Tuesday, February 26, 2019

PA Ed Policy Roundup Feb. 26: SB34/HB526: Have your state legislators cosponsored pending cyber charter funding legislation?

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.

These daily emails are archived and searchable at http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.org
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SB34/HB526: Have your state legislators cosponsored pending cyber charter funding legislation?

Cyber-charter reform group: Luzerne County districts would save $5.9M under plan
Times Leader By Mark Guydish - mguydish@timesleader.com February 13, 2019
Luzerne County’s 11 school districts would collectively save nearly $5.9 million if the state changed the amounts cyber-charter schools are paid to more accurately reflect their costs, an advocacy group contends. Education Voters of PA — which bills itself as a non-partisan, nonprofit public advocacy organization — takes an argument almost as old as the state’s cyber-charter law and puts dollar figures to the notion: Cyber-charters, which are public schools, regularly get more money per-pupil in tax dollars than it costs to educate them. Cyber-charter schools are authorized through the state, but funded through payments made by the school district in which each student lives. District officials frequently complain the amount of money paid per student is not justified, and they do not save an equal amount of money if a student leaves the district to attend a cyber-charter. They also must make the payment for students who were attending private schools but switch to cyber-charters. Cyber-charter proponents have long countered that they provide an important choice for students unhappy or uncomfortable at traditional schools, and note that much of the money districts pay to cyber-charters comes from state education subsidies, which means the money is simply following the student. Critics also point to poor academic outcomes for cyber-charters, citing state measurements, an argument Education Voters of PA makes in a recent report and accompanying media release: State “cyber-charter schools are among the lowest performing schools in the state. Not one of Pennsylvania’s cyber-charters achieved a passing SPP (School Performance Profile) score of 70 in any of the five years that the SPP was in effect. For the 2017-2018 school year, nearly every cyber-charter school was identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as among the lowest performing schools in the state … . In addition, cyber-charter school graduation rates are consistently and substantially below state averages.”

Blogger note: Total cyber charter tuition paid by PA taxpayers from 500 school districts for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 was over $1.6 billion; $393.5 million, $398.8 million, $436.1 million and $454.7 million respectively.
Over the next several days we will continue rolling out cyber charter tuition expenses for taxpayers in education committee members and legislative leadership districts.

In 2016-17, taxpayers in Senate Majority Whip .@SenatorGordner’s districts had to send over $11.5 million to chronically underperforming cybers that locally elected school boards never authorized. SB34 (Schwank) or HB526 (Sonney) could change that.
Data source: PDE via @PSBA

Benton Area SD
Berwick Area SD
Bloomsburg Area SD
Central Columbia SD
Danville Area SD
Hazleton Area SD
Line Mountain SD
Midd-West SD
Millville Area SD
Milton Area SD
Mount Carmel Area SD
North Schuylkill SD
Northwest Area SD
Selinsgrove Area SD
Shamokin Area SD
Shikellamy SD
Southern Columbia Area SD
Warrior Run SD


How much could your school district and taxpayers save if there were statewide flat tuition rates of $5000 for regular ed students and $8865 for special ed.? See the estimated savings by school district here.
Education Voters PA Website February 14, 2019

Has your state representative cosponsored HB526?

“In the last three school years, 12 of the state’s 14 cyber charter schools spent more than $21 million combined in taxpayer dollars promoting their schools, PublicSource found through Right-to-Know requests. The Commonwealth Charter Academy spent the most of the cyber charters on advertising; it spent $3.2 million in 2015-16 and $4.4 million in 2016-17.”
Reprise Aug. 2017: Pa. charter schools spend millions of public dollars in advertising to attract students
Public Source By Stephanie Hacke and Mary Niederberger AUG. 29, 2017
PART OF THE SERIES The Charter Effect|
Traditionally, the 20th anniversary is celebrated with china but we are marking the 20th anniversary of Pennsylvania’s charter school law with transparency and depth. While other local media outlets have reported on the sweeping change charter school choice has had on students and traditional school districts, our series will expand on that by teasing out the root of the tension between charters and other public schools: money and what appears to be differing standards of accountability. This series will expose and explain the data and records behind the charter schools operating in Allegheny County. If you’re a parent, it’s likely Facebook knows it. If you’re not happy with your child’s current school, Facebook probably knows that, too. And you are likely to be hit with paid, highly targeted ads offering alternatives. That’s why when you scroll through your news feed on Facebook you may see a sponsored photo of a wide-eyed child and parent thrilled about their tuition-free, personalized education at a Pennsylvania cyber charter school. If you pay property taxes, you likely paid for this ad campaign. See the ad on the side of the Port Authority bus that shows happy students and a message that Propel Montour High School has spaces available in grades 9 and 10. Your property taxes paid for that, too. Television ads, radio promotions, social media ads and billboards promoting cyber and brick-and-mortar charter schools are everywhere. Some charter operators pay for online keyword searches that prompt their school’s websites to show up first when a parent searches for certain terms related to charter schools or a student’s need for an alternative education setting.

