Monday, July 8, 2019

PA Ed Policy Roundup July 8: Not one opinion from the Pennsylvania appellate courts has held that (charter) authorizers are forbidden from any consideration of financial impact. “Not only can charter authorizers consider the costs of charter expansion, but they must do so”

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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PSBA Members: State Budget Webcast JUL 9, 2019 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Join PSBA government affairs experts for an in-depth look at the 2019-20 state budget and related School Code bills. What do the new numbers and policy changes mean for your school district, teachers and students? Bring your questions to this complimentary webcast for members!
Presenters: PSBA Chief Advocacy Officer John Callahan, Director of Government Affairs Jonathan Berger and Director of Research Andy Christ. This webcast is for PSBA members only. Members may register at no cost online through PSBA’s webconferencing host:

“Some charter proponents argue that Pennsylvania’s Charter School Law bars school districts from giving any consideration to the financial impact on districts when they authorize or renew charter schools. This belief conflicts with the plain language of the Charter School Law and its legislative history, and is not supported by court decisions. It rests on a few decisions of the Charter Appeals Board (CAB) which have misinterpreted the language and intent of the Charter School Law. Not one opinion from the Pennsylvania appellate courts has held that authorizers are forbidden from any consideration of financial impact. 
A Legal Mandate that Authorizers Consider Fiscal and other Impacts of Charter School Expansion
By Susan DeJarnatt Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law January 29, 2019
Abstract: Pennsylvania’s Constitution mandates that the Commonwealth provide “for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.” Pennsylvania decided to add charter schools to this system in 1997, a decision that, like all legislation, must be considered in light of this constitutional commitment to public education and to its role in preparing the Commonwealth’s students for their participation in democracy.  Charter schools cost money and the vast bulk of that money comes directly out of the budgets of Pennsylvania school districts. Pennsylvania spent nearly $1.7 billion on charter schools in 2016-2017. Pennsylvania also underfunds its school districts. It ranks 46 out of 50 states for the state contribution to education funding and has the dubious honor of having the largest gap in the country between highly funded districts and poorly funded ones. Those districts also have the responsibilities of authorizing new charter schools, exercising oversight over existing schools, and determining whether to renew or revoke charters.

“Without question the best aspect of this budget is an issue Wolf has championed since leaving his York business to seek the governor’s mansion five years ago. The budget invests more than $300 million in education. But even that accomplishment comes with an asterisk. The new funding is constrained by the old funding formula. Several years ago, the Legislature passed a recommendation by a blue ribbon panel for a Fair Funding Formula, which would redistribute education funding in a way that targets need. Those districts with the most need get the most funding. The problem is that the Fair Funding Formula only applies to new funding. So while the gains the governor won in education funding will be more equitably distributed, the vast majority of funding is still doled out under the old formula, one that creates an unfair playing field for too many districts, penalizing kids for no other reason than their zip code.”
Editorial: State budget leaves much work unfinished
Delco Times Editorial Jul 7, 2019
The July 4th holiday is in the rear-view mirror; the bulk of the summer awaits.
Dog days, as it were. Harrisburg is a ghost town. Our elected representatives have fled the capital, headed for the beach or other locales in one of their many off periods. They won’t be back until September. Remember, these supposedly are full-time jobs, with gold-plated full-time benefits. Our elected representatives will spend a grand total of about two dozen days in session between now and the end of the year. Nice work if you can get it. But the government is not shut down. That is a good thing. That is because, as expected, Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican leaders in the House and Senate signed off on a $34 billion budget that was passed on time and did not include a tax hike. So what did we get for their efforts? Not a lot. Well, that’s not entirely true. There is no tax hike included in the spending plan. And it was delivered on time. Of course, pretty much anything would be better than the rancor that was the emblem of Wolf’s first few budget forays, including a government shutdown that left hundreds of state workers laid off.

