Friday, November 17, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup Nov. 17: Cyber charters are failed experiment; @PADeptofEd hearing on Monday for new cyber charter.

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 Nov. 17, 2017:
Cyber charters are failed experiment; @PADeptofEd hearing on Monday for new cyber charter.



Do you have newly elected board members? Have them send their email addresses to sign up for the PA Ed Policy Roundup.

Have them register for PSBA’s new school director training sessions to be held throughout the state in December and January.
An additional session has been scheduled in southeastern PA on Saturday, January 6th in the Haverford School District.



In the “National Study of Online Charter Schools,” Stanford University found that cyber charter students received the equivalent of 180 fewer days of learning in math and 72 fewer days of instruction in reading than their peers in traditional schools. The small minority of students who succeed in cyber schools, according to the data, are self-motivated, with strong parental involvement. Unfortunately, for-profit companies like K-12, Inc., focus their marketing and aggressive recruitment efforts on students and families who do not fit that model, ultimately harming those students whom they claim to help.
Cyber charters are failed experiment
Detroit News by Paula Herbart Published 11:11 p.m. ET Nov. 14, 2017
Paula Herbart is president of the Michigan Education Association.
If an experiment fails, the reasonable response is to end it and try something different. Not so regarding cyber charter schools, based on the actions of lawmakers who continue to fully fund these schools in the face of mounting evidence that they are a spectacular failure at improving academic achievement. In 2009, Michigan began a small pilot program with for-profit, cyber charters. In 2012, long before sufficient data was available to assess the pilot’s success, Gov. Snyder and the Legislature expanded the number of cyber charters. Now, after years of experience and investment, we know that was a mistake. In recent rankings, the Michigan Virtual Academy was at the 3rd percentile in academic performance — 97 percent of Michigan schools performed better. Michigan Virtual Academy is operated by K-12, Inc., the largest player in the for-profit cyber charter industry. A study by the RAND Corp. and New York University released earlier this year showed that online-only schools tend to attract and harm our most vulnerable students. The study found that Ohio students with low test scores who attend cyber charter schools fell even further behind. High achieving students perform better, but still achieve lower results than they would have if they had enrolled in traditional schools.

Blogger note: Along with Pearson, K12, Inc. wrote and heavily lobbied for the enabling legislation for cyber charters.  We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief that millions of tax dollars from all 500 PA school districts (none of whom ever authorized a cyber charter) will continue to flow unimpeded to K12, Inc. corporate salaries and bonuses
Morningstar: K12, Inc (LRN) Executive Compensation
http://insiders.morningstar.com/trading/executive-compensation.action?t=LRN


Blogger note: over one year later, still no action on cyber charter reform.  The only significant updates to this piece are that now not one of Pennsylvania’s cyber charters has achieved a passing SPP score of 70 in any of the five years (instead of three) that the SPP has been in effect, and we have spent another $463,584 on cyber charter tuition for 2016.
Reprise Aug. 18, 2016: How can we improve the performance and accountability of Pennsylvania cyber charters?
The notebook  Commentary by Lawrence A. Feinberg August 18, 2016 — 10:04am
If it sometimes seems as if “tuition-free” cyber charter ads are running non-stop, consider that in just one year, tax dollars paid for 19,298 local TV commercials for Agora Cyber Charter, just one of Pennsylvania’s 13 cyber charters. And far from being tuition-free, total cyber tuition paid by Pennsylvania taxpayers from 500 school districts for 2013, 2014 and 2015 was $393.5 million, $398.8 million and $436.1 million respectively. Those commercials were very effective, especially if you were an executive at K12 Inc., a for-profit company contracted to manage the cyber school. According to Agora’s 2013 IRS tax filing, it paid $69.5 million that year to K12 Inc. According to Morningstar, total executive compensation at K12 in 2013 was $21.37 million. What the ads don’t tell you is, first, that they are paid for with your school tax dollars instead of that money being spent in classrooms and, second, that academic performance at every one of Pennsylvania’s cyber charters has been consistently dismal. The Pennsylvania Department of Education considers a score of 70 to be passing on its School Performance Profile (SPP). Agora’s score for 2013 was 48.3, for 2014, it was 42.4, and the 2015 score was 46.4. In fact, not one of Pennsylvania’s cyber charters has achieved a passing SPP score of 70 in any of the three years that the SPP has been in effect. 
http://thenotebook.org/latest0/2016/08/18/how-can-we-improve-the-performance-and-accountability-of-pennsylvania-cyber-charters

On Monday the .@PADeptofEd will conduct a hearing to consider an application for a new cyber charter school. The applicant appears to have no verifiable qualifications or experience. You can read their application here:
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

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.
For questions regarding this hearing, contact the Division of Charter Schools, (717) 787-9744, charterschools@pa.gov.

Roll Call Vote on H.R. 1: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

AASA Statement On House Vote On Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (HR 1)
AASA Executive Director Daniel A. Domenech released the following statement in response the House passage of HR 1, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by a vote of 227-205:
"AASA is deeply disappointed in the largely partisan vote in the House today. We know the intricacies involved in any legislative vote, and the pressures unique to a tax conversation. Like any budget or funding conversation, tax conversations are filled with tough decisions. The combination of these tough decisions, however, is a clear indication of the deciding body’s priorities, and today’s vote demonstrates that for 227 members of the House, they have little to no understanding of, or concern for, its impact on public schools. Congress must both know and do better, and ensure that any tax reform plan is supportive of public education. We remain optimistic that this is just the first step in a long process and that subsequent steps will be more deliberate, more transparent, and premised on passing common sense tax policy that works for our country, its people, and its public schools."