Pittsburgh Public to expand community schools program
ELIZABETH BEHRMAN Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Lbehrman@post-gazette.com FEB 25, 2019 6:29 PM
The former wood shop classroom at Pittsburgh Langley K-8 now serves a different purpose. The space — which the Pittsburgh Public Schools district recently renovated — is piled with personal hygiene products, clothing and shoes, sorted by gender and size. Smart whiteboards hang on the walls, and a number of community groups take advantage of the long conference table to hold their meetings. “Kids come down all the time,” said Lingaire Nije, Langley’s community schools site coordinator.  The Sheraden school was one of the first five to be designated by Pittsburgh Public Schools as a “community school” when the district launched the new initiative in 2017. Since then, Ms. Nije has spent her time crafting new partnerships with community and social services organizations in the West End; maintaining the schedule for use of the space; and ensuring that all of Langley’s community partners have the proper permits and clearances to work in the school.  Community schools are meant to serve as a services hub for families and residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. 

A $45,000 minimum salary for Pa. teachers, and how it would work
Penn Live By Ed Mahon, PA Post Updated Feb 25, 5:53 PM; Posted Feb 25, 5:53 PM
Gov. Tom Wolf wants every school district teacher in Pennsylvania to earn at least $45,000 a year. He proposed the idea during his annual budget address this month. Here’s what you need to know about the idea.
How much do teachers earn now?
The average classroom teacher in Pennsylvania had a salary above $67,000 last year. But salaries vary widely across the state. State law only requires a minimum teacher salary of $18,500. In five Pennsylvania school districts, the average classroom teacher — not just ones at the bottom of the pay scale — had a salary below $45,000 last year. Across the state, 180 out of 500 Pennsylvania school districts would receive money to raise the minimum salaries above $45,000.
Which districts would benefit?
A lot of districts that benefit are in rural parts of the state. The five districts that would receive the most money are in Cambria, Somerset and Fayette counties. But some districts in more urban areas, such as Scranton and Reading, would benefit.

CBSD hosts drug awareness event at Central Bucks South
Bucks County Courier Times By Marion Callahan Posted at 6:00 AM
Hundreds filled the auditorium at Central Bucks South High School to take part in the Community Awareness Event - Opioids, Vaping and Other Drugs, hosted by the district, county officials and Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Larry Bruno never thought he would be discussing vaping trends with his 12-year-old son. But his son brought up the conversation first. “He came home after starting middle school telling me he was afraid of using the bathroom because kids were vaping,” said Bruno, of Warrington. On Monday night, Bruno joined hundreds of parents filling the auditorium at Central Bucks South High School taking part in the Community Awareness Event — Opioids, Vaping and Other Drugs, hosted by the district, county officials and Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro. About 20 tables were set up near the school’s auditorium, with leaders from several organizations offering resources and materials to educate the community on trends and to offer help to families of those struggling with addiction or with other at-risk behaviors. Central Bucks Assistant Superintendent Abe Lucabaugh highlighted a student survey that shows Bucks County and Central Bucks schools surpass the national average of teens who use vaping and e-cigarette devices. A 2017 Pennsylvania Youth Survey showed that 19.5 percent of students in Bucks County schools vaped in the last 30 days. Among 12th graders, 37.2 percent reported they used some kind of vaping device in the same time frame, more than double the 2017 national average of 17 percent. Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said some families “have a tendency to believe, ‘it’s only vaping.’ Well, that’s the wrong philosophy.”

