Monday, March 20, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup March 20: Reform group FEE testifying at PA ESSA joint hearing today has received significant annual $$$ from Sec'y Devos

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup March 20, 2017:
Reform group FEE testifying at PA ESSA joint hearing today has received significant annual $$$ from Sec'y Devos


Call your Congressman’s office today to let them know that Pennsylvania could lose over $140 million in reimbursement for services that school districts provide to special education students; vote expected this week.
http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

$140 Million for PA’s School-Based ACCESS Program is jeopardized under proposed federal cuts to Medicaid.
Pennsylvania public schools are currently at risk of losing millions of dollars in federal funding to help pay for mandated services for students with special needs including the following:
• Assistive technology devices
• Audiology services
• Hearing-impaired services
• Nursing services
• Nurse practitioner services
• Occupational therapy services
• Orientation, mobility and vision services
• Personal care services
• Physical therapy services
• Physician services
• Psychiatric services
• Psychological services
• Social work services
• Specialized transportation services
• Speech and language services
https://www.psba.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ACL_ACCESS-program-jeopardized.pdf

Reform group FEE testifying at PA ESSA joint hearing by House and Senate Education Committees this morning has received significant annual funding from Sec'y Devos back to 2008

Baer: Pennsylvania's magical mystery budget
Philly Daily News by John Baer, Political Columnist  baerj@phillynews.com Updated: MARCH 19, 2017 — 2:37 PM EDT
Three weeks of state budget hearings just concluded with nary a fistfight or major snit.
Could this signal an end to annual budget animus between Democrat Gov. Wolf and the Republican legislature? Could it mean stress-free budget passage by the start of the fiscal year in July?  After all, Wolf wants a GOP-style budget, a flip-flop from his prior (voted-down) calls for big new taxes.  Maybe it’s a new day in Harrisburg. Lord knows the old days didn’t work.  Let’s see: a $3 billion structural deficit; a $62 billion pension debt; $300 million more in pension costs next year, and a $600 million hole in the current budget that state law requires filling.  Pretty soon we’re talking real money, eh?  And why? Years of gutless governing that annually punts on problems such as property taxes and pensions; bends to the wishes of special interests; then “balances” budgets with phony onetime revenues, some that never happen.  Ah, but now there’s a new plan: magically erase years of neglect and the $3 billion deficit with $2 billion in cuts and efficiencies and $1 billion in new taxes -- but not on personal income or (for most) on sales.

GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick says he can't support Obamacare repeal in current form
Inquirer by Jonathan Tamari, Washington Bureau  @JonathanTamari |  jtamari@phillynews.com Updated: MARCH 19, 2017 — 10:08 PM EDT
WASHINGTON -- Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick said Sunday that he cannot support the GOP’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act “in its current form,” making the Bucks County freshman the first Republican from the Philadelphia area to definitively say he would vote against the legislation as it stands now.  His position deals a blow to GOP leaders’ hopes of passing their repeal of “Obamacare” through the House of Representatives as soon as Thursday. With Democrats uniformly opposed the plan, Republicans can afford to lose no more than 21 votes in the House, and their proposal has caught flak from both conservatives and moderates.

U.S. Rep. Costello says some Trump cuts “unacceptable”
The Pottstown Mercury By Michael P. Rellahan, mrellahan@21st-centurymedia.com, @ChescoCourtNews on Twitter POSTED: 03/19/17, 6:20 PM EDT | UPDATED: 8 HRS AGO
An area congressman is speaking out against some of the proposed cuts in national spending suggested by the Trump administration’s $1.15 trillion budget.  In a written statement, U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6th Dist., took aim at the cuts Trump says he wants to make in spending programs other than the military.  “Proposed cuts in the budget blueprint to programs that have a lasting, positive impact on our communities and that my constituents value are unacceptable to me, including those to medical research, environmental protection, and public education,” said Costello, whose district covers parts of Chester County, Montgomery, Berks and Lebanon counties.  “I remain committed to being a strong advocate for programs that deserve continued federal support, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure a thoughtful approach is taken when reviewing the budget blueprint,” he said.