Pennsylvania Republicans support GOP tax overhaul as it passes House
Comparing the House and Senate GOP tax plans. 
Morning Call by Laura Olson Contact Reporter Call Washington Bureau November 16, 2017
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Pennsylvania Republicans on Thursday joined nearly all of their GOP colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to advance the chamber’s tax-overhaul proposal, turning the legislative spotlight onto the Senate as GOP leaders aim to hold a similar vote shortly after Thanksgiving. The 227-205 vote came as Democrats pointed to new estimates showing the Senate version of the plan would boost future taxes on lower and middle-income Americans. Those projections, coupled with complaints by some GOP senators about their chamber's proposal, suggest party leaders still face a challenge in crafting a measure that can make it through Congress over solid Democratic opposition.

House passes GOP tax bill, adding pressure to Senate effort
Post-Gazette by ALAN FRAM AND MARCY GORDON Associated Press 2:01 PM NOV 16, 2017
WASHINGTON — Republicans rammed a $1.5 trillion overhaul of business and personal income taxes through the House Thursday, edging toward the code’s biggest rewrite in three decades and the first major legislative triumph for President Donald Trump and the GOP after 10 bumpy months of controlling government. The mostly party-line 227-205 vote masked more ominous problems in the Senate. There, a similar package received a politically awkward verdict from nonpartisan congressional analysts showing it would eventually produce higher taxes for low- and middle-income earners but deep reductions for those better off. The Senate bill was approved late Thursday by the Finance Committee and sent to the full Senate on a party-line 14-12 vote. Like the House measure, it would slash the corporate tax rate and reduce personal income tax rates for many. But it adds a key feature not in the House version: repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that everyone in the U.S. have health insurance. Elimination of the so-called individual mandate would add an estimated $338 billion in revenue over 10 years that the Senate tax-writers used for other tax cuts.

HR1 Federal Tax Bills Allow Vouchers
League of Women Voters Website Posted on November 17, 2017 by Sue Legg
The tax bills in the U.S. House and Senate have curious twists. According to the Alliance to Reclaim our Schools, 529 college savingsaccounts could be used for K12 private school tuition. Send your child to private school and get a tax break.  The U.S. Senate’s tax plan allows a tax deduction as a charitable contribution for private school tuition. A second provision creates tax credits for corporate and individual contributions to state non profits that offer tuition payments for low and middle income families. The drive to get something passed in Congress, anything really, has resulted in a hodge podge of special interests that are certainly not in the public interest.

“If spending is reined in, that means budget cuts, and the odds are that Republicans would advocate cuts to discretionary spending, the kind that funds the Education Department. That's the line of reasoning—and the worry—of 43 education advocacy groups. In a Tuesday letter to the Senate, those organizations wrote the following:  If tax reform is deficit-financed and adds to the federal debt, as both the budget resolution and the House bill would allow, there will be increased pressure for Congress to curb direct spending for education and all discretionary spending. Already tight appropriations caps have caused Congress to propose to slash funding for important education programs and to resort to cutting Pell Grant carryover funds to maintain yearly education funding.”
Tax Bills' Potential Impact on Federal Education Funding: Big Cuts, or Meh?
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Andrew Ujifusa on November 16, 2017 7:41 AM
Over the last week or so, we've highlighted several provisions of the two GOP-backed tax reform proposals in Congress that could specifically impact education. But there's one question we haven't really dealt with yet: Would the tax bills lead to funding cuts at the U.S. Department of Education? As they are currently written, the tax cuts in the House and Senate proposals would be financed with about $1.4 trillion in deficit spending over the next decade. In other words, they're not "deficit neutral" as that term is traditionally understood, and would add to the national debt, although Republicans argue that this leaves out "dynamic scoring" of the budget, in which tax cuts spur economic growth and ultimately boost tax revenue. However, if those tax cuts become law and they do increase the national debt, it could factor into long-running from Republicans in Congress that the national debt must be reined in. (There's a separate argument to be had about whether approving tax cuts that add to the debt and then cutting spending to reduce the debt is sound policy, but let's leave that aside.)

Next year's Pa. budget projected to have $1 billion hole
WITF Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Nov 17, 2017 5:22 AM
 (Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania is already on track to have a significant budget gap next year.
A study from the Independent Fiscal Office shows lawmakers will likely need to come up with about a billion dollars to keep the books balanced. They only just finished this year's budget, four months behind schedule. It was mostly filled with borrowing, expected revenue from a gambling expansion, and a number of internal fund transfers. Much of the money isn't recurring, and that's a big reason why the IFO is predicting the state will have to find more cash next year. "The reason you see the potential shortfall recurring in the out-years is in part because of the tailing-off of that revenue package," IFO Deputy Director Mark Ryan said. If nothing changes, the imbalance is likely to grow to $1.8 billion the year after next, and then to more than $2 billion.

IFO Projects Deficits Each Year Over Next 5 Years Starting With Nearly $1 Billion In FY 2018-19
PA Capitol Digest by Crisci Associates NOVEMBER 16, 2017
The Independent Fiscal Office Thursday issued its Five Year Economic and Budget Outlook report which projects Pennsylvania’s General Fund budget will run a deficit starting at nearly $1 billion in FY 2018-19 rising to over $2.1 billion in FY 2022-23.  Specifically, the IFO projects deficits of $988 million in FY 2018-19; $1.865 billion in FY 2019-20; $1.774 billion in FY 2020-21; $1.784 billion in FY 2021-22; and $2.189 billion in FY 2022-23. (page 66)    The estimates take into account the revenue and borrowing package signed into law on October 30 which IFO said would generate about $2.3 billion in FY 2017-18.

