Tuesday, June 12, 2018

PA Ed Policy Roundup June 12: CHIP: House Votes to Cut Children's Health Insurance Funding as Advocates Keep Watch

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, charter school leaders, 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

CHIP: House Votes to Cut Children's Health Insurance Funding as Advocates Keep Watch

Blogger note: A heads-up from Education Voters PA that this morning the PA Senate Ed Committee will be considering SB1198, which would:
(1) continue to mandate publicly labeling schools as successful or failing based primarily on students’ standardized test scores using the School Performance Profile (SPP) instead of the new Future Ready PA Index, and
(2) also give state lawmakers power to micromanage changes to PA’s ESSA federal accountability plan by mandating that any changes to the federal accountability plan negotiated between Pennsylvania and the USDE be approved by the State Board of Education.

The spreadsheets show dollars each school district is slated to receive under the Governor’s proposed budget
PA Department of Education Proposed 2018-19 Education Budget
Basic Education Funding
Governor Wolf’s proposed budget includes $6,095,079,000 for the 2018-19 Basic Education Funding appropriation.  This amount is a $100,000,000 increase (1.7 percent) over the 2017-18 appropriation. New dollars after the 2014-2015 fiscal year, totaling approximately $538,700,000, will be distributed based on the formula recommended by the Basic Education Funding Commission and enacted by the General Assembly in Act 35 of 2016.
2018-19 Proposed Basic Education Funding (Excel)

2017-18 Final Basic Education Funding (Excel)
Special Education Funding
Governor Wolf’s proposed budget includes $1,141,815,000 for the 2018-19 Special Education Funding appropriation. This amount is a $20,000,000 increase (1.8 percent) over the 2017-18 appropriation. New dollars after the 2013-2014 fiscal year, totaling approximately $107,525,000, will be distributed based on categories of support for students with disabilities. 
 2018-19 Proposed Special Education Funding (Excel)
2017-18 Estimated Special Education Funding (Excel)


CHIP: House Votes to Cut Children's Health Insurance Funding as Advocates Keep Watch
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Andrew Ujifusa on June 11, 2018 4:23 PM
Last week, the House of Representatives voted to approve a package revoking about $7 billion in funding reserved for the Children's Health Insurance Program. The decision hasn't gone over well in the children's advocacy community. But what's next for this controversial proposal? First, some background: The House vote last week dealt with a $15 billion "rescissions" package proposed earlier this year by President Donald Trump. The Trump team is seeking to slash the government's bottom line—even though Trump signed a big spending increase into law for fiscal 2018. Most of the cuts would come from unspent federal funds.  Nearly half of that rescissions package, part of a bill that the House passed 210-206, comes from CHIP, which provides health care to kids from low-income families. As we reported earlier this year, $5.1 billion of the rescission would come out of a part of CHIP that reimburses states for certain expenses. Roughly $2 billion would be cut from CHIP reserves, which help states deal with higher-than-expected enrollment in the program. The Trump team has argued this unspent money is no longer needed. The rescissions would not impact current payments to states.  But when the Republican-controlled House moved to approve the rescission package, including the CHIP cut, opponents of the Trump administration's move re-upped their previous criticisms of the proposal. After House passage of the rescissions bill, Child Health USA, an initiative started by the child advocacy group First Focus, published a series of tweets blasting the vote

Pa. deserves a redistricting process 'completely free from partisan hijacking'
Penn Live By Jan Murphy jmurphy@pennlive.com Updated Jun 11, 1:42 PM
Advocates for changing the way congressional and legislative maps are drawn are continuing their full-court press for establishing an independent citizens commission  to affect the next redistricting in 2021. At a Capitol news conference on Monday, representatives from the Fair Districts PA coalition said legislative interest in changing the redistricting process is stronger than it has ever been in the five decades since the current process was put in place and they have no intention of letting this opportunity slip away. "If we miss this window we remain mired in the same flawed structure that gave us wildly partisan, unconstitutional map that we lived with over the last few years, until after the 2030 census and that's unacceptable," said the Rev. Sandra Strauss, director of advocacy for the PA Council of Churches, one of several organizations in the coalition. The window is closing fast to move away from the current process where partisan interests play a dominant role in determining where congressional and legislative lines are drawn. To move a constitutional amendment through the House and Senate and get it on the ballot in time affect the 2021 redistricting, requires passage by both chambers by July 6 of this year and again in the next legislative session.

