Wednesday, April 5, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup April 5: Tax Credit Scholarships: A Laundromat for Tax Dollars

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup April 5, 2017:
Tax Credit Scholarships: A Laundromat for Tax Dollars

PSBA Advocacy Forum and Day on the Hill APR 24, 2017 • 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
“Nothing has more impact for legislators than hearing directly from constituents through events like PSBA’s Advocacy Forum.”
— Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), Senate Appropriations Committee chair

Blogger comment: The budget bill passed by the PA House yesterday includes a $75 million increase in the EITC/OSTC tax credit programs, which divert tax dollars to private and religious schools that have virtually no academic performance or fiscal accountability.  Private schools receiving diverted tax dollars are free to discriminate against any student for any reason.  Intermediate scholarship organizations get to keep 20% of the money with no transparency to the public.  At the end of the day the state has less money available to spend on public education and other public services.
Tax Credit Scholarships: A Laundromat for Tax Dollars
Have You Heard on Soundcloud Audio Runtime 34:51
Tax credit scholarships are a complex, controversial way of sending taxpayer dollars to private religious schools, allowing wealthy donors and corporations to reap huge windfalls in the process. Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire explore the origins of the wall between public money and private schools that these “neo vouchers” are intended to circumvent. They're joined by tax policy expert Carl Davis who They’re joined by tax policy expert Carl Davis who explains that tax credit scholarships have more in common with money laundering than with charitable giving.

“Unfortunately, under current law, private/religious schools that receive EITC/OSTC vouchers are allowed to discriminate against students for any reason, including disability, race, socio-economic status and religious affiliation. Students don’t have increased school “choice” unless a private school chooses to enroll them.  In addition, the vast majority of funding for private/religious school vouchers flows into large urban areas of the state, which are home to most of PA’s private/religious schools. Rural communities receive very few dollars from the EITC/OSTC programs.  To put the PA House’s proposed EITC/OSTC funding increase in perspective, Governor Wolf’s 2017-18 budget proposes a $100 million increase in Basic Education Funding for 1.7 million students who attend public schools. The PA House voted for a $55 million in increase in voucher funding for private/religious schools that educate 250,000 students.”
HB250: Increasing EITC/OSTC vouchers hurts PA taxpayers
Chambersburg Public Opinion Online Opinion by Susan Spicka 10:23 a.m. ET March 31, 2017
Increasing taxpayer-funded vouchers for private/religious schools has emerged as a top budget priority for state lawmakers.  Recently, the PA House approved legislation (HB 250) that would provide $55 million in new funding for private/religious school vouchers through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs. This 44% increase would bring total funding for vouchers in PA to $180 million/year.
The EITC and OSTC programs allow businesses to divert their tax payments away from the state and into private/religious schools. These programs have virtually no fiscal or academic performance accountability standards and there is no evidence that they have contributed to improved student achievement in PA.
The EITC/OSTC programs do, however, come at a steep cost to Pennsylvania taxpayers. Every tax dollar that is sent to private/religious schools through the EITC/OSTC programs creates a hole in the state budget that must be filled by hard-working Pennsylvanians.
In order to pay to for $55 million in new private/religious school voucher funding in the 2017-2018 budget, state lawmakers will need to either raise new taxes or cut programs and services from the budget that benefit Pennsylvanians.

Pa. House passes trimmed-back state budget with no new taxes, modest school funding increase
Penn Live By Charles Thompson |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on April 04, 2017 at 5:44 PM, updated April 04, 2017 at 6:05 PM
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has voted 114-84 to move its first edition of a state budget bill for 2017-18.  The measure passed on strong party lines Tuesday with all yes votes cast by Republicans, and just four of the majority Republicans joining all 80 Democrats on the floor in voting no.  The $31.5 billion spending plan, introduced earlier this week, is most significant for setting down some early markers from the House majority for weeks of budget deliberations ahead, including:
  • An insistence on no tax increases and no new borrowing to support current-year expenses. The Republican plan would turn first to expanded gambling and further liquor sales reforms for new state revenue.
  • Setting a likely floor of $31.5 billion for overall general fund spending, which is actually slightly below current-year spending levels. Gov. Tom Wolf's February proposal called for $32.3 billion in total spending.
  • Endorsement of the $100 million increase sought by Wolf in the state's main subsidy line for classroom instruction in public schools.
But there are battle lines drawn, too.
In brief floor debate, Democrats complained about what they termed as deep cuts into several human-services programs.  Wolf on Monday had criticized the GOP's proposed spending cuts in areas like assistance with child care expenses for low-income families; a $50 million trim to Wolf's $75 million boost in spending for pre-kindergarten programs; and $12 million slice to Commission on Crime and Delinquency funding that Wolf said will have a direct impact on the ability to provide overdose-reversing antidotes to local police.

