Thursday, April 6, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup April 6: PBPC Report: EITC/OSTC - Still No Accountability with Taxpayer-Funded Vouchers for Private & Religious School Tuition

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup April 6, 2017:
PBPC Report: EITC/OSTC - Still No Accountability with Taxpayer-Funded Vouchers for Private & Religious School Tuition

PSBA Advocacy Forum & 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

PBPC Report: Still No Accountability with Taxpayer-Funded Vouchers for Private and Religious School Tuition
Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center Report By Stephen Herzenberg and Rachel Tabachnick
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - Despite Pennsylvania’s structural deficit and Governor Wolf’s proposal to cut tax credits by $100 million in 2017-18, lawmakers are currently considering expanding by 44%, or $55 million, two programs that already provide $125 million in taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend religious or other private schools. As well as diverting additional revenues from the General Fund without a revenue source in sight, this expansion is problematic because of a complete lack of financial and educational accountability within the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) program and the part of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program that funds taxpayer-funded vouchers. Two of many issues with these voucher programs, revealed in this report, are the extent to which curricula at schools attended by taxpayer-subsidized scholarships teach creationism and present the bible as literal truth in history and other subjects; and the extent to which tax-credit dollars, while marketed as serving low-income students in low-performing school districts, subsidize exclusive private schools catering mostly to the very affluent.

Read the full PBPC report here:

Tax Credit Scholarships: A Laundromat for Tax Dollars
Have You Heard on Soundcloud Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire 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.

PA House Passes GOP Budget Wolf Calls A ‘Good Starting Point’
KYW April 4, 2017 8:00 PM By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG (CBS) — Voting mostly along party lines, the state House has sent the Senate a Republican-crafted budget bill in response to the spending plan proposed by Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.  The House Republican budget now on its way to the Senate calls for spending $800 million dollars less than what Governor Wolf proposed. And a key House Democrat poured cold water on it, saying the GOP budget cuts “into the bone.” But Democratic Governor Tom Wolf wasn’t in panic mode Tuesday during an appearance on Pittsburgh sister station KDKA.  “It’s a good starting point. And we’re already talking, which is a good thing. And you’ve got to say, this early April,” said Wolf. “They’ve come up with a budget [in] early April. So, this is a good sign that we’re going to have a good, productive set of conversations.” The governor says he is pleased that the House Republicans preserved his proposed increases for basic and special education, but cited less funding than he wants for early childhood education and for efforts to battle opioid addiction as drawbacks of the GOP plan.

“Under Turzai’s bill, the total amount of taxes that can be used this way in a given year would increase from $175 million to $250 million.  Many education advocates, including Cowell, think that instead of this increase there should be $75 million more, at least, sent to school districts.  “A lot of observers are wondering how the legislature can be giving serious consideration to more tax credits that reduce revenue to the state at a time when one of the major problems is insufficient revenues” to fulfill the constitutional mandate of a “thorough and efficient” education for all children, said Cowell.  “It’s a numbers question -- can you afford to give up more money when you don’t have enough to begin with?”
Education spending going up but need, inequities remain
Advocates are working to increase overall state share of education aid to school districts.
The notebook by Dale Mezzacappa April 5, 2017 — 10:54am
The budget process for next year is well underway in Harrisburg and spending on education is on a track to increase.  But advocates say that under current proposals the state will make but a small dent in the perennial quests to make sure all students have what they need, to reduce inequities between low-income and well-off districts, and to increase the overall state share of education spending.  “Clearly the budget proposal this year is not very ambitious in terms of extra money for K-12,” said Ron Cowell, executive director of the Education Policy and Leadership Center, and a former Democratic legislator.  However, he said, it is “realistic,” given that the state faces a structural deficit of nearly $3 billion and that Republicans continue to oppose raising taxes. The legislative leadership also prefers measures that promote school choice over sending windfalls of additional money to traditional school districts.  Gov. Wolf proposed an additional $100 million for basic education, $25 million for special education, and $75 million for pre-K. In late March, the House passed a budget that keeps the increases for basic and special education, but reduces the additional pre-K investment to $25 million.  At the same time, the House passed a bill sponsored by Speaker Mike Turzai that will increase two tax credit programs that funnel scholarship money to families so they can send their children to private and parochial schools. The Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) allow corporations to donate to scholarships or educational organizations in lieu of paying taxes. They can take a credit for 75 percent of taxes owed and can take a deduction for the difference.