“The educators plan to visit 702 homes with 802 students in first through fifth grades who are enrolled in cyber charters or one of the four bricks-and-mortar charter schools that enroll Erie district students. They will distribute information on the district’s programs and discuss them. They’ll even be prepared to register students for district schools on the spot. “We want our students back with us,” said Don Orlando, a district principal and one of the campaign’s organizers. “We feel we offer the best educational opportunities.”
Our view: Erie district taking case to the public
GoErie By the Editorial Board Posted at 2:01 AM
One key element of stabilizing the Erie School District’s finances for the long run is stanching the flow of students to charter schools and retaining the money that goes from the district to those schools and students. The most important piece of that is improving academic offerings and results. After extensive community engagement and input, district leaders put in place an ambitious strategic plan to do just that. But part of the challenge is to get the word out to the community, especially the families of charter school students, about good things happening in the district’s schools. That’s where the Welcome Home campaign and the blue wave come in. As reporter Ed Palattella detailed on Sunday, teams of district administrators and teachers will fan out across the city starting Thursday to visit charter school households to make the case that returning to the district’s schools is the better option for those students. Those educators will be clad in blue T-shirts proclaiming their love for Erie’s Public Schools. “The idea is to remove any and all barriers,” said Erica Erwin, the district’s coordinator of public relations and strategic communications. “Students and families will get an opportunity to meet the principal. It is about building relationships.”

PASBO: If school districts could deduct their charter school tuition from the tuition calculation to ensure that it didn't unfairly ratchet up the tuition rate from year to year, it would save them $450 million.

Pennsylvania’s Expensive, Ineffective Cyber Charters
Diane Ravitch’s Blog By dianeravitch July 3, 2019

School Lane Charter School renewed through 2023
Bucks County Courier Times By Chris English Posted at 4:04 AM
The renewal process for the Bensalem charter school had dragged on through 2018 and half of this year before the school board recently voted to grant another charter. Bensalem’s School Lane Charter School is good to go through June 30, 2023, but it wasn’t easy. After talks on a new five-year charter had dragged on through 2018 and half of this year, the Bensalem school board voted 5-4 at a recent meeting to grant another charter with a term running retroactively from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2023. State law requires public school boards to consider renewals for charter schools located within their boundaries every five years, though there is no requirement the new charter be granted the first year it’s up for renewal. Bensalem’s school board had originally approved the School Lane charter in 1998 and then renewals in 2003, 2008 and 2013. Board President Kim Rivera and members Marc Cohen, Kathleen Lesnevec, Heather Nicholas and Pamela Strange voted yes on the latest charter, with members Stephanie Ferrandez, Rachel Fingles, Vanessa Woods and Anand Patel voting no. For the 2018-19 school year that ended June 30, School Lane had 1,300 students in grades K-12, with K-6 housed in a building on Bristol Pike (Route 13) and grades 7-12 in two buildings on Tillman Drive, just off Street Road. The school is open to students from all area school districts, but those living in Bensalem get first preference. In 2018-19, 903 of School Lane’s students lived in Bensalem, at a total cost of $12.8 million to the school district in tuitions. State law requires public school districts to pay the per-pupil cost as tuition for any students living within their boundaries who opt to attend charters.

Families are being torn apart, children are being held in squalid conditions. Demand reform. [editorial]
Lancaster Online by THE LNP EDITORIAL BOARD July 7, 2019
THE ISSUE: LNP’s Jeff Hawkes reported last week on a restaurant worker, husband and father of three from Manor Township stranded in Mexico, where he’d gone to complete his path toward legal, U.S. permanent residency. Jesus Palacios Herrera, 43, was 24 when he entered the United States illegally “to seek a better life,” Hawkes wrote. Several months ago, eager to obtain legal status, he traveled to “the U.S. consulate at Ciudad Juarez, where he was scheduled for fingerprinting March 27, a medical exam March 28 and an interview March 29,” Hawkes wrote, noting that “these were the final steps required for an immigrant visa and permanent residency.” Instead, he was denied a visa, barring him from returning to Lancaster. Nearly two decades after doing it the wrong way, Jesus Palacios Herrera was trying to do it the right way. He had built a life here. He married a Lancaster County native and worked hard. He and his wife have two children: ages 3 and 16 months. Herrera also has an 8-year-old son with another woman. In February 2018, he received a waiver from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that allows undocumented immigrants to seek permanent residency if deportation would cause extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen — in Herrera’s case, his wife Tiffany. But a U.S. consular official in Mexico ruled that Herrera wasn’t eligible for permanent residency because he might end up using public benefits — a ruling that immigration experts say has become increasingly common during the Trump administration.

