Friday, August 11, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup Aug 11: Harrisburg, where more people get less done

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

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup Aug 11, 2017:

“Charter advocates hope this spurs momentum to pass a revision to the state's decades old charter law.  The most recent version of that bill, as green-lit by the state Senate, would expressly allow charters to seek to amend their deals at any time. School boards then would need to vote on the proposals. If rejected, charters could appeal to the CAB, which, under the bill, would become friendlier to the charter sector.”
Pa. Supreme Court ruling helps school districts limit charter school expansion
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court delivered a ruling this week that gives traditional public school districts more power to limit charter school growth.  The case involved Discovery Charter School in Philadelphia, which, in 2013, during renewal negotiations, had been seeking to amend its agreement with the city school district to increase its enrollment by 70 percent.   The School District of Philadelphia recommended renewal, but, citing budget concerns, the School Reform Commission declined to vote on anything that increased the charter's enrollment.  Left in limbo, Discovery took this as a rejection, and filed an appeal to a state board.  So the essential question in the case was this: Does the state Charter Appeals Board (CAB) have jurisdiction when a charter seeks to amend its deal with a district, but is then left in limbo without a vote?  This week, the Supreme Court said 'no,' noting the lower court's decision didn't have backing in the state's charter school law.   "It sets a precedent now, statewide, for any charter school that wants to amend its charter to either increase enrollment or relocate. A school district now has a loophole where they can ignore the request for an amendment to the charter, and the charter has no recourse," said Tim Eller, executive director of the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

“There was a time when lawmakers would show more spark headed into an election year. Alas, gerrymandering has created so many safe seats that many lack incentive to compromise. That largely explains the present situation, the budget process only half done a month and half into the fiscal year, with service cuts, bill deferments and a credit downgrade on the near-horizon.”
Budget slackers: State House betrays citizens by ignoring deadline
Post Gazette Editorial by THE EDITORIAL BOARD 12:00 AM AUG 11, 2017
The state Legislature has one big job every year: passing a budget. The deadline is the same every year: June 30. The outcome is pretty much the same every year: It doesn’t get done, and lawmakers posture while hardworking Pennsylvanians — who actually have to meet deadlines at their jobs — wonder how the stalemate will affect them. This is government at its worst.  This time around, the GOP-controlled Legislature passed a spending plan of nearly $32 billion by the deadline but failed to deliver a revenue package to cover the authorized expenses. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, allowed the spending plan to become law without his signature.

House GOP leader hopes to finalize 2017-18 budget by end of August
Penn Live By Jan Murphy Posted on August 10, 2017 at 5:29 PM
Six weeks into the 2017-18 fiscal year, Pennsylvania remains in that awkward position of having an enacted $32 billion spending plan in place that lacks the money to fully pay for it.  House Majority Leader Dave Reed said on Thursday informal discussions among the legislative leaders and Wolf administration officials and staff have been happening but full-scale negotiations on a finalized revenue plan have yet to get started.  House Republicans are still in the process of crafting their counter-proposal to the $2.2 billion Senate-passed tax and borrowing plan that was sent over to the House for consideration on July 27.  Reed, an Indiana County Republican, spent 10 minutes talking to reporters on Thursday about the House Republicans' reaction to the Senate's revenue package. He suggested there are some parts of it that the House Republicans are willing to consider but strong disagreement with one particular tax hike it includes.   That would be the expansion of the gross receipts tax, or GRT as it is referred to, on natural gas and telephones and increasing the rate on electricity that is booked to raise about $400 million.
Reed made it clear that tax hike is a non-starter with his caucus and likely some House Democrats as well.