Cocalico to eliminate valedictorian and salutatorian in shift away from class rank competition
Lancaster Online by ALEX GELI | Staff Writer February 26, 2019
The days of Cocalico High School students taking advanced placement courses solely to pad their class ranking will soon be gone. That’s because the 998-student school is fundamentally shifting how it ranks students. Weighted class rankings — determined by student grades and the “quality” of courses taken — will no longer be published on student transcripts. It’s pitching the annual valedictorian and salutatorian honors, as well. The changes will go into effect for the Class of 2023 — next year's incoming freshmen. For those students and those who come after them, the school is implementing a decile ranking system. It will place students into the top 10 percent, 20 percent, and so on, depending on their GPA. The top 3 percent, rather than the top two individual students, will be acknowledged at graduation.  “It takes a little bit of the pressure off kids,” high school Principal Chris Irvine said in a phone interview Monday. “I think there’s enough going on in this world, I don’t think we need to add to that.” Irvine said students should be free to choose courses that align with their college or career pathway without fear of falling behind their peers in class ranking. This new system, he said, accomplishes that.

“Most states require charter schools to be nonprofit. To make money, some of them have simply entered into contracts with separate for-profit companies that they also own. These companies do make money off students. In other words, some “nonprofit” charter schools take public money and pay their owners with it. When this happens, it creates an enormous incentive to overpay for facilities and supplies and underpay for things like teachers and student services.”
Charter schools exploit lucrative loophole that would be easy to close
Some charter school operators make profits by leasing space to themselves at unusually high rates
WHYY Opinion By Derek W. Black, Bruce Baker and Preston Green III, The Conversation February 25, 2019
Derek W. Black, Professor of Law, University of South CarolinaBruce Baker, Professor of Education, Rutgers University, and Preston Green III, Professor of Educational Leadership and Law, University of Connecticut
While critics charge that charter schools are siphoning money away from public schools, a more fundamental issue frequently flies under the radar: the questionable business practices that allow people who own and run charter schools to make large profits. Charter school supporters are reluctant to acknowledge, much less stop, these practices. Given that charter schools are growing rapidly – from 1 million students in 2006 to more than 3.1 million students attending approximately 7,000 charter schools now – shining a light on these practices can’t come too soon. The first challenge, however, is simply understanding the complex space in which charters operate – somewhere between public and private.

EITC/OSTC: PA Private School Scholarship Program Considered For Major Expansion
A tax-break program that routes millions to Pennsylvania private schools could grow much larger if a new bill becomes law. The proposal has powerful support in the State Senate, but Governor Tom Wolf’s spokesman calls it an “unfunded mandate.” At issue is one of the state’s signature school choice programs, one that already provides nearly 50,000 students with scholarships to attend private schools. Through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) program, Pennsylvania offers a maximum of $210 million in tax credits. The recipients of these credits — which include businesses and individuals — donate to organizations that dole out scholarships or run educational “improvement” programs. The donors can then deduct between 75 and 90 percent of that amount from their state tax bills. So someone could donate $1000 to a scholarship organization, and then pay between $750 and $900 less in state taxes as a result. The value of available tax credits has increased sevenfold since Pennsylvania started its first tax-credit program in 2001. But some say the demand for these credits — and the scholarships they provide — still exceeds supply.

Eyes on the Board of Education: February 28, 2019
Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools by Karel Kilimnik February 28, 2019
At the Board’s inaugural meeting last July, many new Board members made a commitment to transparency and community involvement. Agenda Items, alas, do not reflect these promises. In September 2018, the Board posted documents related to Action Items, including a list of new hires and terminations, City of Philadelphia documents on Authorization of Keystone Opportunities Zone, and the conditions for approving the new MaST Charter School. The Action Item descriptions were much fuller and more descriptive than the paltry information presented since then. The fact that the Board posted Contract Summaries, which we had asked the SRC to post many times, seemed to be a fulfillment of their commitment to transparency. Unfortunately, that was the first and last time anything resembling a contract was posted.  In October, the Board presented another Agenda format that actually had fewer details in Action Items. Also, despite our protestations, the Board has stopped providing paper copies of anything but the agenda at Action Meetings, making it impossible for the public to follow the discussions (if any) and votes on Action Items. The Board places three binders at the back table with a warning not to remove the materials. So are members of the public supposed to sit in the back if they want to know what is going on? Is this their idea of transparency? These are public documents and the public has every right to take them. The Board should provide adequate copies. Unfortunately this parsing of information continues today resulting in a lack of transparency. Their descriptions are uninformative and we continue to question what few nuggets of information are provided to the public.