With Supreme Court ruling, the fight over gerrymandering reform moves to the states
WASHINGTON – Battles over partisan gerrymandering are poised to shift to the states in the wake of a major U.S. Supreme Court decision issued last week.  The high court dealt a major blow to efforts to combat politicized redistricting when it issued a high-profile 5-4 opinion finding that courts couldn’t settle such disputes.  Now, state-level efforts to combat partisan gerrymandering are moving forward in what some advocates see as a new era of reform.  “Now that the Supreme Court has walked away from its constitutional responsibility, it’s even more important … to fight this on a state-by-state basis,” said Dan Vicuña, manager of the national redistricting program at Common Cause, a democracy reform group. We’ve seen “incredible momentum” over the last few years and “we fully expect that momentum to continue.”  Tom Wolf, legal counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, echoed the sentiment. “We have to keep pushing forward,” he said – and advocates around the country seem to agree.

“School officials point to rising special education, pension, charter school tuition and health insurance costs as the main reasons for raising taxes.”
School property taxes are increasing (almost) everywhere in Lancaster County [graphic]
Lancaster Online by ALEX GELI | Staff Writer Jul 6, 2019
One is the loneliest number when it comes to school property tax increases in Lancaster County. That’s because all but one of the county’s 17 school districts are raising property taxes in 2019-20, with increases ranging from 1.2% in Octorara Area, which straddles Lancaster and Chester counties, to 3.5% in Penn Manor. Warwick, meanwhile, is sticking with its current rate. School officials point to rising special education, pension, charter school tuition and health insurance costs as the main reasons for raising taxes. And some, like Penn Manor, also must raise revenue for major construction projects. Penn Manor, which is knee-deep in a $99.9 million high school renovation and construction project, has now raised taxes over the Act 1 index for four consecutive years, starting with a 7% increase in 2016-17. But Chris Johnston, the district’s business manager, said taxpayers should feel some relief soon. “We had to go over the index for the last time to put in place millage to cover the debt for the new high school,” he said, adding that he expects to remain below the Act 1 index next year.

More tax-credit scholarships needed: Bruce Kern II
GoErie Opinion Posted Jul 3, 2019 at 2:01 AM
Erie has potential. Everyone around town says it and sees it.
A couple of years ago, CBS News called my hometown “a sinking ship” and said “you’d be crazy not to get off.” But they’re not paying attention. We have a lot going on in Erie, and in the last year or so, development and jobs have come roaring back. People in the Erie region are learning how to adapt in this changing economy. The key to our turnaround? We’ve taken advantage of business innovation and a skilled workforce through improving education — but we still have a long way to go. The challenges facing Erie’s public schools are well-documented. We’ve felt the effects of generations trapped in schools that don’t meet students’ needs — a ripple effect of families moving, businesses leaving and opportunities drying up. While progress is being made to resolve these issues, the level of education some students receive remains a recipe for stagnation, not success and growth. Thankfully, Pennsylvania has an immediate solution to this problem: tax-credit scholarships. Last year, more than 50,000 of these scholarships helped families afford private school tuition and escape schools that weren’t meeting their needs.

In 2017, Pa. lawmakers outlawed ‘lunch shaming.’ Now, alternative meals are back.
Pa Capital Star By  Elizabeth Hardison July 5, 2019
When the final bell rang in Weatherly Area School District in June, administrators calculated more than $4,000 of debt from unpaid school lunches. It’s a relatively small sum in a multi-million dollar district budget. But according to business manager Peter Bard, it’s enough to put a burden on local taxpayers in the Carbon County school district, who are on the hook for any outstanding lunch bills. The debt load has also doubled in the past two years, Bard said, ever since Pennsylvania outlawed “lunch shaming” — the practice of denying lunch or providing a low-cost meal to a student with unpaid lunch bills. School administrators say the well-intentioned policy change in the state’s sprawling school code has allowed lunch debt to skyrocket. “We’ve seen an exponential increase,” Bard said. “We’re not in the business of taking people to the debt collector… but the amount we’re looking to collect has gone up significantly since [the Legislature] passed that law.”

