Monday, January 7, 2019

PA Ed Policy Roundup Jan. 7, 2019 PA Schools Work pursues enactment of the Legislature’s Fair Funding Formula

Started in November 2010, 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.

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PA Schools Work pursues enactment of the Legislature’s Fair Funding Formula

“Please join this new network of education advocates at  As this new year begins, so does the state’s budgeting cycle. Consider advocating for increased public school funding in basic education, special education and career technical education, and sharing your personal story of school funding needs with state legislators.”
Centre Daily Times Letters: Advocate for increased public school funding
BY Carol Hodes, State College AAUW Education Committee JANUARY 05, 2019 02:58 PM,
PA Schools Work advocates for our schools
Do you know that Pennsylvania ranks 46th in the state’s share of K-12 education funding? Most states cover 47 percent of school costs, but PA contributes only 38 percent. State funding for classroom costs has declined since 2013 by $155.3 million. Increases in state education appropriations don’t keep pace with rising costs; the funding gap between Pennsylvania’s low- and high-wealth districts is the nation’s largest. Local revenues average 56 percent of school funding. Dependence on local revenue leads to inequities between wealthy and economically distressed districts that often have students with the greatest needs. In 2016, The Campaign for Fair Education Funding enacted a fair funding formula. In 2018, the Campaign’s partners formed PA Schools Work, a bipartisan advocacy group that pursues the fair funding formula’s enactment.
PA Schools Work advocates for adequate school funding by uniting organizations across the state that represent teachers, school administrators, school boards, and parents; urban, suburban and rural schools; and community organizations. It is our job to educate legislators about these issues. Whether there is a R or D by their name is unimportant, but we want an E for education. We must help legislators understand what today’s educational environment needs to prepare students for the future.

City celebrates two years of PHLPre-K
At Southwest Philadelphia center, Mayor Kenney said thousands of children are benefiting and hundreds of jobs have been created.
Dale Mezzacappa January 4 — 4:45 pm, 2019
On the second anniversary of the launch of PHLPre-K, the soda-tax funded initiative to provide free early education to children around the city, Mayor Kenney hailed the program as an investment “that will continue to pay off for years to come.” “For the last two years, 4,000 children have received high-quality pre-K at no cost to them,” Kenney said, speaking at a center in Southwest Philadelphia where 42 children are enrolled under the initiative. The remaining 46 children at the center are in the District’s Head Start program. City Council member Kenyatta Johnson called the program “a bold investment in the young people” of the city. “We talk about the school-to-prison pipeline, we talk about the school-to-college pipeline,” he said. Programs like this are “a pathway out of poverty” because they lay the foundation for a successful education. In Philadelphia, the poorest of the nation’s big cities, children often fall behind before they enter kindergarten and find it hard to catch up. Studies show that students who aren’t reading proficiently by 4th grade are much more likely to drop out of high school. The Mayor’s Office of Education released a checklist showing that, currently, there are 2,250 city-funded seats in 85 locations; the goal is to reach 5,100 seats by September 2022.

Two years in, what’s the state of Kenney’s soda-tax funded pre-K program?
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Updated: January 4, 2019
Two years after the first preschoolers started free pre-kindergarten classes with the proceeds from Philadelphia’s controversial soda tax, Mayor Jim Kenney sat at a tiny table in Southwest Philadelphia and pronounced it a success. To date, over 4,000 3- and 4-year-old Philadelphians have attended programs, at a cost of $38.4 million to the city. This year, there are 2,250 children in city-funded pre-K seats. Kenney has long said he sees pre-K as a key item on his agenda, a way to address the problems of the nation’s poorest large city, one with a struggling school system where many children arrive at kindergarten unprepared and struggle to catch up. Providing high-quality education — city pre-K providers have to meet quality standards many other city early childhood centers cannot — leads people to “becoming contributing members and solid citizens in our city," Kenney said Friday. “They can’t do it without quality early-childhood education.”