Philly school district nearing new accountability rules for charters
WHYY By Avi Wolfman-Arent June 11, 2018
The School District of Philadelphia has a new tool for evaluating its charter schools, one it hopes will help end a long and public tug of war with the city’s growing charter sector. If charters accept the terms in this revamped rubric — known as the “charter school performance framework” — the district will have a clear and mutually agreeable roadmap for deciding whether a school should close when its term expires or remain open for another five years. If charters blanch at the deal, the incoming school board will inherit a dispute fraught with political implications and real-world consequences for tens of thousands of kids. Seventeen charter schools that were offered renewals in the past have refused to sign new agreements based on disputes with the district’s expectations. These breakaway charters have now gone more than a year without valid contracts, and say they won’t sign agreements they see as overbearing and unrealistic. The prolonged disagreement has exposed tensions between the District’s charter office and the growing sector it oversees. Another 17 charters are recommended for renewal again this year, meaning there are now 34 total schools potentially in limbo — roughly 40 percent of the city’s 84 charter schools.

16 Philly charters recommended for renewal, 10 with conditions attached
SRC hopes to vote on June 21, its last regular meeting before ceding control to the new Board of Education.
The notebook by Dale Mezzacappa and Greg Windle June 11 — 4:15 pm, 2018
SRC chair Estelle Richman and member Bill Green at a recent SRC meeting. (File photo)
The Charter Schools Office is recommending the renewal of 16 charters, all but six with conditions, and wants to close one — the Charter High School for Architecture and Design (CHAD), which has been in existence for 19 years. The recommendations are based on a new framework that the School Reform Commission is using in an attempt to end a logjam with the growing sector over its standards and means of evaluation. The framework awards points for academics, organization, and finances, requiring that a charter earn 45 percent of the possible points in each domain to avoid a “does not meet standards” result. Most of the recommended renewals were for five-year terms. Imhotep charter, a sports powerhouse, was recommended for a one-year extension, mostly due to academic problems. The charters recommended for renewals without conditions include two Mastery schools — Pastorius in Germantown, a K-8 former District school, and Hardy Williams Academy, a K-12 school in Southwest Philadelphia. The others are KIPP DuBois Charter; Mathematics, Science & Technology Community Charter (MaST)Philadelphia Academy Charter and Young Scholars. These charters either met or approached standards in academics, organization, and finances. Those recommended for five-year renewals with conditions include two Aspira schools, Eugenio Maria De Hostos and Antonia Pantoja, and two schools run by Universal — its original school, Universal Institute, and Universal Alcorn, a District school converted as part of the Renaissance schools initiative. The others are Christopher ColumbusDiscoveryFreire, Maritime Academy, and Pan-American.

Philly school district proposes to renew 16 charters, move to close one
Inquirer by Maddie Hanna, Staff Writer  @maddiehanna |  mhanna@phillynews.com Updated: JUNE 11, 2018 — 5:20 AM EDT
The Philadelphia School District is recommending that all but one of the 17 charter schools it evaluated for renewal this year be allowed to continue operating. The recommendations, which the district is to make public Monday, propose conditions for renewing many of the schools, including two run by Aspira, the organization recently accused by Pennsylvania’s auditor general of operating charter schools without adequate transparency or oversight. The recommendations followed lengthy negotiations with charter schools over how the schools should be evaluated. But tensions between the district and the charters — which enroll about one-third of the city’s public school students — may not be resolved just yet. At issue is a threshold put forward by the district for assessing the academic performance of charter schools. Officials say they want to ensure that charter schools are performing better than similar schools at least most of the time. But charter leaders have argued that the district is setting a higher standard that many schools — including the district’s traditional schools — would not be able to meet. In addition to the schools addressed by the new recommendations, 17 schools previously recommended for renewal are operating under expired charters because they have refused to sign agreements with the district. Philadelphia has 84 brick-and-mortar charter schools.

