Thursday, February 2, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup Feb 2: Cost Drivers? Pensions, Charters, Special Ed, Health Care

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, Instagram and LinkedIn

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup Feb 2, 2017
Cost Drivers? Pensions, Charters, Special Ed, Health Care

Commentary: Praise to the prognosticating Punxsutawney Phil
Inquirer By Mike Weilbacher Updated: FEBRUARY 2, 2017 — 3:01 AM EST
Very early this morning, a portly aging man in top hat and tails will unceremoniously yank a grumpy groundhog from his winter den and present it to a roaring crowd numbering in the tens of thousands. The man will whisper to the groundhog in their secret, shared language, what he calls "Groundhogese."  And, for the 131st time, Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous rodent this side of a certain mouse named Mickey, will predict the weather.  Happy Groundhog Day.

School districts 'treading water' financially despite funding increases
Despite a record state investment in public K-12 schools, school districts are finding the increased money they received this year from the state and property tax increases are being absorbed by higher mandated costs
Penn Live By Jan Murphy |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on February 01, 2017 at 1:08 PM, updated February 01, 2017 at 1:09 PM
Despite a record investment in K-12 education in the 2016-17 state budget and $352 million increase in funding over the past two years, a survey of school districts presents a grim picture of the financial shape in which many of them find themselves.  The additional money they are receiving from the state as well as from property tax increases are mostly being absorbed by higher mandated costs - namely, pension contributions, charter school and special education costs - as well as rising health care costs, said Jay Himes, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials..  This leaves many districts in a "sort of treading water situation" and seven in 10 of them expect property tax increases will be necessary next year, he said.  "Money does matter" Pa. Association of School Administrators executive director Mark DiRocco,  Himes' group, along with the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, shared these findings from their annual report on school district budgets on Wednesday.

“With an estimated deficit of $2.8 billion looming in Wolf's budget, districts are not optimistic about the future, according to the PASA-PASBO Report on School District Budgets.  The biggest expense drivers for public schools remain pensions and health-care for employees, special-education costs, and charter-school payments. Pensions – the cost of which is split with the state – went up 30 percent for school districts.   That is good news,  said Jay Himes, the executive director of PASBO, because in previous years, pension costs had gone up as much as 50 percent.”
Pa. school administrators say cash-strapped districts are 'treading water'
by Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer  @Kathy_Boccella | Updated: FEBRUARY 1, 2017 — 3:26 PM EST
Pennsylvania public schools continue to “tread water” in the face of rising mandated costs and decreasing or stagnant revenues that have forced them to raise taxes, cut programs and staff, and borrow money, according to an annual report released Wednesday by two school administrator organizations.  The report from the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) and the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO), which surveyed 361 districts, was not entirely bleak. It noted that the financial picture for many districts improved this year after the Pennsylvania legislature signed into law a new student-weighted funding formula and passed an on-time budget with $200 million in new Basic Education Funding.  “They were thrown a life vest,” the report said.  The report comes six days before Gov. Wolf is to present his budget proposal for next year, in which school funding is likely to again play a major role. The governor has not yet said how he plans to fill a potentially historic budget shortfall, except to say it won’t be with new or increased broad-based taxes, such as sales or income taxes.

Financial report: Schools just 'treading water'
Beaver County Times By Katherine Schaeffer February 1, 2017
In a sink-or-swim environment, Pennsylvania’s public school systems “continue to tread water,” says a report issued Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators and Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials.  Financial situations have improved since a historic nine-month-long state budget stalemate in 2015 drove some school districts to the brink of a shutdown, but rising state-mandated costs and inadequate state funding have forced districts across the state to balance the books with tax increases, drawing from fund balances, borrowed money, and staff and programming cutbacks, the PASA-PASBO Report on School District Budgets found.  Despite a new fair-funding formula for the state’s school districts passed in 2017 and a $200 million bump to the state’s allotment for basic education funding, many survey responses weren’t so optimistic.  The report’s release comes six days ahead of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s state budget address, during which education funding will probably be a topic of discussion. School districts may have a reason to worry; the governor’s budget contains an estimated $2.8 billion deficit, for which he has not yet provided a solution.