Lawyer: Delay effort used in Pennsylvania redistricting case
Delco Times By The Associated Press POSTED: 11/16/17, 4:40 PM EST 
PHILADELPHIA >> A lawyer arguing a lawsuit aimed at forcing a do-over on Pennsylvania’s congressional map says a lawyer for a powerful politician is trying to delay the matter. The matter came to a head Thursday in a federal courthouse in Philadelphia. Earlier this week, Republican state Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati tried to have the case filed by 18 Democratic voters moved from the state Supreme Court to federal courts, which are considering other allegations of improper gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. But by Thursday afternoon, other defendants said they didn’t want to move the case. So a judge left it in state court, where it is scheduled to be tried on Dec. 11. Plaintiffs’ lawyer Stanton Jones said Thursday that the attempt to move it was “all gamesmanship.”

Governor Wolf Proposes ‘Computer Science For All’ Standards for PA Schools
Governor Wolf’s Website November 15, 2017
Harrisburg, PA – Last week, on behalf of Governor Tom Wolf, the Pennsylvania Department of Education highlighted the importance of making computer science education available to all students in the commonwealth during a State Board of Education meeting and Governor Wolf and the department are urging them to endorse ‘Computer Science for All’ standards.
“Over the next decade, seven in ten new jobs in Pennsylvania will require workers to use computers and new technologies in a constantly changing economy,” Governor Wolf said. “Businesses are growing in Pennsylvania and we know they need skilled workers. We must begin to prepare students now by establishing standards for computer science education in Pennsylvania schools so that our students has the skills necessary for these emerging high-demand jobs that will support middle class families and attract new businesses to commonwealth. I have asked the Department of Education to work closely with the State Board of Education to adopt Computer Science for All standards for Pennsylvania and I will work with the legislature to codify computer science standards into law.”

Push for Pa. graduation standard delayed once again
WHYY By Bill Hangley November 16, 2017
When finalizing the state budget last month, Pennsylvania lawmakers inked yet another delay for a plan that would require students to pass standardized tests before graduating high school. That leaves supporters of the Keystone Exams grappling with the prospect that mandated statewide graduation standards are not to be. “It would seem to me that a parent in Norristown and a parent in Johnstown, their kids should know the same things to graduate,” said Donna Cooper, head of Public Citizens for Children and Youth, who as a member of Gov. Ed Rendell’s cabinet was an early champion of the tests. “But we’re reverting to a system where we have 499 school districts with their own requirements for graduation.” The latest delay is good news for supporters of local control, including State Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver), who hopes the exams never become requirements. “It’s not productive for our education system, it’s not productive for our students, and it’s not productive for our educators,” he said.

In historic vote, a divided SRC moves to abolish itself
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham & Maddie Hanna - Staff Writers Updated: NOVEMBER 16, 2017 — 8:56 PM EST
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission is on its way to extinction.
The state-devised panel, the ruler of the School District for 16 years, voted to dissolve itself Thursday night, declaring that the era of distress for the city’s schools was over. Immediately after the 3-1 vote, shouts, cheers, and chants of “the people united will never be defeated” arose from a raucous crowd that had gathered to witness the moment. SRC Chair Joyce Wilkerson said the panel had made tough decisions that p ut the school system on sounder financial and academic footing. “Returning the district to Philadelphia will allow us to build on this progress and stability,” Wilkerson said. “The district is ready for its next phase, and Philadelphia is ready to take ownership of its schools.” The SRC will not be officially dissolved until the state education secretary signs off, and even then won’t cease to exist until June 30, 2018, when a nine-member local board appointed by Mayor Kenney will replace it.

SRC votes to dissolve, taking first step toward local control of schools
The tally was 3-1, with one abstention. The School Reform Commission has governed the District for 16 years. A new Board of Education is expected to start on July 1
The notebook by Dale Mezzacappa and Avi Wolfman-Arent November 16, 2017 — 6:08pm Updated at 9:45 p.m. Nov. 16, 2017
The School Reform Commission will soon be no more.
The city’s political leaders, and SRC members themselves, yielded to years of pressure from activists — which began not long after the contentious 2001 state takeover — to cede the power to run Philadelphia’s schools back to a local Board of Education. The process was set in motion at an SRC meeting this afternoon, when the five-member body approved a resolution voting the commission out of existence. The, vote was 3-1, with one absention.  Chair Joyce Wilkerson and members Estelle Richman and Christopher McGinley voted yes. Bill Green voted no while Farah Jimenez abstained. It occurred at 7:25, nearly three hours after the meeting started.  When the vote was taken, the packed room erupted in a joyful celebration, cell phones held aloft and chants reverberating: “The people, united, will never be divided.” TV cameras also recorded the scene. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers brought AFT president Randi Weingarten to join mark the historic occasion. The Caucus of Working Educators planned an after party at a local bar. Under the expected timeline, the SRC will cease to exist on June 30 and a new nine-member Board of Education will be installed on July 1.

