Tuesday, October 31, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup Oct. 31: What all our "academic score" schemes and standardized tests measure best: Poverty

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 Oct. 31, 2017:
What all our "academic score" schemes and standardized tests measure best: Poverty



School Report Cards: For 5th year in a row, not one PA cyber achieved a passing school performance score of 70. Do we need another one?



Wolf signs bills to balance Pa. budget with gambling and borrowing, hints of possible veto of education bill
Inquirer by Liz Navratil, HARRISBURG BUREAU Updated: OCTOBER 30, 2017 — 2:22 PM EDT
HARRISBURG – Gov. Wolf on Monday signed most of the remaining legislation needed to balance Pennsylvania’s $32 billion budget, except for one piece that outlines the details of education funding. The Democratic governor left open the possibility that he could veto that bill, called the education code. It contains a few controversial provisions, including one that would allow school districts, when laying off teachers for economic reasons, to forgo seniority considerations and instead use teacher evaluation scores to determine who goes and who stays. Wolf did not outline which provisions of the bill gave him pause. “There are a couple of things I’m not real comfortable with,” he said Monday after an early afternoon speech at the month press club luncheon in Harrisburg. It was typical of the enigmatic communications style Wolf has employed throughout budget negotiations. Signed Monday by the governor were several budget-related bills, including one authorizing borrowing $1.5 billion against the state’s landmark settlement with tobacco companies; applying the sales tax to more goods sold online; and taxing fireworks. Wolf also signed legislation that greatly expands gambling in the state.
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/state/pa-budget-gambling-borrowing-teachers-seniority-veto-20171030.html

“In addition to that provision, the school code bill includes a $10 million increase in funding for the scholarship portion of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, banning lunch shaming, mandating training for school board members, mandating opioid abuse prevention education, and more.”
Gov. Tom Wolf has yet to act on teacher furlough reform bill
Penn Live By Jan Murphy jmurphy@pennlive.com Updated on October 30, 2017 at 2:25 PM Posted on October 30, 2017 at 2:00 PM
With all the budget-related bills that the House and Senate sent to Gov. Tom Wolf last week, only one remains on his desk. It is the school code bill that contained the controversial provision that would allow school boards to furlough teachers for economic reasons and those decisions would not be made on a seniority basis. Wolf told reporters following his remarks to the Pennsylvania Press Club on Monday where he announced he has signed all of the other bills in the revenue package to fund the enacted $32 billion budget including ones that expand legalized gambling, borrows $1.5 billion against future payments from the multi-state tobacco settlement, and approves $500 million in fund transfers. He hinted that there were "a couple things I'm not real comfortable with" in the bill and may want to go back to the drawing board. It should be noted that he vetoed a standalone bill last year that would have allowed for teachers to be furloughed for economic reasons based on their performance ratings instead of seniority. The economic furlough provision would only allow seniority to be the basis for determining which teachers get laid off if two teachers had the same performance rating. Reinstatement of furloughed teachers would be done in reverse order in which they were suspended.
http://www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/10/gov_tom_wolf_has_yet_to_act_on.html#incart_river_index

“Out of the 116 charter and cyber charter schools that received academic performance scores, 20  – or 17 percent – achieved scores of 70 points or higher.
Some like to see a comparison to traditional public schools. For those who do, 51 percent – or 1,386 district schools – out of the 2,710 that received scores attained 70 or higher. “
Eight observations gleaned from Pa.'s 2017 school report cards
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com Posted October 31, 2017 at 05:50 AM | Updated October 31, 2017 at 05:50 AM
Some schools found reason to cheer when they saw their academic performance score for 2016-17 rose on the School Performance Profiles that the state Department of Education released on Friday. That score reflects a cumulative tally for performance on state exams, efforts to close the achievement gap between subgroups of students, and an assortment of other measures. Others may be discouraged that their overall score declined but with the plethora of data displayed in a school profile, perhaps they too found some morsels of good news.  In looking over the statewide data and taking a closer look at information about schools in six southcentral Pennsylvania counties, here are eight observations of note.
http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/10/eight_observations_gleaned_fro.html#incart_river_index

The state’s School Performance Profile era ends: How did we do?
Times Leader By Mark Guydish - mguydish@timesleader.com | October 28th, 2017 8:42 pm
Pennsylvania’s “School Performance Profile” scores, designed to show how well public schools were doing academically, lasted only five years, from 2013 through this week. The scores released Friday were the final ones, as the state will transition to the new Future Ready PA Index next year. That means this is the last year SPP results can be compared to prior years. So, how did area schools do under the system which had replaced the previous “Adequate Yearly Progress” (AYP) created under the 2002 “No Child Left Behind” federal law? As far as overall improvement goes, not so well. Comparing the 2012-13 SPP scores with 2016-17, only five Luzerne County public schools saw improvement, and only two of those saw double-digit increases.
http://www.timesleader.com/news/local/680377/the-states-school-performance-profile-era-ends-how-did-we-do

Referendum on November ballot opens door to property tax elimination
Penn Live By Jan Murphy jmurphy@pennlive.com Updated on October 31, 2017 at 6:16 AM Posted on October 31, 2017 at 6:15 AM
Voters who show up at the polls on Nov. 7 will have an opportunity to vote on amending the state constitution to open the door to provide for property tax elimination for Pennsylvania homeowners.  But here's the catch. If the majority of voters vote yes on this referendum, it doesn't mean property taxes will suddenly go away. What it would do is provide a mechanism to target greater property tax relief to residential properties. But before that can happen, state laws need to change to provide for replacement revenue sources to fund school districts, municipalities and counties. "It is a confusing issue," said Hannah Barrick, advocacy director for the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials. "This is just step one in the process." Specifically, what the proposed amendment to Article VIII of the constitution would do is increase the exclusion level to up to 100 percent of the value of each "homestead," or primary residence, in a municipality, county or school district.
http://www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/10/opening_door_to_property_tax_e.html#incart_river_index

Pennsylvania's property tax referendum has a long way to go if it passes
Trib Live BOB BAUDER  | Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, 5:30 p.m.
Pennsylvania voters can decide through a ballot referendum next week if local governments and school districts should have the ability to exempt them from paying property taxes on their homes. The question sounds like a no-brainer, but if it passes and state lawmakers go along with it, municipalities and school districts would have to make up the lost revenue through some other tax. “It sounds good,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We'd all love to eliminate property taxes, but you can't eliminate it unless you have a replacement.”