“the use of “restorative practices,” a proactive strategy being adopted by schools across the nation and that focuses on improving school culture and building relationships rather than pushing students out of the classroom, had a positive effect on student suspension rates and the disparity between black and white students”
Pittsburgh Public Schools optimistic about reducing student suspensions
ELIZABETH BEHRMAN Pittsburgh Post-Gazette JAN 5, 2019 11:12 PM
Leaders in Pittsburgh Public Schools are hopeful that a newly-released, long-awaited study of a new strategy aimed at reducing student suspensions in the district could be an asset for others across the country. The two-year, federally funded study released last week by the RAND Corporation showed that the use of “restorative practices,” a proactive strategy being adopted by schools across the nation and that focuses on improving school culture and building relationships rather than pushing students out of the classroom, had a positive effect on student suspension rates and the disparity between black and white students.  The report marks one of the first comprehensive studies of restorative practices. Pittsburgh district leaders and proponents of the change said the results have national significance, and that they hope it can be a “roadmap” for other urban schools. “It’s really validating to see the outcome data associated with this work,” said Christine Cray, Pittsburgh Public Schools’ director of student services reforms.

PennLive Opinion Editor John Micek is leaving
Penn Live By Ron Southwick | Updated Jan 4; Posted Jan 4
For six years, PennLive Opinion Editor John Micek has produced the editorials that have left you nodding in agreement, shaking your head in disbelief and, in the best circumstances, inspiring you to write back and share your thoughts. Whether you’ve agreed with PennLive’s editorials or not, Micek has aimed to engage readers and help drive the conversation about Pennsylvania’s government and the people who are running it. Now, he’s getting ready to leave PennLive for a new opportunity. Micek has been hired as the editor-in-chief of The Pennsylvania Capital-Star, a new journalism operation covering Pennsylvania’s state government. It’s part of The Newsroom, a politically progressive non-profit organization that has launched similar news groups in nine other states. His last day at PennLive is Jan. 18.

Parent lawsuit over armed teachers sparks heated exchange in Tamaqua
WHYY/Keystone Crosdsroads By Jen Kinney January 4, 2019
A press conference in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, Friday concluded with a heated exchange between a school board member and a resident about the wisdom of arming school staff to protect against a mass shooting. “You’re missing the point, because you are so focused on guns,” said resident Tracy Perry to school board director Nicholas Boyle, who has spearheaded the new policy. Perry advocated better securing buildings and adding a buzzer to the front door. “The point is, make our schools secure and safe, period. And that’s a simple thing. But you’re unwilling to do the most minor thing and jump directly to this promotion of armed staff.” The press conference was called to announce a lawsuit against a policy that will allow some school staff to anonymously carry firearms on school grounds. Four plaintiffs with children or grandchildren in the Tamaqua Area School District are suing.

Parents sue over district’s policy to arm teachers at school
AP News By MICHAEL RUBINKAM January 4, 2019
TAMAQUA, Pa. (AP) — Parents are going to court to block a Pennsylvania school district from allowing teachers to carry guns in school, the latest flashpoint in a debate playing out in many states over whether it’s wise to arm educators to protect students from mass shooters. The district in Tamaqua, a coal-mining region about 90 miles (145 kilometers) from Philadelphia, serves more than 2,100 students in three schools and is believed to be the first school system in Pennsylvania to let teachers carry weapons. Tamaqua school board members “endangered their community” when they approved a “manifestly illegal” policy to give weapons to teachers and other school employees, according to a lawsuit filed by three parents and a grandparent. “A teacher’s role is to teach,” Holly Koscak, one of the plaintiffs, said Friday at a news conference. “We should not be putting those extra roles on a teacher when it’s out of their scope.” She said her daughter, a sophomore, is “very anxious” about having armed teachers in school. The teachers union had already filed suit to overturn the policy. Teachers are allowed to carry weapons in several states, including Texas, Missouri and Ohio, and a number of other states are considering similar measures in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school massacre last February. The National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, says its members “overwhelmingly reject” proposals to have them carry guns in school. Using the hashtag “ArmMeWith,” some teachers have taken to Twitter to express their opposition.

Parents sue school district over decision to arm teachers, non-security staff
Penn Live By Becky Metrick | Posted Jan 3
Parents in the Tamaqua Area School District in Schuylkill County have filed a lawsuit against the district, claiming its decision to arm teachers and other non-security staff violates state law. The lawsuit will be discussed at a press conference held in Tamaqua on Friday, according to a release in conjunction with advocacy organization CeaseFirePA. The district adopted the policy to arm teachers in September, and faced criticisms from parents and students for several months after. In November, the school board told media that the board was listening to alternatives and had not set a date for when teachers could begin bringing guns on school property. The decision was made following several school shootings across the country. In November, the teachers union, the Tamaqua Education Association, sued the district over the rule allowing teachers to carry, saying the district’s policy reached further than they were allowed to. CeaseFirePA said the parents lawsuit was filed at the Schulykill County Court of Common Pleas on Thursday afternoon.

