PA Schools Work Aims to Improve Funding for Public Schools
PA Schools Work is building a movement across the state to improve public school funding.
Erie News Now November 17th 2018, 11:46 PM EST by Lisa Adams Video Runtime 1:03
Organizers of PA Schools Work are building a new movement across the state to improve public school funding in Pennsylvania. On Saturday they hosted their first summit connecting some 400 people across the state in eight regions. The Northwest region met at St. Brigid Church in Meadville. The group included superintendents, teachers, school board and community members. They share a common concern that Pennsylvania ranks 46th across the nation for the share of education funding it provides. PA Schools Work is looking for people to join a non-partisan movement to fight for more funding for basic education funding, as well as improved funding for career and technical education and special education. They say public schools work only when there is adequate funding, equitable funding and educational excellence is valued. Kate Philips, statewide consultant for PA Schools Work called education funding an urgent necessity. "It's something people need to understand," Philips said. "People need to value excellence and access to course work and music classes, things some schools have and some don't, so we're here to advocate and organize and we are focused on increasing education funding across Pennsylvania." To learn more about the initiative click here paschoolswork.org/
First Ever Pennsylvania Schools Work Summit Kicks Off on Saturday
Educators Discuss The Need For Funding From State Legislators
By: Morgan Parrish WBRE WYOU Posted: Nov 18, 2018 08:50 AM EST Video Runtime 2:30
KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY(WBRE/WYOU-TV) - Educators from across the Commonwealth held an extra day of class this week. However this time, they were the ones learning from one another. The goal is to work towards providing a stronger future for students..which teachers say can't take place until there's more funding in the school system. Parents, teachers and community members came together to kick off a movement to demand that Pennsylvania legislators spend more on our public schools. Hundreds of local education advocates gathered in eight locations across the commonwealth Saturday for the first ever "Pennsylvania Schools Work Summit". "It's time for our kids to get the education that they deserve," said Executive Director of Education Voter of Pennsylvania, Susan Spica. The summit focuses on an issue that a lot of school districts are facing..having teachers that are working hard and doing great things for the kids..but without additional funding. "To deliver the education kids need and that they deserve to develop their potential so they have a bright future," said Spicka.
Many educators say they're facing numerous challenges without necessary funding from the state.
Pa school leaders make push for more state funding
By: WFMZ 69 News Posted: Nov 18, 2018 07:06 AM EST Video Runtime 48 seconds
Public school leaders came together across Pennsylvania Saturday to launch a grassroots effort aimed at securing more state funding for their students. Eight summits to organize the "PA Schools Work" funding movement were held throughout the state, including at the Colonial IU in Northampton County. Leaders from several education and community organizations say now is the time to organize before next year's state budget process picks up.
Meet Pennsylvania's incoming class of federal lawmakers
By Laura Olson Morning Call Washington Bureau November 18, 2018
Pennsylvania will have new faces representing more than one-third of the state’s U.S. House districts next year. Here’s a rundown on the seven new members — four Democrats and three Republicans — who spent the past week in Washington preparing to join the 18-person delegation. They will represent newly configured districts as a result of the state Supreme Court’s gerrymandering decision early this year.
To relief of educators, Pennsylvania's new accountability system really looks at more than test scores
The state Department of Education on Thursday launched its new Future Ready Pa Index, which uses a holistic approach to evaluate schools.
By Jacqueline Palochko, Eugene Tauber, Sarah M. Wojcik and Michelle MerlinContact Reporters Of The Morning Call November 16, 2018
Marvine Elementary students in Bethlehem struggle when it comes to PSSAs, the standardized state tests students take every spring. Only 35 percent of Marvine students passed English, while 76 percent failed math this year. Under Pennsylvania’s old school accountability system, the PSSA scores would significantly factor into a school’s rating. But educators have been saying for years that it is unfair to judge a school just by its PSSA scores because they don’t give a full picture. In the case of Marvine, the scores don’t reflect that 93 percent of students are economically disadvantaged or that the scores have improved from previous years. The state has fixed that problem. We heard loud and clear that students are more than a test score.— Matt Stem, deputy state education secretary The state Department of Education on Thursday launched its Future Ready Pa Index,which uses a holistic approach to evaluate schools. Schools no longer receive a sole numerical grade like they did under the previous School Performance Profile system, and standardized test scores aren’t the only way to measure students.
Pennsylvania launches long-awaited school assessment site
WHYY By Katie Meyer, WITF November 16, 2018
Pennsylvania’s Department of Education has launched a new online index that will aggregate statistics on public and charter schools for parents, teachers, and students. Unlike the previous school assessment site, this one intentionally steers clear of ranking schools against one another. The Future Ready PA Index has been a long time coming. State officials started working on it more than a year ago as part of a plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which took effect under President Barack Obama. In a major change, schools will no longer get a number grade. Deputy Education Secretary Matt Stem said the new approach tries to express more nuance by measuring more than just test scores. New criteria include proficiency in different subject areas and career readiness.