Empire of Deceit: An Investigation of the G├╝len Charter School Network
Quick Facts on Pennsylvania Gulen Charter Schools
THIS MATERIAL IS DISTRIBUTED BY AMSTERDAM & PARTNERS LLP ON BEHALF OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY.
http://empireofdeceit.com/pdf/Pennsylvania%20State%20Profile.pdf

Former Philly District CEO: Latest school governance plan is Einstein's definition of insanity | Opinion
Opinion by Phil Goldsmith, For the Inquirer Updated: OCTOBER 30, 2017 — 11:39 AM EDT
Phil Goldsmith served as interim chief executive officer of the School District of Philadelphia, 2000 and 2001.
With the School Reform Commission and the Kenney administration about to disband the School Reform Commission for yet another school governance structure, I am mindful of a quote attributed to Albert Einstein: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Since the School District was created, it’s had more governance structures than Zsa Zsa Gabor had husbands. Here is a quick recap: Originally, each ward had its own elected school board; in time the elected boards became advisory and a 21-member Board of Education was selected by the Board of Judges. At one point the School District was a department of city government, but later it became an independent agency and the 21-member board was reduced to 15 members. In 1965, city voters reduced the number of members to nine, with members serving staggered six-year terms, and for the first time gave appointing power to the mayor. In 1999, the voters acted again, this time granting the incoming mayor the authority to select the nine-member board, whose terms would be concurrent with his.
http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/commentary/school-reform-commission-philadelphia-school-district-phil-goldsmith-20171030.html

Philly needs local school control, with a mayor-appointed board | Opinion
Inquirer Opinion Updated: OCTOBER 30, 2017 — 11:38 AM EDT
·         Seth Shapiro, chief operating officer, the Goldenberg Group
·         Jerry Sweeney, president, chief executive officer and trustee, Brandywine Realty Trust
·         Gabe Morgan, SEIU 32BJ vice president and Pennsylvania/Delaware state director
·         Marc Stier, director, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
·         Steven Scott Bradley, chairman, African American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware
·         Sharif El-Mekki, Phillys7thWard.org blogger, founder of the Fellowship-Black Male Educators for Social Justice, principal of Mastery Charter-Shoemaker campus 
·         Susan Spicka, executive director, Education Voters of Pennsylvania
·         Marjorie Neff, former educator, principal and chair of the School Reform Commission
·         Michael K. Pearson, social entrepreneur
·         Pedro Ramos, former SRC chair and former Board of Education president
·         Brigitte Daniel, executive vice president, Wilco Electronic System
·         Anton Moore, president and founder of Unity in the Community
As members of Philadelphia’s business, academic, labor, and advocacy communities, we are regularly reminded that our city’s success is dependent upon the success of our public schools. Troublingly, the School District of Philadelphia will face an almost $1 billion deficit over the next five years, due to factors largely outside its control. We cannot allow our children to be thrust into another cycle of budget crises just as the district is starting to show progress. Philadelphians must step up to meet this funding shortage, and in return they should receive accelerated academic progress and greater accountability. Both goals can only be achieved through local control. The form of local control that will bring the best results and the greatest accountability to Philadelphians is a board appointed by the mayor. Studies from Pew and others, as well as the experience of numerous large school districts, demonstrate clearly that the most successful governance models have central accountability. 
http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/editorials/school-reform-commission-local-control-mayor-appointed-school-board-20171030.html

Let's create a true People's School Board to undo the damage of the SRC | Opinion
Inquirer Opinion Updated: OCTOBER 30, 2017 — 11:32 AM EDT
·         Antione Little, 215 People’s Alliance, chair of Our City Our Schools, public school parent
·         Tamir Harper, UrbEd, high school senior at Science Leadership Academy
·         Sheila Armstrong, POWER, Philadelphia school parent
·         Ethelind Baylor, vice president of AFSCME District Council 47, public school parent
·         Julien Terrell, executive director, Philadelphia Student Union
·         Kendra Brooks, Parents United for Public Education, public school parent
·         Karel Kilimnik, Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools, retired teacher
·         Patricia Eakin, president, PASNAP
·         Kelley Collings, Caucus of Working Educators of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, teacher at the Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences
·         Marguerite Stanford, secretary-treasurer, AFSCME District 1199C, public school parent, retired teacher
·         Tonya Bah, Neighborhood Networks, public school parent
·         Aileen Callaghan, Reclaim Philadelphia, parent of pre-K student
·         Alix Webb, executive director, Asian Americans United
·         Todd Wolfson, board president, Media Mobilizing Project, parent of pre-K students
·         Nancy Nguyen, executive director, VietLead
Over a year ago, we launched the Our City Our Schools campaign to end the 16-year-long failed experiment of the state-controlled School Reform Commission (SRC). The SRC was set up in 2001 in a supposed attempt to bring in more state funding, but instead led to dozens of school closures in black and brown neighborhoods, increased school privatization, failed for-profit consultants like Edison, and an austerity budget that has hurt students, parents, school staff, educators, and the city at large. We commend Mayor Kenney and City Council’s vision for returning our schools to local control.In the face of an uncertain fiscal future and an unsupportive majority in the state legislature, major decisions about the future of our schools are both necessary and difficult. Regaining local control is a huge step forward on the path toward true, democratically based community control of our schools. While we celebrate the mayor’s leadership, the question of how our schools will be governed is critical. For the last six months, Our City Our Schools and supporters have pushed for a transitional task force that could study successful school governance models and gather broad public input on what comes next — from an elected school board like those in the other 499 districts in Pennsylvania to the mayoral-controlled board of Philadelphia’s past.
http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/editorials/school-reform-commission-city-schools-people-progressive-agenda-20171030.html

Getting Into High School in Philadelphia
The workings of a complicated system
The Pew Charitable Trusts Philadelphia Research Initiative September 14, 2017 
Overview - In the School District of Philadelphia, students are not required to attend a particular high school. A wide—and potentially bewildering—variety of choices confronts eighth-graders and their parents. To go anywhere other than their neighborhood high schools, they must identify the options they think fit their needs and apply to them. Counting charter schools, Philadelphia has 98 publicly funded high schools, some of which offer multiple programs. These include 24 neighborhood schools, the majority of which are rated as low-quality under the district’s accountability system. Most eighth-graders apply to other programs that get better ratings and are more selective, including 21 highly competitive “special admission” programs—all of which have academic standards for admission—and 121 less competitive programs categorized by the district as “citywide admission.” Also available are 43 charter high schools, which are publicly funded but not operated by the school district. The Pew Charitable Trusts, working with data provided by the School District of Philadelphia, analyzed the process of matching students who were eighth-graders in 2014-15 with district-run high schools for the subsequent school year. The analysis sought to shed light on two central topics: How the application, admission, and enrollment process worked for students applying to ninth grade—and who attended the special admission schools, presumably the most desirable of the district-run institutions.
http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/2017/09/getting-into-high-school-in-philadelphia

Ears on the SRC: October 19, 2017
Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools by Diane Payne October 27, 2017 
 Chair Joyce Wilkerson and Commissioners Estelle Richmond, Chris McGinley and Farah Jimenez were present for the entire meeting. Missing in action once again was Commissioner Bill Green. Green has been exhibiting a disdain for his position by failing to be present for part or all of five meetings since April. No other commissioner has had such an abysmal attendance record. Green has come in at the tail end of two meetings this year, after staff presentations and public speakers, but was still permitted to vote. He has left two other meetings early only to call in by phone much later, again, just in time to vote. This time he never showed, and no explanation was given by the Chair.   Resolution B-1 Donation: $2,700,000 Ratification of Acceptance of Donation of Services and Resources from Temple University had to be withdrawn by staff because McGinley and Wilkerson abstained due to their Temple employment. That left the vote an unpassable tie of 2-2. This resolution was to accept “the donation of professional development services from Temple University to improve leadership, instruction and parent engagement of English Learners valued at $2,700,000 for the period commencing September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2021
https://appsphilly.net/2017/10/27/ears-on-the-src-october-19-2017/


House GOP Leaders Announce Children’s Health Insurance Vote
Roll Call by Sandhya Raman Posted Oct 26, 2017 2:34 PM
Arguments erupted on the House floor Thursday between Republican and Democratic leaders over the prospect of a vote next week on a GOP-only bill to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced the bill would be debated next week — a plan opposed by Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md. Democrats have pushed to delay the House bill until an agreement is reached on a bipartisan solution to pay for it. “CHIP and community health centers, as the majority leader pointed out, have always been a bipartisan priority. Unfortunately, this bill did not come out of the committee as a bipartisan bill,” said Hoyer. “Negotiations were not fruitful.” McCarthy shot back: “Let me set the record straight. Yes, it did come out of committee, and, yes, we did hold it up three times because your side of the aisle asked us to.” McCarthy said the reason the bill must be done next week is because Minnesota is about to run out of funds. Federal funding for CHIP was exhausted Sept. 30, but nine states and territories including Minnesota received redistribution funds from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that are left over from previous fiscal year allotments.
https://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/house-gop-leaders-announce-childrens-health-insurance-vote?utm_content=buffer66bc7&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

How the Kochs are trying to shake up public schools, one state at a time
The push by Libre represents a new front in the fight by targeting Hispanic families.
Politico By KIMBERLY HEFLING 10/30/2017 02:00 PM EDT
With school choice efforts stalled in Washington, the billionaire Koch brothers’ network is engaged in state-by-state battles with teachers’ unions, politicians and parent groups to push for public funding of private and charter schools. One of the newest campaigns is the Libre Initiative, a grassroots drive targeting Hispanic families in 11 states so far, under the umbrella of the Charles and David Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, a powerful conservative and libertarian advocacy group. While the Koch network has long been involved in school choice battles, the push by Libre represents a new front in the fight by targeting Hispanic families — and a recognition that with Congress gridlocked, it’s on the ground at the state level where the network can disrupt the educational status quo. The Koch message on schools is shared by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a longtime ally.
https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/30/kochs-public-schools-shakeup-244259


Webinar: Get the Facts on the Proposed Constitutional Amendment
OCT 31, 2017 • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Registration Required
Recently passed through the General Assembly as House Bill 1285, Joint Resolution 1 proposes to amend the constitution by authorizing the General Assembly to enact legislation allowing local taxing authorities (counties, municipalities and school districts) to exclude from property taxation up to the full assessed value of each homestead/farmstead property within the taxing jurisdiction. If approved, what does this change mean for schools in PA? In this complimentary webinar, learn about the legislative history, facts and implications of the amendment so you can make the decision that is right for you on Nov. 7.
Presenters include:
·         Nathan Mains, PA School Boards Association;
·         Hannah Barrick,  PA Association of School Business Officials
·         Jim Vaughan,  PA State Education Association
·         Mark DiRocco, PA Association of School Administrators
None of the organizations sponsoring this webinar have a position on the ballot question. The objective of the webinar is purely information based and to separate fact from fiction.
Register online here:  GoToWebinar.com
https://www.psba.org/event/webinar-proposed-constitutional-amendment/

Seventh Annual Pennsylvania Arts and Education Symposium, November 2, 2017 Camp Hill
The 2017 Pennsylvania Arts and Education will be held on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at the Radisson Hotel Harrisburg Convention Center in Camp Hill.  See the agenda here.
Early Bird Registration ends September 30.
https://www.eplc.org/pennsylvania-arts-education-network/

Save the Date: Pitt Johnstown to host Funding Lawsuit Panel at Murtha Center on campus November 15th at 7:00 pm

November School Leader Advocacy Training
PASA, PASBO, PSBA, the Pennsylvania Principals Association, the PARSS and PAIU are offering five, full-day School Leader Advocacy Training sessions at the following locations:
Monday, November 6 – Capital Area I.U. 15 (Summerdale)
Tuesday, November 7 – Luzerne I.U. 18 (Kingston)
Wednesday, November 15 – Berks County I.U. 14 (Reading)
Thursday, November 16 – Midwestern I.U. 4 (Grove City)
Friday, November 17 – Westmoreland I.U. 7 (Greensburg)
Take advantage of this great opportunity – at NO cost to you!
REGISTER TODAY at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SchoolLeaderTraining

Cyber Charter School Application; Public Hearing November 20
Pennsylvania Bulletin Saturday, October 14, 2017 NOTICES - DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
The Department of Education (Department) has scheduled one date for a public hearing regarding a cyber charter school application that was received on or before October 2, 2017. The hearing will be held on November 20, 2017, in Heritage Room A on the lobby level of 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126 at 9 a.m. The hearing pertains to the applicant seeking to operate a cyber charter school beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. The purpose of the hearing is to gather information from the applicant about the proposed cyber charter school as well as receive comments from interested individuals regarding the application. The name of the applicant, copies of the application and a listing of the date and time scheduled for the hearing on the application can be viewed on the Department's web site at www.education.pa.gov. Individuals who wish to provide comments on the application during the hearing must provide a copy of their written comments to the Department and the applicant on or before November 6, 2017. Comments provided by this deadline and presented at the hearing will become part of the certified record. For questions regarding this hearing, contact the Division of Charter Schools, (717) 787-9744, charterschools@pa.gov.