Pa. House leader signals budget impasse likely to linger
Inquirer by Liz Navratil, HARRISBURG BUREAU Updated: AUGUST 10, 2017 — 3:59 PM EDT
HARRISBURG — House Majority Leader Dave Reed said Thursday that Republicans have serious concerns about some taxes included in budget bills passed by the Senate, the latest signal that their impasse could linger for at least a few more weeks.  “We respect the fact that they sent it over to us. We respect the fact that this is where the Senate is,” Reed, a Republican from Indiana County, told Capitol reporters. “It’s not where we are.”  The GOP-controlled legislature passed a nearly $32 billion spending plan on June 30 — inching in under a midnight deadline — but has since been unable to agree on a way to pay for it.  Negotiators have struggled with how to plug a $1.5 billion shortfall still lingering from last year’s budget and a $700 million deficit projected for the fiscal year that began July 1.  The lack of a revenue package has raised questions about whether the state can continue to spend money — the constitution requires a balanced budget — and if it might experience a costly credit downgrade.

BRIAN O'NEILL Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 6:00 AM AUG 10, 2017
When our state treasurer calls the state’s budget mess “extraordinary and without precedent,” Pennsylvanians take notice.  We notice because if there’s anything ordinary and precedented, it’s a summertime budget mess. That’s as much of a tradition hereabouts as ants at a picnic. I called Treasurer Joe Torsella’s office to ask what makes this snafu different. Sure, America’s Largest Full-Time State Legislature has approved a $32 billion spending plan without any plan of how to pay for it, but that all seems merely a variation on an old theme. Right?  Not on your autographed picture of Charles Ponzi.  The two-word answer to what’s different this time is “a lot,” Treasury Department spokesman Mike Connolly said. The longer answer is we’ve gone into the red earlier and bigger than we ever have before.  “There are no more reserves,” Mr. Connolly said. “There’s no such thing anymore. The rainy day fund can’t even last one rainy day.”

Gas severance tax won’t have big impact in Pennsylvania, says research group
State Impact BY MARIE CUSICK AUGUST 10, 2017 | 2:27 PM
The severance tax recently approved by the state Senate is unlikely to have a major impact on drilling activity or government revenues, according to research from an environmental economic think tank.  A natural gas severance tax has been a hot-button issue in Harrisburg for nearly a decade, but the plan recently approved by the state Senate is unlikely to have a major impact–  either in terms of government revenue, or drilling company investment decisions, according to research from the nonpartisan environmental economic think tank, Resources for the Future.  The severance tax is now in the GOP-controlled House where its future is uncertain. Republican legislative leaders have argued over the years it would harm the state’s economy. Yet passing the tax has been a major focus of Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat.  The tax rate approved by the Senate last month would change, based on the average annual price of natural gas– ranging from 1.5 cents per thousand cubic feet to 3.5 cents. It’s expected to raise $100 million this year to help plug a $2.2 billion budget hole. It would be added on top of the roughly $200 million in impact fees gas companies already pay, which are based on the number of wells they drill.  StateImpact Pennsylvania talked about the new tax measure with Daniel Raimi, a senior research associate at Resources for the Future and author of the forthcoming book, The Fracking Debate.

Guest Column: Senate budget package would harm environment
Delco Times Opinion By Rep. Greg Vitali, Times Guest Columnist POSTED: 08/10/17, 9:14 PM EDT 
A bill package recently approved by the state Senate to help pay for the commonwealth’s spending plan contains provisions that would cripple environmental protection in Pennsylvania. Even though these bills provide some needed revenue, the House and Gov. Wolf should reject this legislation.  The most damaging provisions are contained in the tax code. One provision would privatize the environmental permitting process, allowing gas drillers and other applicants to seek permit approval from third parties rather than the Department of Environmental Protection. This would eliminate a core protective function of the DEP, introduce conflicts of interest that would weaken protections for public health and the environment, remove public participation from the permitting process, and deprive DEP of the application fees it needs to support the staff who protect all of us.  Another provision would establish a politically appointed advisory committee to decide on air quality permits for unconventional gas well sites. This is a direct attack on the methane-reduction strategy proposed by Wolf last year. Reducing fugitive methane emissions is one of the most important things Pennsylvania can do to address climate change and protect public health in the gas fields.