Districts share strategies to reach low-income students, narrow academic gap
Bucks Courier Times By Marion Callahan, staff writer March 17, 2017
Public resources devoted to education typically lean in favor of wealthier communities in Pennsylvania.  But academic achievement doesn't have to, some educators say.   Academic success among poor students is rising in some area districts and educators point to successful strategies: reduced class sizes, bolstering one-on-one instruction and increased options for advanced classes.   Such strategies were embraced by the Quakertown Community School District, which earned some of the county's highest scores on proficiency tests despite a low-income population of close to 30 percent.  By tapping into economies of scale, district leaders say it has been efficient in offering more programs, full-day kindergarten and dozens of Advanced Placement classes.  Quakertown Community High School earned the county's top School Performance Profile score, beating wealthier schools in the Council Rock and Central Bucks school districts. The profile takes into account academic growth, AP scores and the percentage of students who have passed state standardized tests.

Lawmaker says plan to replace school property taxes on the way
Intelligencer By Gary Weckselblatt, staff writer March 20, 2017
Legislation to change the way districts are funded, which school officials have railed against, is expected to be introduced by the end of the month.  State Sen. Bob Mensch, R-24, of Lansdale, a co-sponsor of the measure, told Indian Valley business leaders that he recognizes parts of the bill will "need to be refined to where's it's operational. Before we take that leap, we need to know it's going to work well."  Mensch's comments at Friday's Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast were in response to Nick Braccio, a member of the Souderton Area School Board who questioned the sustainability of the plan to significantly limit most property taxes in favor of increased sales and income taxes, and shift control of revenue from local school boards to Harrisburg.  "The introduction of a bill is just that," said Mensch, whose senatorial district includes parts of Berks, Montgomery and Bucks counties. "It's not the final bill. I support the notion of fixing the property tax."  The controversial measure, sponsored by state Sen. David Argall, R-29, of Berks and Schuylkill counties, has bipartisan support and failed in the last legislative session by one vote.

OPED: Folmer: Support SB 76 or support status quo
York Dispatch OPED by Sen. Mike Folmer, 48th Senate District Published 11:49 a.m. ET March 16, 2017
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
·         This isn’t the first time we’ve been down this road.
·         Every plan to eliminate school property taxes faces the same challenge.
·         How does the state find nearly $14 billion in replacement revenues?
During my travels throughout the 48th Senatorial District, I hear a persistent drumbeat:  “Eliminate school property taxes.” Not partial elimination or reduced school property taxes — total elimination.  That’s why I’ve joined with Sen. David Argall to fight for Senate Bill 76 to eliminate school property taxes. In 2015, the Senate fell one vote short: 24-25.  This isn’t the first time we’ve been down this road. Other plans have been offered to reduce property taxes, and some have become law.  However, none have totally eliminated school property taxes as proposed by SB 76.  Act 511 was passed in 1965 to reduce both school and municipal property taxes through a myriad of other taxes, which proved to be equally unpopular and were changed or repealed over the years, while school property taxes continued to rise.

Guest Column: Public pension crisis threatens state’s future
Delco Times By Mike Regan, Times Guest Columnist POSTED: 03/19/17, 11:33 PM EDT
State Sen. Mike Regan, R-31, represents parts of Cumberland County and York County in the Pennsylvania Senate.
This January, Gov. Tom Wolf sent $1.8 million taxpayer dollars to consultants at McKinsey & Co., who ironically provided his budget secretary with a 78-page report entitled: “Achieving a sustainable budget for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”  You don’t always get what you pay for. At over $23,000 per page, taxpayers should feel scammed – not once does the McKinsey report ever mention the term “public pension reform.” It was conspicuous, but probably not coincidental, that the topic was also avoided in the governor’s February budget address. How could any report on the “sustainability” of Pennsylvania’s fiscal condition, or any credible budget proposal for that matter, fail to mention our greatest budgetary cost-driver?  In fairness to Gov. Wolf, the makings of our pension crisis predate his tenure in office. Short-sighted policymaking, namely lavish benefit increases approved by Gov. Tom Ridge and habitual underfunding under Gov. Ed Rendell, are largely to blame. Unfavorable investment markets following 9/11 and throughout the Great Recession severely compounded our predicament. Finger-pointing will not change our reality. Testimony delivered at a recent Senate Appropriations hearing revealed the two state pension systems have only 58 cents for every retirement dollar promised and combined “unfunded liabilities” (long-term projected debts) in excess of $62 billion. Alternate valuations of our debt portfolio are even worse.  As unfunded liabilities grow, additional budget dollars will be dedicated to servicing our enormous debt. Future generations (read: our children) will foot the bill.