County officials, top Dem object, but Pa. House GOP OKs pared-down budget bill
Inquirer by Karen Langley, HARRISBURG BUREAU  @karen_langley | Updated: APRIL 4, 2017 — 7:13 PM EDT
HARRISBURG -- House Republicans on Tuesday sent the Senate a pared-down budget bill over the objections of Democrats and county commissioners, who warned that the funding cuts could lead to property-tax increases.  The House approved the legislation by 114-84, with all Democrats and a few Republicans opposed.  House GOP leaders on Monday had unveiled the plan, which would spend $31.5 billion in the fiscal year that begins July 1, about $800 million less than the budget Gov. Wolf proposed in February.   The Republican-crafted budget would trim spending throughout government, including in areas such as human services and prisons.   "This budget may not be perfect, but this budget accomplishes many core goals that we as Republicans and Democrats say that we stand together on," Majority Leader Dave Reed (R., Indiana) said on the House floor. Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D., Allegheny) said the Republican budget had been written without input from Democrats. He said the plan falls short of the governor's proposal in its funding of early-childhood education and child care.

“Education funding would increase modestly for public schools, early childhood education, special education and the State System of Higher Education. The Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, which helps underwrite scholarships, would grow by $75 million.”
Divided House votes to advance Republican budget proposal
Morning Call by Associated Press April 4, 2017
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A divided Pennsylvania House on Tuesday gave its approval to a $31.5 billion Republican budget proposal that was touted by supporters as a way to fund priorities without increasing taxes.  The Republican-controlled House voted 114-84, with every Democrat joined by two Republicans in opposition.  The GOP-penned plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 faces the inevitability of months of tough negotiations with the Senate's Republican majority and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.  The plan relies heavily on spending cuts to help fill a projected $3 billion deficit, and would require nearly $800 million in new money to balance it, primarily from the expansion of casino-style gambling and private-sector sales of wine and liquor.  It would actually reduce spending by $246 million, or a little under 1 percent, after patching a current-year shortfall.
"We've got a chance to begin the process of changing our budget, a chance to begin the process of changing our government," said Majority Leader Dave Reed, R-Indiana.  His Democratic counterpart, Minority Leader Frank Dermody of Allegheny County, said the bill would not increase the minimum wage or impose a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production, despite what he described as large majority support for both ideas.

House passes GOP budget bill despite united Dem opposition
WITF Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Apr 5, 2017 4:49 AM
The budget proposal was able to pass on the strength of only Republican votes.
(Harrisburg) -- The state House has passed a Republican budget proposal that includes no new taxes and makes deep, across-the-board cuts to Governor Tom Wolf's spending plan.
The bill was only introduced two days ago and has been fast-tracked despite near-unanimous Democratic opposition.  It passed quickly on party lines, with just four Republicans breaking ranks to dissent.  House Majority Leader Dave Reed said it's a plan that will "get government back to its core functions.  "From pension and debt obligations to our correctional spending to entitlement programs--this budget seeks to being those costs back in line with reality," he told the House.
Meanwhile Democrats, like House Appropriations Committee Minority Chair Joe Markosek, condemn the sharp reductions in Human Services spending.  "This Republican budget bill cuts into the bone that many of us agree is already bare," he said.  "The economy is growing," he added. "More people are working. And yet we move on Pennsylvania taxpayers like they're the ones who have done something wrong."  The proposed cuts have also been criticized by the County Commissioner's Association, which said in a statement that they'll only increase local tax burdens.

