Tuesday, May 14, 2019

PA Ed Policy Roundup May 14: Charter bills fast tracked for House vote as soon as tomorrow

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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Tell your legislator to vote NO on charter bills fast-tracked for a House vote 
Significant concerns, expansion without oversight
Yesterday the House Education Committee reported out a package of four bills addressing various charter school issues. The package is expected to be positioned on a fast track, with a vote on the House floor to occur as early as this Wednesday, May 15. Unlike attempts in previous sessions to move one omnibus charter “reform” bill, the plan now is to separate issues into a series of bills and push the package as a whole.  While PSBA supports two of the bills in the package, the other two present significant concerns and are not supported by PSBA.
Please contact your legislators in the House immediately and tell them to vote NO on the charter package. 

Read PSBA's letter to the House Education Committee to learn what these bills do and take action:

Find your State Representative’s Contact Info Here:

Effort to reform charter school law on the move in the Pa. House
The House Education Committee passed four bills that would make tweaks to Pennsylvania's 22-year-old charter school law but some of those changes are unpopular with Democrats who see them as taking away school district authority and funding.
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com Posted May 13, 5:32 PM
After past efforts to glom various reforms to Pennsylvania’s 22-year-old charter school law into one bill failed, a different tact is being tried in the latest go-round. This time the reforms are sprinkled across four different bills. All of them gained House Education Committee approval on Monday, two of them winning only Republican votes. One of the bills that won bi-partisan support would impose ethical and transparency requirements on charter schools such as filing statements of financial interest with the State Ethics Commission and bar charter school board members from participating in decisions if they have a conflict of interest. The other would allow charter schools to enter into dual enrollment agreements with post-secondary institutions to allow students to earn college credit while in secondary school. The ones that passed the committee along party-line votes dealt with charter school facilities and changes to the charter application and process, which took away some authority that now rests with school boards and potentially could cost districts more. Susan Spicka, executive director of Education Voters of PA, accused the Republic members who supported those controversial changes of delivering on “the charter school industry’s wish list” instead of supporting students and communities they represent. None of the bills dealt with the most touchy issue of all when it comes to charter schools – funding. Some charter schools say they don’t get enough and school districts complain cyber charters especially get too much.

Schools strained by cyber options
Proposed bills would exempt districts from paying tuition
Altoona Mirror MAY 13, 2019 RUSS O'REILLY Staff Writer roreilly@altoonamirror.com
Facing deep budget deficits owed in large part to state mandates including cyber charter school tuition, the Altoona Area and Hollidaysburg Area school boards last week both dreamt about the potential impact of legislation that would drastically reduce their costs of cyber charter school tuition. House Bill 526, introduced by Rep. Curtis Sonney, R-Erie, was referred to the House Education Committee, Feb. 19. It would exempt school districts from paying cyber charter school tuition if they offer students a full-time cyber education within the district. A companion to that legislation is in the Senate. Senate Bill 34 was introduced to the Senate Education Committee by Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks, in January. Neither bill has advanced. Cyber charters advertise free tuition for families. But school district budgets, by state law, pay the cost of tuition.
The Altoona Area School District is paying more than $1 million in cyber charter costs for students. “If legislation changes cyber laws, it could result in more than $1 million in savings per year for us, Superintendent Charles Prijatelj said. Rep. Lou Schmitt, R-Altoona, is a cosponsor listed on the HB 526 with 59 others both Republican and Democrat. “We need to call our senators, legislators to make them aware that this is a necessity for our district,”Prijatelj said.

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. We will continue rolling out cyber charter tuition expenses for taxpayers in education committee members, legislative leadership and various other districts.

Avella Area SD
Beaver Area SD
Blackhawk SD
Burgettstown Area SD
Central Valley SD
Hopewell Area SD
McGuffey SD
South Side Area SD
Trinity Area SD


Has your state representative cosponsored HB526?

Has your state senator cosponsored SB34?