Philadelphia school board to consider three new charters
Inquirer by Maddie Hanna, Updated: November 16, 2018
The Philadelphia school board will consider three applications to open charter schools this year, all affiliated with at least one school already operating in the city. The applications were due Thursday and made public Friday. They are from String Theory Schools, which is seeking to open a K-8 school in West Philadelphia; the People for People community development corporation, which is applying for a high school in Francisville; and American Paradigm Schools, which is proposing another K-8 school in Tacony. If approved, the three proposed charter schools would add 2,300 students to the city's charter enrollment. How the new board will address charter schools, which serve 70,000 pupils, or one-third of students in the district, has been an open question. Opponents of the schools, which are publicly funded but independently run, have accused them of siphoning valuable dollars from a cash-strapped district while not meeting standards. Supporters, meanwhile, say that demand for charter schools has not yet been met, that many district-run schools are also falling short, and that parents and students deserve options.
How Paying Attention to Trauma is Changing This Pennsylvania School
NBC10 By Sara K. Satullo and The Easton Express-Times Published Nov 17, 2018 at 4:56 PM
Broughal Middle School Principal Rick Amato recently encountered a student wearing his jacket inside the school building. That's a violation of the school rules. Three years ago, Amato might have taken a hard line with the boy, demanding he take the coat off. But that was before Amato knew what trauma -- exposure to abuse, neglect, family dysfunction, drug abuse or mental health issues -- does to a child's brain. Now, Amato knows that when a child experiences trauma it causes the child's stress hormones to rise, literally turning off the part of the brain that facilitates learning. This knowledge has led to a school-wide culture transformation at the Bethlehem school as Broughal became the first school in the region to integrate trauma-informed practices. "Sometimes in schools when students are exhibiting behavior problems we look at the behavior, not what is causing the behavior, and we tend to take it personally," Amato said.
Many Lancaster County school districts struggle to keep low-income students 'in school, on time, every day'
Lancaster Online by ALEX GELI | Staff Writer November 18, 2018
Oct. 26 was a special day for students at Wickersham Elementary School, and perhaps extra special for one student in particular. This student, who’s historically struggled with attendance, successfully made it through Wickersham’s most recent attendance challenge: attend nine straight days of school, and dress as your favorite storybook character on the 10th day. But when Principal Ashley Mercado, who came in dressed as Mean Jean from Alexis O’Neill’s “The Recess Queen,” checked attendance on the 10th morning, the student was marked absent. Mercado — sporting one pigtail, a tiny gold crown, a lime green shirt, a burgundy jumper and hot pink-striped socks — contacted the student’s mother, hopped in her car and drove about a mile down the road to the student’s home. “When I got to the door, the student answered the door, dressed, ready to go with a big smile on her face,” Mercado said. Driving students to school — in costume or not — isn’t typical, but it’s one of the many efforts School District of Lancaster is making to reduce chronic absenteeism.
School Choice Series Report: Choice & Vouchers—Implications for Students with Disabilities
National Council on Disability, November 15, 2018
This report outlines the construct of vouchers, education savings accounts, and tax credits for students with disabilities. It also clarifies the effect on students with disabilities of programs of school choice that allow money for each eligible student to go directly to parents rather than to the public-school system. The paper explains how this adjustment in the flow of public funds results in critical and often misunderstood changes in protections for students with disabilities and their families, under not only the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, but also federal nondiscrimination laws. Finally, this report makes multiple recommendations for federal and state departments of education and Congress to address problems that may deprive students with disabilities and their families of an equitable education.
Public advocate beats charter supporter for California schools chief
It was the most expensive race for a state superintendent.
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss November 17 at 6:08 PM
Finally, more than a week after the vote, there is now a winner in the race for California’s superintendent of public instruction after the most expensive race in history for a state schools chief. State legislator Tony Thurmond, an advocate for traditional public schools, beat out charter schools supporter Marshall Tuck. He tweeted the following on Saturday:
I want to thank the voters of CA for electing me to serve the 6 million students of CA. I intend to be a champion of public schools & a Superintendent for all CA students. I want to thank Marshall Tuck for his gracious call to congratulate me & wish me well. Time to get to work! The election of Thurmond was a victory for forces in California who want to reform the scandal-ridden charter school sector and a blow to the charter school lobby and wealthy philanthropists, some of them out of state, who had poured millions into Tuck’s campaign. Both men are Democrats.
Armored school doors, bulletproof whiteboards and secret snipers
Billions are being spent to protect children from school shootings. Does any of it work?
School shootings have fueled a $2.7 billion school safety industry. What makes kids safer?
Washington Post By John Woodrow Cox and Steven Richin Orlando Nov. 13, 2018
The expo had finally begun, and now hundreds of school administrators streamed into a sprawling, chandeliered ballroom where entrepreneurs awaited, each eager to explain why their product, above all others, was the one worth buying. Waiters in white button-downs poured glasses of chardonnay and served meatballs wrapped with bacon. In one corner, guests posed with colorful boas and silly hats at a photo booth as a band played Jimmy Buffett covers to the rhythm of a steel drum. For a moment, the festive summer scene, in a hotel 10 miles from Walt Disney World, masked what had brought them all there. This was the thriving business of campus safety, an industry fueled by an overwhelmingly American form of violence: school shootings.