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education Cyber Charter School Application for Commonwealth Education Connections Cyber Charter School 2017
Charter School Application Submitted: September 27, 2017


Support the Notebook and see Springsteen on Broadway
The notebook October 2, 2017 — 10:57am
Donate $50 or more until Nov. 10, enter to win – and have your donation doubled!
"This music is forever for me. It's the stage thing, that rush moment that you live for. It never lasts, but that's what you live for." – Bruce Springsteen
You can be a part of a unique Bruce Springsteen show in his career – and support local, nonprofit education journalism!  Donate $50 or more to the Notebook through Nov. 10, and your donation will be doubled, up to $1,000, through the Knight News Match. Plus, you will be automatically entered to win a pair of prime tickets to see Springsteen on Broadway!  One winner will receive two tickets to the 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, show at the Walter Kerr Theatre. These are amazing orchestra section seats to this incredible sold-out solo performance. Don't miss out on your chance to see the Boss in his Broadway debut. Donate to the Notebook today online or by mail at 699 Ranstead St., 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
http://thenotebook.org/articles/2017/10/02/springsteen-on-broadway

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.
http://myemail.constantcontact.com/PASCD-Conference-Registration-is-Now-Open.html?soid=1101415141682&aid=5F-ceLtbZDs

Register for New School Director Training in December and January
PSBA Website October 2017
You’ve started a challenging and exciting new role as a school director. Let us help you narrow the learning curve! PSBA’s New School Director Training provides school directors with foundational knowledge about their role, responsibilities and ethical obligations. At this live workshop, participants will learn about key laws, policies, and processes that guide school board governance and leadership, and develop skills for becoming strong advocates in their community. Get the tools you need from experts during this visually engaging and interactive event.
Choose from any of these 10 locations and dates (note: all sessions are held 8 a.m.-4 p.m., unless specified otherwise.):
·         Dec. 8, Bedford CTC
·         Dec. 8, Montoursville Area High School
·         Dec. 9, Upper St. Clair High School
·         Dec. 9, West Side CTC
·         Dec. 15, Crawford County CTC
·         Dec. 15, Upper Merion MS (8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m)
·         Dec. 16, PSBA Mechanicsburg
·         Dec. 16, Seneca Highlands IU 9
·         Jan. 13, A W Beattie Career Center
·         Jan. 13, Parkland HS
Fees: Complimentary to All-Access members or $170 per person for standard membership. All registrations will be billed to the listed district, IU or CTC. To request billing to an individual, please contact Michelle Kunkel at michelle.kunkel@psba.org. Registration also includes a box lunch on site and printed resources.

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

Monday, October 30, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup Oct. 30: School Report Cards: For 5th year in a row, not one PA cyber achieved a passing school performance score of 70. Do we need another one?

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 Oct. 30, 2017:
School Report Cards: For 5th year in a row, not one PA cyber achieved a passing school performance score of 70. Do we need another one?


Editorial: One battle won in education funding; the war goes on
Delco Times Editorial POSTED: 10/28/17, 6:49 PM EDT
They won the battle. Now they need to win the war.
There were plenty of smiles Wednesday as families, educators, activists and others gathered at Penn Wood High School to celebrate a huge court victory – and a win for all those across Pennsylvania who have complained for years about the inequity in the state’s system of funding public education. These are the people who know first-hand what it means to receive an inferior education for no reason other than your zip code. That was the basis of a lawsuit filed against the state Department of Education by William Penn School District, a local family and several districts across the state. Unfortunately, the suit was initially tossed out by Commonwealth Court, which ruled that education funding was solely the domain of the state Legislature. But the state Supreme Court demurred, and sent the case back to Commonwealth Court. It did not decide in favor of the plaintiffs’ argument. In effect, it ruled that those who have complained for years about education funding in Pennsylvania at a minimum deserve their day in court and the chance to make their argument. That is what brought the group to Penn Wood High this week to celebrate.
http://www.delcotimes.com/opinion/20171028/editorial-one-battle-won-in-education-funding-the-war-goes-on

“Members touted their involvement in a newly revived school funding case against the state that argues the state is failing its obligation to students because the education funding process fails to ensure that every district has adequate money. Joan Duvall-Flynn, president of the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference, said she’s pleased with the organization’s involvement in the case. She said she hopes it will lead to fair funding for schools in Pennsylvania.”
NAACP conventioneers in Allentown talk education, other concerns, ideas
Michelle Merlin Of The Morning Call October 27, 2017
There are plenty of race-relations issues grabbing headlines in national news, from police shootings to the Charlottesville, Va., protests to the take a knee controversy in the NFL.
But members of the state NAACP say they’re most focused on educational issues. Members from around the state have converged in Allentown for the Pennsylvania NAACP's annual convention, where they will elect officers and by the end of the weekend will adopt policies. The organization also is hosting workshops for its members and will feature guest speakers. In interviews participants shared their thoughts on systematic issues such as education and school funding, as well as on the events that made the news, including the removal of Confederate statues and the recent spate of racist graffiti and other incidents in Pennsylvania schools.
http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-nws-naacp-convention-allentown-20171026-story.html

Johnny Patterson, the applicant who withdrew an allegedly plagiarized 2014 PA charter application because he had to catch a train, is back with a cyber charter application pending before PDE for a hearing on November 20th.  On the website for his Commonwealth Education Connections, Inc. there are no actual functioning schools.  It is worth noting that the proposed budget for the new cyber school includes $270K, $297K and $326K in public tax dollars as salary for the CEO, Mr. Patterson, in the first three years.
Reprise Jan. 2014: Backers withdraw plan for proposed D. June Brown Charter School in Harrisburg
By M. Diane McCormick | Special to PennLive on January 15, 2014 at 10:15 PM, updated January 15, 2014 at 10:16 PM
Applicants for a Harrisburg charter school withdrew their proposal Wednesday night, claiming after a break in a Harrisburg School Board hearing that he had a train to catch. The bumpy beginning to the hearing – referencing plagiarism, people named as school founders later disclaiming their involvement, and the naming of the planned school after a woman facing 54 counts of wire fraud -- did not influence the withdrawal, said Johnny Patterson, CEO of Philadelphia-based nonprofit National Education Partners. "It has nothing to do with the hearing," Patterson said after the withdrawal. "It's just time constraints. I would be more than willing to sit here and answer their questions, but due to the time constraints, that's it."
http://www.pennlive.com/east-shore/index.ssf/2014/01/harrisburg_charter_school_proposal_withdrawn.html

School Performance Profile Scores for PA Cyber Charters 2013 through 2017
Source: PA Department of Education website
A score of 70 is considered passing

Total cyber charter tuition paid by PA taxpayers from 500 school districts for 2013, 2014 and 2015 was over $1.2 billion; $393.5 million, $398.8 million and $436.1 million respectively.