School administrators worry about education funding
York Dispatch by Alyssa Pressler , 505-5438/@AlyssaPressYDPublished 2:45 p.m. ET Feb. 1, 2017 | Updated 2 hours ago
·         Four local administrators met to discuss the future of education funding with the public.
·         Worries include increased special-education costs and student poverty coupled with uncertain state funding.
·         Administrators are hoping for an on-time and fair education budget come June 30.
With a probable state budget deficit, increased employee retirement costs and more needy students in local school districts, administrators are worried about their 2017-18 school year budgets.  Four local administrators held a news conference at the York City School District administration building Wednesday to discuss the issues and to make a public plea for a fair and on-time budget from the state. They're hoping to see increased funding and a permanent fair-funding formula.  Superintendent Shelly Merkle from York Suburban School District, Superintendent Emilie Lonardi from West York School District, Superintendent Scott Deisley from Red Lion Area School District and Superintendent Eric Holmes from York City School District spoke at the conference, led by Michael Thew, a "circuit rider," or traveling spokesman, for the Campaign for Fair Education Funding

Schools need reliable funding, and more of it, supts. say
York Daily Record by Angie Mason , Published 3:01 p.m. ET Feb. 1, 2017
With Gov. Tom Wolf set to propose a 2017-18 state budget next week, a group of local school district superintendents gathered Wednesday to emphasize where they believe the state's focus should be.  Superintendents from Red Lion, West York, York City and York Suburban held a news conference to advocate for additional funding for schools, along with continuation of the school funding formula established in 2016.  The formula — which takes into account things like student population and students in poverty — was a start, they said, but they still don't know what to expect in terms of state funding from one year to the next.  York City Supt. Eric Holmes said that in the past two years, additional state money has allowed the district to restore art, music, physical education and foreign language, as well as add social workers and behavioral specialists.

Funding uncertainty stokes fears for Lehigh Valley schools
By Sara K. Satullo | For  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on February 02, 2017 at 6:59 AM
Lehigh Valley school districts of all sizes are struggling with crushing mandates from Harrisburg and budget uncertainty that will only worsen if a property tax elimination bill is enacted.   That was the message from superintendents, business managers and school directors gathered at theSalisbury Township School District administration building Wednesday afternoon to discuss the financial realities they face as they craft their 2017-18 school budgets.  "We need fair, consistent and stable funding in all of our schools," said Randy Ziegenfuss, superintendent of Salisbury.  Pennsylvania is facing a massive state budget deficit and state revenues are not coming in as expected. And for years Harrisburg has not been picking up its fair share of the skyrocketing costs of pensions, charter school and special education, officials said. That has forced local school districts to pass down the costs of those unfunded mandates onto local taxpayers, officials said.

School leaders trying to fend off property tax repeal
Daily Item By John Finnerty CNHI Harrisburg Bureau February 1, 2017
HARRISBURG — The first big political fight of the year revives an old battle over property taxes.
Pressure to reform the tax collected for schools is getting so intense that a group of administrators is telling members to write up two budgets — one based on the old tax-collection scheme, the other based on the new way.  Their dual duty comes as support for tax reform grows. David Baldinger, who leads the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition, a grass-roots group lobbying to end the school property tax, cited increasing efforts to get Gov. Tom Wolf to get behind the plan and get it off the table before ratcheting up his 2018 re-election campaign. But school officials are wary, saying reform limits how much local leaders can raise taxes. It also comes even though Wolf and Republican lawmakers say they have no interest in “broad-based tax increases.”  Two Susquehanna Valley administrators are taking a "wait-and-see" approach. "No, we're not drawing up a second budget," Midd-West School District Superintendent Rick Musselman said Wednesday night. "We're not doing a second budget until Harrisburg takes action."

Pennsylvania Senate Democrats seek special hearings on property tax reform
Morning Call by Steve Esack Contact Reporter Call Harrisburg Bureau February 1, 2017
State Senate Democrats seek special session on local property tax reform; plan is met with lukewarm response f
The state Senate's small contingent of Democratic lawmakers is looking to tackle a big issue: property tax reform.  Most of the caucus' 16 members joined Wednesday to ask Gov. Tom Wolf to call a special joint session, in which the Senate and House can publicly pitch ideas and legislation to eliminate or reduce property taxes, the main funding stream for Pennsylvania's 500 school districts, and a partial funding stream for municipalities and counties.  "We have an overreliance on the property taxes to help fund education," Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton, said Wednesday at a news conference in the Capitol. "It's an archaic way of paying for education, it's outdated, and it needs to be reformed. We are not married to any specific plan calling for this special session of the Legislature on property taxes."  The request has generated lukewarm responses at best from the Democratic governor and the Republican-controlled Senate.