Bill ensures bankruptcy for more schools
Republican Herald EDITORIAL / PUBLISHED: APRIL 5, 2017
There is cynical symmetry to a state Senate bill that would require local school boards to have a “supermajority,” or two-thirds vote, to raise property taxes.  When Pennsylvania lawmakers refuse to shift or increase state-level taxes to help pay for public education, they protect themselves politically but don’t really save money for anyone. Instead, they pass on those costs to school boards, which have little choice but to raise local taxes because the Legislature itself has maintained over-reliance on local property taxes to fund schools. Then, with this cynical Senate bill, the very same lawmakers who have shirked their duty pretend to protect taxpayers from their local school boards.  As noted by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, there are two major drivers for recent property tax increases. Due to greed magnified by incompetence, the Legislature in 2001 increased school employees’ salaries by 25 percent without figuring out a way to pay for it and, in fact, advised school districts to hold off on pension payments in favor of projected investment income that never materialized.  Now, districts face pension contributions equal to about a third of their payrolls.

ACLU backs Boyertown schools in transgender lawsuit
By Evan Brandt, The Mercury POSTED: 04/04/17, 7:36 PM EDT
BOYERTOWN >> The American Civil Liberties Union has joined the legal dispute over the Boyertown Area School district’s transgender locker room policy in support of the district.
The district “did the right thing in affirming and respecting their students’ gender identity,” Reggi Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said in a prepared statement issued Monday.  The lawsuit was filed last month by the parents of an unidentified 11th-grade male student who objected after seeing a female who identifies as a male undressing in the high school boys locker room.  The Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based conservative Christian organization, is co-counseling the student and his family in the suit, along with the Independence Law Center, a Pennsylvania-based pro-bono legal organization dedicated to advancing civil rights.  The ACLU, both the national and Pennsylvania chapters, intervened on behalf of another Boyertown student, Aidan DeStefano, who is transgender and asserts he would be harmed by the reversal of the current policy.

“On Monday, one audience member read from the NAACP's statement on charter schools, which includes that they should be subject to the same transparency and accountability standards as traditional schools; public funds should not be diverted to them at the expense of public schools; that charters should cease expelling students public schools have a duty to educate; and that charter schools should "cease to perpetuate de facto segregation of the highest performing children from those whose aspirations may be high but whose talents are not yet as obvious."
Easton NAACP hosts discussion with founder of Easton Arts Academy Elementary Charter School
Michelle Merlin Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call April 3, 2017
A local branch of the NAACP took a closer look at an issue the national chapter has already tackled: charter schools.  The national NAACP has called for a moratorium on charter schools, but Marvin Boyer, the political chair of the Easton branch of the NAACP, said he wanted to help educate himself and the community about Easton's first charter school, which is scheduled to open for the next school year. So Monday night, Thomas Lubben, the founder of Easton Arts Academy Elementary Charter School, spoke at a regular meeting of the Easton branch of the NAACP, which was open to the public.  Lubben was met with a mixture of encouragement and skepticism.  Boyer said he wanted to create an opportunity to see how the two groups might work together. He said he also has concerns about charter school fairness.  "I look at this as an opportunity to see how we might work together for the betterment of people that we're trying to help. They're trying to educate the students, we're trying to see the students educated to have a good future," Boyer said.