Philadelphia Moves One Step Closer to Return of Local Control of Public Schools
US News/Reuters By David DeKok Nov. 16, 2017, at 9:14 p.m.
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Philadelphia's School Reform Commission (SRC) voted Thursday night to begin steps to dissolve itself, paving the way for a return to city control for the nation’s 8th largest school district after 16 years. Three of the five commissioners voted in favor of dissolution, while one was opposed and one abstained. If approved by the state Secretary of Education, which must happen by December 31st, the district would be turned back to a nine-member school board appointed by Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney with city council approval on July 1 of next year. "It’s clear we have challenges moving forward,” said SRC chair Joyce Wilkerson, referring to a projected five-year deficit of $700 million. “I don’t think any of us believe they will be eliminated by a change of governance. But I support this.” The district serves nearly 200,000 students, about a third of them in charter schools. It employs more than 8,600 teachers and has an annual budget of close to $3 billion.

Philly should have an elected school board | Opinion
Inquirer Opinion by Rand Quinn Updated: NOVEMBER 16, 2017 — 6:55 AM EST
Rand Quinn is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.
In declaring the end of the School Reform Commission, Mayor Kenney said, “The people of Philadelphia will finally be able to hold one person accountable for their school system, the mayor.” After 17 years of state control, returning oversight of our schools to a local board appointed by the mayor represents a significant step in the right direction. But here’s a better idea. Philadelphia should have an elected — not appointed — school board, where all members are accountable to the people, not the mayor. Better yet, Philadelphians should elect board members by district, so that residents in every part of the city would have a representative they can hold accountable for the schools in their neighborhood. And even better still, we should ensure that all parents can have a voice in the process.

Darby holds off on vote for Visions Academy charter school building permit
Delco Times By Kevin Tustin, ktustin@21st-centurymedia.com@KevinTustin on Twitter POSTED: 11/16/17, 8:35 PM EST | UPDATED: 11 SECS AGO
DARBY borough >> A decision to allow a charter school to move into a vacant building in the borough was tabled after intense discussion and raucous shouting at a council meeting.
Council moved 6-3 to table a vote to grant a non-residential occupancy permit to the Visions Academy Charter School at the site of a now-abandoned, 128,000 square-foot factory at 901 Quarry St. Visions has been operating out of the former St. Philomena Catholic School since it opened in 2015 and eyed a move to Darby to house 700 students in grades kindergarten through sixth. Its initial application to the William Penn School District listed no more than 360 students by the end of its fifth year of operation.

Vision Academy Charter School Evidence of affiliation with the Gulen Movement
Page created April 15, 2017 By CASILIPS - Citizens Against Special Interest Lobbying in Public Schools
Companion sites:  A Guide to the Gulen Movement's Activities in the US;   CASILIPS (on Google sites);   CASILIPS (on Weebly)
Vision Academy Charter School is a Gulen charter school in Landsdowne, Pennsylvania that opened in fall 2015.  Evidence of its connection to the Gulen Movement and the nationwide network of Gulen charter schools is provided by the multiple affiliations, both past and present, of the following individuals:
Adem "Adam" Oksuz
·         CEO, Co-founder of Vision Academy Charter School
·         Apple Educational Services (Gulenist corporation contracting to numerous Gulen charter schools in the northeast)
·         CEO, Accord Institute for Education Research  (Gulenist corporation contracting to numerous Gulen charter schools in western states)
·         Daisy Education Corporation (charter holder of Gulen charter schools in Arizona including Sonoran Science Academy)
·         Sonoran Science Academy
Isik "Isaac" Durmus
·         Co-founder, Principal of Vision Academy Charter School
·         Involved with 13th INEPO Competition (Gulenist competition in Turkey)
·         Long Island Amity School (private Gulen school, now closed)
·         Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology  (Gulen charter school in Paterson NJ)
·         Pioneer Academy of Science (private Gulen school in Clifton NJ)
·         Rochester Academy of Science (Gulen charter school in Rochester NY)
·         Truebright Science Academy (Gulen charter school in Philadelphia PA)

“He promises to push for the privatization of liquor and to promote charter schools in struggling school districts, as well as more career and technical training.”
Pa. House Speaker Mike Turzai: 'We're lacking a leader in the governor's office'
Inquirer by Liz Navratil, HARRISBURG BUREAU Updated: NOVEMBER 15, 2017 — 7:10 PM
HARRISBURG – Mike Turzai sits down on a stool in the American Dream Diner and politely orders a hot tea. The Republican House Speaker – who just this week announced he’ll run for governor – seems at ease here. It’s a small, old-school style restaurant where the specials on Wednesday are chili with rice and three different kinds of sandwiches that come with a choice of soup or fries. It feels, in many ways, as though it could plop down seamlessly in his home turf of Western Pennsylvania.

Testing Resistance & Reform News: November 8 - 14, 2017
FairTest Submitted by fairtest on November 14, 2017 - 1:15pm 
Week by week, grassroots assessment reform campaigns grow ever stronger, winning more reductions in standardized exam misuse and overuse by states and cities. Demonstrating the depth of support for the movement,  new governors elected this month in New Jersey and Virginia both advocated an overhaul of high-stakes testing policies.  Remember that past issues of these news updates are archived at: http://fairtest.org/news/other


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:
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


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. 6, Haverford Middle School
·         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


Thursday, November 16, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup Nov. 16: AASA CALL-TO-ACTON: Tell House & Senate To VOTE NO To Tax Reform That Guts Support For Public Education

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 Nov. 16, 2017:



Do you have newly elected board members? Have them register for PSBA’s new school director training sessions to be held throughout the state in December and January.
An additional session has been scheduled in southeastern PA on Saturday, January 6th in the Haverford School District.