Voters will decide on constitutional change to provide property tax relief
Penn Live By Jan Murphy Updated on August 10, 2017 at 4:31 PM Posted on August 10, 2017 at 10:35 AM
Voters in November will have an opportunity to vote on an amendment to the state constitution that could open the door to provide property tax relief for Pennsylvania homeowners. The proposed amendment to Article VIII of the constitution would increase the exclusion level to up to 100 percent of the value of each "homesteads," or primary residences, in a municipality, county or school district.  The current exclusion level, adopted in 1997, is capped at 50 percent of the median assessed value of all homesteads in a local taxing jurisdiction.   If ratified by voters, Rep. David Maloney, R-Berks County, who sponsored the proposed amendment, said the implementation of this amendment would require the General Assembly to pass enabling legislation to establish guidelines for local jurisdictions to follow.

Steel Valley adding cyber charter classes for elementary school students
Post Gazette by ANNE CLOONAN 12:00 AM AUG 11, 2017
Steel Valley School District will add classes for elementary school-aged children to its cyber charter school academy this fall.  Ed Colebank, the district’s director of academics, information and technology, said Steel Valley officials met on July 25 with parents who would like to return their children to the district from charter schools.  Parents of elementary, middle school and high school students were in attendance, he said. District administrators have been working to bring back students who live in Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall and attend non-Steel Valley charter schools.  Mr. Colebank said the new classes will allow the elementary school students “to stay here and participate in everything the district has to offer.”  The district has offered cyber charter school classes for secondary students who live in the district for eight years, and to middle school students within the past five years, Mr. Colebank said,

Intermediate Units provide high-quality, cost-effective online learning solutions
Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units
A quality 21st century education includes virtual learning, and Pennsylvania’s Intermediate Units (IUs) are leading the way by assisting their local school districts in meeting that need. IUs have responded by establishing a network of affordable, high-quality online learning options throughout the commonwealth that meet the needs of all learners. Each year, more than 15,000 students statewide select from over 5,000 online courses provided by intermediate units. Intermediate units collaborate with 245 public and non-public schools to ensure that all online learning students’ needs are met, while also ensuring that students have all of the benefits of remaining a part of their local school district or non-public/private school of choice. As a result, students have the benefit of meeting with guidance counselors and school support personnel in person, taking all their courses online or accessing face-toface instruction as desired. For local taxpayers, their dollars stay in their district of residence, thus enabling school districts to expand their educational options and services for all students while controlling costs and ensuring fiscal responsibility.

SCASD could implement new online learning management system
After about one year of research, the State College Area School District has decided on a new online learning management system that it says will better connect students, teachers and parents.  The district assembled a committee of 23 students, teachers, parents and district technology personnel to test 14 platforms. After narrowing the list down to three, the committee viewed presentations from the finalists and decided to move forward with Canvas LMS.  Nicole Steele, director of computer services and telecommunications, told the school board on Monday that the decision was made based on not only the platform’s look and feel, but how it easily integrates with the Google educational programs the district uses, allows teachers to provide feedback using video and audio, and is compatible with the student information system.
“We’re really excited about it moving forward,” Steele said. “It will provide a one-stop shop, so to speak, for our teachers and students to be able to access all of the tools and information that they need in one system.”

Thackston Charter addressing district concerns, but audits still incomplete
York Dispatch by David Weissman, 505-5431/@DispatchDavid Published 1:35 p.m. ET Aug. 10, 2017 | Updated 2:51 p.m. ET Aug. 10, 2017
Helen Thackston Charter School, facing revocation of its charter, has addressed many deficiencies in a laundry list of complaints from York City School District, but three years' worth of overdue audits remain incomplete.  Thackston's school board met Wednesday, Aug. 9, for a meeting that was rescheduled from July 27 because not enough board members had showed up to vote.  The four members absent July 27 were President Danyiell Newman, Nacole Gaines, Robert Safran and Kayla Sanchez. All four were present Wednesday, while Marcia Glover and Lisa Kennedy were absent. Vice President Frank Hawkins was present for both meetings.