Editorial: School community reeling from racial incidents
Delco Times Editorial January 6, 2019
The crowd that packed the auditorium at Strath Haven High School in Delaware County Wednesday night heard calls for healing and unity from local officials in the wake of two ugly racial incidents in their community. What they didn’t get was much in the way of answers. Residents were rightly outraged on learning of the two incidents, in which a picture was widely distributed among young people on social media showing two people wearing white hoods, and racist epithets in a letter distributed to several homes in the school district. The acts were quickly condemned by school officials. Strath Haven High students, outraged at the acts apparently committed by some of their peers, staged a walkout. A long list of local clergy signed off on a letter expressing solidarity with those who were targeted by the racist letter, stressing that they strive to create a community where all are welcome. They also noted their belief in the power of forgiveness, along with redemption and reconciliation. The NAACP met with school officials and vowed to join efforts to develop healing strategies to address the “deep concerns rising in the community.” All of that was a few weeks ago.

Pennsylvania schools can tax the land on which billboards stand, appeals court says
Inquirer by Harold Brubaker, Updated: January 4, 2019
In a tax case involving two Delaware County school districts and more than 20 billboards along I-95 and Route 322, a Pennsylvania appeals court last week overturned a long-accepted property-tax exemption for billboards in counties outside Philadelphia. The finely tuned opinion upheld tax exemption for billboards themselves and the structures that support them, but said the assessed value of the land where the signs stand should take into account the rent paid to the property owner. As the current law does not permit taxing billboards, the Chester-Upland and Chichester School Districts were hoping to increase the assessment of the land the signs were on because the rent could raise the value of the land. The creative legal move was seen as a desperate attempt by school districts to increase revenue amid strained budgets. A prominent Philadelphia-area real estate attorney called the Dec. 27 decision significant because it could lead to a “creep” that would undermine other exemptions, such as those for silos, amusement park rides, and wind turbines, in the 2006 Consolidated County Assessment Law.

“Article III, Section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states, “The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.” Until legislators uphold this part of the constitution, the industry known as “foreclosure investing” will continue to be fueled by the abdication of their responsibilities.”
School property tax robbing seniors of retirement income | Letter
Ed Kihm By Express-Times Letters to the Editor Updated Jan 4; Posted Jan 4
How long will Pennsylvania state legislators continue to allow school districts to tax retirement income? That is exactly what the regressive school property tax is, a tax on retirement income and savings. People who are currently working are denied the potential to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in their own retirement fund because the money is being confiscated in property tax. People who are retired are having to pay their property tax with the money they saved for retirement. For many that includes their Social Security income, while their homes are held as ransom. This also includes people who rent, since the cost of rentals is much higher because of the ever-increasing property tax. A significant majority of Pennsylvanians wants school property taxes eliminated, but a narrow majority of tyrant legislators in both parties would rather continue the unsustainable funding of education with a regressive, abusive property tax enforced by the confiscation of homes. You would think we’re living in a communist country.

Removed in secret, hidden for years, Philly schools' art collection belongs in the public eye, officials now say
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Updated: January 6, 2019- 5:09 AM
Hidden away for more than a decade, the vast collection of artwork that once hung on public school walls across Philadelphia will return to the public eye — in school halls or traveling exhibits — as soon as practical, the Philadelphia Board of Education recently promised. The collection of 1,200 paintings, sculptures, murals, tapestries, and other pieces once optimistically estimated to be worth $30 million, was abruptly removed from schools in 2003 and 2004, when officials said the works were too valuable to hang unsecured. For years, the Philadelphia School District refused to say much about the works it yanked from school buildings, forcing advocates to go to court to find out exactly what was held in a location it refused to disclose. At different times, the powers that be contemplated selling all or part of the collection when financial crisis hit. That option is now officially off the table.