Gerrymandering: Two fact-tracked court cases could change the political face of Pennsylvania
By Lindsay Lazarski, WHYY November 15, 2017
With drastic changes to Pennsylvania’s political landscape hanging in the balance, two lawsuits challenging the state’s congressional map are moving forward at rapid speed — one in state courts, the other in federal. After considering motions to intervene, delay and dismiss the cases, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and a three-judge panel on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit have teed the cases up to be heard next month. Both challenges claim the state’s 2011 congressional district map is a partisan gerrymander designed to give Republicans an electoral advantage. Partisan gerrymandering is analogous to a team crafting for itself the ultimate home field advantage.  The home team — the political party that controls the state legislature — decides where the game is played and the boundary lines of the field. And the basic idea is to draw them to ensure that more of your players — voters — are on the field than your opponent’s. In these two lawsuits, petitioners have thrown red flags — challenging the constitutionality of how the home team, in these cases high-ranking Republican lawmakers, drew the lines. If successful, the cases could trigger a new map that would change the makeup of voting districts before the 2018 midterm elections, when all of Pennsylvania’s 18 seats in the U.S House of Representatives are up for grabs.

Get to know your districts, and see what gerrymandering looks like across the state.
Fair Districts PA Website
If you want to see gerrymandering in action, just take a look at Pennsylvania’s district maps. Across the state, you’ll see lines that cut through communities, dividing school districts, neighborhoods, or even city blocks.

Gerrymandering: Fair Districts PA Statewide Calendar of Events

AASA Opposes Tax Cuts And Jobs Act (HR1)
AASA Leading Edge Blog
AASA sent a letter to the House of Representatives outlining our strong opposition to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR1). 
AASA represents public school superintendents, and we are concerned that this bill--as currently drafted--shows little to no regard for the impact of its confluence of changes on our nation's public schools, on the ability of state and local governments' ability to adequately support public infrastructure (including schools), on the reliance of deficit financing to pay for the tax cuts and the impact if will have on federal appropriations, and more. We are not opposed to tax reform as a whole, but believe the House can and must do better to ensure this bill/proposal is bipartisan, deliberate, and transparent, and not rushed through for the sake of compliance with arbitrary timelines. We will continue to monitor the broader tax reform effort for its myriad impacts on public education--both long and short term--and are deeply concerned that the bill being considered this week falls short of this threshold. Read our full letter, and key excerpts are below. As a reminder, earlier this week we led a letter with 42 other national education groups opposing the House and Senate tax bill.
“On behalf of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, representing more than 13,000 public school superintendents across the country, I write to express our opposition to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1). We sent a similar letter to the Ways & Means Committee earlier this month and were disappointed to see zero improvements as it relates to the tax bill and its impact on public schools. Our opposition is not to tax reform in whole; rather, it is to specific provisions within the broader proposal that undermine and threaten our nation’s public school system and the students and communities they serve. 
"We urge Congress to rewrite the plan to preserve the state and local tax deduction, to eliminate the proposed expansion of 529 accounts, to protect and preserve Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, and to ensure that in paying for its tax reform, the bill does not negatively or disproportionately impact non-defense discretionary funding, which provides for education. 

AASA CALL-TO-ACTON: Tell House And Senate To VOTE NO To Tax Reform That Guts Support For Public Education
AASA Leading Edge Blog
 Both the House and Senate are considering comprehensive tax reform proposals. The House will vote as early as Thursday November 16th! AASA has reviewed both bills and is opposed to specific provisions which undermine federal support for public education and will negatively impact state and local funding for public schools. To that end, we have a two-prong call to action:

Meehan, Costello back GOP tax overhaul plan
Delco Times By Michael P. Rellahan, mrellahan@21st-centurymedia.com, @ChescoCourtNews on Twitter POSTED: 11/16/17, 4:59 AM EST 
The region’s two moderate Republican congressmen sound like they both plan to back the Republican tax reform when it comes to a floor vote, which is expected today. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6, of West Goshen said he is voting in favor. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7, of Chadds Ford, while not specifically declaring himself a yes vote, said the measure will help his constituents. “I plan to vote yes,” said Costello in an interview Wednesday. “My priorities are to provide tax cuts for middle-income families and make the tax code more competitive in the global economy. This bill accomplishes those objectives.” Costello, whose district encompasses central, eastern, and northern Chester County, as well as portions of western Montgomery County and parts of Berks and Lebanon counties, had been considered an undeclared voice in the days leading up to the vote. But what he characterized as a thorough review of the bill’s details and the “critiques and criticisms” of the package, which seeks to cut taxes by about $1.5 trillion, that came to him from outside groups and constituents, led him to support it. eehan, who represents the bulk of Delaware County as well as slivers of four other suburban counties, said the measure will be beneficial for his constituents.

“Yes, there are problems with fairness in public school funding — but those can be addressed by finding additional support for poorer districts, not blowing up the system.”
Tax fantasies: Don’t move toward eliminating property taxes
THE EDITORIAL BOARD Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 12:00 AM NOV 16, 2017
Pennsylvania voters last week approved a ballot measure that could reduce property taxes. The margin was wide, with 54 percent voting in favor. The ballot language presented to voters was complex, even in the “plain English” version crafted to help the public understand it. But for many voters who approved of the measure, it’s probable that the question appeared simple: Does this look like it could lower my taxes? In response, they said, yes, please, sign me up. We were among those urging a No vote on this ballot measure, mainly because it was seeking a constitutional amendment based on many unanswered questions. But we also fundamentally believe that property is an asset that should be subject to tax. Government services provided by property taxes support the value of property; it’s a direct and fair relationship. The funding of public schools is ingrained in property tax; it’s hard to imagine how the system could be upended.