Allentown School District looking into renewing contract with substitute teacher services
Jacqueline Palochko Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call August 10, 2017
The Allentown School District is considering renewing its contract with the company it uses to outsource its substitute teachers, even though the agency has struggled to fill positions.  At Thursday's Finance Committee meeting, the school board advanced a proposal to renew a contract with Substitute Teacher Service, a Delaware County company that has been providing services to the school district since 2014.  The district did not have numbers for how Substitute Teacher Service performed for the 2016-17 school year, but numbers The Morning Call previously obtained for the 2015-16 school year showed the company did not meet its goal of an 80 percent fill rate. Substitute Teacher Service had a fill rate — the percentage of times a district is able to get a qualified teacher into a classroom — of 73 percent, and some schools were much lower than that.

Bucks school's makeover aims to give students a head start on careers
Inquirer by Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer  @Kathy_Boccella | Updated: AUGUST 11, 2017 — 3:01 AM EDT
The stylish new internet café coming to lower Bucks County this fall — boasting a brightly colored carpet with geometric design and sleek workstations with multiple outlets to plug in devices — won’t be open to the general public. It’s part of a radical makeover in the way kids in Bensalem High School will learn and look forward to future careers.  “Doesn’t it look like Starbucks?” asked Kathy Leon, Bensalem’s assistant superintendent, showing off one highlight of a $78 million renovation project that took five years to carry out. “That’s what the kids are used to.”  But it’s the academic transformation of the 1,800-student Bensalem High that has officials even more excited than its dramatic physical overhaul. The start of classes this month will mark the launch of a career academies program that will allow high schoolers to focus on fields such as health care, science and technology, business, or arts and communications.

Philly's Spanish-speaking students lag in English language achievement
This story is about an achievement gap.  No, not the achievement gap — a term used to describe how white and wealthy students perform better on standardized tests than minority and low-income students.  This is an achievement gap you might not know much about, even though researchers have puzzled over it for more than a decade.  This one has to do with language.  We're writing about it now partly because it popped up in a recent Philadelphia study, with new data  pointing to its distressing magnitude.  Earlier this year, the Philadelphia Education Research Consortium released a study looking at English learners — or ELs — who entered the district as kindergartners in 2008-09. It tracked their progress through the end of third grade because the city has a goal of ensuring all students can read on grade level by the beginning of fourth grade.
The study found a lot of interesting things, but one data point stood out. 

OPINION: The One Big Thing Missing From Allan Domb’s Plan to Grow the City
Can we get 10 more Centrals?
PhillyMag BY GENE MARKS  |  AUGUST 9, 2017 AT 12:19 PM
As we’ve unfortunately learned, some business leaders may not be the most effective political leaders. But Allan Domb doesn’t fall into that category.  Since taking office as an at-large City Council member last year, Domb has dived into the job with enthusiasm, commitment, and energy. He doesn’t need to be doing this. He’s made plenty of money selling and managing real estate over the past few decades. But clearly he wants to make a difference. He wants Philadelphia to grow — and not just because the city’s growth will help him sell and manage more real estate. But because he cares about the city’s future.  To that end, Domb has outlined three steps to grow Philadelphia. He wants to take 100,000 people out of poverty, create 100,000 new jobs, and bring 100,000 new residents to the city. “What we need to do is expand our base,” he told columnist Stu Bykofsky recently. “Bring more people into the store to pay for the overhead.” He plans to do this through better collection of overdue taxes, more education about the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and, most important, attracting tech companies to the area.
Is this a sensible plan? It’s a start. But there’s one big thing missing that could make it a winner.