Neshaminy SD faces Human Relations Commission hearing over Redskins name
Inquirer by Kathy Boccella, Updated: January 5, 2019
Donna Fann-Boyle says she’s quarreled with her neighbors on social media, been bullied and threatened and called names like “half-breed wagon-burner” during the six years she’s pressed the Neshaminy School District to drop its nickname of “Redskins,” which she considers a slur. Next week, Fann-Boyle – a 59-year-old Middletown Township woman who is of Cherokee descent – finally gets her day in court as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission comes to Bucks County for at least a week of public hearings on its legal action challenging Neshaminy’s traditional nickname and its Native American imagery as offensive. Fann-Boyle, who calls both the duration of the fight and the district’s vehemence in opposing any name change “ridiculous,” said she’s looking forward to testifying and arguing that “you can’t just be indoctrinating kids in this stuff and ignoring the voice of a minority.” Advocates hope the hearings and the PHRC’s intervention can bring closure to the controversy that’s riven the sprawling 8,600-student district in Lower Bucks County for much of the 2010s -- mirroring disputes from coast-to-coast in a number of the estimated 2,000 or so school districts that still retain nicknames or mascots based on American Indian culture.

Pa. commission could ax controversial Neshaminy school mascot
WHYY By Aaron Moselle January 7, 2019
A public hearing this week in Bucks County could spell the end of a controversial school mascot. For decades, the sports teams in the Neshaminy School District have been called the Redskins. In a suit filed against the district in 2015, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission argued the name, ditched by dozens of schools around the country, discriminates against Native Americans and creates “hostile educational environment” for Neshaminy students. “It’s not only racial and insensitive, it’s polarizing,” said Chad Dion Lassiter, the commission’s executive director. The hearing at Bucks County Community College is expected to last at least five days, with testimony from nearly 30 witnesses, including former students, teachers, and administrators.

Project SEARCH enables students with developmental disabilities to explore careers
A variety of partners in Berks County are participating in the program.
Five young interns working at Penn State Health St. Joseph's Downtown Campus are not only honing their skills in hopes of finding a job when they graduate from high school, they're also bringing joy to their fellow employees and hospital visitors. The interns, who range in age from 18 to 21 years old, are part of Project SEARCH, an international program that matches qualified students who have some developmental disabilities with positions in a local jobsite. Project SEARCH has a variety of local partners, including the Berks County Intermediate Unit (BCIU), Goodwill Industries, Service Access & Management Inc. (SAM), Berks County Mental Health/Development Disabilities and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Local school districts and several Penn State Health St. Joseph employees also are involved.

Intermediate Units forge community partnerships
WITF Smart Talk Written by Merideth Bucher, Producer | Jan 4, 2019 4:54 AM
The complexity of the world and the need to prepare students for the future have placed great demands on our education system.  Teachers and administrators must do more with less and in the process, they are expected to achieve great results. Parents and communities demand as much. With so much at stake and limited resources where do schools and families turn for help? The Commonwealth created a system of Intermediate Units (IU's) in 1970 to serve the public school system and bridge the resource gap. Originally, the IU's replaced county superintendents of school's offices and assumed their role. Today, they provide a wide variety of services to both public and private schools, including professional development for teachers. Intermediate Units offer such a depth of skills and resources that community organizations are pursuing collaborative opportunities, as well.

Leechburg Area biology students raising brook trout — from eggs to spring release
Trib Live by JOYCE HANZ | SundayJan. 6, 2019, 7:33 a.m.
A new project at Leechburg Area High School is making a splash with students. There are 17 juniors and seniors enrolled in Ann Fischer’s Biology 2 “college in high school” course. It’s being offered at Leechburg through Westmoreland County Community College. And they’re getting up close and personal with Pennsylvania’s official state fish — brook trout. Fischer said the students are gaining hands-on conservation experience participating in the Pennsylvania Trout In the Classroom (TIC) program. The curriculum provides students in grades third through 12th statewide the opportunity for individualized lesson plans and TIC has applications in ecology, science, mathematics, social studies, language and fine arts and physical education. All classrooms end their five-month trout curriculum by releasing fingerling trout into a state-approved waterway.