“Unlike school districts, the Legislature lacks limits on the size of its surpluses, and it has declined auditors’ recommendations to enact caps.”
Pennsylvania Legislature sitting on $95 million surplus
The Pennsylvania Legislature is sitting on nearly $95 million in surplus tax dollars for the House, Senate and internal departments, according to an audit partially released today.
Morning Call by Steve Esack Contact Reporter Call Harrisburg Bureau November 15, 2017
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The Pennsylvania Legislature is sitting on at least $95 million in surplus tax dollars for the House, Senate and internal departments, according to an audit released Wednesday.
The audit covered the 2016-17 fiscal year that ended June 30. The 2017 surpluses, scattered among dozens of bank accounts, is about 20 percent lower than the Legislature held in 2016. But that doesn’t mean every legislative entity lost money. Some saw increases in their bottom line by spending less taxpayer money than was earmarked for their operations. The Senate’s and House’s surpluses dropped by 55 percent ($10.6 million) and 37 percent ($35.7 million), respectively, due to an accounting rule change that forced the chambers to book long-term pension and post-retirment costs as part of operational expenses. Those long-term costs total $70.7 million. The Legislature’s surpluses grew in most accounts, the report shows. Ten of 11 Senate bank accounts showed fund increases, as did two-thirds of the House’s 33 accounts. All but one of 13 bicameral departments also saw increases.

“Wednesday’s list of panelists included Jeff Ammerman, Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials; Ron Cowell, executive director of the Pennsylvania Education Policy Leadership Center; attorney Michael Churchill, the Public Interest Law Center (representing the plaintiffs); and Michael Vuckovich, Greater Johnstown School District interim superintendent.”
Parent: Why is Greater Johnstown school system so far in debt?
Tribune Democrat By Ronald Fisher rfisher@tribdem.com November 16, 2017
Michael Cashaw of Johnstown has two children who attend Greater Johnstown, a school district that increased taxes this year for the first time in 22 years. Like many parents in the area, Cashaw has concerns about the district’s funding and how it impacts his children’s education. On Wednesday, Cashaw was one of many people to attend a school funding forum held on the Pitt-Johnstown campus. The forum featured a panel of officials familiar with school funding matters who discussed state funding and the state Supreme Court’s recent decision to reintroduce a lawsuit that claims Pennsylvania is failing in its obligation to students. Among those attending were state Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Johnstown; Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar; NAACP Johnstown President Alan Cashaw; Cambria County Commissioners Tom Chernisky and William “B.J.” Smith; and several school officials from various local school districts.

U.D. school board opposes property tax, graduation resolutions
By Kevin Tustin, ktustin@21st-centurymedia.com@KevinTustin on Twitter POSTED: 11/15/17, 8:54 PM EST | UPDATED: 5 HRS AGO
UPPER DARBY>> At their last voting meeting before bringing on four new members next month that will shift the political majority, the Upper Darby School Board on Tuesday night continued a unified fight against state testing requirements and property tax issues. The board unanimously approved a resolution asking its state lawmakers to block the Keystone exam graduation requirement for graduating classes after 2020, and another resolution opposing legislation to eliminate school property taxes. On the former, there is a moratorium that does not make passing of the Keystone exams a graduation requirement through 2019. On the latter, state Senate Bill 76 would eliminate school property taxes by increasing the sales tax to 7 percent – while expanding the items that would be privy to the tax that have previously exempt – and increasing the personal income tax almost two percentage points, to 4.95. The state would control all funding for districts under that bill. “The property taxes collected locally stay in the community in which they are levied and enable a locally determined and consistent delivery of the district’s education programming that would be undermined and disrupted if funds were to flow through the state, leaving Upper Darby School District susceptible to delays in funding,” read a portion of the board’s property tax resolution. The resolution notes that elimination of school property taxes does nothing to fund state and federal mandates, many of which are currently unfunded by any government jurisdiction with districts left to pick up the tab.

Philly SRC to vote to disband, restore local school control
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer  @newskag |  kgraham@phillynews.com Updated: NOVEMBER 15, 2017 — 8:53 PM EST
The School Reform Commission, for the past 16 years the governing body of the Philadelphia School District, is poised to abolish itself in a historic vote Thursday night. Here is a rundown of the particulars:
What exactly is the SRC? The SRC is unique among school governing bodies in the state. It was created by the state on Dec. 21, 2001 after the district was declared financially distressed. It is a five-member board, with three members chosen by the governor and two picked by the mayor. The chair is chosen by the governor; no member receives pay for their work. The current members are Joyce Wilkerson, chair (selected by Mayor Kenney and appointed chair by Gov. Wolf in 2016); Bill Green (nominated by Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014); Farah Jimenez (nominated by Corbett in 2014); Christopher McGinley (appointed by Kenney in January); and Estelle Richman (nominated by Wolf in 2016, but not seated until 2017, when the state Senate confirmed her nomination.)
Why is the SRC self-destructing? According to the resolution the SRC will consider Thursday (5,809 days after the body was created, if you’re counting), it boils down to this: “The School District is no longer distressed” and “The School District no longer requires governance by a School Reform Commission.” The resolution gives a laundry list of reasons why the district is no longer troubled  — such as “all salaries have been paid on time without issue” and it “has not defaulted in payment of its bonds or interest on such bonds or in payment of rentals due any authority for a period of time of ninety (90) calendar days.” The district is, however, projecting a deficit of $100 million beginning in 2019, and up to $1 billion over five years.