Senate GOP readies for another assault on the pension problem
WITF Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Mar 16, 2017 9:31 PM
 (Harrisburg) -- One of Harrisburg's perennial headaches is heading back to the legislative spotlight as Senate Republican leaders work to push a familiar pension bill through the chamber. Last session, GOP lawmakers made a late-in-the-game attempt to pass a pension overhaul that would have offered state employees three retirement options--two so-called "hybrid" plans, and a 401k-style plan.  At the time, Governor Tom Wolf indicated he'd sign it. But the plan didn't get full votes because House and Senate Democrats refused to support it, saying they hadn't gotten enough input.  Now, a virtually identical proposal is back. The only change is a new option for employees on the older-style pension plans to jump onto the new one.  House Democratic spokesman Bill Patton said his caucus thinks the proposal would be worse than the current pension system, which has been in place since 2010.  "For any bill to deserve and win our support, pension changes must save money for the state rather than raising costs, as this plan would," he said. "And it must pay down the pension debt measurably faster than the law that's already in effect."  In a separate interview, Senate GOP spokeswoman Jenn Kocher countered that it's time for the Senate Democrats to compromise on a bill that actually has a shot at passing.

Editorial: More phony pension bills
Times Tribune BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD / PUBLISHED: MARCH 20, 2017
State Senate Republicans plan to reintroduce a supposed pension reform bill that failed last year. But the reforms in the legislation are so modest that it hardly seems worth the effort.  The bill would create two forms of “hybrid” pension plans that would be, for the first time, a departure from the strictly “defined benefit” plans that now cover state and public school employees. Last year the bill would have made the plans mandatory only for new state employees, sparing any current public employee the risk of prospective but unguaranteed benefits. The only major change in the new proposal is an option for current employees to select the hybrid plans. Well, good luck with that.  There has been no disinterested financial analysis of the new proposal. But last year the Independent Fiscal Office found that the bill would save only about $3 billion in the face of an unfunded pension liability approaching $70 billion, and then only after two decades.
This proposal, like last year’s, will do nothing to decrease mandated public school pension contributions from the staggering rate of nearly one-third of total payroll costs.

Local winners and losers of Trump's proposed budget
Inquirer by Aubrey Whelan, Staff Writer  @aubreyjwhelan |  awhelan@phillynews.com Updated: MARCH 17, 2017 — 5:51 AM EDT
The blueprint of President Trump's budget, outlined Thursday, is just a proposal. The plan, like every president's budget, will go through negotiations and revisions in Congress, where lawmakers heavily weigh their local priorities.  Some ideas won't get past the starting line, and Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters yesterday that department heads will have broad discretion in how they reach their targeted reductions.
But the document gives concrete insight to the new president's priorities, in far more detail than a Tweet. Here, in black and white, are the areas Trump wants to emphasize with the government's resources, and those he can do without -- and how his priorities affect the Philadelphia region.

Facing $1.5M gap, Pottstown shoots for no tax hike for 3rd time
By Evan Brandt, The Mercury POSTED: 03/19/17, 10:18 AM EDT | UPDATED: 16 HRS AGO
POTTSTOWN >> If Pottstown School District Business Manager Linda Adams succeeds in the direction she was given at a recent school board meeting, she will deliver the third consecutive budget that does not raise taxes.  But it won’t be easy.  According to a brief overview of the preliminary budget she offered to the board on March 16, Pottstown is facing a budget gap of more than $1.5 million.  That analysis showed the single largest cause of the increased expenses is the health insurance increases faced by the district, $887,000. Following in a close second is the $425,700 in increased in salaries to teachers as outlined in the second-year of the three-year contract adopted last year.  The third largest factor to rising costs is the increase to the district’s share of the cost of pensions — $387,000.

