg.

Pa.'s top education official talks community schools, Phila. school building conditions
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer  @newskag Updated: JANUARY 30, 2017  4:15 PM
For the eight years that Chuanika Sanders-Thomas has been principal of Logan Elementary, she’s done her best to build partnerships and keep the small school moving forward.  This year, Logan became one of the city’s first round of community schools -- places that provide not just education, but also other programs and social services to remove students’ barriers to academic success. Logan and the other eight schools got community-schools coordinators to help identify needs and find outside help.  On Monday, Pennsylvania’s top education official came to tour Logan and see how the community-school model is working out. After a tour and a sit-down with Sanders-Thomas, other school personnel, and three bright Logan students, Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said he was wowed.

Federal appeals court rules against Lancaster school district in refugee education lawsuit
A three-judge panel's ruling issued Monday backed a prior decision letting student refugees choose where they want to enroll in the School District of Lancaster.  The district's appeal was the first considered by the Third Circuit court stemming from an Equal Educational Opportunities Act claim that a school failed to take appropriate steps to overcome language barriers, according to the 46-page decision.  The district was sued last July by the ACLU and Education Law Center on behalf of six student refugees over the age of 16.  They'd been placed in Phoenix Academy, a magnet school with a fast-track curriculum designed to make sure students graduate on time. District officials say that's because refugees often arrive with little or no high school credit. And all students are no longer entitled to a free public education in Pennsylvania after they turn 21.

Act 86 seeks to alleviate teacher shortage
York Dispatch by Alyssa Pressler , 505-5438/@AlyssaPressYDPublished 12:20 p.m. ET Jan. 31, 2017 | Updated 11 hours ago
·         Act 86 allows districts to hire students studying education as substitute teachers.
·         Southern York School District will be using this act to alleviate a substitute teacher shortage.
·         Districts across the county are dealing with a shortage of teachers and substitute teachers.
Southern York County School District will begin using a program that allows college students studying education to work as substitute teachers in the district.  Act 86 allows school districts to hire students as substitute teachers for the district so long as they are enrolled in an accredited Pennsylvania college or university pursuing a teacher certification.  Through the act, which was passed last July as a School Code bill, students who are in their post-60-credits phase of their coursework can work up to 20 days per school year as a paid substitute teacher. Congressman Lloyd Smucker, formerly a state senator for Lancaster, championed the bill.

Philadelphia releases latest batch of School Progress Reports
The School District of Philadelphia released its latest batch of School Progress Reports (SPR) Tuesday, honoring those schools that made the biggest jumps in 2015-16.  During a ceremony at Olney Elementary School, a roster of local officials — including SRC chair Joyce Wilkerson, Mayor Jim Kenney, and Superintendent William Hite — saluted schools that finished at the top of their class in SPR.  High honors went to Loesche Elementary School, McCall Elementary School, Girard Academic Music Program, and Franklin Town Charter High School, each of whom had the best SPR for their respective grade bands.  Watson Comly School, Chester Arthur School, Academy for the Middle Years at Northwest, and Paul Robeson High School for Human Services earned the title of "most improved."  District officials also gave a shout out to Olney Elementary School, which they said has shown consistent improvement in recent years.  Parents and community members can find the latest SPR scores for district and charter schools on the school district's website.

Top, most improved Phila. schools named
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer  @newskag Updated: JANUARY 31, 2017 — 8:23 PM
Shiny trophies sat on a table waiting to be collected. Dignitaries made speeches and shook hands. A house band and choir played hopeful music.  For 25 city principals, Tuesday was their Academy Awards, as the Philadelphia School District honored the best and most improved schools in the traditional public and charter sector.  Schools were evaluated on the basis not just of test performance, but of overall student growth, climate, and other measures used to calculate each building’s School Performance Report (SPR) score based on data from the 2015-16 school year.  Citywide, the leaders are Loesche Elementary in Somerton for elementary schools; McCall Elementary in Society Hill, for K-8 schools; GAMP in South Philadelphia, for middle schools; and Franklin Towne Charter High School in Bridesburg, for high schools. Loesche and McCall are neighborhood schools; GAMP is a magnet, and Franklin Towne is a citywide admission school.
Also recognized were four of the most improved schools in the city: Watson Comly Elementary, in Somerton, for elementary schools; Chester A. Arthur Elementary, in Southwest Center City, for K-8; AMY Northwest in Roxborough, for middle schools; and Paul Robeson High School for Human Services, in West Philadelphia, for high schools. Comly and Arthur are neighborhood schools; AMY Northwest is a magnet, and Robeson is a citywide admission school.