“Business leaders believe that all Pennsylvania students — whether rural, urban or suburban — deserve excellent schooling. Pennsylvania’s lawmakers have made progress in correcting inequities, but the disparity between wealthy and poor districts remains too large. Now is the time to support school funding that closes achievement gaps and promises a prosperous future for all.”
K-12 funding needed to boost economy: Tom Tupitza
GoErie Opinion by Tom Tupitza Posted May 11, 2019 at 2:01 AM
Tom Tupitza is president of the law firm Knox, McLaughlin, Gornall & Sennett and chairman of the board of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership.
Pennsylvania’s economy is tracking upward. Unemployment is near all-time lows. High-wage, family-sustaining jobs are available statewide. This economic boom promises prosperity for all, right? Not quite. Look more closely, and the upward trajectory threatens to flatline. Good jobs need good people to fill them, but too many Pennsylvanians lack the skills needed for workplace success. Without capable people filling our jobs, the economy stalls, and prosperity for all becomes a dream for another day. Part of the solution to averting this hit-or-miss economy is funding for K-12 education that helps close academic achievement gaps. We must correct the inequities allowing one student to attend schools where learning is paramount and a range of experiences offers career exploration, while another attends under-resourced schools where the amenities promoting classroom success are missing, and enrichment opportunities are scarce.
The biggest difference is the money devoted to each student. The student from good schools will be equipped for workplace success. The other might never develop the talents that Pennsylvania’s employers demand as they compete on a global stage. Pennsylvania’s overall academic achievement ranks among the nation’s best, but a deeper dive reveals some disturbing facts. Wide gaps in learning show that far too many students are left behind, as reported by the Rand Corp. in “The Economic Impact of Achievement Gaps in Pennsylvania’s Public Schools”:

Pa superintendents rally in Harrisburg to push for funding reform
WFMZ By: Justin Backover Posted: May 13, 2019 09:09 PM EDT
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Superintendents from across the commonwealth pleaded their case for funding reform in Harrisburg Monday. All 12 of Pennsylvania's urban school district superintendents gathered in Harrisburg to advocate for funding reform. The officials gathered "To really show that we're on the same accord on some of the major issues," said Reading School District Superintendent Dr. Khalid Mumin. "It's not even more funding, though that's necessary. It's redirecting funding that's going elsewhere now," said Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy. Specifically charter school funding, which is not subjected to the fair funding formula. "The oversight is not the same as the oversight of the school district," Dr. Mumin said. "Our district pays to charters 23,000 per student who's special education, charter school average cost for special education is between 8,000 and 9,000," Dr. Roy said. "20% of my budget goes to charter schools before I educate one student in the Allentown school District, and that's a challenge," said District Superintendent Thomas Parker. "So you have a shortfall in state funding but costs that we can't control through charter school costs and pension costs," Dr. Roy said. The superintendents are also encouraging lawmakers to refund PlanCon, which was designed to reimburse schools for infrastructure.

Reading superintendent calls for school funding reform
WFMZ By: Tom Rader Posted: May 13, 2019 11:04 PM EDT
READING, Pa. - Reading School District Superintendent Khalid Mumin joined other urban school superintendents from Pennsylvania to rally under the rotunda at the state capital in Harrisburg. "First and foremost, it was an opportunity to collaborate with other urban superintendents to really show them we are on the same accord when it comes to major issues in regards to funding," Mumin said. One topic discussed included funding for PlanCon, a state program that provided reimbursements for school construction projects, something Mumin says is vital for the Reading School District. "The necessity to have PlanCon in place, especially for school districts like Reading School District, with old infrastructure, beautiful buildings but need a lot of work," Mumin explained. Mumin also says competing with charter schools, specifically cyber charter schools from a funding standpoint is a growing challenge. "Our school district, we're in about $7,700 per pupil but our same student can go off to a charter cyber and cost us anywhere from $11,000 to $20,000 per pupil," Mumin said. Mumin says the creation of the Reading Cyber Academy has helped to better serve students and operate at a lower cost. Mumin says in addition to equal funding, he'd also like to see equal oversight. "When a cyber charter school is approved, the cyber charter, it never comes to the local school district. It goes straight to the state. And we are tasked with balancing our budget by the students who went into the charter," Mumin said.