Charter critics ignore fiscal, education realities
Inquirer Opinion By Mike Wang Updated: APRIL 6, 2017 — 3:01 AM EDT
Mike Wang is executive director of Philadelphia School Advocacy Partners. 
All of us agree that every child in Philadelphia deserves a chance at a quality education. Yet the bitter debate for years has been a zero sum game - that is, whether traditional public schools or public charter schools offer the best shot at achieving that goal.  The current flashpoint for this battle is over "stranded costs," the expenses the School District of Philadelphia bears when children leave district schools to attend a public charter. It's time for a little truth-telling on this issue, and we need look no further than the district's recently released study on stranded costs, known as the Afton Report, which reaches a telling conclusion.  The report makes clear that the School District could eliminate the vast majority of its stranded costs if it were to make better decisions about how it spends money.

Philly’s Read by 4th website has new tools for parents
The notebook by Darryl Murphy April 5, 2017 — 4:36pm
Philadelphia’s childhood literacy initiative Read By 4th’s website has new tools for parents and others to help young readers.    The site now includes specific tips and resources for helping children from infancy to age nine. The resources are broken out by three age groups, 0-2, 3-4, and 5-9.    Also, parents and community members can follow the progress of Read By 4th’s six-part plan to make sure all students read proficiently by the time they enter 4th grade. Currently, a third of students reach that level.    For instance, visitors to the site can find data of progress on such indicators as attendance rates, teacher training, after-school programming, and pre-K enrollment. One piece of data: the rate of kindergarten through third graders who attend school at least 95 percent of the time rose by more than three percent in 2015-16 school year.

Philly Beverage Tax: Where the money goes
How does the tax break down?
City of Philadelphia Office of the Mayor
The Philadelphia Beverage Tax, passed by City Council and signed into law by Mayor Kenney on June 20, 2016, provides revenue the City is using to fund three critical anti-poverty programs: PHLpreK, Community Schools, and Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild). Beginning on January 1, 2017, the City began collecting the Philly Bev Tax on the distribution of sweetened beverages.

The unique case for rural charter schools
Rural schools are an often overlooked part of the public education system.
The Conversation By Karen Eppley, Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, Pennsylvania State University April 4, 2017 9.10pm EDT
The recent appointment of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education has brought rural schools into the national conversation in ways never seen before. At her confirmation hearing, DeVos said that guns might have a place in schools in order to protect from “potential grizzlies” in places like Wapiti, Wyoming.  While the comments about grizzly bears and guns were well-publicized, there was considerably less talk about how DeVos’ pro-charter school agenda could play out in rural communities like Wapiti.  As a rural education researcher and a lifelong rural resident, I can attest that rural communities and schools are distinct places of teaching and learning.  Though not often at the center of the national conversation, 33 percent of all U.S. public schools – including Wapiti Elementary – are classified as rural. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that rural schools enroll a total of 9.7 million children. A quarter-million of them attend charter schools.  Under DeVos’ leadership, this number is expected to grow with increased federal support. Although few in number as compared to urban charter schools, charter schools in rural communities are distinct because of the conditions under which they are opened and operated. Like most rural schools, rural charter schools are closely connected to their rural communities.

Bill to eliminate out-of-school suspensions for elementary school students introduced in House
ABC27 News By Matt Heckel Published: April 4, 2017, 9:39 pm  Updated: April 5, 2017, 2:51 am
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A new bill introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday would eliminate most out-of-school suspensions for elementary school students in the Commonwealth.  House Bill 715 would get rid of out-of-school suspension as a punishment for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, in instances of minor disobedience or misconduct. Out-of-school suspension would still be an option in more major cases, like those dealing with violence.  Co-sponsors of the bill argue that those suspensions can put a burden on families, with parents having to take time off work to watch their children or pay for daycare.  They also say those suspensions can have a long-term, negative impact on the students, who may find it difficult to catch back up in the classroom.  “Young people who are suspended at a higher rate, tend to fall behind in their school work,” Rep. Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said. “And because of falling behind in their school work, many of them fall out of school. And what we know is, when they drop out of school, sadly, many of them drop into our criminal justice centers.”  Harris says the bill would disrupt what he calls the “school to prison pipeline.”  He hopes the bill will ultimately be placed into law, even if it isn’t passed in the current session.