Arizona school voucher expansion put on hold as opponents challenge new law
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss August 10 at 3:49 PM 
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who hasn’t met a school voucher program she doesn’t like, can’t possibly like this piece of news: Public education advocates have managed to force the state of Arizona to put on hold a voucher program expansion recently signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey (R).  Expansion of the Empowerment Scholarship Account program, which uses public tax dollars to pay for private and religious school tuition and other educational expenses, was challenged by a volunteer group called Save Our Schools Arizona (SOS), which filed with authorities 111,540 Arizona voter signatures on a petition challenging the law and seeking that voters decide on it in the 2018 elections.  The Arizona Republic quoted Elections Director Eric Spencer as telling the group after it delivered the signatures: “For now, the law is stayed.”  The group needs 75,000 valid signatures to force the issue onto the ballot, and authorities will attempt to verify every one of them over the next few weeks. But even before the signatures were filed, supporters of the law, including the American Federation for Children, which was founded years ago by DeVos, were planning to fight the challenge. 

“It’s also a program that U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has applauded — which means Indiana offers a helpful glimpse at how a DeVos-led national expansion of vouchers might shape up.  Our investigation found that roughly one in 10 of Indiana’s voucher schools publicly shares a policy suggesting or declaring that LGBT students are not welcome. Together, the 27 schools received over $16 million in public funds for participating last year.”
Choice for most: In nation’s largest voucher program, $16 million went to schools with anti-LGBT policies
Chalkbeat BY JULIA DONHEISER  -  August 10, 2017
When it comes to school choice, options are more limited for Indiana’s LGBT students.
Lighthouse Christian Academy in Bloomington recently made headlines for promising students an excellent, “biblically integrated” education — unless they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The school also received more than $650,000 in public funds last year through the state’s voucher program.  The school’s admissions policy has made Lighthouse the focus of an intensifying national debate: whether private schools that discriminate against students on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity should be able to receive taxpayer dollars.  But as that debate heats up, it’s been unclear how many schools have policies like Lighthouse’s.  Chalkbeat tried to find out. In Indiana, over 34,299 students used vouchers to attend a private school last fall, making it the largest such program in the country.

Florida Fraud Reaches Ohio or vice versa
League of Women Voters Education Issues Website Posted on August 10, 2017 by Sue Legg
We have posted the Newpoint charter education management story of fraud and corruption previously. It spread from Bay County, Florida to Pinellas and included 15 charters. It’s a story of fake courses, fiscal mismanagement and out right fraud. School leaders face a criminal trial. Now it appears that the same company reaches into Ohio.  Sometimes it is difficult to keep track of these companies. They organize in small groups with different names. In Florida, they are Newpoint; in Ohio their nineteen schools are called Cambridge. They share leadership, and it is not yet clear how much else. At issue are kickbacks for high priced merchandise, misuse of federal charter school expansion funds, grand theft, racketeering, fraudulent invoices, overcharging families for uniforms…the list goes on.  It’s instructive to note that this is really a conspiracy. Here’s a list of their associated companies: Apex Learning; Consolidus, School Warehouse, Red Ignition, and Epiphany Management Group. They are all intertwined. Even worse, this charter organization was formed when the organizers left White Hat charter management firm. It had collapsed due to fraud uncovered in Ohio several years ago.  We in the League and others have asked for better regulation and oversight. Leaders, particularly in the Florida House, seem deaf to the calls. Of course several key legislators have direct ties to their own charter schools.  You can read the Ohio story here.

Is It True that Nobody Really Knows What to Do to Help Struggling Schools?
Jan Ressenger’s Blog Posted on August 9, 2017 by janresseger
Early this week, in a column for the Washington Post, Emma Brown wondered: “What should America do about its worst public schools?” Does anybody know?  Brown notes that not one of the plans states are submitting to the U.S. Department of Education, as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act, seems to include a solid plan to help the lowest scoring public schools.  Brown explains: Congress thought it had answers for the problem of low-performing schools when it passed No Child Left Behind in 2001. The bipartisan law, meant to fight what president George W. Bush called ‘the soft bigotry of low expectations,’ laid out consequences for schools that failed to meet escalating performance targets. After a school missed targets for two years, students were allowed to transfer out. After three years, schools had to offer free tutoring. After four and five years, there was a menu of options, from replacing the curriculum to firing staff, reopening as a charter school, or turning over management to state authorities… A decade after the law passed nearly everyone agreed it was broken… Despite some bright spots and success stories, a federal analysis released this year showed that, on average, test scores, graduation rates and college enrollment were no different in schools that received the money than in those that did not.”