“Bethlehem expects to spend $68.1 million on charters and pension payments; an increase of $1.2 million over the current budget. That’s a far cry from recent budgets where the district saw steep increases in pension contributions and growing charter school enrollments. Charter schools are privately-operated public schools funded by taxpayer dollars that follow a students from their home school.”
Bethlehem school taxpayers won’t have to dig deeper next year
It’s been at least a quarter of a century since the Bethlehem Area School District held the line on taxes. But it is looking as if the 2019-20 school budget holds good news for district taxpayers. On Monday evening, the board vote 7-0 with little fanfare to approve a proposed final $289.9 million spending plan that Superintendent Joseph Roy says meets all district educational goals while being fiscally responsible. Board President Michael Faccinetto and member Rogelio Ortiz were absent from the meeting. The district began the budget season with an $11 million deficit that it whittled down through a mix of revenue increases, spending cuts and $1.6 million from the district’s savings. It dedicates money to Bethlehem’s ongoing initiative to have all students reading on grade level by third grade -- a key indicator of future academic success -- and rolling out a 1:1 Chromebook initiative in the middle and high schools. “This budget is good for both our students and taxpayers. It continues to invest in our most successful initiatives such as reading by third grade while providing relief to our residents who have unfortunately become accustomed to annual tax increases," Faccinetto said last week. The proposed spending plan represents a 2.37 percent growth in overall district spending, excluding charter school tuition payments and mandated employee pension contributions.

More Philadelphia voters support than oppose charter schools, Inquirer poll finds
Inquirer by Maddie Hanna, Updated: May 13, 2019
While charter schools have encountered controversy nationally over their role in public education, in Philadelphia, twice as many voters support as oppose them, according to a recent Inquirer poll. But nearly as many voters as those who were opposed said charters were neither good nor bad for the city, in the pre-May 21 primary poll. Martin West, a professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, said the results were “a bit surprising.” “Nationally, if we look at members of the Democratic Party, we find more opposition than you saw in Philadelphia, which is obviously a heavily Democratic city,” said West, who conducts an annual national poll on education issues. Meant as alternatives to traditional public schools, charter schools are publicly funded but independently run. In Pennsylvania, school districts send money to charters based on enrollment. That has contributed to budget pressures in many districts. While charter schools cannot have admissions requirements, some have been accused of unfair practices. In Philadelphia, where one-third of public-school students attend charters, the schools serve a more advantaged population than district-run schools, according to a recent study by the Education Law Center. Charters have also faced scrutiny over their management and academic performance. In Pennsylvania, which also has a large cyber-charter presence, test scores have been uneven.

5 more Philly schools getting more resources, 'community schools’ label with soda tax proceeds
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Updated: May 13, 2019- 4:54 PM
Five Philadelphia schools were named “community schools” Monday, earning them extra resources from the city’s Office of Education — paid for with the city’s controversial sweetened beverage tax. The new cohort, announced by Mayor Jim Kenney and Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. at Richard Wright Elementary, are the first new community schools named since 2017. They were chosen from among a pool of 28 applicants. They are:
— Wright, a K-5 school enrolling 500 students in North Philadelphia.
— Alexander K. McClure, a K-5 school serving 651 students in Hunting Park.
— Overbrook Educational Center, a K-8 school in West Philadelphia enrolling 300.
— John H. Webster Elementary, a K-5 school educating 750 children in Kensington.
— Hamilton Disston School, a K-8 school serving 900 students in Tacony.
The five join 12 existing community schools, which with the additions will have a proposed five-year budget of $36.4 million. (The current community schools are Cramp, F.S. Edmonds, Gideon, Gompers, Locke, Logan, and Southwark Elementary Schools; Tilden Middle School; and Dobbins, Kensington Health Sciences, and South Philadelphia and George Washington High Schools.) Community schools are a signature initiative of the Kenney administration; they embed social services and other supports inside Philadelphia School District buildings in an effort to remove barriers to learning. Each school gets a city-paid staffer to assess the school and community’s needs and to build and maintain partnerships based on those needs.

Five elementaries to join Community Schools initiative
With this addition, the initiative has 17 participating schools.
the Notebook May 13 — 5:15 pm, 2019
Philadelphia and School District officials announced today that five more elementary schools will join the Community Schools initiative in the fall. The schools are: Hamilton Disston School in Tacony; Andrew K. McClure School in Hunting Park; Overbrook Educational Center; John H. Webster School in Kensington; and Richard W. Wright School in Strawberry Mansion. The addition will expand the initiative to 17 schools. The idea of community schools is to make school buildings into neighborhood hubs for health, recreation, and social services. It’s a model that is growing in popularity nationally. Ultimately, each school will look different, because each will assess its community’s unique needs, build partnerships, and develop a plan. The theory is that reaching the “whole child” and aiding families in primarily low-income neighborhoods creates a better learning environment. In the last couple of years, community schools have provided more than 100,000 pounds of free food to neighborhood residents, expanded out-of-school time programs for 300 elementary school students, and connected more than 500 adults to classes and job training programs, according to the Mayor’s Office of Education.