Reinventing Government Starts With State Budget, House Republican Leaders Say
House Majority Leader Dave Reed’s website 4/4/2017
House GOP crafts $31.52 billion budget that eliminates deficit and funds our schools without new taxes or borrowing.
HARRISBURG – Taking up the challenge to deal with a potential $3 billion shortfall, House Republicans crafted a “smart budget” to begin the process of reinventing Pennsylvania government without raising or creating new taxes and also providing additional funding for key education and public safety programs. The budget bill, House Bill 218, passed the House today by a vote of 114 to 84, House Republican Leaders said.   “House Republicans are working to reverse the growth of government by using this opportunity to reinvent Pennsylvania government in the most efficient and effective ways – without raising taxes,” Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) said. “Our budget begins the process of a government reinvention – plotting a new course for Pennsylvania, punching holes in bureaucracy and focusing on government’s core functions.”   “This budget reflects our continued commitment to controlled spending and does not rely on the governor’s proposed tax hikes that could hurt our state’s economic future,” Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) said. “This plan reflects a no-tax, no-borrow budget; it does not mortgage our future, but places priorities on core government functions, especially quality education for our children.” 

“Many districts have still not recovered from the Great Recession,” said Mark DiRocco, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA).  He estimates that one-third of the state’s districts continue to slash programs and faculty positions or increase class sizes to make ends meet.  The biggest culprits, DiRocco said, are skyrocketing teacher pension costs and the failure of state and federal school aid to keep pace.”
Quakertown looks to close two schools, furlough 50 staff to make ends meet
Inquirer by Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer  @Kathy_Boccella | Updated: APRIL 4, 2017 — 5:07 PM EDT
After 30 years of nonstop property-tax increases, the superintendent of the Quakertown Community School District says only one way is left to balance the books: Immediately shut down an aging middle school, close an elementary school next year, end an expensive cyber-learning program, and furlough 50 teachers and other staff.  William Harner calls his plan to save his Upper Bucks district “a paradigm shift.” Some parents are using much less kind words to describe it.  “We were blindsided completely,” said Emily George. She is sending her two children to different elementary schools because of Quakertown’s last redistricting and now may have to send one of them, a third grader who is on the autism spectrum, to yet another school. She called Harner's proposed solution to the district’s $4.8 million budget gap “horrible.”  The fiscal strife in the district, encompassing a mostly blue-collar community between Philadelphia and Allentown where more than a quarter of the 5,240 public school students live in poverty, is a jarring example of what administrators regionwide are facing: large structural budget gaps that aren’t going away, even as the overall economy improves and headlines about a state education-funding crisis fade.

SB406: A good idea or meddling?
Intelligencer Editorial Apr 4, 2017 Updated 15 hrs ago
Montgomery County state Sen. John Rafferty, R-44, has come up with a plan designed to make it harder for school boards to raise taxes. Under Rafferty's Senate Bill 406, which the Education Committee unanimously advanced last week, a tax increase would require a two-thirds majority vote (six) of school directors. The measure would put an end to tax increases passed by a 5-4 vote, such as the one in Council Rock last June. (Six votes would be necessary even if fewer than all nine school board members voted.)  Rafferty, a former school director himself, reasons that requiring six votes for a tax increase would encourage more thought and deliberation among board members before they raise taxes on, in his words, "the most important part of ownership, which is one's house."  It's true enough that taxing real estate is an archaic mechanism for raising revenue that frequently ignores one's ability to pay. At the same time, the property tax provides the lion's share of support for public education because that's the system the Legislature has allowed to remain in place. For those same Harrisburg lawmakers to dictate how school boards have to vote in order to raise the money they need strikes a number of local school officials as meddling where they don't belong.  For one thing, we've rarely seen a tax increase in any school district that was not the result of careful deliberation. Many taxpayers might differ, but no school board goes into budget discussions bent on sticking it to residents.

