Friday, May 26, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup May 26: Proposed PA education funding hike: $125M; anticipated increased pension costs: $144M; districts cutting programs, raising taxes, using fund balances

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 4050 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, Governor's staff, current/former PA Secretaries of Education, Wolf education transition team members, superintendents, school solicitors, principals, PTO/PTA officers, parent advocates, teacher leaders, business leaders, faith-based organizations, labor organizations, education professors, members of the press and a broad array of P-16 regulatory agencies, professional associations and education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

These daily emails are archived and searchable at http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.org
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup May 26, 2017:
Proposed PA education funding hike: $125M; anticipated increased pension costs: $144M; districts cutting programs, raising taxes, using fund balances



The Bipartisan Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee released “Public Charter School Fiscal Impact on School Districts” on Wednesday with a wide range of findings and recommended changes in the state charter school system, including revamping how charter schools are paid, and how much they get.
PA Legislative Budget and Finance Committee May 2017 Report:
Public Charter School Fiscal Impact on School Districts



“When will state House legislators and especially Speaker Turzai realize that they are running a state that has the biggest disparity between wealthy and poor school districts in the nation?
When will they embrace the fact that they shouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing that they refuse to implement a fair funding formula with current state funds - money that would benefit the most vulnerable members of our society, our children?”
A Philly response to Turzai letter to SRC
Inquirer Letter by Michael Roth Updated: MAY 26, 2017 — 3:01 AM EDT
Michael Roth is the principal of Olney Elementary School. He has worked as an administrator in traditional and charter public schools.
As a citizen of Philadelphia, a parent of a public school student, and a committed Philadelphia principal, I feel compelled to respond to the May 1 letter written by House Speaker Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) to School Reform Commission Chair Joyce S. Wilkerson.  In that letter, Turzai condescendingly questioned when Philadelphia will "embrace" what is best for us and our city's children. He naively suggested that the efforts of the SRC to responsibly manage charter schools is an assault on our own citizens.  Since he felt compelled to question how the people of Philadelphia govern our education system, I feel obliged to ask him a few questions:
When will they embrace the fact that they shouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing that they refuse to implement a fair funding formula with current state funds - money that would benefit the most vulnerable members of our society, our children?
When will they accept, that intentionally or not, they are supporting a system of institutional racism that allows predominantly minority students in Philadelphia to attend schools that do not compare in resources to the well-funded educational settings of the predominantly white Philadelphia suburbs and Marshall Township, which Turzai represents?

HB1213: New bill will prevent school districts, municipalities and counties from filing assessment appeals
MARK BELKO Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mbelko@post-gazette.com 12:00 AM MAY 26, 2017
It’s a bill that probably will get the wholehearted support of anyone who has bought a house only to be welcomed to the neighborhood by a property assessment appeal filed by the local school district or municipality.  House Bill 1213 now pending before the state Legislature would prevent Pennsylvania school districts, municipalities and counties from filing assessment appeals in such situations, as well as in others.  While the legislation may be greeted with applause by homeowners who have been subjected to such appeals, critics say it may actually end up working against them — and could have costly consequences for taxing bodies as well.

Bipartisan work underway on pensions, but bill likely won't pay down debt
WITF Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | May 25, 2017 10:08 PM
 (Harrisburg) -- A bipartisan group of legislative leaders has been working on a major proposal to change how state employee pensions are structured.  The commonwealth's roughly $70 billion unfunded pension liability has been dogging lawmakers for years. But the plan most likely to move forward won't attempt to reduce that debt significantly.  Instead, leaders say the measure will look similar to one they attempted to pass last session, which disintegrated without a vote because Democrats refused to support it.  It would give state employees a few retirement options to choose from, including a 401k-style plan and two defined benefit/defined contribution hybrids.  Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, who's sponsoring it, has long held that the point of this reform should be to shift some risk away from taxpayers and onto state employees.