South Middleton School District looks at 7.1 percent tax hike
Joseph Cress The Sentinel  Apr 3, 2017
South Middleton School Board Monday got its first close look at a proposed revenue strategy that calls for a 7.1-percent tax increase to reduce the projected budget deficit for 2017-2018 from $2.9 million to $1.65 million.  The strategy would use a combination of increases allowed under the Act 1 Index and two Act 1 exceptions to generate about $1.25 million in new revenue to offset the deficit, said Matthew Ulmer, district operations and business manager.  The board may vote on this strategy on May 15 when it considers the adoption of the proposed final budget for next school year. Final budget adoption is scheduled for June 19.  If approved, the strategy would hike the tax rate by a total of .6825 mills, from the current 9.5526 mills to a proposed 10.2351 mills. The average homeowner will pay an additional $146.74 in school taxes next year, Ulmer said. He said the average home in the district is assessed at $215,000.  The meeting Monday was used to outline the revenue strategy. Board meetings are scheduled for April 10, 18 and 24 to review expenditures and to discuss possible cuts and other changes to offset the remaining $1.65 million shortfall.

Easton Area preliminary budget doesn't exceed index
Lehigh Valley Live BY RUDY MILLER Updated on April 5, 2017 at 4:46 PM Posted on April 5, 2017 at 4:28 PM
The Easton Area School District got permission to raise taxes next year more than 3.2 percent, but the district won't need to take advantage of that leeway.  Chief Operating Officer Michael Simonetta said the newly-revised preliminary budget for 2017-18 calls for a 3.2 percent tax increase, which is right at the state-set index.  The school district successfully sought exceptions to raise taxes as high as 4.8 percent in the event the budget couldn't be balanced. But Simonetta and his staff brought it in at the index.  "We're moving forward. We're increasing our programs. We're addressing our facility needs and we're doing it within the confines of the index," he said at Tuesday's school board meeting.

Czech students visit South Side schools
Beaver County Times By Katherine Schaeffer April 6, 2017
GREENE TWP. -- Last summer, a group of South Side High School students traveled to the Czech Republic where they stayed with host families and experienced the country’s language, culture and cuisine.  This week, those students return the favor for nearly 20 Czech high schoolers and adult chaperones who completed the more than 4,000 mile journey from Eastern Europe to Pittsburgh on Thursday evening.  A contingent of students, educators and community leaders from the Czech town of Zábřeh will spend a week visiting western Pennsylvania as part of a partnership South Side has sustained for more than a decade with Zábřeh’s high school. Each member of the group, which includes Gymnázium Zábřeh’s headmaster and the town’s mayor, will stay with a South Side host family.  Through the program, South Side students and faculty travel to the Czech Republic for about two weeks, where they stay with host families whose children attend Zábřeh’s high school. Later that school year, they’ll have the opportunity to play host when students from the Czech high school travel to western Pennsylvania.  

Orchard at BEA could have more benefits than just growing fruit
Centre Daily Times BY BRITNEY MILAZZO APRIL 5, 2017 1:58 PM
A former food service director at Bald Eagle Area School District had a vision for a student-run orchard, where the produce would be used in school meals.  Although Mark Ott retired from the district last year, his vision could turn into a reality with help from a student teacher.  As part of student teaching requirements, Penn State student Michael Cahill has been shadowing BEA agriculture teacher Todd Biddle.  Cahill created an orchard management lesson plan in January with nine students in the school’s horticulture class. The goal, Cahill said, is to teach students how to run an orchard using the one planted by Ott. The mission this semester is to rejuvenate the trees and encourage healthy growth.  Students have been pruning the trees and managing the surroundings and other plant life that competes with the trees for nutrients.