A New Kind of Classroom: No Grades, No Failing, No Hurry
New York Times By KYLE SPENCER AUG. 11, 2017
Few middle schoolers are as clued in to their mathematical strengths and weakness as Moheeb Kaied. Now a seventh grader at Brooklyn’s Middle School 442, he can easily rattle off his computational profile.  “Let’s see,” he said one morning this spring. “I can find the area and perimeter of a polygon. I can solve mathematical and real-world problems using a coordinate plane. I still need to get better at dividing multiple-digit numbers, which means I should probably practice that more.”  Moheeb is part of a new program that is challenging the way teachers and students think about academic accomplishments, and his school is one of hundreds that have done away with traditional letter grades inside their classrooms. At M.S. 442, students are encouraged to focus instead on mastering a set of grade-level skills, like writing a scientific hypothesis or identifying themes in a story, moving to the next set of skills when they have demonstrated that they are ready. In these schools, there is no such thing as a C or a D for a lazily written term paper. There is no failing. The only goal is to learn the material, sooner or later.

PSBA Officer Elections: Slate of Candidates
PSBA Website August 2017
PSBA members seeking election to office for the association were required to submit a nomination form no later than June 1, 2017, to be considered. All candidates who properly completed applications by the deadline are included on the slate of candidates below. In addition, the Leadership Development Committee met on June 17 at PSBA headquarters in Mechanicsburg to interview candidates. According to bylaws, the Leadership Development Committee may determine candidates highly qualified for the office they seek. This is noted next to each person's name with an asterisk (*).

The deadline to submit cover letter, resume and application is August 25, 2017.
PSBA seeking experienced education leaders: Become an Advocacy Ambassador
PSBA is seeking applications for six Advocacy Ambassadors who have been involved in day-to-day functions of a school district, on the school board, or in a school leadership position. The purpose of the PSBA Advocacy Ambassador program is to facilitate the education and engagement of local school directors and public education stakeholders through the advocacy leadership of the ambassadors. Each Advocacy Ambassador will be an active leader in an assigned section of the state, and is kept up to date on current legislation and PSBA position based on PSBA priorities to accomplish advocacy goals.  PSBA Advocacy Ambassadors are independent contractors representing PSBA, and serve as liaisons between PSBA and their local and federal elected officials. Advocacy Ambassadors also commit to building strong relationships with PSBA members with the purpose of engaging the designated members to be active and committed grassroots advocates for PSBA’s legislative priorities.  This is a 9-month independent contractor position with a monthly stipend and potential renewal for a second year. Successful candidates must commit to the full 9-month contract, agree to fulfill assigned Advocacy Ambassador duties and responsibilities, and actively participate in conference calls and in-person meetings

September 19 @ 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM Hilton Reading
Berks County Community Foundation
Carol Corbett Burris: Executive Director of the Network for Public Education
Alyson Miles: Deputy Director of Government Affairs for the American Federation for Children
James Paul: Senior Policy Analyst at the Commonwealth Foundation
Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig: Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State University Sacramento
Karin Mallett: The WFMZ TV anchor and reporter returns as the moderator
School choice has been a hot topic in Berks County, in part due to a lengthy and costly dispute between the Reading School District and I-LEAD Charter School. The topic has also been in the national spotlight as President Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have focused on expanding education choice.  With this in mind, a discussion on school choice is being organized as part of Berks County Community Foundation’s Consider It initiative. State Sen. Judy Schwank and Berks County Commissioners Chairman Christian Leinbach are co-chairs of this nonpartisan program, which is designed to promote thoughtful discussion of divisive local and national issues while maintaining a level of civility among participants.  The next Consider It Dinner will take place Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at 5 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading, 701 Penn St., Reading, Pa. Tickets are available here.  For $10 each, tickets include dinner, the panel discussion, reading material, and an opportunity to participate in the conversation.