In surprise, SRC approves Deep Roots charter, with conditions
It also approves a revised budget that will make new investments, including more ESL teachers and bilingual counseling assistance. But future deficits loom.
The notebook by Darryl Murphy May 25, 2017 — 11:13pm
The School Reform Commission made another unexpected move Thursday night with the approval of Deep Roots Charter School, which was approved with conditions by a 4-1 vote.
Christopher McGinley, the lone nay vote, said he felt the resolution was neither “realistic nor sustainable.”  The SRC also adopted a revised budget for next year that will add 76 new teaching positions, including 10 more for English learners, and 18 additional bilingual counseling assistants. The investments are being made while the District's finances are momentarily in balance, but the future picture remains precarious -- and made more uncertain by President Trump's plans to slash federal education spending.  Before the meeting, a coalition of activists led by Councilwoman Helen Gym urged the SRC to adopt an “equity agenda,” and assure that all students have access to instrumental music teaches. An analysis by Gym’s office determined that 51 schools in the city, most in North and West Philadelphia that serve low income students of color, have no instrumental music teachers.  Deep Roots’ application was denied in February; at the time,  SRC chair Joyce Wilkerson said that the application had “glaring concerns.”  When SRC chair Joyce Wilkerson called for a motion to approve the revised charter application, there were murmurs of displeasure from the crowd. But at least one parent spoke in favor, said the school was planning to locate in an “education desert.”

Philly approves school budget and a new charter schools
WHYY Newsworks BY AVI WOLFMAN-ARENT MAY 26, 2017
It may prove to be the calm before the storm, but for the second year running Philadelphia's public school system passed a budget that puts resources back into schools and projects a small, year-end surplus.  The School District of Philadelphia even threw in a bonus on the day the School Reform Commission passed its 2017-18 budget: 18 new bilingual counseling assistants and 11 new English-as-a-second-language teachers. The late additions were partially in response to community requests for more immigrant services.  The district is also adding extra classroom teachers and socking away money to cover gaps created by the Trump administration's proposed budget, which includes plans to end a federal program the district uses to fund early literacy initiatives.  But as district officials continue to warn, there are fiscal troubles looming.  In fact, the budget passed for the upcoming school year contains slightly higher obligations ($2.950 billion) than it does revenues ($2.949 billion). A small surplus carried over from last year will plug that gap, but by 2019 the district expects rising charter and pension costs to plunge it back into a deficit. Add to that a still-unresolved teacher's contract, and the district's relatively drama-free budget season could end up an anomaly.  The budget wasn't the only item to merit scrutiny at Thursday's SRC meeting--far from it.  By a 4-1 vote the SRC approved an application for Deep Roots Charter School, a school it previously rejected.

Philly's Del Val charter school could close in June
Inquirer by Martha Woodall, Staff Writer  @marwooda |  martha.woodall@phillynews.com Updated: MAY 25, 2017 — 3:34 PM EDT
Nearly 500 students who attend the Delaware Valley Charter High School in Logan may have to start looking for new schools for the fall.  The troubled charter school lost its bid to remain open when the state Charter Appeal Board voted 6-0 last week to uphold a decision of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, which said the school did not merit a renewal due to fiscal management problems and poor academic performance. State Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera, who chairs the appeals board, ordered the school to close by June 30.   But Delaware Valley, which is located at 5201 Old York Road, has not given up its fight.
Harold Kurtz, the school’s acting CEO, said that the school is considering asking the SRC to allow it to remain open for a year to show that both test scores and finances are improving.
“Why not give us a year?” wondered Kurtz, who became CEO of Delaware Valley in August of 2015--two months after the SRC turned down the school’s request for a new charter.
“They really are focused on what happened between 2010 and 2014 with no credit that we have done a pretty masterful job trying to engineer a turnaround.”  He added: “Why not sit down and develop a one-year school-improvement plan?”  But it is not clear whether the SRC has the authority to set aside an order signed by Rivera.    A district spokesman said the appeals board had ordered  Delaware Valley to close and noted that state law says the school's avenue of appeal lies with the Commonwealth Court.

Blogger commentary: It would be great if wealthy business owners were making tax deductible contributions to sectarian schools instead of diverting tax dollars, circumventing the PA constitution and reducing funds potentially available for funding our constitutionally mandated public schools.