“Nearly $900,000 in new expenses is due to a required increase in contributions to the state’s pension fund, which was supposed to level off starting this year.  Instead, the district’s contribution is now expected to climb from 32.57 percent, or $4.38 million, in 2017-18 to 36.4 percent, or $5.2 million, by 2021-22.”
Cocalico School District's $60M draft budget doesn't include a tax hike, but it could be added
KIMBERLY MARSELAS | Ephrata Review Correspondent Mar 19, 2017
A draft spending plan proposed by Cocalico School District officials includes no tax increase for 2017-18, but board members may be asked to pass a tax hike before this year’s budget deliberations end.  A $60 million budget presented to members at a work session March 6 includes flat tax revenue from year-to-year, but district officials noted they’d be spending nearly $3.4 million from reserves just to balance spending.  Without any tax increase, Cocalico would end the year with an estimated $394,000, which is not much wiggle room for unexpected costs or emergency needs.  A 2.5 percent property tax increase, however, would net the district $808,000 in additional revenue. Under the state’s tax cap act, the district can legally raise taxes as much as 3.1 percent next year. The board agreed in December not to seek exceptions that would have allowed them to raise taxes even more to compensate for debt or retirement costs.   “We may not need a 2.5 percent increase, but a zero (increase) would be tough,” Superintendent Ella Musser told board members. “It would be challenging to make sure all the funding needs are addressed.”
Year-to-year spending would jump 4.65 percent for a total of $2.7 million, while revenues are projected to grow just 1.8 percent or $937,189.

At tiny, surprising Pequea Valley, the goal is nothing less than reinventing school
Lancaster Online by JEFF HAWKES | Staff Writer Mar 19, 2017
Kate Stoltzfus wishes she could steal time. Anything to help in the Pequea Valley teacher’s dash to get 19 ninth-graders up to speed in basic algebra for a looming, high-stakes state test. At the bell, with her fifth-period students filing into the bright, but windowless room, Stoltzfus took charge of this latest 52-minute chance to cram such concepts as linear equations and negative components into teenage craniums.  Energetic, with long brunette hair and a manner both brisk and approachable, Stoltzfus put the class through a brief paper-and-pencil review and then directed, “Laptops up.”  Each student opened a personal MacBook Air, a gateway to whiz-bang education software and a symbol of how tiny, off-the-beaten-path Pequea Valley School District has embraced a culture of reinventing school.  The way pupils are taught, take tests, even how long they spend in school — it’s all open to disruption under Pequea Valley’s version of personalized learning, one of the most talked about national trends in education today. While the idea has defied a single, widely accepted definition, a key strategy is to tailor instruction according to each student’s interests, abilities and learning styles.  "Inevitable: Mass Customized Learning" is the inspiration for how Pequea Valley School District is reinventing school.  Within this movement, Pequea Valley is gaining recognition for its particularly zealous approach called mass customized learning.

In Philadelphia, school police outnumber counselors
Large police forces and small counseling staffs correlate with poverty and race in the nation's largest school districts
The notebook by Greg Windle March 16, 2017 — 1:36pm
Like most large school districts in areas with high poverty rates and a majority Black and Latino residents, Philadelphia has more school police officers than counselors.  Wealthier and whiter large districts, by contrast, invest more in counselors than in security.  Last year an analysis of data from the 10 largest public school districts in the country by the website The 74 million found that four of those districts employ more police officers than counselors.  When that data is compared with U.S. census data on the poverty rates and racial makeup of each district’s catchment area, a pattern emerges: large school districts in areas with high poverty rates and high portions of minority residents are more likely to rely on relatively large school police forces, and have smaller counseling staffs.  This is so even though studies make clear that students who have suffered from trauma—most common in high-poverty districts—are more likely to benefit from counseling and support than punitive measures.  While Philadelphia was not quite big enough to be included in the study by The 74, data on the District’s website  shows that it follows the trend, although its ratio of counselors to police is not as low as in some other cities.

Wolf budget makes progress on education
Letter to Standard Speaker by MICHELE PLANUTIS / PUBLISHED: MARCH 16, 2017
Michele Planutis is president, Hazleton Area Education Association
As an educator, I have devoted my career to helping students achieve their potential, and measuring and rewarding their progress. That is why I am supporting Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2017-18 state budget. It makes real progress in terms of providing the resources our students need.  Gov. Wolf has proposed a $100 million increase in basic education funding and a $25 million increase in special education funding. If the state House and Senate support these proposals, the governor will have increased basic education funding by more than $500 million since he took office, nearly enough to erase the school funding cuts approved by his predecessor in 2011.  Those cuts resulted in the loss of instructional programs, higher property taxes, and 27,000 education jobs lost statewide. Gov. Wolf inherited this school funding crisis, and he has made it a top priority to fix it.  Gov. Wolf also proposed a $2 million appropriation for school breakfast programs that, if enacted, will draw down tens of millions in federal funds. As a guidance counselor and former teacher, I can attest that no child is capable of real learning if he or she arrives at school hungry.  I encourage our state lawmakers to approve the school funding increases the governor has proposed. Let us finally give our students what they have gone without for six long years, and what they need going forward into the future.