“The researchers found a disconnect between what teachers learned in teacher preparation and their experiences when they began a permanent position. Many survey respondents reported that they had not been exposed to the often challenging, high-poverty, low-performing school environments in which many of them were employed in their first year.”
Are teachers prepared enough for the reality of Philly classrooms? | Opinion
Elliot Weinbaum, For the Inquirer Updated: May 13, 2019 - 10:00 AM
Elliot Weinbaum is program director for William Penn Foundation’s Great Learning grant-making program. A product of Philadelphia public schools, Weinbaum leads a team that supports efforts to improve teaching and learning from early childhood through high school.
As another school year draws to a close, 10 percent to 15 percent of Philadelphia teachers are wrapping up their first year in the job. Unfortunately, based on recent trends, more than half of these new teachers are unlikely to be back in their same schools in September. Some will seek out a new school in the district and some will leave teaching all together. (Data also suggest that relatively few teachers will leave the school district in favor of a charter school or suburban district.) A report published in September by the Philadelphia Education Research Consortium found, on average, 27 percent of all teachers in the School District of Philadelphia exited their schools in a given school year. While this rate of movement is within range of other large city districts, a recent Inquirer investigation revealed that some schools have especially high teacher turnover rates. Turnover rates are highest for new teachers (other than those reaching retirement age). In a situation in which many new teachers are choosing not to stay in their schools, the question arises: Are our newest teachers being adequately prepared for success in a Philadelphia classroom? The evidence would seem to suggest they are not.

“If elected, Warren also vowed to have a secretary of education who has time as a public school teacher on his or her resume. “No more Betsy DeVos,” said Warren, referring to President Donald Trump’s appointee. “I want someone who is committed to public education. I want someone who has seen tattered textbooks or tried to manage when there are too many kids in a classroom.”
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren stumps in Northeast Philly, presents education plan
WHYY By Aaron Moselle May 13, 2019
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign stopped Monday in Northeast Philadelphia to meet with members of the American Federation of Teachers. It was a friendly crowd. In a previous life, Warren was a special-education teacher in New Jersey. And, like many Democratic politicians, she’s staunchly pro-union. “I am like the most unlikely person to run for president — never thought I would do this. But, you know, there comes a time when the fight comes to your front door, and you see what it’s about, and you say ‘there’s no more standing on the sidelines,’” said Warren inside Plumbers Union Local 690 headquarters. The Massachusetts lawmaker spent most of her 15-minute stump speech laying out her $1.25 trillion education plan, which calls for providing universal child care, free college tuition at public universities, and erasing student loan debt for millions of people.

Here’s what Philly teachers asked Elizabeth Warren on her first 2020 campaign stop in Pa.
Inquirer by Julia Terruso, Updated: May 13, 2019- 7:48 PM
Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s first presidential campaign event in Pennsylvania was spent in a Northeast Philadelphia union hall, taking questions from teachers and students and rousing the crowd with the prospect of putting a former public schoolteacher in the White House. The senator from Massachusetts spoke to about 200 educators and 100 students from Abraham Lincoln High School in Holmesburg. The afternoon conversation, hosted by the American Federation of Teachers as part of its vetting of candidates for endorsement, was closed to the public but available on the AFT’s Facebook page. Warren said she knew in second grade that she wanted to be a public-school teacher. “I practiced, I used to line my dollies up and teach school," she said. "I was tough but fair.”She said she wants to be president to give people more opportunity: “Teachers understand this: We invest in the future.” Warren, a law professor who worked as a New Jersey special education teacher earlier in her career, has stumped on the need for more federal funding of public schools, universal child care, and pay standards for early-childhood teachers. She has also unveiled a plan for student-debt forgiveness and free tuition to two- and four-year public colleges — all topics she touched on Monday.