Pa. Senate Democrats call for special session on property tax reform
Pennsylvania's Senate Democrats are calling for reforms to the commonwealth's long-standing system of using property taxes to pay for public schools.  It's an initiative that's renewed nearly every session. But now, the group is calling for a special legislative session.  School property tax collections this fiscal year are in the range of $14 billion.  The system has long been criticized for allowing the state's wealthiest school systems to collect far more tax money than their lower-income peers.  State Senat. Lisa Bosola (D-Lehigh) initiated the call for a special session on the issue. She also called for one 2002, but it was unproductive because the then-governor wasn't on-board. Boscola said this year, there's more consensus -- at least on the issue's fundamental points.  "We do agree that the current funding system needs some kind of reform," she said. "It's not fair. It's antiquated. And it needs to be addressed."

Property tax elimination bill is back in business in PA
Lower Bucks Times By Timothy Reilly, for the Times pawirenews January 31, 2017
Is the property tax a relic of the past or a necessary tool to secure the financial future of the school system? A budget battle is brewing again in Harrisburg to address this fundamental question.  For state Sen. David Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks), the answer is simple.  “Based on the overwhelming majority of my constituents, there is no issue more important than ridding taxpayers of this 1830s method of taxation,” he said in an email correspondence.  Argall plans to introduce legislation in the Senate to eliminate the property tax. The bill, christened SB 76 in the upper chamber, will replace the revenue collected from local property assessments with increases to the state income tax and sales tax.  The list of items eligible for the sales tax will also expand. The bill has drawn bipartisan support, garnering sponsors from both sides of the aisle. This is not the first time SB 76 and its companion in the House of Representatives, HB 76, also known as the Property Tax Independence Act, have been considered by the state legislature.

Federal appeals court upholds order to admit refugee students at McCaskey High School
Lancaster Online by KARA NEWHOUSE | Staff Writer Jan 31, 2017
School District of Lancaster must allow refugee students with limited English skills and formal schooling to attend McCaskey High School, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.
The district typically sends older students with limited credits, including refugees and immigrants, to Phoenix Academy, a privately operated alternative school. Officials say the goal is to enable such students to graduate before age 21, when they no longer receive a free education.  Last summer, six refugee students sued the district over their school placement. Their lawyers argued in federal court that Phoenix Academy lacked the level of English language support required by law and that the academic pace was inappropriate for students with limited formal schooling. In a preliminary ruling, Judge Edward G. Smith agreed. He ordered the district to admit the suing students to McCaskey, the district’s regular high school, instead. The district immediately appealed the ruling.  On Monday, a federal appeals court upheld Smith’s decision.

Commentary: Philly educators should unite to serve the common good
Inquirer By Daniel R. J. Joyce Updated: FEBRUARY 2, 2017 — 3:01 AM EST
I'm not sure if it's because Catholic Schools Week - Jan. 29 to Feb. 4 - always occurs in the run up to the Super Bowl, or if it's just that my Catholic upbringing seemed to interweave sports and spirituality so closely, but I cannot think of Catholic education without a football analogy coming to mind. I am now convinced, though, that Catholic educators in Philadelphia find themselves more and more on the sidelines of an increasingly hard-fought game.  The last few years have seen increased battles between public school advocates, teachers' unions, charter school champions, and educational funders. The frenzied competition for a shrinking pool of educational funding is at an all-time high in our urban school districts, and judgments about what makes for effective teaching and sufficient standards of success differ vastly among the players in Philadelphia's educational community.

Ex-Philly school official pleads no contest in scheme to steer $900,000 contract to friends, family
Inquirer by Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer  @JoeSlobo | Updated: FEBRUARY 1, 2017 — 5:27 PM EST
 The former small-business development manager for the Philadelphia schools pleaded no contest to perjury Wednesday involving charges that she steered a $900,000 contract to businesses owned by her friends or family.  Priscilla Wright, 52, of East Germantown, entered the plea before Common Pleas Court Judge Robert P. Coleman in a deal in which the District Attorney’s Office dismissed a misdemeanor conflict-of-interest count.  Coleman immediately sentenced Wright to the agreed-on sentence of two years’ reporting probation.  Defense attorney Brian J. McMonagle said neither he nor Wright wished to comment on the plea and sentence. Assistant District Attorney Andrew Wellbrock said the plea did not require restitution to the School District. Wellbrock said Wright would forfeit her district pension because of her plea to the felony perjury charge.