Not one of Pennsylvania’s cyber charters has achieved a passing SPP score of 70 in any of the five years that the SPP has been in effect.
Cohort
Grad Rate
Cyber Charter School Name
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2017
21st Century CS
66.5
66.0
69.2
62.2
61.1
67.66
Achievement House CS
39.7
37.5
44.8
54.5
52.7
41.67
ACT Academy Cyber CS
30.6
28.9
36.1
40.7
36.5
15.79
Agora Cyber CS
48.3
42.4
46.4
37.6
47.9
41.18
ASPIRA Bilingual CS
29.0
39.0
38.4
41.9
37.4
23.33
Central PA Digital Learning Fdn CS
31.7
48.8
39.3
46.7
46.4
29.03
Commonwealth Connections Academy CS
54.6
52.2
48.8
47.5
45.5
65.76
Education Plus Academy Cyber CS
59.0
50.0

67.9


Esperanza Cyber CS
32.7
47.7
31.7
50.7
35.5
46.15
PA Cyber CS
59.4
55.5
65.3
51.0
49.9
54.59
PA Distance Learning CS
54.7
50.9
49.2
53.9
39.4
53.25
PA Leadership CS
64.7
59.3
54.7
57.5
57.0
71.39
PA Virtual CS
67.9
63.4
64.6
49.7
54.2
80.50
Solomon CS
36.9





Susq-Cyber CS
46.4
42.4
45.5
49.3
46.0
29.82


It's Pa. public school report card day: How did your school do?
Penn Live By Jan Murphy jmurphy@pennlive.com Updated on October 27, 2017 at 7:13 PM Posted on October 27, 2017 at 4:33 PM
The state Department of Education released the 2017 School Performance Profile scores for Pennsylvania public schools to give parents and taxpayers a tool to measure their performance and progress. The scores taken into account such measures as state exam results, making progress on closing achievement gaps between various subgroups of students, attendance rates, graduation rates and students' academic growth. It combines results of all those indicators of student performance to arrive at a cumulative score. Schools are scored on a 1-100 scale and are able to get extra credit for high-level performance on state and industry assessments as well as the percentage of students earning scores on Advanced Placement tests that qualify for college credit. This is the last year that the department will use this accountability tool that has been in use since 2013 to shine a light on public school performance. Starting next year, the department, as part of its Every Student Succeeds Act compliance plan, will move to a Future Ready PA Index that does not culminate in a single score for school performance, much to the dismay of the chairmen of the legislative oversight committees.
http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/10/its_school_report_card_day_for.html#incart_river_index

With little fanfare, state education department releases school report cards
By MOLLY BORN Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mborn@post-gazette.com 5:46 PM OCT 27, 2017
The Pennsylvania Department of Education released its 2017 school report cards Friday afternoon. The School Performance Profiles, which grade individual schools on a scale of 100 — with the chance  to earn seven extra points — are based mostly on standardized test scores, and to a lesser degree factors such as graduation rates and attendance. Families can check their schools' scores here. The department doesn't analyze trends in scores from year to year, and officials from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and Pittsburgh Public Schools, who have historically commented on such data locally, couldn't immediately be reached.   The state education department will use the Future Ready PA Index to replace the School Performance Profile starting in the fall of 2018. The “dashboard” is still being designed, but it will swap a point system for an interactive approach that will consider factors such as chronic absenteeism, student success after graduation and participation in Advanced Placement courses. It also will recognize schools for lowering the percentage of students scoring at the "below basic" level on state tests.
http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2017/10/27/With-little-fanfare-state-education-department-releases-school-report-cards/stories/201710270185

The fallout: With the budget dam broken, what's next for Pa's state government and politics?
Penn Live By Charles Thompson cthompson@pennlive.com Updated on October 27, 2017 at 7:41 PM Posted on October 27, 2017 at 2:14 PM
One of the oddest budget cycles Pennsylvania has ever seen might now be in its death throes. Think about it. A budget that started with the Democrat governor and Republican-controlled General Assembly closer than ever in their respective starting points wound up taking far longer than normal to complete. But here we are. With final passage of a massive gambling expansion package Thursday, the Legislature has sent Gov. Tom Wolf a $2.3 billion fiscal patch for the unbalanced $32.0 billion spending plan, and left for its customary election season break. The ball is in Wolf's court now. If the governor signs the bills on his desk or simply lets them become law without his signature, the siege is over. If he does something else? We'll see.
Here's a look at the top lingering questions from the endless debate, both of the what now and what's next variety.
http://www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/10/the_fall-out_with_the_budget_d.html

Budget bills are ugly but Wolf has little choice but to sign
AP State Wire By MARC LEVY Published: Oct 28, 2017
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's House of Representatives had passed an aggressive, bipartisan gambling expansion bill an hour earlier when Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's top budget adviser walked by the chamber's Democratic leader in the Capitol's ornate Rotunda. "Thank you," he told Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny. It was perhaps the most polite thing said about Pennsylvania's ugly budget process and a Frankenstein-like assortment now sitting on Wolf's desk: The gambling bill, a $140 million tax package and $1.5 billion borrowing measure to bail out the state's finances. There were no celebratory press conferences for the borrowing and gambling, no flood of credit-taking and no visible elation. Despite their distaste for it, lawmakers say it puts the state on sound financial footing for the foreseeable future after fighting persistent deficits since the recession. This year's projected deficit was particularly acute: $2.2 billion, driven largely by Pennsylvania's biggest post-recession shortfall.
http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_268748/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=vhHZUKSz