Three lessons from the SRC for the next Philly school board | Bill Green
Inquirer Opinion by Bill Green Updated: NOVEMBER 15, 2017 — 4:34 PM EST
 With the imminent return of the School District of Philadelphia to local control, lessons from the 16-year history of the School Reform Commission (SRC) illuminate both future concerns and what we should advocate for in the transition.
Lesson 1: Beware Magical Fiscal Thinking
The SRC has created the possibility of today’s discussion of a new governance structure through its sound management of the District. In fact, that was its whole purpose. More quality schools and school choices exist today than when the SRC was created. Though the SRC was activated because of the District’s fiscal problems, it began its tenure without budgetary constraints. For example, politically connected figures were authorized to open charter schools without clear standards or accountability. The SRC entered into generous and expensive contracts with its labor unions. Spending on administration increased by more than 45 percent.

Smethport school board approves collective bargaining agreement
Bradford Era November 15, 2017
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SMETHPORT (EC) — With one director absent, the Smethport Area School Board unanimously approved a resolution Monday agreeing to the collective bargaining agreement with the Smethport Area Education Support Professionals Association. The SAESPA represents approximately 40 custodial and cafeteria workers as well as paraprofessionals and personal care aides. The SAESPA has already voted to accept the new four-year contract, which calls for a freeze in the basic wages in the first year, 2 percent raises in each of the second and third years and a 2.5 percent raise in the final year. Negotiations began in January. The school board extended the terms of the previous agreement since negotiations went on after that contract expired. “The two sides just worked out the contract, without mediation or fact-finding,” said Superintendent David London. “With this settlement, all our staff is now under some type of formal agreement.”

Innovative Arts Charter enrollment up dramatically from last spring
Margie Peterson Special to The Morning Call November 15, 2017
Innovative Arts Academy Charter School leaders were touting good news at Wednesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting: Student enrollment is up and outstanding bills are down.
Principal Douglas Taylor reported that enrollment in the school, which serves grades 6-12, is 415, an increase of six students over October’s numbers. But it’s a 70 percent increase over the 243 students who finished the last school year at the charter school in Catasauqua. The school aims to immerse students in career-driven courses, including culinary arts, journalism, fashion and graphic design. “I’m excited about where we are with our numbers and we’re stable with our numbers,” Taylor said. Board member David Rank was pleased with the increase in students and also glad that outstanding bills had shrunk. Rank said the school’s cash balance was over $400,000 through the end of October.

'A desperate cry for help.' 400 busted Philly school instruments revived for Symphony for a Broken Orchestra
Inquirer by Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer  @samanthamelamed |  smelamed@philly.com Updated: NOVEMBER 15, 2017 — 8:35 AM EST
Su Spina normally plays kettledrums. But when she went to pick up the instrument she’d be playing in the Symphony for a Broken Orchestra — a new composition for 400 amateur and professional musicians all playing broken instruments from the Philadelphia public schools — her options were limited.  “Would you prefer a violin without strings? Or an autoharp?” Andy Theirauf asked her. Spina, 22, a recent college graduate who studied music at Franklin & Marshall, said if knocking on a broken violin for 40 minutes is what it takes to get these instruments fixed, she’s in. “I started music when I was in elementary school,” she said. “So, knowing a whole bunch of students in the Philadelphia School District don’t even have access to instruments, I wanted to be a part of anything that helps.” The project — conceived by Robert Blackson, director of the Temple Contemporary art gallery — is part crowdfunding campaign to fix the instruments (adopt one at symphonyforabrokenorchestra.org) and part avant-garde music experiment, with a score from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang.

Essentials books series helps new school directors survive your first year and beyond
PSBA Website November 15, 2017
Whether you're just starting your tenure as a school director or you are a veteran with many years, two publications will give you the basics you will need to understand your roles and responsibilities as an elected official. PSBA's Essentials book series, is available to you under the News tab (see Reports, Papers & Guides). The books cover the basics of meetings, finance, school law, working with your superintendent and community engagement. In addition to the online versions you may access now, printed copies of both the Essentials of School Board Service and Essentials of Parliamentary Procedure are being mailed to your superintendent at the end of November for distribution to school directors. If you don't receive your copy by the middle of December, be sure to ask your superintendent. 