Busy signals: Why Sen. Pat Toomey's phone lines are jammed
By Kurt Bresswein | For Email the author | Follow on Twitter on February 01, 2017 at 5:13 PM, updated February 01, 2017 at 5:48 PM
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey has been unreachable by telephone, as voters sought to sway his vote on confirming Betsy DeVos as education secretary, according to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  His Washington, D.C., line was busy on Wednesday, the day of the Senate's vote on President Donald Trump's nominee.  Dana Kellerman, a veterinarian in the Pittsburgh area, tried calling more than 30 times Monday to the Pennsylvania Republican's district and capital offices but got a busy signal or was directed to a voicemail that was full each time, the Post-Gazette reports.  "Senator Toomey does appreciate the feedback from folks across Pennsylvania," his spokeswoman, Elizabeth "E.R." Anderson, told on Wednesday afternoon.

“Any hope of that happening through Toomey was buried Wednesday afternoon when a spokeswoman said the senator thinks DeVos is a "great pick." Angered constituents immediately pointed out that DeVos has donated $60,500 to Toomey's campaign funds.”
Philly teacher launches GoFundMe to buy Pat Toomey's vote on Betsy DeVos
In a week that has become a full court press against Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, there is now a GoFundMe page up and running to buy his potentially pivotal vote in the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, President Donald's Trump's nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Education. Toomey was thrown into the middle of a heated movement on Wednesday after two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said they would oppose DeVos's nomination. Criticism of DeVos arose almost immediately over her staunch advocacy of charter schools and education vouchers, a hardline position foes believe could endanger the U.S. public education system. She was also criticized for a lack of knowledge of some of the finer points of the education system.  If three Republicans join 48 Democrats aligned to block DeVos's confirmation, her nomination could be rejected.

“I have serious concerns about a nominee to be secretary of Education who has been so involved on one side of the equation, so immersed in the push for vouchers that she may be unaware of what actually is successful within the public schools and also what is broken and how to fix them,” Murkowski said.
Betsy DeVos nomination at risk as 2 Republican senators object
Trib Live WIRE REPORTS | Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, 9:39 p.m.
WASHINGTON — What had appeared to be a near-certain chance of Betsy DeVos becoming President Trump's Education secretary took a hit Wednesday as two Republican senators said they would vote against her.  U.S. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska delivered statements from the floor of the Senate saying they could not support DeVos' nomination, questioning her experience and commitment to public schools. If she loses the support of one more Republican — and all Democrats vote against her — the nomination will die. Murkowski said she believes DeVos, a billionaire Republican donor and promoter of charter schools, has much to learn about public education.

"I don't know where the mystery came from — I'm a big fan of Betsy DeVos," Toomey told reporters at the Capitol. "I will absolutely be voting for Besty DeVos."
Toomey pops left's bubble - will back Trump education nominee Betsy DeVos
Inquirer by Jonathan Tamari  @JonathanTamari | Updated: FEBRUARY 1, 2017 — 5:31 PM EST
WASHINGTON -- No, Sen. Pat Toomey isn't going to sink Betsy DeVos' nomination.
Liberal groups hoped Wednesday they could pressure the Pennsylvania Republican into casting a decisive vote against DeVos, President Trump's pick to lead the Department of Education, and thus deny her confirmation.  Every last GOP vote became critical when two Republican Senators, Maine's Susan Collins and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, announced they would oppose DeVos' nomination. One more defection, combined with unified Democratic opposition, would have blocked the controversial nominee.  Online, liberal groups urged supporters to pressure Toomey and other Republicans from moderate states. But Toomey, who had previously praised DeVos, quickly dashed that idea.