“In 2001, the commonwealth had created the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, which gave businesses tax benefits for donating to nonprofits that could award up to $60 million in K-12 scholarships. Then, in 2012, Pennsylvania approved the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit program, giving additional tax credits for donations to private school scholarships for students in underperforming public schools. Since then, about three-quarters of the funds for the tax credit programs have gone to religious schools, according to a recent report.  The result: Two outside organizations have managed to turn around a centuries-old school system using modern-day business practices — a feat that few dioceses around the country have been able to accomplish.
From 2012 to 2015, scholarship donations to Independence Mission Schools increased from $1.8 million to $9.7 million and enrollment grew from 3,800 to 4,800, according to a recent financial report.
For Faith in the Future, better fundraising from alumni and the tax credit scholarship programs allowed for a boost in financial aid from $10.9 million in the 2011–12 school year to $20.8 million in 2015–16. The annual decline in student enrollment has slowed, and the foundation projects modest growth for next academic year.”
EITC/OSTC: How 2 Business-Savvy Nonprofits Are Breathing New Life Into Philadelphia’s Struggling Catholic Schools
NAOMI NIX  Naomi@the74million.org nsnix87 May 24, 2017
On a recent Monday morning, Chyna Foster was touring the halls of West Catholic Preparatory High School on Philadelphia’s working-class West Side. Dressed in her uniform — a gray skirt and blue cardigan — she offered a “Good morning, Sister” to a teacher, passing portraits of alumni who had made their mark on the school since its founding in 1916.  A friend and relative of many alums, Foster, 17, had little doubt she would enroll at West Catholic rather than her neighborhood high school when she graduated from middle school three years ago.  But had it been just two years earlier, Foster might not have been able to follow in their footsteps.  In 2012, the school was one of nearly 50 put on the chopping block by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the face of a 35 percent drop in Catholic school enrollment over the previous decade. At West Catholic, the building that had once held about 3,000 students had just 236.  But today, due to the efforts of entrepreneurs and educators — and a surprising willingness by the archdiocese to hand control of every high school and more than one-quarter of its K-8 schools to two nonprofits — things have turned around dramatically.

Philly's SRC approves nearly $3 billion budget
Inquirer by Martha Woodall & Kristen A. Graham - Staff Writers Updated: MAY 25, 2017 9:49 PM
The School Reform Commission adopted a $2.9 billion operating budget Thursday night that contains some victories for classrooms — but comes with a major red flag.  The spending plan will allow the district to add 76 new teaching jobs plus some new counselors and bilingual aides to help students who are learning English. It also will allow the district to cover a cut to federal aid proposed by the Trump administration.  The spending plan's major caveat, however, driven in large part by rising charter and pension costs, is that spending is outpacing revenues. Officials have been warning that they will run a deficit beginning in 2018-19 that rises to $800 million over five years.  Without any taxing powers of its own, the district will have to again turn to the city and state, its major funding sources, to fill those gaps in the very near future.  “This is not long-term sustainable,” said Uri Monson, the district’s chief financial officer. “Our revenues are growing half as fast as our expenditures, and we’re going to need help. We don’t want to have the Chicken Little budget discussion.”

“Lonardi said the district is working to improve its financial footing, but it will be without much help from the state.  “We’re 46th out of 50 states in state funding for public schools,” she said. “If they would fund us like other states (do), we’d be in a much better place (financially).”
'When is enough enough?': West York district approves max tax hike
York Dispatch by Junior Gonzalez , 505-5439/@JuniorG_YDPublished 12:32 a.m. ET May 24, 2017 | Updated 7:31 p.m. ET May 24, 2017
A divided West York school board passed a budget Tuesday night with the highest tax hike allowed by the state, prompting some members to ask, "When is enough enough?"  The $56.8 million budget has essentially the same programs and allocations as last year’s budget, but costs went up for existing programs and services, according to district Superintendent Emilie Lonardi.  The board approved the plan with a 6-3 vote.  The millage rate in the West York district will rise from 23.47 to 24.22 mills, an increase of 3.2 percent — the same as the tax cap assigned to the district by the state Department of Education.  For a home assessed at $100,000, the hike will equate to an extra $72 in next year's tax bill.

Hazleton Area board OKs tentative $147M budget
Standard Speaker by KENT JACKSON / PUBLISHED: MAY 26, 2017
Listening to the pleas of students, Hazleton Area School Board on Thursday preserved German classes, but the members still seek to cut a tentative budget in which spending outweighs revenues by $2.8 million and taxes climb in two of three counties.  The board will have to vote at least once more on the budget that lists spending of $146,711,244, increases taxes in Luzerne and Carbon counties but reduces taxes in Schuylkill County.  During a budget workshop Wednesday, the German program appeared to be kaput.  Although it “hurts the heart,” Superintendent Craig Butler recommended phasing out German as one of the least painful cuts. He also described money-saving proposals to raise class sizes and relax graduation requirements to 26 courses from 28 courses. The board didn’t vote on grad requirements or class size, but did eliminate an introduction to foreign languages for middle school students.