State Department of Education Starves Charter Schools of Funding
KAPCS and PCPCS ask legislative leaders to intervene
Harrisburg – The Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools (KAPCS) and the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) today sent a letter to legislative leaders requesting their assistance in compelling the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to release funding that is statutorily owed to public charter school students and their schools.
Both organizations believe that PDE is deliberately starving public charter schools of funding even though the schools are adhering to the Charter School Law and following PDE’s guidance in seeking payment when school districts fail to pay their charter school tuition invoices.
Pursuant to Section 1725-A of the Public School Code, “if a school district fails to make a payment to a charter school…the [department] shall deduct the estimated amount, as documented by the charter school, from any and all State payments made to the district after receipt of documentation from the charter school.”
“This is a serious problem affecting charter schools throughout Pennsylvania,” said Tim Eller, executive director of the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “PDE has a statutory obligation to pay a charter school when a school district refuses to make payment. The law includes this specific language to prevent school districts and PDE from financially starving a charter school, which could lead it to cease operations.”

Pittsburgh teachers union president arrested during rally in Harrisburg
LIZ BEHRMAN Pittsburgh Post-Gazette JUN 11, 2018 5:59 PM
The president and vice president of the Pittsburgh teachers union were arrested for disorderly conduct Monday after refusing to leave the State Capitol Rotunda during a rally, according to a news release from the union. Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers president Nina Esposito-Visgitis and vice president William Hileman were fined and released Monday afternoon, along with six others who were arrested during the Poor People's Campaign rally in Harrisburg. According to the release, they were among dozens rallying with a group that has appeared in the capitol in recent weeks to advocate for various social issues and causes. Their arrests could not be immediately confirmed with Capitol Police.  "Making sure that every child has access to a quality education and that every worker has the right to unionize are issues that are worth getting arrested for,” Ms. Esposito-Visgitis said in a statement. “Our membership stands shoulder to shoulder with the Poor People’s Campaign to raise people up by investing in our public schools and increasing the minimum wage.” Ms. Esposito-Visigitis has been president of the union since 2011.

Lower Merion parents: A Stoneleigh alternative that's good for schools and the community | Opinion
Inquirer by Xandra O'Neill & Lauren Fenning, For the Inquirer Updated: JUNE 12, 2018 — 5:00 AM EDT
As parents and residents in Lower Merion, we would like to address the issue of overcrowding that is negatively impacting our students and our communities — and will only be exacerbated over the coming years. Research states that student achievement improves with increased student engagement and the personalization of education. Major factors affecting achievement include teacher quality, class sizes, and the environment where a child studies.  We are grateful for our amazing teachers and the school board’s dedication to small class sizes. Overcrowding in schools reduces enthusiasm for life-long learning and a student’s ability to pay attention and achieve academically. We are already seeing the effects: lost instructional time, limited access to programs and extracurricular activities, loss of green space, and poorly timed and crowded breaks. Teachers and staff  report safety concerns, decreased satisfaction, and diminishing support. Traffic congestion and pedestrian safety issues in our neighborhoods continue to rise.  Increased enrollment is on the horizon and time is of the essence. Most parents and residents in Lower Merion do not want to take Stoneleigh, as has been proposed, but we do want a suitable solution that does not include cramming students onto small properties. Luckily, we have been presented with a rare opportunity: salable land for a third middle school at 1860 Montgomery Avenue.  A school at this location achieves our educational needs with the least disruption to students.  It resolves overcrowding at our elementary and middle schools given its shift to a 5th-8th grade model — a configuration supported by research when transitional and programmatic supports are in place. A third middle school also gives students additional field space and prevents more congestion in the eastern part of the district.

Pennsylvania lawmakers wade into school district land-taking issues
Penn Live By Charles Thompson cthompson@pennlive.com Updated Jun 11, 8:06 PM; Posted Jun 11, 8:06 PM
A group of state lawmakers are pushing to fast-track a bill designed to strengthen the hand of "perpetuity" when it comes to land conservation. Specifically, House Bill 2468 would force create school districts and other governmental agencies eyeing land subject to private conservation easements to win prior court approval before starting condemnation proceedings. Easements are a relatively common land preservation tool, imposed to protect specific tracts from development that would erase or threaten a variety of open space benefits. Some worry that strength of that tool is now being threatened statewide by recent actions of two Pennsylvania school districts that have moved on protected estates for school construction or expansion projects. "I'm concerned that these permanently preserved lands are now being viewed as targets by school boards," said Rep. Kate Harper, R-Montgomery County an one of the new bill's champions.