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America first, children last: Trump’s budget hurts students and educators
Post Gazette Opinion by NINA ESPOSITO-VISGITIS 12:00 AM APR 6, 2017
Nina Esposito-Visgitis is the president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers Donald Trump swept into office on populist promises to improve the lives of working families in Pennsylvania and the country, but his “America First” budget puts their children last.
Mr. Trump’s education budget not only attacks programs that help low-income children; it also hurts students and educators across the board by cutting money to reduce class sizes, provide professional development to teachers, offer after-school and summer programs in hundreds of Pennsylvania communities and allow deserving students to get into and graduate from college. Reminding us just how out of touch the billionaire education secretary is, Betsy DeVos had the audacity to claim that Mr. Trump’s education budget protects the “nation’s most vulnerable populations,” and “invests in underserved communities.” The reality is quite different.  Mr. Trump’s budget slashes spending by 14 percent, or $9 billion, the largest dollar cut to the education budget ever. Pennsylvania would lose $42.2 million in 21st Century Community Learning Center funding. That means 42,265 Pennsylvania children will lose summer and after-school programs, which have a proven record of improving student academic success, engaging parents, making schools safer and providing nutrition to children facing food insecurity.

“The findings undercut a key contention of the lawmakers and advocacy groups pressing to expand the state's ESA program: that financially disadvantaged families from struggling schools reap the benefit of expanded school choice.  Critics, meanwhile, argue the program is largely being used by more-affluent families to subsidize their private-school tuition bills. The ESA program allows parents to take 90 percent of the money that would have gone to their school district and put it toward private school, home schooling and other educational programs.”
Arizona taxpayer-funded vouchers benefiting students in more-affluent areas
Rob O'Dell and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez , The Republic | azcentral.comPublished 7:49 a.m. MT March 30, 2017 | Updated 1:23 p.m. MT March 30, 2017
As Arizona’s school-voucher program has expanded rapidly in the past year, students using taxpayer aid to transfer from public to private schools are abandoning higher-performing districts in more-affluent areas, according to an Arizona Republic analysis.  This year, more than 75 percent of the money pulled out of public schools for the Empowerment Scholarship Account program came from districts with an "A" or "B" rating, the analysis showed. By contrast, only 4 percent of the money came from school districts rated "D" or lower.  The findings undercut a key contention of the lawmakers and advocacy groups pressing to expand the state's ESA program: that financially disadvantaged families from struggling schools reap the benefit of expanded school choice.  Critics, meanwhile, argue the program is largely being used by more-affluent families to subsidize their private-school tuition bills. The ESA program allows parents to take 90 percent of the money that would have gone to their school district and put it toward private school, home schooling and other educational programs.

Community Schools Are Turnaround Models
Education Week Reality Check Blog By Walt Gardner on April 5, 2017 7:59 AM
Amid the disheartening news about public education comes an uplifting story that offers much needed hope ("Who Needs Charters When You Have Public Schools Like These?" Apr. 2).  Consider the Union Public Schools district in Tulsa, Okla., which has overcome practically every obstacle to provide a state-of-the-art education in science, technology, engineering, and math to its students.  Despite spending only $7,605 a year in state and local funds per student, which is about one third less than the national average, and paying its veteran teachers with advanced degrees less than $50,000,  Union had a high school graduation rate of 89 percent.  That compares with the national average of 82 percent.  Its attendance has risen while its suspensions have plummeted. It's important to note that 70 percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunches and more than one third are Hispanic, many of whom English language learners.  What explains these remarkable results?  In a nutshell: community schools that offer wraparound services. Union opens early and closes late.  It provides parents with access to a health care clinic in the school or nearby.  Parents are given referrals to job-training, and teenage mothers are offered day care for their infants.  In short, Union has transformed itself into a comprehensive neighborhood resource.  