Pottstown School Board adopts $62.2M budget with no tax hike
By Evan Brandt, The Mercury POSTED: 05/23/17, 5:20 PM EDT
POTTSTOWN >> For the third consecutive year, the Pottstown School Board has adopted a preliminary budget that will not raise real estate taxes.  The unanimous vote came Monday night after Superintendent Stephen Rodriguez reported that he and board members Kim Stilwell, Emanuel Wilkerson and Ron Williams were joined by several students in Harrisburg that day lobbying state legislators for fairer funding for Pottstown schools.  The $62,201,819 preliminary budget was adopted with little to idea of what Harrisburg will provide in terms of funding.  Last week, state Sen. Robert Mensch, R-24th Dist., told the audience at an Upper Pottsgrove Township Commissioners meeting that with a $3 billion gap between revenues and expenses, this is one of the most difficult state budget scenarios Pennsylvania has ever faced.  The Pottstown schools budget has its own gap between revenues and expenses — just under $750,000 — which the administration has recommended closing with the use of money out of the reserve set aside for increasing pension payments.

Pottsgrove School District tax hike for $66.3M budget slips under 1 percent
By Evan Brandt, The Mercury POSTED: 05/24/17, 6:54 PM EDT | UPDATED: 1 DAY AGO
LOWER POTTSGROVE >> The Pottsgrove School Board adopted a $66.3 million preliminary budget Tuesday night in which the tax hike for the coming year was whittled down to .8 percent.  Business Manager David Nester had initially proposed a budget which would have raised taxes by 1.1 percent and cost the owner of a home assessed at $120,000 — the district average — about $50 more in the coming fiscal year.  However, the board voted 6-2 to accept an amendment offered by member Rick Rabinowitz which uses curriculum and reserve money in the current year’s budget to pay off the more than $700,000 cost of new math and language arts curriculum, costs for which were initially to be paid off over two years.

Teachers union wants new contract; No tax hike proposed in $157M Spring-Ford budget
By Eric Devlin, The Mercury POSTED: 05/21/17, 5:39 PM EDT | UPDATED: 4 DAYS AGO
ROYERSFORD >> About 225 members of the Spring-Ford Education Association filled the cafeteria at the high school recently to show members of the school board they’re waiting to begin talks on a new contract.  The demonstration by the teachers union, with all 225 members dressed in matching blue T-shirts, came just as the board reviewed the proposed 2017-18 budget of $157.7 million, which calls for a zero-percent tax hike.  The district anticipates an estimated $151 million in revenue, leaving a gap of approximately $6 million, Chief Financial Officer James Fink said last week. To fill this, the budget calls for a fund balance appropriation of $4 million, an $860,000 transfer of committed retirement funds from reserve and an approximately $1.5 million allocation from reserves.  Personnel-related costs take up nearly 70 percent of the total budget, with salaries and benefits totaling approximately $106 million. The contract calls for no staffing or programming cuts.  A zero-percent tax increase hasn’t been seen in Spring-Ford for over 15 years and has been a priority for the board.

 “Additionally, the cost of pension contributions has steadily increased in the past 10 years, up to $1.6 million this school year from $350,000 in 2007-08.”
New-Ken Arnold: More teacher furloughs possible
TRIBUNE-REVIEW by MATTHEW MEDSGER | Thursday, May 25, 2017, 10:09 p.m.
The New Kensington-Arnold School Board gave notice Thursday of the district's intent to furlough four additional teachers at the end of the school year.   Dozens of teachers filled the seats and lined the walls of the board room as five directors, a mere quorum, voted 5-0 to approve the additional furloughs.  Last month, the board voted to furlough 33 teachers.  The board cited declining student enrollment, the consolidation project that closed two schools three years ago and curtailment of programs.  Student population has been steadily declining. According to information provided by Superintendent John Pallone, the student population at the end of 2004 was 2,520. This year 1,958 students were enrolled.  According to Jeff McVey, director of administrative services, falling district home values have resulted in lower tax revenue.