Northampton Area School District passes 2 percent tax hike
Kevin Duffy Special to The Morning Call June 11, 2018
School board members in the Northampton Area School District passed a tax increase for the 2018-19 school year that would’ve been higher were it not for the FedEx Ground hub coming on line later this year. The rate increase of 1.06 mills represents a tax increase of 2.01 percent, or $61.72 more per year for a homeowner in the district at the average property assessment of $58,223. The board voted 8-1 in favor of the property tax rate and a $107 million general fund budget, with Michael Baird voting no. The general fund amount represents a 4.15 percent increase. After beginning in January with a proposed 3.90 percent tax increase, administrators whittled it down to 2.8 percent, then 2.4 percent, and finally 2.01 percent, which was supported by the board during a straw vote in May. Northampton could not raise taxes more than 2.9 percent under the Act 1 index. A greater tax increase was avoided by applying $400,000 in anticipated tax revenue from the FedEx site on Willowbrook Road to the budget, Superintendent Joe Kovalchik said.

Nothing has stopped the wave of school shootings. Now districts are buying war-zone trauma kits
Inquirer by Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer  @Kathy_Boccella |  kboccella@phillynews.com Updated: JUNE 11, 2018 — 11:58 PM EDT
The future of school safety in the post-Parkland era increasingly looks like the large duffel bags that the Central Bucks School District is deploying in every school this fall — a medical kit aimed at keeping gunshot victims from bleeding to death. The new trauma kits bring to American classrooms lifesaving methods tested on Afghanistan’s battlefields. They include tourniquets to stop bleeding from arms or legs, hyfin vents that can be applied to a chest wound, and medicated gauze pads treated with a coagulant to stop blood oozing from a bullet hole. “It’s very sad that we have to think about this, but we have to be prepared,” said Mary Anne Canales, nursing coordinator for Central Bucks, which is placing 33 of the rolling duffel bags  in all 23 district schools to provide “a safety net for our kids and staff” — echoing a conversation that’s grown louder with each mass killing in U.S. schools. Similar bleeding-prevention kits are coming to dozens of schools across the Philadelphia region this fall, including those in Lower Merion Township and across Bucks and Chester Counties, as well as private schools such as Shipley and Haverford. In New Jersey, Roxbury, Morris County, touted itself in 2016 as the first town in the country to put such kits in all its schools.

Apply Now for EPLC's 2018-2019 PA Education Policy Fellowship Program!
Applications are available now for the 2018-2019 Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP).  The Education Policy Fellowship Program is sponsored in Pennsylvania by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC). 
With more than 500 graduates in its first eighteen years, this Program is a premier professional development opportunity for educators, state and local policymakers, advocates, and community leaders.  State Board of Accountancy (SBA) credits are available to certified public accountants.
Past participants include state policymakers, district superintendents and principals, school business officers, school board members, education deans/chairs, statewide association leaders, parent leaders, education advocates, and other education and community leaders. Fellows are typically sponsored by their employer or another organization. The Fellowship Program begins with a two-day retreat on September 13-14, 2018 and continues to graduation in June 2019.
Applications are being accepted now.
Click here to read more about the Education Policy Fellowship Program.
The application may be copied from the EPLC web site, but must be submitted by mail or scanned and e-mailed, with the necessary signatures of applicant and sponsor.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of the Fellowship Program and its requirements, please contact EPLC Executive Director Ron Cowell at 717-260-9900 or cowell@eplc.org.

Nominations for PSBA’s Allwein Advocacy Award due by July 16
PSBA Website May 14, 2018
The Timothy M. Allwein Advocacy Award was established in 2011 by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and may be presented annually to the individual school director or entire school board to recognize outstanding leadership in legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of public education and students that are consistent with the positions in PSBA’s Legislative Platform. In addition to being a highly respected lobbyist, Timothy Allwein served to help our members be effective advocates in their own right. Many have said that Tim inspired them to become active in our Legislative Action Program and to develop personal working relationships with their legislators. The 2018 Allwein Award nomination process will begin on Monday, May 14, 2018. The application due date is July 16, 2018 in the honor of Tim’s birth date of July 16.
Download the Application