Tom Wolf and that bad, bad 'Stranger Things' budget in Harrisburg
Philly Daily News by John Baer, STAFF COLUMNIST  baerj@phillynews.com Updated: OCTOBER 30, 2017 — 5:00 AM EDT
Now that our Looney Tunes legislature passed a state budget — long overdue and way underdone — what sort of political fallout do you think ensues? It’s four months late and fiscally reckless, yet another short-term fix for a state with long-term problems. And Gov. Wolf, yet again, faces a budget that doesn’t begin to reflect his agenda. Also, it’s odd. It calls to mind the hit Netflix sci-fi thriller Stranger Things, which includes an alternate dimension called the “Upside Down.” In Harrisburg, the legislature and Wolf are living in their own “Upside Down” — and each year producing stranger things. For example, this $32 billion duck is the handiwork of a Republican legislature led by conservative GOP leaders. Yet it’s built on massive borrowing ($1.5 billion) and a broad expansion of gambling, things conservatives generally oppose. You know the party reliables: fiscal responsibility, family values. As one Republican insider asked, “Since when did borrowing and gaming become conservative talking points?” Well, since Democrat Wolf was elected in 2014 and called for fixing the state’s structural deficit with real budgets and sustainable revenue (read: new taxes), including a natural-gas severance tax.
http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/john_baer/tom-wolf-and-that-bad-bad-stranger-things-budget-in-harrisburg-20171030.html

With their school system in shambles, Puerto Rican students head to Pa.
Penn Live By David Wenner dwenner@pennlive.com Updated on October 26, 2017 at 4:38 PM Posted on October 26, 2017 at 2:18 PM
With little prospect of resuming their educations at home any time soon, more than 300 students from Puerto Rico have enrolled in schools in Pennsylvania, with more expected.  State Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera said in an emailed statement, "Pennsylvania's state agencies have been working together to accommodate and support evacuees from Puerto Rico and other devastated areas, a number that is well into the hundreds and continues to grow every day." Rivera didn't provide information about specific schools that are seeing an influx. Reading School District in Berks County had 26 students from Puerto Rico as of earlier this week, according to WFMZ-TV.  WFMZ further reported that more than 50 families from Puerto Rico have recently enrolled children in Reading-area schools. It said community leaders, who had met to discuss the situation, didn't identify all the schools they are attending. The Morning Call several weeks ago reported that the Allentown School District had 30 new students from Puerto Rico and was expecting more. A Harrisburg School District spokeswoman on Thursday said the district has been enrolling students from Puerto Rico. And Lancasteronline reported  this week that 20 families, with 33 school-age children, have relocated to the county from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/10/with_their_school_system_in_sh.html

Video: Property Tax Ballot Referendum Discussion with League of Women Voters President Roberta Winters & Guests
Video: Main Line Public TV at Radnor Studio 21 Published on Oct 27, 2017 Runtime: 33:35
Lawrence Feinberg, Co-Chairman, Keystone State Education Coalition; Roberta Winters, President League of Women Voters; Joel Sears, President, York County Tax Payers Council; Susan Spicka, Executive Director, Education Voters of PA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4O7SPflrPk

With money in hand, Erie schools start to plan
GoErie By Ed Palattella Posted Oct 29, 2017 at 12:01 AM
The district will use the recurring $14 million to address immediate needs, but it also is looking at future improvements. After its stunning achievement in Harrisburg this past week, the Erie School District still will not be awash in cash. But it will be financially stable — the outcome the district sought for years. The 11,500-student public school system, the region’s largest, is entering a new and welcome planning phase. The district will develop a strategy for how it will use the $14 million annual funding boost from the state to eliminate its short- and long-term deficits and upgrade its programs, curriculum and buildings, Erie schools Superintendent Brian Polito said. He said the $14 million in recurring additional state funding, guaranteed with the General Assembly’s passage of the state’s fiscal code bill on Tuesday, will also allow the district to create a fund balance of about $3 million this fiscal year, after years of the district having a negative fund balance and no reserves.
http://www.goerie.com/news/20171029/with-money-in-hand-erie-schools-start-to-plan#

Documentary about Jackson Elementary's rock band to air Sunday
The notebook by Evan Durant October 25, 2017 — 4:50pm
The documentary Home will be shown at 6 p.m. this Thursday in the Jackson Elementary School music room and again at 7 p.m. Sunday at Hawthornes Beer Cafe on 11th between Catharine and Fitzwater Streets. The Sunday screening will coincide with the airing of the 30-minute documentary on public television. Students at Jackson in South Philadelphia, with the help of music teacher Chris Argerakis, have embraced rock 'n' roll with their band called Home. Argerakis started the band in 2010, upgrading from the recorder ensemble that he originally had. As the kids got older and more experienced on their instruments, the band’s popularity began to grow, and they started performing gigs. More and younger students joined up. A few years after the band’s inception, starting in the 2015-16 school year, documentarian and filmmaker Ben Kalina began filming the group. He wanted to spark conversation about how the District's large funding cuts at the time were affecting students and teachers. Argerakis was working with the band largely on his own time, and he and other teachers didn’t get raises for five years. Kalina, explaining what he hopes the film will accomplish, said,“Hopefully, it will help cast a light on why teachers deserve to be paid like professionals and all of the work that goes into everything the teacher does. 
http://thenotebook.org/articles/2017/10/25/documentary-home-about-jackson-school-s-rock-band-to-air-sunday

Philly elementary school rockers earn ovations - and a new documentary
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer  @newskag |  kgraham@phillynews.com Updated: OCTOBER 29, 2017 — 6:05 AM EDT
The light switch clicked off, and their lives projected onto the big screen — tension and triumph, drama and ambition — and rock music underlying and imbuing everything. They were home. For more than a year, local filmmaker Ben Kalina documented the story of Home, the remarkable rock band made up of kids from the school a few blocks from his house: Andrew Jackson, a public K-8 in South Philadelphia. Last week, he screened the film for current and former members of the band. On Sunday, Home: A Rockumentary  made its debut on WHYY, with more airings planned. HOME: A Rockumentary chronicles the Andrew Jackson School rock band. It’s the story of teacher Chrisostomos Argerakis, who built a music program from nothing and started a rock band that ended up earning ovations at the Trocadero and playing to 10,000 people in venues all over the region, all while he donated his time to lead the band and went years without a raise.
It’s the story of a group of Philadelphia kids — with all the challenges and promise that entails — for whom Home is everything.
http://www.philly.com/philly/education/philly-elementary-school-rockers-earn-ovations-and-a-new-documentary-20171029.html