Another View: Why standardized testing is failing our kids, schools
Delco Times Opinion By Jerry Oleksiak, Times Guest Columnist POSTED: 04/03/17
Jerry Oleksiak is a special education teacher in the Upper Merion Area School District, and president of the 180,000-member Pennsylvania State Education Association.
For years, educators have spoken out forcefully about the toxic effect standardized tests have on public schools.  As a teacher with more than 30 years of experience in the classroom, I’ve spoken out to my students’ parents, my colleagues, and to state and federal officials. But you don’t have to just ask me. Ask the classroom teachers in your community. They will tell you that too much standardized testing is interfering with teaching and learning.  Students spend 12 hours taking the Pennsylvania State Standardized Assessment tests and Keystone Exams each year. Students lose up to 110 hours each year on standardized tests and test preparation. For teachers, that’s a loss of valuable time that could be spent providing assistance to students who are struggling, and enrichment to students who have mastered content knowledge and skills in core subjects.
The impact of over testing and overemphasizing test scores has undermined the fundamental hallmarks of great teaching. It stifles creativity and innovation in the classroom in order to devote more classroom time and resources to prepare, administer, and remediate students around tests mandated by state and federal laws.  Even worse, in communities struggling with inadequate funding and strict accountability policies based on test scores, schools have increasingly done away with subjects like art, history, and music to focus on the mandated tests. There are additional negative consequences: over testing narrows the curriculum, forcing teaching to the test, driving teachers out of the profession, and stamping out children’s innate love of learning.

As enrollment falls, Innovative Arts Academy restructures leadership
Sarah M. Wojcik Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call April 3, 2017
Six months into its first year, Innovative Arts Academy Charter School is restructuring its leadership as its student enrollment has dropped and it has faced delays in key classroom construction.  Principal Douglas Taylor and Vice Principal Lori Moeck started their jobs Monday, days after the Board of Trustees scrapped a chief executive officer post to save money. That decision is raising questions with a legal expert about whether trustees adhered to the state's Sunshine Act.  The school offers career-focused curriculum in journalism, culinary arts, graphic arts and fashion design to students in grades six through 12. But it wasn't able to complete its graphic design classroom and culinary arts kitchen until the start of the second half of the school year.  Meanwhile, its enrollment has steadily fallen, going from 283 in September to 250 students in March. School leaders previously said they needed 300 students to open it doors.  School officials concede they had a rough start. But they insist the future is promising for the school, which moved into its Catasauqua building after Medical Academy Charter School closed over financial troubles and low enrollment.

Philly teachers: District windfall should mean new contract
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer  @newskag | Updated: APRIL 4, 2017 — 1:41 PM EDT
The Philadelphia School District stands to receive $65 million annually in new money, thanks to the city’s reassessment of commercial properties.  District teachers, who have gone without a contract for almost four years and without a raise for almost five, think they know just how to use that revenue stream: Give them a new deal.  Backed by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, educators are tweeting, emailing, and calling Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. and the School Reform Commission, demanding that the district put its money where its mouth is.  “Everybody says, ‘If we had more money, we would love to give you a contract,' ” said Kathie Tomczuk, a 14-year veteran teacher at Farrell Elementary School in the Northeast. “Now, they have more money. Did they mean what they said?”

How Community Schools Plan to Build Up Neighborhoods
City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Education
An initiative funded by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax, the City’s community schools initiative focuses on meeting local students’ and families’ needs in neighborhood hubs: schools.
To address those needs, the School District of Philadelphia and the Mayor’s Office of Education formed plans to cover the needs of schools as identified by students, parents, teachers, community members, and other partners. This comprehensive assessment involved a variety of input from more than 2,000 community members as well as 500 others who participated in 50 in-person focus groups.  There are some common themes across all the schools, including:
  • Job training and access to job opportunities.
  • Food insecurity and access to healthy foods.
  • Access to physical, social, and emotional health services, including the need for a “trauma informed” approach to serving students.
  • Access to clothing and uniforms.
  • Cultural and social opportunities.
Along with these overarching needs, each community school has its own specific plan, customized and relevant to the surrounding neighborhood’s unique concerns.  You can read briefs about each plan below or visit the Community School Plans site to check out the comprehensive plans in their entirety.