Inside the business of school security to stop active shooters
WHYY/NPR By Lakshmi Singh November 18, 2018
School shootings have taken a terrible human toll. They have also been a boon to the business of security technology. Over the summer, Washington Post reporter John Woodrow Cox saw an array of items on display at an expo in Orlando, Fla. He and fellow reporter Steven Rich went on to investigate whether any of the technology being promoted and sold really helps save lives. When he went to the expo in July, Cox says there were people pitching just about anything they could think of that might make schools safer in the event of a shooting. “There were things like pepper ball guns that have typically been used in combat zones,” Cox says. “There was a guy who had just come back from Afghanistan and it’s basically a gun that shoots a sort of a paintball that is filled with a pepper mixture meant to take down a gunman.” Another man at the conference tried to sell the idea of embedding former special forces agents inside schools, but having them pose as gym teachers to allow them to discern which students were potential threats.
A School Strike That Never Quite Ended
The struggle over who should teach in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville district of Brooklyn 50 years ago changed the trajectory of modern liberalism.
New York Times By Richard D. Kahlenberg Nov. 17, 2018
On Nov. 17, 1968, Albert Shanker, a tough Queens-bred union president, stood next to New York City’s patrician mayor, John Lindsay, to announce a settlement to a crippling teacher strike that had thrown a million students out of New York City public schools for weeks on end. The divisive strike laid bare long simmering tensions within American liberalism over unions, education and race. Almost a half-century later, the evolution in liberal attitudes that the strike symbolized created vulnerabilities that a very different son of Queens, Donald Trump, exploited in his rise to the presidency. By the late 1960s, after years of frustration with vicious white resistance to school integration, many African-American leaders supported the creation of a black-controlled local school district in the low-income Ocean Hill-Brownsville section of Brooklyn. The idea was that the district would hire more minority schoolteachers in order to provide role models for students and adopt a curriculum that was culturally affirming.
“The cost of security provided to DeVos was $5.3 million in fiscal year 2017 and $6.8 million for fiscal year 2018, according to the Marshals Service — an amount that is ultimately reimbursed by the Education Department. The estimated cost for fiscal year 2019 is $7.74 million.”
U.S. Marshals Service spending millions on DeVos security in unusual arrangement
The cost to taxpayers could be as much as $19.8 million through next year, according to figures provided to NBC News. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is the only Trump cabinet member to receive around-the-clock protection from the U.S. Marshals Service.
NBC News By Heidi Przybyla Nov. 16, 2018 / 5:00 AM EST
WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos began receiving around-the-clock security from the U.S. Marshals Service days after being confirmed, an armed detail provided to no other cabinet member that could cost U.S. taxpayers $19.8 million through September of 2019, according to new figures provided by the Marshals Service to NBC News. While it remains unclear who specifically made the request, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions granted the protection on February 13, 2017, a few days after DeVos was heckled and blocked by a handful of protesters from entering the Jefferson Academy, a public middle school in Washington. DeVos was confirmed as education secretary on February 7 of that year. "The order was issued after the Department of Education contacted administration officials regarding threats received by the Secretary of Education," the Justice Department said in a statement. "The U.S.M.S. was identified to assist in this area based on its expertise and long experience providing executive protection."
Build on finance, policy, board culture skills at PSBA’s Applied School Director Training
Four convenient locations in December and January
Take the next step in your professional development with Applied School Director Training. Building upon topics broadly covered in New School Director Training, this new, interactive evening event asks district leaders to dive deeper into three areas of school governance: school finance, board policy and working collaboratively as a governance team. Prepare for future leadership positions and committee work in this workshop-style training led by experts and practitioners. Learn how to:
Dec.11, 2018 — Seneca Valley SD
Dec. 12, 2018 — Selinsgrove, Selinsgrove Area Middle School
Jan. 10, 2019 — Bethlehem, Nitschmann Middle School
Jan. 17, 2019 — State College
Cost: This event is complimentary for All-Access members or $75 per person with standard membership and $150 per person for nonmembers. Register online by logging in to myPSBA.
NSBA 2019 Advocacy Institute January 27-29 Washington Hilton, Washington D.C.
The upcoming midterm elections will usher in the 116th Congress at a critical time in public education. Join us at the 2019 NSBA Advocacy Institute for insight into what the new Congress will mean for your school district. And, of course, learn about techniques and tools to sharpen your advocacy skills, and prepare for effective meetings with your representatives. Save the date to join school board members from across the country on Capitol Hill to influence the new legislative agenda and shape the decisions made inside the Beltway that directly impact our students. For more information contact .
2019 NSBA Annual Conference Philadelphia March 30 - April 1, 2019
Pennsylvania Convention Center 1101 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19107
Registration Questions or Assistance: 1-800-950-6722
The NSBA Annual Conference & Exposition is the one national event that brings together education leaders at a time when domestic policies and global trends are combining to shape the future of the students. Join us in Philadelphia for a robust offering of over 250 educational programs, including three inspirational general sessions that will give you new ideas and tools to help drive your district forward.
Save the Date: PARSS Annual Conference May 1-3, 2019
Wyndham Garden Hotel, Mountainview Country Club
Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools