Post Gazette Editorial By the Editorial Board February 26, 2017 12:00 AM
Last week, Pennsylvania senator and Education Committee chair John Eichelberger reportedly claimed that students in some “inner city” neighborhoods need “less intensive” programs. This week, Mayor Jim Kenney called that comment “racism,” according to the Inquirer. “That is the basic problem in school funding in Pennsylvania: We go to Harrisburg, hat in hand, to beg for money from those men —those white men — who think our kids can’t succeed,” Kenney said at a City Hall roundtable on early literacy, according to the newspaper. Last week, the Carlisle Sentinel reported that Eichelberger, a Republican from Blair County, claimed during a town hall in Carlisle that state funding was being “misspent” on students in public schools in cities like Philadelphia, where instructors are “pushing [students] toward college, and they’re dropping out. They fall back and don’t succeed, whereas if there was a less intensive track, they would.” Eichelberger said such students should be encouraged to pursue vocational programs, according to the Carlisle Sentinel.
Pike County Courier By Anya Tikka PUBLISHED FEB 23, 2017 AT 1:39 PM
“With the elimination of property taxes comes the total elimination of taxing authority by locally elected school boards and a total undercutting of local control. As a result, locally elected school board members will be rendered useless.”
MILFORD — The state legislature's proposal to eliminate school property taxes across the state is worrying Delaware Valley School District officials. “They’re talking about ending school property taxes, and replacing them with higher income and sales taxes," said Superintendent John Bell. "These are big issues, and there are lots of ramifications.” He said the law will, in the long run, hurt those most vulnerable. And, he said, the district will lose control of its revenue. If the law is passed, the result will be deteriorating school buildings, causing health and safety hazards, and eventually cutbacks of both staff and teachers, said Bell. It will decide how much a school district will get in state aid based on their last known baseline — that is, the 2016-17 budget — which he said will unfairly penalize fiscally prudent districts. DV has not raised property taxes for the last seven years out of ten. “It’s going to come to haunt us, in respect we’re going to have low baseline," Bell said.
Pocono Record By Jamie Martines and Brian Rittmeyer, The Valley News-Dispatch Posted Feb 25, 2017 at 7:50 PM
Times Tribune BY SARAH HOFIUS HALL, STAFF WRITER / PUBLISHED: FEBRUARY 24, 2017
George Bezanis is a social studies teacher at Central High School. He serves as the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers' representative at Central, and is a leader of the union's Caucus of Working Educators.
Congress.gov 115th Congress (2017-2018)
Sponsor: Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4] (Introduced 01/23/2017)
Committees: House - Education and the Workforce
This week, federal election commissioner and former commission chair Ann Ravel publicly announced her upcoming resignation. She didn’t mince words: “The mission of the FEC is essential to ensure a fair electoral process. Yet since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, our political campaigns have been awash in unlimited, often dark money.” Citizens United is one of the most controversial Supreme Court rulings of recent years. Issued in 2010, it establishes that “outside spending” in elections qualifies as constitutionally protected speech, effectively removing restrictions that date back to 1947. As a result, corporations and unions have the right to spend unlimited (and largely undisclosed) amounts of money advocating in favor of or against specific candidates. Many, including President Barack Obama, have disagreed with the decision. During the past presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly endorsed this view, referring to the super PACs which emerged as a result of Citizens United as a “total phony deal.” Calls for change have also come from others within the Republican Party. Could President Trump lead an effort to reform campaign finance? There’s one challenge: Our recent research shows that Citizens United has earned Republicans a substantial number of state legislative seats. Our research focuses on state legislative elections because we can more easily isolate the effect of Citizens United compared with other factors that influence election outcomes at various levels (such as the popularity of the president). Before 2010, 23 states had bans on corporations and union funding of outside spending. As a result of the court’s ruling, these states had to change their campaign laws. We can then compare the changes before and after Citizens United in these 23 states with the same changes in the 27 states whose laws did not change. The effect of the court’s ruling is then simply the differences between these two before-and-after comparisons.
It was the best of times and the worst of times for virtual schools, which allow students to go to school without ever stepping into a school building. Online schools received yet another hearty endorsement last Friday from the new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who doubled down on her opinion that these schools should expand – without any hint that she recognizes there are serious quality-control issues. Meanwhile, an important study published last week in Education Researcher added to the growing pile of research that reveals that online-only schools tend to attract and harm the most vulnerable students. The study from RAND Corporation and New York University found that Ohio students with low test scores who enroll in online-only schools tend to fall even further behind. High-performing students fare better, but they still do worse than they would have done if they had not enrolled in a virtual school, according to the study. The findings for the lowest achieving students are particularly troubling considering the high stakes for children who are already on the edge of failure. And, as it turns out, low-performing students tend to be drawn to cyber charter schools, the study found. “If that’s a population they want to serve, then they need to design a system that is better for [those] students,” said Andrew McEachin, of RAND Corporation, an author of the new report.
For many children, that free lunch at school is the only meal they will eat that day.
Huffington Post By Caroline Bologna02/24/2017 01:17 pm ET | Updated 1 day ago
Orchard School Homework Information
Student’s Daily Home Assignment
1. Read just-right books every night —
(and have your parents read to you too).
2. Get outside and play —
that does not mean more screen time.
3. Eat dinner with your family —
and help out with setting and cleaning up.
4. Get a good night’s sleep.
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EST Strath Haven Middle School 200 South Providence Road Nether Providence Township
By Public Interest Law Center along with Delco Indivisible and Moving the Needle/Indivisible Swarthmore Education Committees
Join attorney Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg for a briefing on:
The briefings are free and open to the public, but we ask that you please RSVP.
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
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.