DN editorial: Philadelphia teachers need a new deal, but can't expect miracles from city
Philly Daily News Editorial Updated: MARCH 19, 2017 — 6:07 PM EDT
YOU CAN'T GET blood out of a turnip.  That old saying applies to the current contract talks between the Philadelphia School District and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.  Actually, "current" is the wrong word. Maybe "never-ending" would be better.  The PFT and the 8,650 classroom teachers it represents hasn't had a contract in nearly four years. Its old one expired in 2013 and teachers have gone without any raises or step-up pay since then. That's a long dry spell.  The main issue dividing the sides is money. The district has offered a $115 million package over the next five years, with pay increases averaging four percent. However, there's a catch. The district also wants PFT members to contribute a portion of their salary to help pay for their health care. The teachers currently do not contribute. That surely will make a dent in any raises received.

U.S. court ruling could spur Pa. gerrymandering challenge
York Dispatch by Jason Addy , 505-5437/@JasonAddyYDPublished 8:03 p.m. ET March 15, 2017 | Updated 20 hours ago
·         A Wisconsin federal court struck down the state's district maps in November, ruling the plans were unconstitutionally gerrymandered.
·         A new gerrymandering measure presented in the case could form the basis of a challenge to Pennsylvania's maps.
Despite burgeoning public enthusiasm in Pennsylvania for an independent redistricting commission, it's not clear if the political will exists to pass the requisite constitutional amendment or whether it could be done in time for the next reapportionment.  But a recent federal court ruling has provided opponents of gerrymandering a new avenue to pursue.  After every U.S. Census, lawmakers who control the redistricting process must redraw electoral district boundaries, creating an opportunity for them to draw  maps that favor them come Election Day. Sometimes referred to as "incumbent protection plans," gerrymandered district maps that favor sitting representatives deprive voters of real choice and a real voice at the polls.  While Fair Districts PA and other organizations are fighting a multi-year battle to ensure parity in the next round of redistricting, a November ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin might have opened up opportunities for a quicker fix to  Pennsylvania’s current, much-maligned system.
http://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/15/us-court-ruling-could-spur-pa-gerrymandering-challenge/99008442/

This is how to get rid of gerrymandered districts
Washington Post By Ryan D. Williamson, Michael Crespin, Maxwell Palmer and Barry C. Edwards March 17 at 8:00 AM
Are American legislative districts drawn fairly — or are they tilted to make it easier for Republicans to win? Many observers believe that the answer is that they’re unfair — and believe that the United States needs dramatic reforms in how it draws those districts to ensure that voters aren’t disenfranchised and their voices are indeed heard.  We analyzed how different institutions over the past 45 years have drawn districts — and when the results are most likely to be less gerrymandered. Here’s what we found.
How important is redistricting reform?
Former president Barack Obama and former attorney general Eric Holder are focusing on combating gerrymandering and opposing redistricting plans that make it harder to Democrats to win.  Meanwhile, state and federal courts have been searching for a simple legal standard by which to evaluate gerrymandering.  The efficiency gap proposed in the Whitford v. Gill case offers one potential solution. This measures the number of “wasted” votes — those cast for losing candidates or for winning candidates beyond what was needed to win. All elections contain some wasted votes, but gerrymandered maps may produce more. Next, the measure compares the number of wasted votes from either party relative to all votes cast in the election. A positive difference between these numbers indicates an electoral advantage for the party with fewer wasted votes.  While the courts keep looking for an effective standard, a few states have tried different ways to draw districts that can reduce gerrymandering and improve representation.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/03/17/this-will-get-rid-of-gerrymandered-districts/?utm_term=.9d33adc9f6d1