Pa. auditor general to audit Aspira charter schools
Inquirer by Martha Woodall, Staff Writer  @marwooda Updated: JANUARY 31, 2017 6:41 PM
The Pennsylvania auditor general announced Tuesday that his office would begin an audit of the five charter schools operated by Aspira Inc. of Pennsylvania.  Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he decided to begin the audit of the four charter schools Aspira operates in Philadelphia and a statewide cyber charter based in the city ahead of schedule because of news reports that the organization had paid a former administrator $350,000 to settle a sexual-harassment complaint and lawsuit she had filed against Aspira president and CEO Alfredo Calderon.  DePasquale said that although he was troubled by all allegations of sexual harassment, his financial review was triggered because taxpayer funds paid for the insurance policy that was used to settle the case.

State auditor general to audit Philly ASPIRA schools
by the notebook January 31, 2017 — 4:34pm
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has announced that he will conduct an audit of five charter schools in Philadelphia run by ASPIRA. The District's charter office has recommended non-renewal for Olney High and Stetson Middle schools, citing operational, financial, and academic problems.  For months, the recommendations have been held up in the School Reform Commission, which has been split on what to do. But since the last attempt at a vote, three members have left and two new members have been added. Estelle Richman is awaiting Senate confirmation, so the SRC currently lacks its full complement of five members. 
Among the concerns cited by the charter office are tangled finances among the schools and between the schools and the parent organization.  In addition to Olney and Stetson, which are converted District schools, ASPIRA runs a bilingual cyber charter and two K-8 Philadelphia charters started from scratch, Eugenio Maria De Hostos and Antonia Pantoja.  

Charter Arts school earns state award
By staff  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on January 31, 2017 at 3:13 PM, updated January 31, 2017 at 3:22 PM
School administrators from the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts were presented with an award for the school's its Reward: High Achievement designation at a conference in Pittsburgh this week.  Executive Director Diane LaBelle and Carise Comstock, dean of academic affairs, attended the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Title I Improving Schools' Performance Conference where the Division of Federal Programs honored the top performing Title I schools in Pennsylvania during the Distinguished Schools Award Ceremony.

HASD prepares for possible tax increase
The Hazleton Area School Board’s Finance Committee had its first look at the district’s 2017-18 proposed general fund budget that shows a nearly $5 million deficit.  The Tuesday evening meeting was the first discussion of the year on the spending plan and Business Manager Anthony Ryba cautioned that numbers will likely change.  According to Ryba, directors are scheduled to approve the preliminary plan at their Feb. 15 regular meeting.  From there, they can choose to make changes but must have a final budget in place by June 30.
As its stands, the plan shows projected revenue of $143,138,497, projected expenditures of $148,135,859 and a $4,997,372 shortfall.

Replace school property tax with local income tax | Guest column
By Express-Times guest columnist  Ed Inghrim on January 30, 2017 at 2:33 PM
Harrisburg, once again, is discussing school property tax relief. One method under consideration is shifting some or all of the burden for funding schools to higher sales and income taxes. But based on Harrisburg's past history of fixing the school property tax problem, they are likely to fail.
Local school boards and administrators are opposed to funding schools with sales and income taxes because they don't want to lose control of their current major revenue source, property taxes. Further, they don't trust Harrisburg controlling the distribution of those new sources of revenues.  As a school board member I personally don't like driving elderly home owners out of their homes because they can't pay their school property taxes, and I would like to suggest a different solution -- taxing total personal income, which is what taxpayers claim on their federal income tax form. A personal income tax (PIT) places the cost of funding public education on ability to pay and does not burden struggling lower-income families with higher sales taxes.