Union says new state law should end Tamaqua district’s attempt to arm teachers
The teachers union challenging Tamaqua Area School District’s policy allowing armed teachers in classrooms says a new state law makes clear the policy is illegal. But one school board member who supports arming teachers, and a gun violence prevention group that called on Gov. Tom Wolf to veto the bill, said they’re doubtful it will end efforts to arm teachers and expect it will lead to further legal battles. Wolf signed Senate Bill 621 on Tuesday, amending the Pennsylvania School Code to provide more rigid training requirements and clarify who may serve as an armed school security officer or school resource officer. It adds sheriff’s officers to the definition of police and also gives school districts and private schools the option of employing armed security guards through a contractor. In response to critics including CeaseFirePA and the Education Law Center, which urged Wolf to kill the legislation, the governor’s office said the law “removes any ambiguity about whether teachers can be designated ‘security personnel.’"

Does new Pa. law ban arming teachers? Depends on whom you ask.
Pocono Record By Justine McDaniel The Philadelphia Inquirer (TNS) Posted Jul 6, 2019
The Pennsylvania legislature has spoken in the debate about arming teachers and school employees. The only problem: People can’t seem to agree on what it said. Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday signed a bill into law governing who can become a school safety officer and elaborating on training requirements for officers to carry firearms in schools. The law seeks to clarify Pennsylvania’s stance on arming teachers and other employees after a year and a half of heightened debate on the topic nationwide. Wolf said the law firmly established that teachers cannot be school security personnel, removing any question of whether teachers can carry arms in Pennsylvania schools. “The students, parents, and educators in this commonwealth can now be secure in the knowledge that teachers can dedicate themselves to teaching our children, and that the security of school facilities rests in the hands of trained, professional security personnel,” Wolf said in a statement Tuesday. But education and gun control advocates said they feared the law’s ambiguous wording could have the opposite effect. One school district seeking to arm employees has already disagreed with Wolf’s interpretation. Schools in Pennsylvania can hire law enforcement officers as school police or school resource officers. The law also creates a new category called school security guards, allowing third-party vendors or independent contractors — who are not law enforcement officers — to be hired for school security. A clause stipulating that school security guards cannot be involved in any other school programs was stripped from the bill before its passage, leaving opponents concerned that the law could be used to label teachers as security guards and arm them.

Legislation signed into law by Gov. Wolf gives school districts the option of using 'cyber snow days'
Bucks Local News Jul 4, 2019 Updated Jul 5, 2019
HARRISBURG >> A new state law will provide school districts with another tool to address unplanned school closures, according to state Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), who sponsored the legislation. Act 64 of 2019 will allow school districts, both public and private, charter schools, career and technical schools and intermediate units to apply with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to have the option to use up to five flexible instructional days, also known as cyber snow days, per school year in the event of a closure. Schools would need to reapply every three years. Schools may use technology to ensure the continuity of learning during a flexible instructional day. Students who lack internet access at home will also have special accommodations. The Department of Education recently conducted a three-year pilot program with a dozen schools, including three in Senator Phillips-Hill’s district. “Flexible instructional days have been very popular for Central York, Red Lion and Southern York County School Districts and I’m pleased to see the governor acknowledge the merits of this helpful tool for schools to address unplanned closures,” Phillips-Hill said. “Act 64 will allow each school district to work with its students, parents, faculty and school board to see if flexible instructional days should be implemented. I have heard positive reviews from local parents whose children attend schools involved in the pilot program. Opening this option to the entire state makes sense to ensure there is a continuity in learning when extenuating circumstances close school buildings.” Schools would need to provide flexible instruction in English and math for all students, as well as science and social studies for high school students. Governor Tom Wolf signed the new "cyber snow day" bill into law on July 3. It will take effect in 60 days.