Fellow Republicans: Support this gun safety bill | Opinion
Inquirer by Ryan Costello and Carlos Curbelo, For the Washington Post Updated: February 25, 2019 - 10:32 AM
Ryan Costello represented Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District from 2015 to 2019.Carlos Curbelo represented Florida’s 26th Congressional District from 2015 to 2019. Both are strategic advisers for Everytown for Gun Safety. This piece originally appeared in the Washington Post.
This week, for the first time in more than two decades, the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a vote on major stand-alone gun safety legislation in the form of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. As conservatives with a deep respect for the Second Amendment and as former Republican members of Congress, we urge our fellow Republicans in the House and Senate to get behind this legislation to require background checks on all gun sales. If you watch a lot of cable news or subscribe to National Rifle Association newsletters, you would be forgiven for believing that gun safety vs. believing in the Second Amendment is an either-or proposition. The truth is, the American people know that our right to protect our families goes hand in hand with laws that help keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. The Bipartisan Background Checks Act is not only consistent with the Second Amendment, it’s also as commonsense as any piece of legislation we voted on during our combined eight years in Congress. What it would do is simple: It would require a background check for every gun sale — not just for sales by licensed dealers, as the Brady Act has required since it went into effect in 1994, but also for unlicensed sales between strangers who meet online or at gun shows. It is a commonsense way to fully carry out the spirit of that existing federal law.

Gun safety group: Thanks to 2018 law, Pennsylvania up one spot, to 12th in nation on scorecard
Morning Call by J.D. Prose Of The Beaver County Times (TNS) February 25, 2019
A gun safety organization has given Pennsylvania a higher grade on its “gun law scorecard” compared with last year, ranking the state 12th on the strength of its gun laws and other factors. The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence bumped up the state's grade from a C last year to a C+ this year. The center was named for former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011, following the merger of her gun safety organization and another group in 2016. In a statement, the Giffords Law Center explained the improvement by saying that Pennsylvania “strengthened its gun laws in 2018 by prohibiting firearm possession by individuals who have been convicted of domestic abuse or are subject to domestic violence protective orders, and requiring those individuals to relinquish their firearms.” Those changes were included in a bill passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Tom Wolf in October.

White Students Get More K-12 Funding Than Students of Color: Report
Education funding formulas that have long been aimed at bridging economic inequities have done little to address race-based disparities, a new report concludes.
US News By Lauren Camera, Education Reporter Feb. 26, 2019, at 12:01 a.m.
SCHOOL DISTRICTS WHERE the majority of students enrolled are students of color receive $23 billion less in education funding than predominantly white school districts, despite serving the same number of students – a dramatic discrepancy that underscores the depth of K-12 funding inequities in the U.S. The top-line finding included in a new report from EdBuild, a nonprofit that focuses on education funding, calls into question the ways state and local dollars are used to prop up some children at the expense of others and exposes a similarly startling funding discrepancy even when comparing poor white and poor nonwhite school districts. "What we wanted to determine was, in a country where we are so fractured by race, geographically, how does that play out and how much money on the whole do kids who are nonwhite receive versus kids who are white," Rebecca Sibilia, CEO of EdBuild, says. Education funding inequities have historically been debated, challenged and litigated through the lens of income status and class – meaning that policymakers have long sought to channel funds toward poorer areas with little regard to racial demographics in those neighborhoods. Today, at least 35 states actively work to redistribute education money to make up for the fact that wealthier school districts generate more local funding than poor school districts. But inequities in funding don't only occur based on poverty. As the EdBuild report reveals, income is often a bad proxy for race. And despite attempts to distribute K-12 funding more equitably based on income, massive funding disparities still exist when examining the racial makeup of the districts receiving it.

“The question of how to fix broken schools is a great unknown in education, particularly in big city school districts. While some small cities like Lawrence, Mass., and Camden, N.J., have achieved some success with different strategies, no large school system has cracked the code, despite decades of often costly attempts. As education fads have come and gone, politicians have flipped between school improvement models based on punitive measures like closure and teacher firing and softer approaches that rely on pouring resources into schools.”
$773 Million Later, de Blasio Ends Signature Initiative to Improve Failing Schools
New York Times By Eliza Shapiro Feb. 26, 2019
Mayor Bill de Blasio is canceling one of his signature education initiatives, acknowledging that despite spending $773 million he was unable to turn around many long-struggling public schools in three years after decades of previous interventions had also failed. The end of the initiative, called Renewal, is a blow to Mr. de Blasio, who had hoped that success would bolster his effort to build a national reputation for innovative policies. Urban educators around the country had also looked to Renewal as a model for improving underperforming schools in historically troubled districts, rather than closing them. Instead, the program has been plagued by bureaucratic confusion and uneven academic results since Mr. de Blasio began it in 2014. Though some of the nearly 100 low-performing public schools have shown better results, many have fallen short of the improvements that Mr. de Blasio predicted. The Renewal label itself caused parents to seek other options, causing enrollment in some schools to plummet. The New York Times reported in October that Mr. de Blasio was preparing to close Renewal, and that city officials had known some Renewal schools were likely to fail but had left most of them open anyway. As a result, officials essentially kept thousands of children in classrooms where they had little if any chance of thriving.