“That Lower Merion is considering the popular park – even raising the possibility of using eminent domain – shows the seriousness of the classroom crunch in a district that, by raw numbers, is the fastest growing in Pennsylvania. While enrollment in the Main Line district had plunged to about 5,000 amid the “baby bust” years of the 1980s, parents lured by Lower Merion’s top academic rankings and a recent development boom have brought the student population back to nearly 8,600, and it’s expected to hit 9,300 in the next decade.”
Residents fight Lower Merion Schools plan to acquire beloved park
Inquirer by Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer  @Kathy_Boccella |  kboccella@phillynews.com Updated: OCTOBER 28, 2017 — 3:01 AM EDT
In the middle of Ashbridge Park – a 28-acre oasis of green open space adjacent to the bustle of Montgomery Avenue in Rosemont – Bill Young sat on a bench and watched a steady parade of his neighbors walk their dogs or push baby strollers underneath a giant ginkgo tree. Young, president of the Friends of Ashbridge Park, pointed to all the improvements made in the decade since residents defeated a Lower Merion School District plan to turn the park into a bus depot – a large playground, new trees in the arboretum, upgrades to the 1700s mansion, and a stone pathway. “For a lot of people, it is a sacred space,” he said of the park that was deeded to the township in 1940 by Emily Ashbridge. The bucolic space was the remaining piece of the family’s dairy farm that had been the center of Rosemont for more than a century. Now Young and his allies are fighting to save the historic property yet again, as school leaders in Lower Merion weigh a proposal to acquire the park, along with a nearby Islamic center currently for sale, as part of a new middle- or elementary-school complex, to deal with an ongoing crisis of rising enrollment.
http://www.philly.com/philly/education/residents-fight-lower-merion-schools-plan-to-acquire-beloved-park-20171030.html

Thumbs up to Quakertown for OKing cultural diversity training | Jenice Armstrong
Inquirer by Jenice Armstrong, STAFF COLUMNIST  @JeniceArmstrong  armstrj@phillynews.com Updated: OCTOBER 29, 2017 — 6:10 AM EDT
Racism starts at home. It’s something parents teach their kids. So schools really face an uphill battle in teaching youngsters how to get past all of that. That’s why I’ve got to give a thumbs-up to the Quakertown Community School District. It is taking concrete steps to improve how administrators address racial incidents when they pop up. On Thursday, the Quakertown school board unanimously agreed to fund district-wide cultural sensitivity training through the Pearl S. Buck International foundation for its administrators. The decision follows an Oct. 6 football game, after which black students from Cheltenham High School complained that they had been harassed by opposing fans who called them the n-word, among other slurs. Cheltenham is predominantly black; Quakertown’s mainly white. As I pointed out earlier this month, it was a lesson in good old-fashioned American racism that the students won’t soon forget. Nor will the residents of Quakertown after the beatdown the area’s reputation suffered following extensive media coverage of the incident.
http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/jenice_armstrong/thumbs-up-to-quakertown-for-oking-30k-for-school-diversity-training-jenice-armstrong-20171029.html

Thackston Charter board hires new auditor as more deadlines loom
York Dispatch by Junior Gonzalez, 505-5439/@JuniorG_YD Published 7:32 a.m. ET Oct. 27, 2017 | Updated 5:40 p.m. ET Oct. 27, 2017
The Helen Thackston Charter School Board approved a new auditing firm Thursday, Oct. 26, to complete three years of financial audits needed to keep the school open until June 2019. Charter revocation hearings scheduled to begin this month were canceled when the board agreed to close the school at the end of next school year. However, that closure could happen sooner if Thackston officials do not meet the conditions of the agreement hammered out with the York City school board. The resolution to hire Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based St. Clair CPA Solutions as the auditing firm to “complete all of Helen Thackston Charter School’s audits” is effective as of Oct. 23, according to Thackston Board President Danyiell Newman.
http://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/news/education/2017/10/27/thackston-charter-board-hires-new-auditor-more-deadlines-loom/805826001/

“The bill was inspired by reports that many American citizens are “alarmingly ignorant” of history and government.”
Bill requiring students to pass a civics test before graduating seems unlikely to clear state House again this year
Lancaster Online by TOM KNAPP | Staff Writer October 26, 2017
A measure to require students in Pennsylvania to pass a civics test before graduating failed to reach the floor of the state House in 2016 — and it seems unlikely to come up for a vote before the full Legislature again this year. The test, which would be similar to tests taken by immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship, was proposed in 2016 and was reintroduced this year as House Bill 564 by state Rep. Karen Boback. Boback, a Republican, represents the 117th legislative district, encompassing portions of Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties. State Rep. Bryan Cutler, a Republican from the 100th district in southern Lancaster County, was a co-sponsor of the bill last year. Cutler has again signed his name to this new version, his district chief of staff, Reber J. Testerman II, said in an email Thursday.. However, the bill was referred to the House Education Committee in February, where it has lingered ever since. A dwindling number of scheduled days on the House calendar — six in November and nine in December — make it increasingly unlikely the bill will make it to the floor this year.
http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/bill-requiring-students-to-pass-a-civics-test-before-graduating/article_be14969e-ba72-11e7-a52b-d34e7efa28f9.html


What are the Consequences of Congressional Inaction on CHIP?
Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families October 26, 2017 by Joan Alker
Joan Alker is the Executive Director of the Center for Children and Families
Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expired 26 days ago and Congress still hasn’t acted. I have been working on CHIP since its inception, and this is unprecedented! Today we are releasing  a report that unpacks some of the implications of Congressional inaction beyond the beltway. We didn’t survey all 50 states but looked at those where other reports suggested early depletion of funds as well as the five largest CHIP programs in the country.
The children most at risk of losing CHIP coverage soon are those residing in states running out of funds quickly and in states with separate CHIP programs. At least six states – Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Minnesota, Ohio and Oregon – are predicting they will run out of money by the end of the year or early in January. At least six other states – Colorado, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington – have announced their intention to take action before the end of the year even if their funding is not running out as quickly. That puts at least 12 states on our emergency watch list, but that could change on a moment’s notice.
Predicting exactly when states will run out of money is extremely difficult because how quickly a state spends down remaining CHIP funding fluctuates considerably and new information is surfacing just about every day. Just this week, the date that Texas is expected to deplete its CHIP allotment moved up by a month. Hurricanes and other natural disasters can have a major impact on how quickly a state draws down its CHIP funding. Successful enrollment drives and other factors can also influence how quickly states run out of money.
https://ccf.georgetown.edu/2017/10/26/what-are-the-consequences-of-congressional-inaction-on-chip/