With public pressure mounting, Elanco delays implementation of 'rushed' student privacy policy until next school year
Lancaster Online by ALEX GELI | Staff Writer May 14, 2019
During a tense, nearly three-hour meeting Monday night, the Eastern Lancaster County school board voted to delay implementation of its controversial student privacy policy until next school year. The policy – which calls for private, single-user bathrooms and locker rooms districtwide – was initially set to take effect Tuesday. But concerns over an addendum that would force students to use facilities that align only to their biological sex, rather than their gender identity, compelled the board members to vote in favor of the delay. “I think the policy is a good policy,” board Vice President Rodney Jones said during the meeting. “I think the addendum is … not enforceable.” Jones expressed adamant opposition to the addendum, which he said would set “a dangerous precedent” and spur a costly legal battle between the district and any of the district’s transgender students. He warned his fellow board members that it violates the law, and that courts decided in favor of transgender students 46 out of 46 times in the past two decades. Jones made a motion to discuss removing the addendum, but confusion arose over what the board could do since they already passed the policy last month. Board member Jonathan Dahl then made a motion to delay the implementation date. The vote was 6-3, with board President Glenn Yoder and members Gary Buck and Bryan Naranjo dissenting,

Innovative Arts Academy Charter School board picks new leadership as charter renewal hearings near
A week ahead of the hearings that will help determine the fate of the Innovative Arts Academy Charter School, trustees selected a transitional CEO to take over following the resignation of Douglas Taylor. Bradley Schifko will begin immediately serving as the transitional leader for the embattled school as it seeks to earn charter renewal before the Catasauqua Area School Board. Schifko has worked at the school as a guidance counselor since 2016 and was promoted to high school assistant principal in 2017. He also worked for 10 seasons as the coach of the Parkland School District’s boys lacrosse team. He said it was an honor to lead Innovative Arts Academy during such a pivotal time. “I’m really excited about this opportunity," Schifko said after a brief trustee meeting Monday where he was appointed transitional CEO. “We have tremendous staff and students here. I’m going to do everything I can to keep this school moving forward.”

Blogger note: Senator Langerholc, sponsor of the bill, is also the newly appointed chair of the Senate Education Committee.
Pa. lawmakers move to bar local gun laws in wake of Pittsburgh measures
by Liz Navratil, Updated: May 13, 2019- 5:43 PM
HARRISBURG — When Pittsburgh passed restrictions on guns last month, it reignited a fight over which level of government should regulate firearms. In recent weeks, two Republican lawmakers began pushing to strengthen the state’s control over gun regulations and make it easier for some groups, such as lobbyists, to recoup legal fees to fight cities’ rules. At the same time, two Democrats are preparing legislation that would allow cities or counties to implement their own gun restrictions. “Everyone has very strong opinions about guns and gun control,” said State Sen. Maria Collett, a Democrat from Montgomery County, who wants to give cities flexibility. After roughly 13 minutes of discussion, the Senate’s Local Government Committee advanced a bill last month that would declare void local gun ordinances. It would also grant standing in court challenges to gun owners and groups representing them. “The sad thing is that we shouldn’t have to even be enacting this legislation, because it’s clear already that this is not permitted,” said Sen. Wayne Langerholc Jr., a Republican from Cambria County who is sponsoring the bill. Several portions of state law declare that no municipality shall enact measures “dealing with the regulation of the transfer, ownership, transportation or possession of firearms.” While supporters argue that uniformity in the law would protect gun owners from inadvertent violations of local rules, opponents say preemption prevents cities from protecting their residents. Both Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney asked the Senate committee not to act.

Rep. Sappey to introduce trauma informed education legislation
Daily Local MediaNews Group May 9, 2019
WEST CHESTER — State Rep. Christina Sappey, D-Chester, and Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, R-Lehigh/Berks, will be introducing legislation aimed at creating trauma-informed school environments in Pennsylvania. “House Bill 1415 seeks to ensure that adverse childhood experiences are recognized in the school setting, where children arguably spend the most time, so they get the support they need to reach their full potential,” Sappey said. Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs include all forms of abuse, neglect and other potentially traumatic experiences that occur under the age of 18. The more ACEs one child has, the greater the probability for high-risk health behaviors, chronic health conditions, emotional and behavioral dysfunction and early death, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “This legislation would help teachers and staff in schools to get the training they need to recognize the signs of childhood trauma and assist in overcoming the hurdles students face in school due to the severe impacts on their brain development and functionality, as revealed by decades of research,” Sappey said.