Pennsylvania offers aid to schools for homebound students
Penn Live By The Associated Press Posted Jul 5, 2019
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania is offering aid to school districts to pay for accommodations for students who are homebound while recovering from a serious injury or illness. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill last week after it passed the Legislature unanimously. Under the law, the Department of Education must write program guidelines, and award up to $300,000 a year in grants to intermediate units that apply. The grants could be used to buy equipment that helps students participate in real time with classroom activity through a video link. The sponsor, Sen. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster, says the equipment resembles an iPad mounted on a Segway unit and will help students keep up with classmates while dealing with a serious illness or injury.

Pennsylvania sets aside security dollars for private schools
AP News July 5, 2019
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania is setting aside money to help private schools with security needs after requests for help, including from Jewish day schools near the Pittsburgh synagogue that was the site of a mass shooting. Budget-related legislation signed last week by Gov. Tom Wolf earmarks $3.2 million for intermediate units to award to private schools through the Department of Education’s safe schools grant program. The Jewish education advocacy organization Teach PA says the program awarded $459,000 to private schools last year. The program is $11 million total this year. That’s separate from a year-old $60 million school security grant program in Pennsylvania spurred by last year’s high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Jewish day school parents and staffers have said they’re particularly alarmed about security after synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh and California.

Allentown teachers offered retirement incentive in one-year contract
Allentown teachers have a one-year contract that offers a retirement incentive for eligible employees. The school board approved a new contract last week that expires August 2020 for the more than 1,000 teachers in the district. The current contract expires in August. Allentown will pay $45 per every unused sick day eligible teachers accrued. Those interested in the retirement incentive must be at least 55 years old and have 25 years or more of service in Pennsylvania public school education. Teachers receive 11 sick days and are allowed to roll over any unused days. The retirement incentive is for the cumulative number of unused sick days for a teacher’s entire period of time in the district, so the number of unused days can be different for every person retiring. Teachers interested in the retirement incentive must notify the district by Jan. 2, 2020. The contract also bumps starting pay for first-time teachers to $46,665. The current starting salary is $46,558.

Defenders of Public Education Speak before the Philly BOE, June 27, 2019
Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools July 3, 2019

What do you want to know about education spending?
Americans have long invested in education, whether through their property taxes or in paying tuition bills of some sort. We debate over whether we’re paying too much or not fully supporting our students and schools. In 2019, the Post-Gazette has launched a regular feature called The Business of Pittsburgh, which is tracking data, talking to key decision makers and consumers, and working to develop insights on the region’s economy and the people who drive it. As part of that, we want to understand what’s sparking your curiosity — and try to answer your questions. The Business of Pittsburgh installment In September will focus on education spending. Here’s your opportunity to be part of the research. Ask us your question: What do you want to know about how Pennsylvania pays for its schools?

Schools still struggling with how to teach about slavery
WHYY By Associated Press Carolyn Thompson July 6, 2019
 “They made me a slave today.” Aneka Burton still remembers the way her then 10-year-old son, Nikko, who is black, recounted his experience to his grandfather after school one day. It was 2011. But Burton believes the classroom exercise in which Nikko’s classmates were encouraged to examine and pretend to bid on each other during a history lesson continues to affect his life, even now as an 18-year-old high school graduate. “He tries to act like it didn’t bother him, but I really think it changed him,” the Gahanna, Ohio, mother said. It’s those memories that leave her shaking her head years later as reports about mock slave auctions continue to emerge, reminders that schools are still struggling with how to teach about slavery and its impacts. There are no national standards on how to teach about slavery, although it is often recommended as a topic in curriculum at the state and local levels, according to Lawrence Paska, executive director of the National Council for the Social Studies. The guidance leaves specific lessons up to schools and teachers, who on several occasions have caused offense with attempts to bring history to life.

Democratic Presidential Candidates Make Their Pitches to Teachers' Union Leaders
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Madeline Will on July 5, 2019 7:28 PM
Ten Democratic presidential contenders pledged to bring back respect to the teaching profession and, in many cases, raise teacher pay as they made their pitches to the delegates of the nation's largest teachers' union. Former Vice President Joe Biden, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Kamala Harris, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Rep. Tim Ryan, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren all spoke to National Education Association delegates on July 5.  During the forum, Biden and de Blasio joined Warren in pledging to nominate a former public school teacher to the position of U.S. Secretary of Education if elected. Harris also pledged to nominate "someone who comes from public schools," and to make sure NEA is "at the table to help me make that decision." The candidates covered a wide range of issues during the forum by responding to questions educators had posed through NEA's campaign website. The website is part of the NEA's endorsement process designed to give voice to more educators. (Last presidential election, the NEA endorsed Hillary Clinton early on in the primary, angering many delegates who preferred Sanders.) 