Dark money just keeps on coming in school board races
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss October 29 at 11:42 AM 
The Denver Post’s editorial board recently published a piece endorsing four candidates running for the Denver school board, all of them in support of reforms that employ some basic principles of for-profit businesses to the running of nonprofit public education. The editorial calls their opponents “anti-reformers” (as if they oppose making things better for students) and says they “enjoy plenty of money and energy.” (That, apparently, includes a 19-year-old “anti-reformer” candidate who just graduated from high school.) Here’s what it doesn’t mention: the big out-of-state money behind the editorial board’s chosen candidates. This is a phenomenon that we’ve seen for years now, one in which some of America’s wealthiest citizens back school board candidates — even in states in which they don’t reside — to push their view of how public schools should operate. It has happened in Louisiana, California, Minnesota, Arkansas, Washington, etc.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/10/29/dark-money-just-keeps-on-coming-in-school-board-races/


Webinar: Get the Facts on the Proposed Constitutional Amendment
OCT 31, 2017 • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Registration Required
Recently passed through the General Assembly as House Bill 1285, Joint Resolution 1 proposes to amend the constitution by authorizing the General Assembly to enact legislation allowing local taxing authorities (counties, municipalities and school districts) to exclude from property taxation up to the full assessed value of each homestead/farmstead property within the taxing jurisdiction. If approved, what does this change mean for schools in PA? In this complimentary webinar, learn about the legislative history, facts and implications of the amendment so you can make the decision that is right for you on Nov. 7.
Presenters include:
·         Nathan Mains, PA School Boards Association;
·         Hannah Barrick,  PA Association of School Business Officials
·         Jim Vaughan,  PA State Education Association
·         Mark DiRocco, PA Association of School Administrators
None of the organizations sponsoring this webinar have a position on the ballot question. The objective of the webinar is purely information based and to separate fact from fiction.
Register online here:  GoToWebinar.com
https://www.psba.org/event/webinar-proposed-constitutional-amendment/

Seventh Annual Pennsylvania Arts and Education Symposium, November 2, 2017 Camp Hill
The 2017 Pennsylvania Arts and Education will be held on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at the Radisson Hotel Harrisburg Convention Center in Camp Hill.  See the agenda here.
Early Bird Registration ends September 30.
https://www.eplc.org/pennsylvania-arts-education-network/

Save the Date: Pitt Johnstown to host Funding Lawsuit Panel at Murtha Center on campus November 15th at 7:00 pm

November School Leader Advocacy Training
PASA, PASBO, PSBA, the Pennsylvania Principals Association, the PARSS and PAIU are offering five, full-day School Leader Advocacy Training sessions at the following locations:
Monday, November 6 – Capital Area I.U. 15 (Summerdale)
Tuesday, November 7 – Luzerne I.U. 18 (Kingston)
Wednesday, November 15 – Berks County I.U. 14 (Reading)
Thursday, November 16 – Midwestern I.U. 4 (Grove City)
Friday, November 17 – Westmoreland I.U. 7 (Greensburg)
Take advantage of this great opportunity – at NO cost to you!
REGISTER TODAY at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SchoolLeaderTraining

Cyber Charter School Application; Public Hearing November 20
Pennsylvania Bulletin Saturday, October 14, 2017 NOTICES - DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
The Department of Education (Department) has scheduled one date for a public hearing regarding a cyber charter school application that was received on or before October 2, 2017. The hearing will be held on November 20, 2017, in Heritage Room A on the lobby level of 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126 at 9 a.m. The hearing pertains to the applicant seeking to operate a cyber charter school beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. The purpose of the hearing is to gather information from the applicant about the proposed cyber charter school as well as receive comments from interested individuals regarding the application. The name of the applicant, copies of the application and a listing of the date and time scheduled for the hearing on the application can be viewed on the Department's web site at www.education.pa.gov. Individuals who wish to provide comments on the application during the hearing must provide a copy of their written comments to the Department and the applicant on or before November 6, 2017. Comments provided by this deadline and presented at the hearing will become part of the certified record. For questions regarding this hearing, contact the Division of Charter Schools, (717) 787-9744, charterschools@pa.gov.

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education Cyber Charter School Application for Commonwealth Education Connections Cyber Charter School 2017
Charter School Application Submitted: September 27, 2017


Support the Notebook and see Springsteen on Broadway
The notebook October 2, 2017 — 10:57am
Donate $50 or more until Nov. 10, enter to win – and have your donation doubled!
"This music is forever for me. It's the stage thing, that rush moment that you live for. It never lasts, but that's what you live for." – Bruce Springsteen
You can be a part of a unique Bruce Springsteen show in his career – and support local, nonprofit education journalism!  Donate $50 or more to the Notebook through Nov. 10, and your donation will be doubled, up to $1,000, through the Knight News Match. Plus, you will be automatically entered to win a pair of prime tickets to see Springsteen on Broadway!  One winner will receive two tickets to the 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, show at the Walter Kerr Theatre. These are amazing orchestra section seats to this incredible sold-out solo performance. Don't miss out on your chance to see the Boss in his Broadway debut. Donate to the Notebook today online or by mail at 699 Ranstead St., 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
http://thenotebook.org/articles/2017/10/02/springsteen-on-broadway

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.
http://myemail.constantcontact.com/PASCD-Conference-Registration-is-Now-Open.html?soid=1101415141682&aid=5F-ceLtbZDs

Register for New School Director Training in December and January
PSBA Website October 2017
You’ve started a challenging and exciting new role as a school director. Let us help you narrow the learning curve! PSBA’s New School Director Training provides school directors with foundational knowledge about their role, responsibilities and ethical obligations. At this live workshop, participants will learn about key laws, policies, and processes that guide school board governance and leadership, and develop skills for becoming strong advocates in their community. Get the tools you need from experts during this visually engaging and interactive event.
Choose from any of these 10 locations and dates (note: all sessions are held 8 a.m.-4 p.m., unless specified otherwise.):
·         Dec. 8, Bedford CTC
·         Dec. 8, Montoursville Area High School
·         Dec. 9, Upper St. Clair High School
·         Dec. 9, West Side CTC
·         Dec. 15, Crawford County CTC
·         Dec. 15, Upper Merion MS (8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m)
·         Dec. 16, PSBA Mechanicsburg
·         Dec. 16, Seneca Highlands IU 9
·         Jan. 13, A W Beattie Career Center
·         Jan. 13, Parkland HS
Fees: Complimentary to All-Access members or $170 per person for standard membership. All registrations will be billed to the listed district, IU or CTC. To request billing to an individual, please contact Michelle Kunkel at michelle.kunkel@psba.org. Registration also includes a box lunch on site and printed resources.

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