Chartiers Valley approves proposed budget with tax increase
Post Gazette by DEANA CARPENTER 12:00 AM MAY 26, 2017
The Chartiers Valley school board is moving forward with a tax increase for the 2017-18 school year.  The board voted 7-0 on Tuesday to approve a $62.8 million preliminary budget that would increase the property tax rate by 0.3437 mills, raising the rate from 16.6067 to 16.9504 mills. A homeowner with property valued at $100,000 would pay about $1,695 per year in school taxes. Board members Julie Murphy and Jamie Stevenson were absent.  The district is using $792,846 of its fund balance, leaving the fund balance with $715,949 remaining.  “We’ve been very fortunate to have the lowest tax rate in the county,” superintendent Brian White said at the meeting.

“Among the increased expenditures is a $381,000 jump because of the rising costs of employee retirement contributions and $200,000 more for employee medical benefits. Zahand said the budget was balanced without any cuts to services or employees.”
Charleroi school board approves budget with tax increase
Observer Reporter By Beth Hope-Cushey May 24, 2017
CHARLEROI – Taxes will be going up in the Charleroi Area School District, but the exact amount is not yet known because of the recent Washington County reassessment.  School directors unanimously passed the $23.55 million preliminary 2017-18 budget at Tuesday’s meeting, which represents a 2 percent spending increase of $453,813 over last year’s budget of $23,096,187. Millage will be set at the allowable state index increase of 3.7 percent. The millage rate last year was 143 mills, but with the recent reassessment, the millage rate will be recalculated and will be in double digits, yet represent the same tax revenue amount. Business manager Crystal Zahand said that the district will not have the information on the final property tax assessments until June 1.

McGuffey cutting eight faculty jobs, two others
Observer Reporter By Rick Shrum May 25, 2017
McGuffey School District is eliminating the equivalent of eight faculty positions and two other jobs for the 2017-18 academic year because of decreased enrollment and to help offset a $1.1 million budget deficit.  At its monthly meeting Thursday, the school board voted 9-0 to cut the full-time equivalent of 2 ½ elementary instructors; one teacher each in computer, technology education, music and social studies; a part-time Spanish teacher; and a full-time secondary librarian. The board also voted unanimously to drop a full-time secretary and the security guard position.  In the meeting minutes, posted on the district website, the board cited “substantial” decreases in pupil enrollment and class and course enrollment as reasons for the personnel moves.

Radnor Township School Board adopts $96.3 million budget for 2017-18
Includes a 3.03 real estate tax increase
Main Line Media By Linda Stein lstein@21st-centurymedia.com @lsteinreporter on Twitter
Radnor >> The Radnor Township School Board unanimously approved a $96.3 million budget for the 2017-18 school year at its May 23 meeting.  Some 83 percent of the budget is from local sources and 15 percent is from the state. Less than 1 percent comes from the federal government, officials said.  The millage rate was set at 23.6199 mills, a .6937 mills increase or 3.03 percent. The district also used the maximum 2.5 percent real estate tax increase under the Act 1 index plus $387,982 of approved Act 1 exceptions for special education and retirement for a total increase of 3.03 percent.  A homeowner with a home assessed at $274,000 will pay an additional $193 in school real estate taxes; the average Radnor homeowner with an assessment of $472,000 will pay $328 more; and a property owner with an assessment of $700,000 would pay $486 more, according to Michelle Diekow, business administrator. Also, $490,110 was taken from the district’s retirement account escrow fund and put toward the district’s share of employee pension costs.

U.D. school board OK’s proposed budget
News of Delaware County By Kevin Tustin ktustin@21st-centurymedia.com @KevinTustin on Twitter May 23, 2017 Updated May 24, 2017
Upper Darby>> The proposed $199 million final budget for the 2017-18 Upper Darby school year that introduces the first tax increase in two years received unanimous approval by the district board of school directors.  Adopted during a special May 23 voting session of the board following a public May 18 presentation of the proposed budget, the proposed final budget raises taxes 2.99 percent and uses approximately $7 million of fund balance. Additional staff and security personnel have been added in the budget, while not cutting existing programs or staff.  Public comment was non-existent before the board voted, but a bulk of the school directors – save for an absent Manjit Singh – addressed concerns of the district’s financial sustainability and how to be fair to the taxpayers in what is reported to be the 13th most underfunded school district in the state.