“It was thought the ruling would trigger an exodus of workers from organized labor and cripple unions financially. But that hasn’t been the case, so far, among education unions in the Lehigh Valley.”
Lehigh Valley teacher unions have dodged political blow from Janus decision
Jacqueline Palochko Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call January 7, 2019
Lehigh Valley teachers appear to be sticking with their unions and not opting out of membership six months after a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court against requiring “fair share” payments from nonunion members. Union membership was expected to suffer after the court last June ruled in favor of an Illinois state employee, Mark Janus, who had refused to join a public sector union and objected to paying a fee to cover his share of the union’s contract negotiation costs. But local teachers unions seem to have avoided the blow. Allentown and East Penn’s unions saw no members leave, Parkland and Easton Area each lost one teacher, and two teachers withdrew from the union in Bethlehem Area, interviews show. At the state level, the Pennsylvania State Education Association — the state’s largest union with 181,000 teachers — lost fewer than 1 percent of its members, said Chris Lilienthal, a PSEA spokesman. Before Janus, about 6,500 teachers were not members; that number has since climbed by 1,000.

Special election set for Pa. Senate seat
ANDREW GOLDSTEIN Pittsburgh Post-Gazette JAN 6, 2019 11:23 AM
The special election to fill the state Senate seat left vacant by Guy Reschenthaler has been scheduled by the lieutenant governor. Lt. Gov. Mike Stack posted a tweet Friday that said he asked the Senate secretary to draft a writ setting the special election for April 2. Counties will be served the writ on Monday, he said. The election will determine who fills the seat left vacant by Mr. Reschenthaler, a Republican, who resigned after being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November. The senator in the 37th District represents communities in Allegheny County’s southern and western suburbs as well as Peters in Washington County.

Why Schools Should Start Later and Teens Should Sleep More
It could literally save lives.
Teen Vogue by BRITTNEY MCNAMARA JAN 4, 2019 8:08AM EST
When I was in high school, it took a lot to get me out of bed and into class on time. Countless days, I'd sleep through my alarm, prompting my mom to scream at me from down the hall or my dad to yank the covers off me in a last-ditch attempt to get me to school before the bell. But what my parents seemed to think was laziness was at odds with my overall personality — I got good grades, was part of countless clubs, and played sports. If you didn't know about the daily drama that was getting out of bed, you might guess that I woke up early each morning excited to get to school. I know I'm not the only one who chronically hit snooze in my teen years, or the only one who was called lazy because of it. But, fellow sleepers, it turns out teen exhaustion isn't our fault. According to science, our schools might be to blame. Researchers have long recommended that high schools push back start times to be later in the morning, departing from the average 8 a.m. call time for class. While the benefits of making school start later could be many for teens — including better performance in school, fewer reports of depression, and more — Adam Conover of truTV's Adam Ruins Everything noted in a recent episode that the impact could also literally save lives. He knows this because in a recent episode of the show, he ruined sleep.

“How many are traditional public schools, public charter schools, or private schools? While charter schools are often the topic of debate, they make up only a small portion of all schools.
·         Traditional public schools: 91,422 (2015-16, Source)
·         Public charter schools: 6,855 (2015-16, Source)
·         Private schools: 34,576 (2015-16, Source)”
Education Statistics: Facts About American Schools
Education Week By Maya Riser-Kositsky Published: January 3, 2019 | Updated: January 4, 2019
How many K-12 public schools, districts, and students are there? What does the American student population look like? And how much are we, as a nation, spending on the education of these youth? These data points can give perspective to the implications and potential impact of education policies. The Education Week library provides answers to these questions, and some other enlightening facts, below.
This page will be updated when new federal data becomes available.

Teachers Strike Looms for a Half-Million Children in Los Angeles
Union in nation’s second-largest district wants a cap on charter schools along with more resources
Wall Street Journal By Nour Malas and  Tawnell D. Hobbs Jan. 6, 2019 8:00 a.m. ET
LOS ANGELES—As teachers in the nation’s second-largest school district prepare to strike starting Thursday, local leaders are taking steps to keep classrooms open with educational software and substitutes in what would be the biggest face-off yet in a nationwide run of educator activism. There were more strikes by educators in 2018 than at any time in the past 25 years. Teachers in North Carolina, Arizona and West Virginia won average pay increases between 5% to 20% after walkouts that closed schools. It is highly unusual for children to continue going to school during a massive strike. But the Los Angeles Unified School District wants to keep open its 1,000 campuses serving at least 480,000 children, citing the low-income families who rely on them as well as the funding it would lose if students stay home. California provides the district an average of $68 per student per school day. If children are absent during the strike, it could cost the district millions of dollars. In addition to higher pay and resources, the 33,000-member teachers union is also trying to win restrictions on the growth of public charter schools. United Teachers Los Angeles says charters, which are publicly funded but mostly privately run, sap resources from traditional public schools. Most charter schoolteachers are nonunionized.