At ed reform conference, charter leaders feel the political heat — and strategize about how to fend off unions
Chalkbeat BY MATT BARNUM May 13, 2019
Charter schools are on “the chopping block.” There’s a national effort to “charter bust.” Many charter schools are “under attack.” Such was the mood at an annual convening of supporters of charter schools and education technology in Oakland last week. During panel discussions at the NewSchools Venture Fund Summit, advocates and school leaders said they were worried about declining political support nationally and unionization efforts among their own staffers. “When we were writing our first charter, it was 2008,” said Kriste Dragon, CEO of Citizens of the World Charter Schools. “If I had to think of the biggest shifts since then, the barriers to entry feel greater — politically, obviously. Financially, too.” The event offered a look at how charter leaders from across the country are coming to grips with new limits on their growth and political clout. And there are signs that their anxiety is warranted, with charters losing support particularly in blue states and cities and among Democrats.

PA Schools Work Capitol Caravan Days Wed. June 5th and Tues. June 18th
If you couldn’t make it to Harrisburg last week, it’s not too late. We are getting down to the wire. In a few short weeks, the budget will likely be passed. Collectively, our voices have a larger impact to get more funding for Pennsylvania’s students. Legislators need to hear from you!  
Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) will be at the Capitol on Wednesday, June 5th and Tuesday, June 18th  for our next PA Schools Work caravan days. We’d love to have you join us on these legislative visits. For more details about the caravans and to sign up, go to: www.pccy.org/k12caravan . Please call Tomea Sippio-Smith at (O) 215-563-5848, ext. 36 or (C) 215-667-9421 or Shirlee Howe at (O) 215-563-5848, ext. 34 or (C) 215-888-8297 with any questions or specific requests for legislative meetings. 

PCCY Annual Celebration Wednesday, May 15 at Franklin Institute in Philly
PCCY would also love to have you join us at our annual celebration on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. PCCY’s Celebration is a fun way to network with colleagues, make new friends and learn more about the important role PCCY plays in the lives of children in our region. Tickets are on sale NOW for the 2019 Celebration of the Public Citizens Of The Year honoring Chuck Pennoni and the Penonni team and our regional Advocates of the Year. Come out for a phenomenal evening of food, drinks, entertainment, auction and a spirited celebration.  Buy tickets and learn more at: https://www.pccy.org/event/celebration-2019-public-citizen-children-youth/

School Funding Briefing Thursday, May 23, 2019 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Drexel Hill Middle School, 3001 State Road, Drexel Hill, PA 19026
In 2019, the Public Interest Law Center is celebrating 50 years of fighting for justice, and preparing for 50 more, through a series of 50th anniversary events.
As part of this series, the Upper Darby School Board is pleased to host the Public Interest Law Center at Drexel Hill Middle School on Thursday, May 23rd, for a School Funding Briefing.
Pennsylvania has the largest funding gap in the country between low-wealth and high-wealth school districts. Pennsylvania is also ranked 46th in the share of funding that comes from the state, leaving local taxpayers to take on rising costs. How did we get here? At the briefing, you will learn the basics of education funding and how it works in Pennsylvania, as well as ways you can get involved in advocacy for fully funded public education. You will also learn about the latest developments in the Law Center's school funding lawsuit.
Afterward, you will have a chance to meet Law Center attorneys working on this landmark case, as well as mingle with other interested in Pennsylvania education.

Do you have strong communication and leadership skills and a vision for PSBA? Members interested in becoming the next leaders of PSBA are encouraged to submit an Application for Nomination no later than May 31 to PSBA's Leadership Development Committee (LDC).
The nomination process: All persons seeking nomination for elected positions of the Association shall file with the Leadership Development Committee chairperson an Application for Nomination (.PDFon a form to be provided by the Association expressing interest in the office sought. The Application for nomination shall be marked received at PSBA Headquarters or mailed first class and postmarked no later than the application deadline specified in the timeline established by the Governing Board to be considered timely-filed.” (PSBA Bylaws, Article IV, Section 6.E.). Application Deadline: May 31, 2019
Open positions are:

PSBA Tweet March 12, 2019 Video Runtime: 6:40
In this installment of #VideoEDition, learn about legislation introduced in the PA Senate & House of Representatives that would save millions of dollars for school districts that make tuition payments for their students to attend cyber charter schools.

PSBA Summaries of Senate Bill 34 and House Bill 526

PSBA Sample Board Resolution in Support of Statewide Cyber Charter School Funding Reform

PSBA Sample Board Resolution in Support of Senate Bill 34 and House Bill 256

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?

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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