“Superintendent Stephen Butz noted that contributions to the state retirement system (PSERS), health care and charter and special education costs as major expense drivers. Those three areas alone add up to $20 million.”
Southeast Delco approves final budget with tax increase
Delco News Network By Kevin Tustin ktustin@21st-centurymedia.com @KevinTustin on Twitter May 25, 2017 Updated 8 hrs ago
Folcroft>> A tax increase and fund balance usage will be used to balance a $77.3 million budget for the Southeast Delco School District.  The district school board approved the final budget unanimously on May 25 with the aforementioned provisions. School board President Theresa Harris-Johnson was not present at the meeting to vote.  Taxes are set to increase 2.75 percent to a millage rate of 41.5784, increasing the tax bill for the averagely assessed property of $70,000 about $80 to approximately $2,550. The tax increase will generate a little less than $1 million in revenue.  The school board chose not to raise taxes to its highest legal limit of 3.7 percent under the state’s Act 1 index. Instead, the district chose to use $1 million in fund balance to supplement the budget. School board directors said raising taxes at 3.7 percent would not have been supported and would affect to many homeowners.  The tax increase and fund balance usage were lower than was presented in the proposed final budget last month from 3.0 percent and $1.1 million, respectively. A decrease in these areas was attributed to savings found in retirements and resignations in district staff, positions that will not be replaced in the next school year.

Taxes to rise in Interboro budget
Delco News Network By Kevin Tustin ktustin@21st-centurymedia.com @KevinTustin on Twitter
Prospect Park>> A proposed final budget for the Interboro School District passed 7-2 by the board of school directors on May 17 with a tax increase higher than last year’s 2.9 percent.
The $66 million budget includes a 3.4 tax increase that, if adopted in the final budget next month, would be the highest such tax increase for the district in sometime. According to a proposed final budget at a glance sheet, district taxes have never been raised higher than 2.9 percent in one year since at least 2007-08.  The millage rate would increase to 36.1076, adding $105 to the tax bill of an averagely assessed home of $85,000.  Directors Paul Eckert and Michael Burns voted against the proposed final budget.  Although last year’s budget was prolific in its move to furlough positions throughout the district to make ends meet, drastic cuts to staffing or programs have not been included in the budget. However, some furloughed positions in the current year’s budget are reported to have since been brought back.


Signe Wilkinson on Betsy DeVos and Public Education GoComics May 26, 2017

“Even modest donations to individual lawmakers can add up to have a big effect. In Florida, K12 Inc.—one of the few online learning companies required to publicly disclose its political contributions—has made regular contributions of between $500 and $2,000 to individual lawmakers’ election and re-election campaigns while Connections Education has tipped at least $24,000 on state-level campaigns in the state since 2006. In 2011, lawmakers in Florida voted to require all graduating seniors to have completed at least one online course. At least 32 of the state lawmakers who backed the statute had received donations from K12 the previous year. In fact, all but one Florida lawmaker who received contributions—however small—from K12 in 2010 voted in favor of virtual learning in 2011.”
Why Bad Online Courses Are Still Taught in Schools
Because many of the laws regulating them are toothless—and because of an aggressive political effort to maintain that status quo.
Slate.com By Zoë Kirsch and Stephen Smiley May 25, 2017
This article is part of the Big Shortcut, an eight-part series exploring the exponential rise in online learning for high school students who have failed traditional classes.
An increasing number of states are getting serious about vetting the online education companies that are now responsible for instructing a growing number of their kids. And Florida, at first glance, would seem to be one of them.  Each year, state officials scrutinize these online courses to ensure they meet state academic standards, as well as several other criteria. Last year, the Florida Department of Education rejected the company Online Education Ventures, which failed to provide descriptions of its virtual courses in science, social studies, and English (it provided descriptions of the math courses, but they didn’t meet state standards). A year earlier, the state disqualified Mosaica Online because the company didn’t show it could provide timely information about its courses. And it said no to Odysseyware, since it failed to outline student anti-discrimination policies or show how its products could meet the needs of students with disabilities.  But here’s the rub: Those companies are still allowed to sell their products to schools in Florida. Public school districts can still use public money to educate students with discredited products like Online Education Ventures’. And the state says it has no idea how many of its 75 school districts—if any—are doing just that.