Apply Now for EPLC's 2017-2018 PA Education Policy Fellowship Program!
Education Policy and Leadership Center
Applications are available now for the 2017-2018 Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP).  The Education Policy Fellowship Program is sponsored in Pennsylvania by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC). Click here for the program calendar of sessions.  With more than 500 graduates in its first eighteen years, this Program is a premier professional development opportunity for educators, state and local policymakers, advocates, and community leaders.  State Board of Accountancy (SBA) credits are available to certified public accountants. Past participants include state policymakers, district superintendents and principals, school business officers, school board members, education deans/chairs, statewide association leaders, parent leaders, education advocates, and other education and community leaders. Fellows are typically sponsored by their employer or another organization.  The Fellowship Program begins with a two-day retreat on September 14-15, 2017 and continues to graduation in June 2018.

Using Minecraft to Imagine a Better World and Build It Together.
Saturday, September 16, 2017 or Sunday, September 17, 2017 at the University of the Sciences, 43rd & Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia
PCCY, the region’s most influential advocacy organization for children, leverages the world’s greatest video game for the year’s most engaging fundraising event for kids. Join us on Saturday, September 16, 2017 or Sunday, September 17, 2017 at the University of the Sciences, 43rd & Woodland Avenue for a fun, creative and unique gaming opportunity.

Education Law Center’s 2017 Annual Celebration
ELC invites you to join us for our Annual Celebration on September 27 in Philadelphia.
The Annual Celebration will take place this year on September 27, 2017 at The Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia. The event begins at 5:30 PM. We anticipate more than 300 legal, corporate, and community supporters joining us for a cocktail reception, silent auction, and dinner presentation.  Our annual celebrations honor outstanding champions of public education. This proud tradition continues at this year’s event, when together we will salute these deserving honorees:
·         PNC Bank: for the signature philanthropic cause of the PNC Foundation, PNC Grow Up Great, a bilingual $350 million, multi-year early education initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life; and its support of the Equal Justice Works Fellowship, which enables new lawyers to pursue careers in public interest law;
·         Joan Mazzotti: for her 16 years of outstanding leadership as the Executive Director of Philadelphia Futures, a college access and success program serving Philadelphia’s low-income, first-generation-to-college students;
·         Dr. Bruce Campbell Jr., PhD: for his invaluable service to ELC, as he rotates out of the chairman position on our Board of Directors. Dr. Campbell is an Arcadia University Associate Professor in the School of Education; and
·         ELC Pro Bono Awardee Richard Shephard of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP: for his exceptional work as pro bono counsel, making lasting contributions to the lives of many vulnerable families.Questions? Contact Tracy Callahan or 215-238-6970 ext. 308.

STAY WOKE: THE INAUGURAL NATIONAL BLACK MALE EDUCATORS CONVENING; Philadelphia Fri, Oct 13, 2017 4:00 pm Sun, Oct 15, 2017 7:00pm
TEACHER DIVERSITY WORKS. Increasing the number of Black male educators in our nation’s teacher corps will improve education for all our students, especially for African-American boys.  Today Black men represent only two percent of teachers nationwide. This is a national problem that demands a national response.  Come participate in the inaugural National Black Male Educators Convening to advance policy solutions, learn from one another, and fight for social justice. All are welcome.

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

Save the Date: PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference October 18-20, Hershey PA

Registration now open for the 67th Annual PASCD Conference  Nov. 12-13 Harrisburg: Sparking Innovation: Personalized Learning, STEM, 4C's
This year's conference will begin on Sunday, November 12th and end on Monday, November 13th. There will also be a free pre-conference on Saturday, November 11th.  You can register for this year's conference online with a credit card payment or have an invoice sent to you.  Click here to register for the conference.

Save the Date! NSBA 2018 Advocacy Institute February 4-6, 2018 Marriott Marquis, Washington D.C.
Registration Opens Tuesday, September 26, 2017

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