Schwarzenegger blasts Trump for proposed education cuts: 'That's not how you make America great'
In the latest round of the simmering feud between Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Trump, the former California governor on Wednesday blasted the president’s proposal to slash federal funding for after-school programs.  “President Trump promised us that he wants to make America great again. That’s not how you make America great, by taking $1.2 billion away from the children and robbing them blind,” he told a packed crowd at a summit on after-school programs at USC. “Why would you do that? Why would you balance the budget on the backs of these kids? Kids are the most vulnerable citizens. Kids are our future.”  The cut is part of a Trump administration budget proposal released last month that would reduce federal education spending by $9 billion, or 13.5%.   Schwarzenegger argued that such a move was penny wise but pound foolish, adding that investing in after-school programs now would save future government spending because they keep children out of trouble and provide academic and physical enrichment.
It’s the same argument he successfully made in 2002, when he pushed for the passage of Proposition 49, which earmarks $550 million in annual funding for after-school programs in California. The ballot measure, which was supported by a broad array of interests, was the political foundation of Schwarzenegger’s successful run for governor the following year.

Trump Promises to Spend Big on Education Weeks After Proposing Billions in Cuts
The president touted the benefits of charter schools and local control when asked about how the administration might help give students the skills CEOs are looking for.
US News By Lauren Camera, Education Reporter | April 4, 2017, at 12:36 p.m.
Just weeks after President Donald Trump proposed axing $9 billion in federal education programs, he said his administration is planning to “spend a lot of money” on education in order to increase the number of students graduating with the skills needed to fill current employment gaps.  “We’re going to spend a lot of money … and we’re going to get some great talent having to do with education because there is nothing more important than education,” he said at a town hall for CEOs Tuesday morning.  The comments were in response to a question about how the administration might help better prepare students to graduate with the skills CEOs are looking for, in particular through the expansion of apprenticeship programs and public-private partnerships.
But in answering, Trump largely fell back to campaign rhetoric, slamming the Common Core State Standards, touting the benefits of charter schools, and promising to return the decision-making power over education to state and local school leaders.

School board race in Chicago suburb highlights fight over transgender bathroom use
Washington Post By Moriah Balingit and Sandhya Somashekhar April 4 at 11:59 PM 
In a closely watched school board race at the center of the transgender rights debate, a slate of conservative candidates who pledged to require students to use bathrooms and locker rooms aligned with their biological sex appeared to be headed for defeat late Tuesday.  Elections are typically low-key for the Township High School District 211 Board of Education, but this year, the district drew national attention, highlighting the explosive debate over how schools should balance the needs of transgender students with the privacy of their peers. Under pressure from the U.S. Education Department, the board in December 2015 voted to allow a transgender girl to use the girls’ locker room, spurring protests and a lawsuit.  Three challengers — Ralph T. Bonatz, Katherine Jee Young ­David and Jean Forrest — hoped to win enough seats to reverse the practice of allowing transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms aligned with their gender identity.  Two board members who voted to allow the transgender girl into the locker room — Bob LeFevre Jr. and Anna Klimkowicz — were comfortably ahead of the challengers with votes in one precinct not yet counted. A third candidate, Edward Yung, was about 200 votes ahead of David. Yung said he supports the school board’s decision.

Melania Trump visits all-girls charter school with Jordan’s Queen Rania and Betsy DeVos
Washington Post By Emma Brown April 5 at 6:33 PM 
First lady Melania Trump and Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan paid a visit to an all-girls D.C. charter school on Wednesday, an event that served to promote the empowerment of young women and to highlight the Trump administration’s interest in promoting alternatives to traditional public schools.  Students greeted the women with flowers as they arrived at Excel Academy Public Charter School, which serves nearly 700 mostly African American girls in preschool through eighth grade. The school is east of the Anacostia River in one of Washington’s poorest neighborhoods. The first lady and the queen then met with parents and teachers and toured science and art classes.  Accompanying them was Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, an ardent proponent of both charter schools — which are funded by taxpayers but privately run —  and vouchers for private and religious schools.

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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