GOP health plan would hit state budgets hard: Moody's
CNBC by John W. Schoen@johnwschoen Saturday, 18 Mar 2017 | 10:14 AM ETCNBC.com
A GOP-proposal to shift health-care costs to the states has many governors worried that the plan would create a financial squeeze on their budgets.  Now, municipal bondholders can share those concerns.  The Republican-proposed bill to replace Obamacare would hurt the credit ratings for U.S. states, according to Moody's Investors Service, because it would shift a greater share of the cost of Medicaid to the states.  That could raise borrowing costs for states and lower the value of bonds already held by investors.  The joint state-federal Medicaid program for low-income households grew rapidly under the six-year-old Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, and has been consuming a larger share of many state budgets every year.
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/18/gop-health-plan-would-hit-state-budgets-hard-moodys.html?utm_content=bufferd9955&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Trump Ed. Dept. Has Yet to Hit the Accelerator
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Alyson Klein March 17, 2017
Under the last two presidents, the U.S. Department of Education was a mighty—and mighty well-funded—agency. But, all signs point to it being much sleepier under President Donald Trump.
For one thing, the department’s bottom line may be about to plummet. Trump has proposed a 13 percent cut in funding for the agency, to $59 billion for the coming fiscal year. That could mean serious reductions to the department’s current workforce of about 4,000 employees.  The Trump administration also has been slow to hire a support team—even though the department is about to face the mammoth task of reviewing dozens of state plans to implement the new Every Student Succeeds Act. Those plans are due to start rolling in the beginning of next month.
Some educators and advocates—and even a few career staffers working inside the agency—say that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ priorities remain hazy, beyond a push for school choice.
The picture is a sharp contrast to the early days of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. Under Obama in 2009, Secretary Arne Duncan and his team were burning the midnight oil just weeks after taking office, trying to figure out how to help school districts and states make the best use of $100 billion in new money for education amid the nation’s dire economic circumstances.
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/03/17/trump-ed-dept-has-yet-to-hit.html

With No Senate-Confirmed Appointees, Who’s Helping DeVos Run the Education Department?
The 74 by CAROLYN PHENICIE  carolyn@the74million.org cphenicie March 19, 2017
Trump's late Ed Dept appointments, confirmations hurt operations, former Obama officials say
One of the main criticisms leveled at Education Secretary Betsy DeVos during her confirmation process was her lack of experience in education policy, and during her often-confrontational Senate hearing, she vowed to rely on department staff to help guide her in unfamiliar territory.
So far, though, DeVos is on her own. As of March 16, no one has been announced or formally nominated to fill the 14 posts within the Education Department that require Senate confirmation, such as general counsel and deputy secretaries. That is much slower than the Obama administration and, former officials say, impairs the department’s work in important ways.
“You would think that this administration would be working really hard to get people in place very quickly because it was very obvious that [DeVos] did not have a lot of expertise about school systems, postsecondary systems, or the specific federal programs she’s charged with implementing,” said Carmel Martin, who served as assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development under President Obama. Martin is now the executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank that has sharply criticized the Trump administration.
https://www.the74million.org/article/with-no-senate-confirmed-appointees-whos-helping-devos-run-the-education-department


The 2017 PenSPRA Symposium  Keeping Current: What’s New in School Communications April 7th Shippensburg
Join PenSPRA Friday, April 7, 2017 in Shippensburg, PA    9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with evening social events on Thursday, April 6th from 5 - 8 p.m. at the Shippensburg University Conference Center
The agenda is as follows: Supporting transgender students in our schools (9 am), Evaluating School Communications to Inform Your Effectiveness (10:30 am), and Cool Graphics Tools Hands-on Workshop (1:15 pm).

The $150 registration fee also includes breakfast, lunch and Thursday’s social!   You can find more details on the agenda and register for the Symposium here:
http://www.penspra.org/AnnualSymposium.aspx

Education Roundup: Recruitment fair for Black male educators March 25
Philly Trib by Ryanne Persinger Tribune Staff Writer Mar 13, 2017
The annual Career Fair for Black Male Educators for Social Justice will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, March 25, at Mastery Charter School’s Shoemaker Campus, 5301 Media St.

PA’s School-Based ACCESS Program is jeopardized under proposed federal cuts to Medicaid
Pennsylvania public schools are currently at risk of losing millions of dollars in federal funding to help pay for mandated services for students with special needs.
A PSBA Closer Look March 2017
https://www.psba.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ACL_ACCESS-program-jeopardized.pdf

Call your Congressman’s office today to let them know that Pennsylvania could lose over $140 million in reimbursement for services that school districts provide to special education students

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 #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 http://www.pasa-net.org/ev_calendar_day.asp?date=3/29/2017&eventid=63

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