Toomey, under increasing pressure from opponents, says he will vote for DeVos
The notebook by Dale Mezzacappa February 1, 2017 — 4:59pm
Council members, disability rights groups pressed their case against the nominee for Secretary of Education with his staff in Philadelphia. They hoped a barrage of messages to his offices across the state would sway him -- ultimately to no avail. One more Republican Senator is needed to defect for her to be defeated, assuming all Democrats oppose her.
UPDATED 5:40 p.m. with report of Toomey statement on Capitol Hill
With Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Maine declaring that they will oppose Betsy DeVos as the U.S. Secretary of Education, only one more vote was needed to prevent her nomination. And the pressure had been increasing on Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey to be that vote.  In effect, the fate of her nomination could be in his hands. But just hours after several dozen City Council members, parents of students with disabilities and education advocates went to his Center City Philadelphia office to deliver a letter in opposition, Toomey told reporters on Capitol Hill that "I will absolutely be voting for Betsy DeVos."

January PA Revenue Collections $49.8M Below Estimates, $416.8M Below For Year
Crisci Associates Capitol Digest FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Pennsylvania collected $2.6 billion in General Fund revenue in January, which was $49.8 million, or 1.8 percent, less than anticipated, Secretary of Revenue Eileen McNulty reported Wednesday. Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $16.1 billion, which is $416.8 million, or 2.5 percent, below estimate. Sales tax receipts totaled $913.5 million for January, $5.1 million below estimate. Year-to-date sales tax collections total $5.9 billion, which is $138.4 million, or 2.3 percent, less than anticipated. Personal income tax (PIT) revenue in January was $1.3 billion, $27.3 million above estimate. This brings year-to-date PIT collections to $6.7 billion, which is $98.6 million, or 1.4 percent, below estimate.   

Eli Broad, billionaire philanthropist and charter school backer, urges senators to oppose DeVos
Washington Post By Emma Brown February 1 at 6:45 PM 
Eli Broad, a billionaire philanthropist from California and major backer of charter schools, is urging senators to oppose the nomination of Betsy DeVos as education secretary, saying that she is unqualified for the job.  “At the risk of stating the obvious, we must have a Secretary of Education who believes in public education and the need to keep public schools public,” Broad wrote in a letter Wednesday to Sens. Mitch McConnell(R-Ky.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).  “With Betsy DeVos at the helm of the U.S. Department of Education, much of the good work that has been accomplished to improve public education for all of America’s children could be undone.” Broad’s opposition to DeVos is notable in part because it illuminates the extent of the opposition movement.

“His opposition underscores what has been obvious for some time: that the opposition to DeVos goes far beyond the teachers unions, which have funded some of the campaign against her. Teachers, parents, students and other DeVos critics have staged protests, signed petitions and besieged the offices of U.S. senators with visits, phone calls and messages urging them to oppose her.”
Why it’s a big deal that billionaire activist Eli Broad is opposing billionaire activist Betsy DeVos as education secretary
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss February 1 at 7:03 PM 
Eli Broad is a big name in school reform — one that advocates for public education love to hate. But now Broad, a housing and insurance tycoon who poured hundreds of millions of dollars into “transforming” K-12 urban education through market-based changes, just gave them something to cheer about: He came out Wednesday night against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as President Trump’s education secretary.  He did it on the same day that two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — announced they would vote against DeVos on the floor, meaning that DeVos opponents need only one more Republican senator to break ranks and vote against her to tank the nomination.  This is more than just one billionaire school activist who believes in school choice going against another billionaire school activist who believes in school choice. It reveals a deep split in the movement to improve public education with corporate-style changes that seek to run schools like businesses and want to greatly expand alternatives to traditional public schools.

Betsy DeVos’s confirmation is suddenly on thin ice. Her defeat would be almost unprecedented.
Washington Post By Aaron Blake February 1 at 3:17 PM 
Spicer '100 percent confident' DeVos will be confirmed
During the White House daily briefing on Feb. 1, press secretary Sean Spicer discussed the confirmation of President Trump’s education secretary nominee, Betsy DeVos. (Reuters)
Two Republican senators announced Wednesday that they will not support Betsy DeVos's nomination to become education secretary, in an unusual display of resistance from members of the president's own party to his chosen Cabinet pick.  And if a third Republican senator joins them, it may not only be unusual; it could be historic.  Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) both announced they won't back DeVos, who featured in a rough confirmation hearing two weeks ago, because of her views on the public education system. That leaves 50 Republican senators who could support her. If every member of the Democratic caucus joined Collins and Murkowski in voting no, Vice President Pence would be forced into a rare tie-breaking vote as president of the Senate.  But if another Republican senator bolts -- and some aren't committing one way or another right now -- DeVos would be headed for defeat. And history shows it's very rare for presidents with a Senate majority to see their nominees defeated. Very.

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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