Gov. Tony Evers seeks to freeze enrollment in private voucher schools, suspend charter school expansion
Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Published 5:00 a.m. CT Feb. 25, 2019 | Updated 11:35 a.m. CT Feb. 25, 2019
MADISON - Gov. Tony Evers in his first state budget is seeking to undo expansions of private voucher schools and independent charter schools passed by Republicans over the last decade.  Aides say the proposals are an attempt to reduce property taxes and stabilize what the Democratic governor sees as two parallel systems of education in Wisconsin. But Republicans who control the Legislature are likely to block many, if not all, of the measures Evers wants.  Evers, the former chief of the state's education agency, is seeking to freeze the number of students who may enroll in private voucher schools across the state, including in Milwaukee where the nation's first voucher program began nearly 30 years ago. The governor's budget also proposes to suspend the creation of new independent charter schools until 2023 and eliminates a program aimed at Milwaukee that requires county officials to turn persistently poor-performing schools into charter schools without district officials' approval.  The sweeping budget proposal also seeks to increase standards for teachers in private voucher schools and provide taxpayers with information about which schools their money funds.

Troubled Indiana virtual schools poised to lose charters amid claims thousands of students weren’t put in classes
Daleville Public Schools, a small district located near Muncie, oversees two statewide online charter schools. They voted to begin the process to revoke the charters on Monday.
Two of the state’s largest, most troubled virtual schools were put on notice Monday night that their charters could be revoked after their authorizer alleged that thousands of enrolled students went semesters or sometimes years without earning any credits or even signing up for classes. Indiana Virtual School and its sister school, Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy, also failed to properly accommodate students with disabilities or file required audits in recent years, said Daleville Public Schools Superintendent Paul Garrison, who recommended that his district’s board vote to begin the process to pull the schools’ charters. One school also allegedly failed to follow protocols for administering state standardized tests. “It was apparent that there were a great number of students that weren’t being served,” said Donna Petraits, a spokeswoman for the district, adding that the district waited until now to make the decision because only recently “enough evidence came to light.”

2019 State of Education report now online
PSBA Website February 19, 2019
The 2019 State of Education report is now available on PSBA.org in PDF format. The report is a barometer of not only the key indicators of public school performance, but also the challenges schools face and how they are coping with them. Data reported comes from publicly available sources and from a survey to chief school administrators, which had a 66% response rate. Print copies of the report will be mailed to members soon.

The Game Plan: A Regional Strategy for Strengthening Pennsylvania's Workforce  Wed. Feb. 27th 8:30 am Bala Cynwyd
by Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) Wed, February 27, 2019 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM EST IHeartMedia, Inc, 111 Presidential Boulevard #100 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Do businesses leaders think they have the skilled workforce they need to keep Southeast PA growing? Is the Commonwealth providing students with a quality of education that will prepare them to meet the business needs of tomorrow?
Join our panel of experts, including Todd Carmichael, CEO of La Colombe; Mike Diaz, CEO of Semper Utilities; Philip Jaurigue, Chairman & CEO, Sabre Systems, Inc; Lin Thomas, Chairman and CEO, Supra Office Solutions, Inc.; Rachel M. Wilner, Senior VP and Regional VP, TD Bank and Tomea Sippio-Smith, Education Policy Director of PCCY. The event will coincide with the release of PCCY’s much anticipated report: A New Game Plan: A Regional Strategy for Strengthening Pennsylvania's Workforce.

Join PA Schools Work For a Webinar at Noon on Feb. 26!
Do you know how the Governor's proposed budget will impact your school? Do you know how you can effectively advocate for as much funding as possible? Grab a sandwich and join PA Schools Work on February 26 at noon as we unpack the Governor's budget and learn how to be an effective advocate for our schools and students.
What You Need to Know to be an Effective Advocate
During this hour, PA Schools Work's seasoned experts will walk you through the Governor's proposed budget allocation for education and what it means to you and your school. During this hour, we will also hone in on the tools and tips you need to ensure that you are making the biggest impact with your advocacy efforts. Join us to make sure you are equipped with all you need to know. Knowledge is power!