“The city will defend its 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened and diet beverages. The tax, levied on distributors, is expected to funnel $92 million per year into the city’s general fund to pay for pre-K, community schools. and an overhaul of parks and recreation centers. Mark A. Aronchick will present arguments on behalf of the city.”
Appellate panel to hear soda tax arguments
Inquirer by Julia Terruso, Staff Writer  @JuliaTerruso | Updated: APRIL 4, 2017 — 3:34 PM EDT
The city’s sweetened-beverage tax is headed back to court.  A panel of seven Commonwealth Court justices will hear arguments over the legality of the tax Wednesday in Pittsburgh.  The American Beverage Association, along with several Philadelphia residents and businesses, filed suit against the tax in September. A Common Pleas Court judge rejected their arguments and upheld the tax in DecemberThe decision was appealed to Commonwealth Court, a statewide appellate court responsible for cases involving local governments.  Tax opponents will argue in a morning hearing that the lower court’s dismissal of their challenge should be reversed and the tax overturned. Shanin Specter and Charles Becker of Kline & Specter PC and Marc J. Sonnenfeld, John P. Lavelle Jr., and Thomas J. Sullivan of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP are representing the challengers. 

Spring Grove school board approves preliminary budget
York Dispatch by Junior Gonzalez , 505-5439/@JuniorG_YD10:23 p.m. ET April 3, 2017
The Spring Grove School Board’s preliminary budget proposal includes a 3.2 percent tax increase for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.  The proposed general fund budget cites expected total revenues of $64.9 million and expenditures of $68.9 million. The expected shortfall of almost $4 million would be covered by the general fund.  All school board members present at Monday's meeting quickly voted in favor of the proposal, which was approved with a budget notice for public inspection and advertising.  Each 1 percent increase equals approximately $350,000 in revenue for the district.

Bethlehem schools' water still lead-free 1 year later
Lehigh Valkley Live BY SARA K. SATULLO Updated on April 4, 2017 at 8:30 PM Posted on April 4, 2017 at 6:17 PM
A year after a WFMZ report alleged high levels of lead in the drinking water at a Bethlehem area school, the school district reported the water is still safe to drink.   Recent samples taken from 27 district buildings turned up no readings at the threshold of 1 part per billion, said Mark Stein, Bethlehem Area School Districtchief facilities and operations officer.  "This was just a health check," Stein said. "We can say we are alright, we are doing OK."  Primary sources of drinking water, such as a kitchen and water fountains, were tested and resulted in 112 samples being collected from 27 buildings, Stein said.

'Ghost teachers': Education dollars misspent
TRIBUNE-REVIEW Editorial Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Amid the ceaseless clamor for more funding for K-12 public schools, more attention should be paid to where taxpayers' education dollars already go — such as to “ghost teachers,” who are on the public payroll but work for teachers unions.  Among Pennsylvania's 500 public school districts, 111 — almost one in four — “authorize ghost teachers in their collective bargaining agreements,” according to the Commonwealth Foundation. Among such districts, it lists about three dozen in Southwestern Pennsylvania, with union reimbursement covering “ghost teacher” costs in only a few.  In too many districts, “ghost teachers” — sometimes said to be on “release time” or “union release” — not only cash taxpayer-funded paychecks, they also accrue seniority and receive taxpayer-funded pensions and health benefits. Yet they do so not while working in classrooms, the foundation says, but “while working for a private organization” — a teachers union.

Trump says DeVos is ‘highly respected’, U.S. education is ‘so sad’ — and there’s more
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss April 4 at 1:00 PM 
President Trump was asked Tuesday about his education priorities and how he would address “the disconnect” between skills that companies are looking for and what young people entering the workforce are able to offer. This is what he said:
  • “If you look at so many elements of education, and it is so sad to see what is coming, happening in the country.”
  • He really likes charter schools and doesn’t think they are “an experiment” anymore.
  • The Common Core State Standards has “to end” because “we have to bring education local.”
  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is “doing a terrific job,” is “highly respected” and has “a tremendous track record.”
At the town hall event in Washington, Catherine Engelbert, chief executive of Deloitte, asked him about his priorities “around education” and around “the work of the future.”  She noted that the New York City public high school graduation rate is 70 percent, but the readiness of students for college and career is assessed at 37 percent, and she asked him to explain his education priorities given the extraordinary pace of change in the workplace and the “disconnect between what employers need and what are our students coming into the workforce are prepared to deliver.”