Politico: Educators in the House
Politico Morning Education By BENJAMIN WERMUND; @BenjaminEW 01/04/2019 10:00 AM EST
Editor's Note: This edition of Morning Education is published weekdays at 10 a.m. POLITICO Pro Education subscribers hold exclusive early access to the newsletter each morning at 6 a.m. To learn more about POLITICO Pro's comprehensive policy intelligence coverage, policy tools and services, click here
— Nearly a dozen former educators have taken office as part of the new Democratic majority in the House. The former teachers, professors and university leaders include some of the biggest freshmen names.
— Rep. Nancy Pelosi is vowing support for public education and Dreamers and promising to push for background checks to purchase guns. She was sworn in Thursday as House speaker, surrounded by dozens of kids.

C is for Coup: The Secretive Turkish Religious Movement Tied to Arizona Charter Schools
Phoenix New Times by JOSEPH FLAHERTY | DECEMBER 20, 2018 | 6:00AM
Jessica Avery had been looking to transfer her fourth-grade daughter to a new school when the flyer from Sonoran Science Academy arrived in the mail. At the time around two years ago, Avery was unhappy with her daughter’s Tucson charter school. She found the administration to be standoffish and unhelpful. The advertisement promoting Sonoran Science Academy, a publicly funded Arizona K-12 charter network with a focus on science and technology, seemed like the perfect fit for her kids. Their family has always tried to give the kids an extra push academically, Avery said.

Testing Resistance & Reform News: December 27, 2018 - January 2, 2019
Submitted by fairtest on January 2, 2019 - 12:23pm 
Happy New Year!  The continuing high pace of assessment reform stories -- and victories ! -- over the holidays bodes well for campaigns to reduce standardized exam misuse and overuse in 2019. Help your friends and allies stay up to date with new developments and resources by encouraging them to sign up for these free weekly updates at

School Director Recognition Month
January 2019 is School Director Recognition Month!
PSBA Website
In January, we pause to salute a group of nine people who spend dozens of hours each month voluntarily leading our schools and making difficult decisions – they are the school directors.
As the successes of our students are being highlighted in a statewide campaign called “PA Public Schools: Success Starts Here,” let’s not forget our elected school directors who play a significant role in creating the environment where those successes can happen.

Pennsylvania schools work – for students, communities and the economy when adequate resources are available to give all students an equal opportunity to succeed.
Join A Movement that Supports our Schools & Communities
PA Schools Work website
Our students are in classrooms that are underfunded and overcrowded. Teachers are paying out of pocket and picking up the slack. And public education is suffering. Each child in Pennsylvania has a right to an excellent public education. Every child, regardless of zip code, deserves access to a full curriculum, art and music classes, technical opportunities and a safe, clean, stable environment. All children must be provided a level chance to succeed. PA Schools Work is fighting for equitable, adequate funding necessary to support educational excellence. Investing in public education excellence is the path to thriving communities, a stable economy and successful students.

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:
·         Evaluate key finance documents such as budget and audit materials
·         Review and analyze board policies and administrative regulations
·         Build positive board culture by developing strong collaboration skills
Locations and Dates:
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.
Register now
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

PSBA Board Presidents’ Panel
Nine locations around the state running Jan 29, 30 and 31st.
Share your leadership experience and learn from others in your area at this event designed for board presidents, superintendents and board members with interest in pursuing leadership roles. Workshop real solutions to the specific challenges you face with a PSBA-moderated panel of school leaders. Discussion will address the most pressing challenges facing PA public schools.

Annual PenSPRA Symposium set for March 28-29, 2019
Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association Website
Once again, PenSPRA will hold its annual symposium with nationally-recognized speakers on hot topics for school communicators. The symposium, held at the Conference Center at Shippensburg University, promises to provide time for collegial sharing and networking opportunities. Mark you calendars now!
We hope you can join us. Plans are underway, so check back for more information.

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: PSBA Advocacy Day at the Capitol in Harrisburg has been scheduled for Monday April 29, 2019

Save the Date:  PARSS Annual Conference May 1-3, 2019
Wyndham Garden Hotel, Mountainview Country Club
Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools

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.

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