PSBA Members - Register for Advocacy Day at the Capitol in Harrisburg Monday April 29, 2019
All PSBA-members are invited to attend Advocacy Day on Monday, April 29, 2019 at the state Capitol in Harrisburg. In addition, this year PSBA will be partnering with the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units (PAIU) and Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) to strengthen our advocacy impact. The focus for the day will be meetings with legislators to discuss critical issues affecting public education. There is no cost to attend, and PSBA will assist in scheduling appointments with legislators once your registration is received. The day will begin with a continental breakfast and issue briefings prior to the legislator visits. Registrants will receive talking points, materials and leave-behinds to use with their meetings. PSBA staff will be stationed at a table in the main Rotunda during the day to answer questions and provide assistance. The day’s agenda and other details will be available soon. If you have questions about Advocacy Day, legislative appointments or need additional information, contact Jamie.Zuvich@psba.org  Register for PSBA Advocacy Day now at http://www.mypsba.org/
PSBA members can register online now by logging in to myPSBA. If you need assistance logging in and registering contact Alysha Newingham, Member Data System Administrator at alysha.newingham@psba.org or call her at (717) 506-2450, ext. 3420

Board Presidents’ Panel
Learn, discuss, and practice problem solving with school leader peers facing similar or applicable challenges. Workshop-style discussions will be facilitated and guided by PSBA experts. With the enormous challenges facing schools today, effective and knowledgeable board leadership is essential to your productivity and performance as a team of ten.
Locations & Dates
Due to inclement weather, some dates have been rescheduled. The updated schedule is below.
Feb. 28, 2019 — St. Marys Area High School (Section 2)(Rescheduled from Jan. 31)
Mar. 28, 2019 — Crawford Cty CTC (Section 1)(Rescheduled from Jan. 30)

PSBA Sectional Meetings - Ten convenient locations in February and March
School safety and security is a complex, multi-perspective topic impacting school entities in dramatic ways. This complimentary PSBA member meeting featured in ten locations will offer essential updates and information on Safe2Say reporting, suicide awareness related to student safety, school climate, and emergency preparedness planning. Representatives from the Attorney General’s office, PEMA, and a top expert in behavioral health will be presenting. Updates on legislation impacting your schools will be presented by PSBA staff. Connect with the experts, have your questions answered, and network with other members.
Locations and Dates
Section Meetings are 6-8 p.m. (across all locations).
Register online by logging in to myPSBA.

Open Board Positions for 2019 PA Principals Association Election
Thursday, January 10, 2019 9:05 AM
Margaret S. (Peg) Foster, principal, academic affairs, in the Crestwood School District, has been appointed by President Michael Allison to serve as the chairperson of the 2019 PA Principals Association Nominations Committee to oversee the 2019 election. Her committee consists of the following members: Curtis Dimmick, principal in the Northampton Area School District; Jacqueline Clark-Havrilla, principal in the Spring-Ford School District; and Joseph Hanni, vice principal in the Scranton School District.   If you are interested in running for one of the open board positions (shown below) in the 2019 election, please contact Stephanie Kinner at kinner@paprincipals.org or (717) 732-4999 for an application. Applications must be received in the state office by Friday, February 22, 2019.

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.

Indiana Area School District Safety & Security Symposium March 15, 2019
Indiana Area School District Website
Background: It’s 2019, and school safety has catapulted as one of the top priorities for school districts around the country. With an eye toward providing educators with various resources and opportunities specific to Pennsylvania, the Indiana Area School District -- in collaboration with Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA Representative Jim Struzzi, and as well as Indiana County Tourist Bureau-- is hosting a FREE safety and security symposium on March 15, 2019. This safety and security exchange will provide information that benefits all stakeholders in your education community: administrators, board members, and staff members alike. Presenters offer valuable resources to help prepare your organization to continue the discussion on safety and security in our schools.  Pre-registration is required, and you will be invited to choose the breakout sessions that you feel will have the most impact in your professional learning on these various topics, as well as overall impact on your District’s systems of operations. Please take time to review the various course breakout sessions and their descriptions.  Don’t miss this opportunity to connect and learn.
How to Register: Participants attending the Safety Symposium on March 15, 2019, will have the option to select a maximum of 4 breakout sessions to attend on this day.  Prior to the breakout sessions, attendees will hear opening remarks from former Secretary of Education - Dr. Gerald Zahorchak.  We want to empower the attendees to exercise their voice and choice in planning their day!  Please review the various break out session descriptions by clicking on the "Session Descriptions" on the right-hand side of this page.  On that page, you will be able to review the sessions offered that day and register for the symposium.  

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:  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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