At Ben Franklin High, students and teachers in the cold
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer  @newskag Updated: JANUARY 31, 2017  6:55 PM
Students and teachers at Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin High School have been in the cold for days, they say.  The large school on North Broad Street has been experiencing problems with its heating system since last week, one teacher said.   On Tuesday, with temperatures in the low 30s, the heating problems were particularly difficult, said the teacher, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. When the heat is turned on, the sewer backs up in the school's basement.  "Some of the rooms are in the 50s," the teacher said Tuesday morning. "My feet are icicles."  Staff and students are bundled up in coats, and some staff are trying to use space heaters to warm their rooms. 

Report: Pat Toomey Gets More Faxes Than Any Other U.S. Lawmaker
Maybe that’s why he doesn’t pick up his phone — too busy refilling the machine.
PhillyMag BY CLAIRE SASKO  |  JANUARY 31, 2017 AT 10:50 AM
Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey receives more faxes than any other U.S. lawmaker, according to Fax Zero, a website that lets people send faxes for free and keeps tabs on who’s raking up the most.  According to the website, Toomey has received more than 1,000 faxes within the last 24 hours. That’s almost double the amount that runner-up California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has received in that same time span – more than 600 faxes. (By the way, Pennsylvania Rep. Bob Casey, who reportedly received close to 200 faxes within the last 24 hours, ranks sixth on the website’s list.)

Testing Resistance & Reform News: January 25 - 31, 2017
Submitted by fairtest on January 31, 2017 - 2:21pm 
With the 2017 K-12 school testing season beginning soon in some jurisdictions, FairTest has released several new and updated fact sheets to help assessment reform activists organize resistance to standardized exam overuse and misuse. At the same time, many state legislatures are considering proposals to reduce testing overkill. 

New PSBA Winter Town Hall Series coming to your area
Introducing a new and exciting way to get involved and stay connected in a location near you! Join your PSBA Town Hall meeting to hear the latest budget and political updates affecting public education. Enjoy light hors d’oeuvres and networking with fellow school directors. Locations have been selected to minimize travel time. Spend less time in the car and more time learning about issues impacting your schools.
6-6:35 p.m.         Association update from PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains
6:35 -7:15 p.m. Networking Reception
7:15-8 p.m.         Governor’s budget address recap
Monday, February 20     Forbes Road Career and Technology Center, Monroeville
Tuesday, February 21    Venango Technology Center, Oil City
Wednesday, Feb 22       Clearfield County Career and Technical Center, Clearfield
Thursday, February 23   Columbia Montour AVTS, Bloomsburg
Monday, February 27     Middle Bucks Institute of Technology, Jamison
Tuesday, February 28    PSBA, Mechanicsburg
Wednesday, March 1     Bedford County Technical Center, Everett
Thursday, March 2         West Side CTC, Kingston
This is a complimentary PSBA member event – please register and complete the check-out process through the Store/Registration section of Members area of the website.

Ron Cowell at EPLC always does a great job with these policy forums.
RSVP Today for a Forum In Your Area! EPLC is Holding Five Education Policy Forums on Governor Wolf’s 2017-2018 State Budget Proposal
Forum #1 – Pittsburgh Thursday, February 23, 2017 – Wyndham University Center – 100 Lytton Avenue, Pittsburgh (Oakland), PA 15213
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
Governor Wolf will deliver his 2017-2018 state budget proposal to the General Assembly on February 7. These policy forums will be early opportunities to get up-to-date information about what is in the proposed education budget, the budget’s relative strengths and weaknesses, and key issues.  Each of the forums will take following basic format (please see below for regional presenter details at each of the three events). Ron Cowell of EPLC will provide an overview of the Governor’s proposed budget for early education, K-12 and higher education.  A representative of The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center will provide an overview of the state’s fiscal situation and key issues that will affect this year’s budget discussion. The overviews will be followed by remarks from a panel representing statewide and regional perspectives concerning state funding for education and education related items. These speakers will discuss the impact of the Governor’s proposals and identify the key issues that will likely be considered during this year’s budget debate.
Although there is no registration fee, seating is limited and an RSVP is required.
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

PA Educational Technology Exposition & Conference (PETE&C), February 12-15, Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.

PASBO 62nd Annual Conference, March 21-24, David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh.
Register now for the 2017 NSBA Annual Conference March 25-27 Denver
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.

Register for the 2017 PASA Education Congress, “Delving Deeper into the Every Student Succeeds Act.” March 29-30

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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