Donald Trump Praises Betsy DeVos and Urges More Local Control Over Education
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Andrew Ujifusa on April 4, 2017 12:30 PM
President Donald Trump repeated a few promises related to the Common Core State Standards and education governance from his 2016 campaign, and also praised Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, at a town hall of business executives in Washington on Tuesday.   In response to a question about college- and career readiness at the event, Trump sharply criticized the academic performance of students New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, while also praising charter schools. "I don't call it an experiment any more. It's far beyond an experiment," he said of charters. (More on recent academic performance of students in Chicago and L.A. here.)
He then moved on to one of his key priorities for education: shifting control from federal to state and local leaders. You can watch video of Trump's remarks on schools beginning at about the 2-hour, 2-minute mark in the video below:  "We have to bring education more local. We can't be managing education from Washington," Trump said, adding that when he goes to states to discuss education policy, "they want to run their school programs locally. And they'll do a much better job [than Washington]." He added that many federal bureaucrats can't match state officials' grasp of what their schools need.

PSBA Spring Town Hall Meetings coming in May!
Don’t be left in the dark on legislation that affects your district! Learn the latest from your legislators at PSBA Spring Town Hall Meetings. Conveniently offered at 10 locations around the state throughout May, this event will provide you with the opportunity to interact face-to-face with key lawmakers from your area. Enjoy refreshments, connect with colleagues, and learn what issues impact you and how you can make a difference. Log in to the Members Area to register today for this FREE event!
  • Monday, May 1, 6-8 p.m. — Parkway West CTC, 7101 Steubenville Pike, Oakdale, PA 15071
  • Tuesday, May 2, 7:30-9 a.m. — A W Beattie Career Center, 9600 Babcock Blvd, Allison Park, PA 15101
  • Tuesday, May 2, 6-8 p.m. — Crawford County CTC, 860 Thurston Road, Meadville, PA 16335
  • Wednesday, May 3, 6-8 p.m. — St. Marys Area School District, 977 S. St Marys Road, Saint Marys, PA 15857
  • Thursday, May 4, 6-8 p.m. — Central Montco Technical High School, 821 Plymouth Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
  • Friday, May 5, 7:30-9 a.m. — Lehigh Carbon Community College, 4525 Education Park Dr, Schnecksville, PA 18078
  • Monday, May 15, 6-8 p.m. — CTC of Lackawanna Co., 3201 Rockwell Avenue, Scranton, PA 18508
  • Tuesday, May 16, 6-8 p.m. — PSBA, 400 Bent Creek Boulevard, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
  • Wednesday, May 17, 6-8 p.m. — Lycoming CTC, 293 Cemetery Street, Hughesville, PA 17737
  • Thursday, May 18, 6-8 p.m. — Chestnut Ridge SD, 3281 Valley Road, Fishertown, PA 15539
For assistance with registration, please contact Michelle Kunkel at 717-506-2450 ext. 3365.

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:

PSBA Advocacy Forum and Day on the Hill APR 24, 2017 • 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Join PSBA and your fellow school directors for the fourth annual Advocacy Forum on April 24, 2017, at the State Capitol in Harrisburg. Hear from legislators on how advocacy makes a difference in the legislative process and the importance of public education advocacy. Government Affairs will take a deeper dive into the legislative priorities and will provide tips on how to be an effective public education advocate. There will be dedicated time for you and your fellow advocates to hit the halls to meet with your legislators on public education. This is your chance to share the importance of policy supporting public education and make your voice heard on the Hill.
“Nothing has more impact for legislators than hearing directly from constituents through events like PSBA’s Advocacy Forum.”
— Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), Senate Appropriations Committee chair

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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