Public hearing on the Keystone Exams: West Chester June 2nd 12:30 pm
Senate Education Committee Meeting FRIDAY - 6/2/17 12:30 p.m., West Chester University, Business and Public Management Center, 50 Sharpless Street, West Chester

Public hearing on graduation requirements as tools for assessments and accountability June 5th 10 am Capitol
Senate Education Committee Meeting MONDAY - 6/5/17 10:00 a.m., Hearing Room 1, North Office Building

Nominations for PSBA Allwein Advocacy Award due by July 16th
The Timothy M. Allwein Advocacy Award was established in 2011 by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and may be presented annually to the individual school director or entire school board to recognize outstanding leadership in legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of public education and students that are consistent with the positions in PSBA’s Legislative Platform.  In addition to being a highly respected lobbyist, Timothy Allwein served to help our members be effective advocates in their own right. Many have said that Tim inspired them to become active in our Legislative Action Program and to develop personal working relationships with their legislators.  The 2017 Allwein Award nomination process will begin on Monday, May 15, 2017. The application due date is July 16, 2017 in the honor of Tim’s birth date of July 16.
https://www.psba.org/2017/05/nominations-allwein-advocacy-award/

Electing PSBA Officers; Applications Due June 1
All persons seeking nomination for elected positions of the Association shall send applications to the attention of the chair of the Leadership Development Committee, during the months of April and May an Application for Nomination to be provided by the Association expressing interest in the office sought. “The Application for nomination shall be marked received at PSBA Headquarters or mailed first class and postmarked by June 1 to be considered and timely filed.” (PSBA Bylaws, Article IV, Section 5.E.).
Open positions are:
·         2017-19 Central Section at Large Representative – includes Regions 4, 5, 6, 9 and 12  (for the remaining two years of a three-year term)
·         2018-20 Western At Large Representative – includes   Regions 1, 2, 3, 13 and 14 (three-year term)
In addition to the application form, PSBA Governing Board Policy 302 asks that all candidates furnish with their application a recent, print quality photograph and letters of application. The application form specifies no less than three letters of recommendation and no more than four, and are specifically requested as follows:
o    One from superintendent or school director of home entity
o    One from a school director from another school district
o    Other individuals familiar with the candidate's leadership skills
PSBA Governing Board Policy 108 also outlines the campaign procedures of candidates.
All terms of office commence January 1 following election.
https://www.psba.org/about/governance/electing-psba-officers/

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!

Pennsylvania Education Leadership Summit July 23-25, 2017 Blair County Convention Center - Altoona
A three-day event providing an excellent opportunity for school district administrative teams and instructional leaders to learn, share and plan together
co-sponsored by PASA, the Pennsylvania Principals Association, PASCD and the PA Association for Middle Level Education
**REGISTRATION IS OPEN**Early Bird Registration Ends after April 30!
Keynote speakers, high quality breakout sessions, table talks on hot topics, and district team planning and job-alike sessions will provide practical ideas that can be immediately reviewed and discussed at the summit and utilized at the district level.
Keynote Speakers:
Thomas Murray
, Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education
Kristen Swanson, Director of Learning at Slack and one of the founding members of the Edcamp movement 
Breakout session strands:
*Strategic/Cultural Leadership
*Systems Leadership
*Leadership for Learning
*Professional and Community Leadership 
CLICK HERE to access the Summit website for program, hotel and registration information.

Save the Date 2017 PA Principals Association State Conference October 14. 15, 16, 2017
Doubletree Hotel Cranberry Township, PA



3 comments:

  1. In many immature and backward nations, it is watched that female kids are barred from going to class since an exceptionally youthful age. They are taught that they are less meriting than their male kin and have not appropriate to education.explore more

    ReplyDelete
  2. Now we are living in modern age where every person difficult to drive their personal life. But if we know about human right education then we remain happy and we make co-operation with each other.outsource small tasks

    ReplyDelete
  3. Companies World Health Organization ar hold the most recent technology, particularly the web, are looking forward to on-line virtual assistants. visit the site

    ReplyDelete