“The other Education Department nominee was James Blew, who was director of the Walton Family Foundation’s K-12 reform efforts for nearly a decade and also national president of StudentsFirst, the reform organization started by former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee. Blew was nominated to be assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy development. Both men — strong supporters of the DeVos agenda of expanding school choice — are expected to be confirmed.”
Trump nominee for No. 2 spot at Education Department stumbles on key questions at confirmation hearing
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss November 15 at 6:38 PM 
The retired brigadier general tapped to be No. 2 at the Education Department behind Betsy DeVos told Congress on Wednesday he was “unaware” of extensive research showing that voucher programs in three states negatively affected student achievement. And he conceded that his belief that school choice always led to positive impacts on achievement rested on anecdotal evidence. Mitchell Zais, a former South Carolina state school superintendent and former president of a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, appeared at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. He also said he was “unclear as to exactly what the law is” regarding whether schools must allow transgender students to use a bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. Zais, nominated as deputy secretary of education, testified at the hearing with three other Trump administration nominees — one for a position at the Education Department and two at the Labor Department. They answered questions largely from Democratic senators because Republican panel members were not present, other than Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

Democrats Press Trump Nominees on School Choice and Civil Rights
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Alyson Klein on November 15, 2017 5:14 PM
Senate education committee Democrats used the confirmation hearing of two top U.S. Department of Education nominees to make their case against the Trump administration's favorite K-12 policy: School choice. Both contenders have long records in pushing for charters, vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, and other types of school choice programs. Mick Zais, who has been tapped for deputy secretary of education, the No. 2 post at the agency, helped create a tax-credit scholarship for students in special education when he was the state chief in South Carolina. And Jim Blew, who has been tapped as assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy analysis, spent nearly a decade as the Walton Family Foundation's director of K-12 reform, advising the foundation on how to broaden schooling options for low-income communities. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the panel, kicked off the hearing by saying that she finds it "troubling" that Zais shares Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos' views on "privatization." And she told Blew that his "record of promoting school vouchers gives me pause that you will not stand up for students and public schools." Senator after senator on the Democratic side of the dais echoed those concerns.

DeVos' Top K-12 Deputy Tells Chiefs to Innovate, But Comply With ESSA
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Daarel Burnette II on November 15, 2017 5:15 PM
St. Louis - Jason Botel, the U.S. department's acting assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, told a room full of state schools chiefs Wednesday that he wants states to be innovative in working to close the nation's yawning achievement gap, but also wants them to make sure they comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act in doing so. Botel's office is in the thick of evaluating  34 state ESSA plans and doing so with limited resources and plenty of political pressure, he said during a frank and abbreviated speech at the Council of Chief State School officers annual policy conference.  "We're trying to strike a balance of encouraging innovation and assuring compliance with the letter of the law," said Botel. "This is a collaborative, iterative process. This is not a gotcha process."   Botel said that in two weeks, he'll publish some initial feedback letters to several states' plans on how they intend to use billions of federal dollars to improve the educational outcomes of the nation's growing poor and minority student population.  

Where do the nation’s big charter boosters send their cash? More and more to charter networks
Chalkbeat BY MATT BARNUM  -  2 DAYS AGO
Wealthy charter school backers have directed most of their money to a select number of states, particularly ones where charter schools are better at raising test scores, according to a new studyThe research also finds that foundations are sending a larger share to charter school networks and a smaller share to stand-alone charters — echoing complaints from independent charter school leaders that they’ve gotten short shrift from funders. The concentration of funding, researchers Joseph Ferrare and Renee Setari write, gives “foundations considerable leverage.” It has also “enabled some charter management organizations (e.g., KIPP) and subsystems (e.g., New Orleans) to expand the supply of charter schools at a dramatic rate.” The researchers combed through multiple years of spending from 15 education philanthropies that have supported charter schools, including major donors like the Gates and Walton foundations and local ones like the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City and the Joyce Foundation in Chicago. (Chalkbeat is funded in part by the Gates, Joyce, and Walton foundations.)

Whitmire: 7 Ways Charter Schools & Districts Are Remaking Education in Texas
The74 November 14, 2017 Opinion by  RICHARD WHITMIRE
Texans maintain they’ve been on a roll ever since 1901, when oil was discovered at Spindletop Hill. Perhaps. But when it comes to charter schools, there’s a more recent roll taking place that may rival Spindletop. Dramatic changes are happening after a decade when Texas charters “lost their swagger and went on autopilot,” as one charter network founder put it. Now, the swagger appears to have returned. Skeptical? Consider these developments: On Wednesday, Valero Energy Foundation announced a $8.4 million gift to pay for 14 KIPP-trained college guidance counselors for San Antonio ISD. Why is this big? Because this is the tip of what could spread nationally: deep-pocket funders who have long been wary of giving to traditional school districts eager to jump in when the cause is a college success collaboration between charter networks that have pioneered these programs and traditional districts just sticking their toes into that water.

After a political rout, New York’s wealthiest charter group searches for an identity
Politico By ELIZA SHAPIRO 11/15/2017 05:03 AM EST
New York’s best-funded charter school advocates once had big plans to dominate education policy here and influence charter school legislation in statehouses across the country.
Then, last fall, Families for Excellent Schools lost a $20 million gamble to grow Massachusetts’ charter sector in a ballot initiative by 25 points. A scandal involving its boldface name donors followed this summer. A year after the ballot question failed, FES has put its national ambitions on hold and started the grueling work of searching for a fresh political identity at home. It’s an unenviable crossroads for a group that once served as a key power broker in New York’s charter world — and one with significant implications for the local and national charter advocacy movements. Even after the ballot item, Question 2, flunked at the polls in Massachusetts last November, Families for Excellent Schools was forced to face a few final indignities. The state’s campaign finance office handed the group the largest fine in the office’s history, banned the group from campaigning in the state for four years, and forced its Bay State ballot committee, Great Schools Massachusetts, to dissolve. The office found that Families for Excellent Schools had illegally concealed donors supporting the “yes” campaign for Question 2.
The pro-charter organization, which is usually relentless in its courting of media coverage, quietly retreated back to New York after the loss.


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:
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


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. 6, Haverford Middle School
·         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