Join with EdVotersPA and PCCY for Capitol Caravan Days and fight for our public schools! When: 9:00-3:00 on June 12 or June 20 (your choice!)
Where: The Harrisburg Capitol
Why: To show state lawmakers that their constituents expect them to support public school students in the '18-19 budget

Education Voters of PA joining together with Pennsylvania Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) for a lobby day in Harrisburg. Join a team and meet with your state legislators and legislative leaders to talk about how the state can support K-12 students in the state budget.
Register Here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdrk24gH61bp7Zjy_JFpIELPYcEvXx05Ld4-_CPltQYyqLSPw/viewform

IN PHILLY, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2018, 8:30-10:00 A.M.
Join Law Center attorneys Michael Churchill, Jennifer Clarke, and Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg for a free briefing on the state of education funding in Pennsylvania. They’ll cover the basics of education funding, our fair school funding lawsuit, the property tax elimination bill, the 2018-2019 state budget, and more! RSVP online here. The briefing will be held on Wednesday, June 13th at 8:30 a.m. at 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
Download a flyer for this event.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! Join the PA Principals Association, the PA Association of School Administrators and the PA Association of Rural and Small Schools for PA Education Leaders Advocacy Day at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at the Capitol in Harrisburg, PA.  
A rally in support of public education and important education issues will be held on the Main Rotunda Steps from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Visits with legislators will be conducted earlier in the day. More information will be sent via email, shared in our publications and posted on our website closer to the event.
To register, send an email to Dr. Joseph Clapper at clapper@paprincipals.org before Friday, June 8, 2018.
Click here to view the PA Education Leaders Advocacy Day 2018 Save The Date Flyer (INCLUDES EVENT SCHEDULE AND IMPORTANT ISSUES.) 

POWER 100% SCHOOL FUNDING Day of Action Wednesday, June 20th at 1 PM at the PA Capitol
On Wednesday, June 20th at 1 PM, students, parents, community activists, and faith leaders from different traditions will gather on the steps of the State Capitol Main Rotunda for POWER’s 100% SCHOOL FUNDING Day of Action to demand support for legislation to put 100% of the Commonwealth's Basic Education Budget through PA's Fair Funding Formula. We ask you to join us as we stand in solidarity with one another and continue demanding fair and fully funded education for Pennsylvania’s public school students. In addition to a large rally, we will march to Governor Tom Wolfe's office to pray for his support for 100% through the Formula. Join us as we hold meetings that day with our legislators asking each one to speak out in favor of POWER's 100% plan.

SAVE THE DATE for the 2018 PA Educational Leadership Summit - July 29-31 - State College, PA sponsored by the PA Principals Association, PASA, PAMLE and PASCD.  
This year's Summit will be held from July 29-31, 2018 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, State College, PA.

2nd Annual National Black Male Educators Convening, Oct. 12-14, Philly
Teacher diversity works. Increasing the number of Black male educators in our nation’s teacher corps will improve education for all our students, especially for African-American boys.Today Black men represent only two percent of teachers nationwide. This is a national problem that demands a national response. Come participate in the 2nd National Black Male Educators Convening to advance policy solutions, learn from one another, and fight for social justice. All are welcome. Register to attend. Nominate a speaker. Propose a workshop. Sponsor the event.

Save the Dates PASA/PSBA School Leadership Conference – Hershey, Oct. 17-19, 2018 
Mark your calendar! The Delegate Assembly will take place Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, at 2:30 p.m.
Housing now open!

Our Public Schools Our Democracy: Our Fight for the Future
NPE / NPE Action 5th Annual National Conference
October 20th - 21st, 2018 Indianapolis, Indiana
We are delighted to let you know that you can purchase your discounted Early Bird ticket to register for our annual conference starting today. Purchase your ticket here.
Early Bird tickets will be on sale until May 30 or until all are sold out, so don't wait.  These tickets are a great price--$135. Not only do they offer conference admission, they also include breakfast and lunch on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday. Please don't forget to register for your hotel room. We have secured discounted rates on a limited basis. You can find that link here. Finally, if you require additional financial support to attend, we do offer some scholarships based on need. Go here and fill in an application. We will get back to you as soon as we can. Please join us in Indianapolis as we fight for the public schools that our children and communities deserve. Don't forget to get your Early Bird ticket here. We can't wait to see you.

Any comments contained herein are my comments, alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or organization that I may be affiliated with.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.