Why Charter Schools Must Waste Money
Forbes by Peter Greene Contributor  Jul 3, 2019, 02:37pm
Back in March, the Network for Public Education, a public education advocacy group, released a study showing that the Department of Education has spent over a billion dollars on charter school waste and fraud. Education Next, a publication that advocates for charter schools, offered a reply to that report. The rebuttal to the rebuttal just appeared in the Washington Post, but there is one portion of the Education Next piece that deserves a closer look. Charter schools should be held accountable for performance, which requires closing them when they don’t meet standards. Even with the best plans and under the ideal circumstances, opening a charter school is difficult. Charter Schools Program funding is intended to serve as seed capital to encourage innovation, and some experiments will fail. That is expected." This is part of the premise of corporate education reform--that schools should open and close and rise and fall just like a car dealership or a food truck. For these fans of choice, having schools closed down is a sign that the system is working, not a sign of failure. There are several problems with this feature.

Why Some of the Country’s Best Urban Schools Are Facing a Reckoning
Amid a growing backlash against charter schools, leaders within the movement are acknowledging that some criticism of their schools is warranted.
New York Times By Eliza Shapiro July 5, 2019
When the charter school movement first burst on to the scene, its founders pledged to transform big urban school districts by offering low-income and minority families something they believed was missing: safe, orderly schools with rigorous academics. But now, several decades later, as the movement has expanded, questions about whether its leaders were fulfilling their original promise to educate vulnerable children better than neighborhood public schools have mounted. When Richard Buery took over last year as the head of policy at KIPP, the nation’s largest charter network, he began to ask the same questions. He was used to challenging charter schools after years as a top deputy to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is skeptical of the schools.

An Online Preschool Closes a Gap but Exposes Another
It is not a program for children of the rich. It is geared to lower-income families who have fewer prekindergarten options.
New York Times By Nellie Bowles July 7, 2019
FOWLER, Calif. — David Cardenas, a mechanic and the mayor of Fowler, knows families in his town want high-quality and free daylong preschool. But options are thin. A government-subsidized program fills up fast and fits only a small fraction of the town’s 4-year-olds, he said. A private program that closed a decade ago was unaffordable for many of the 6,500 residents of Fowler, a predominantly Latino community of agricultural workers in California’s Central Valley. Otherwise, there are a handful of private day cares. So Mr. Cardenas recently seized on an unusual preschool alternative that a group from Utah presented to him. “This is something that I have never seen before,” he said. “I wanted to be on the front line right away.” Mr. Cardenas was referring to a “kindergarten readiness program” for 4-year-olds that takes place almost entirely online. Called Waterford Upstart and run by a nonprofit group,, it has children spend 15 minutes a day, five days a week over the course of nine months, tapping through lessons on a computer. About 16,000 children in 15 states graduated from the program this year, and the Waterford expects to expand the program to a projected 22,000 students by 2020. This is not a program for children of the rich, who are generally enrolled in play-based preschools that last at least several hours. Instead, it is geared to lower-income families with fewer prekindergarten options. Like hospitals that have doctors consulting through teleconferencing and elder-care facilities that offer nursing via avatar, online preschools are cheaper than traditional schooling.

Rural Schools Collaborative By Ryan Fowler, TNTP JUNE 25, 2019
Through a partnership between NREA, Rural Schools Collaborative, and TNTP, the Survey of Rural Schools and Communities gathered input from rural teachers and community members from across the country to help us gain a sense of assets and opportunities that rest within individuals states and regions. When it comes to recruiting teachers to rural schools, we know that an understanding of individual places matters deeply. So, we asked rural people to tell us what they love about their communities and what they see as barriers for recruiting teachers to come to their local schools.

Schedule of Meetings
Pennsylvania Bulletin [49 Pa.B. 3456] [Saturday, June 29, 2019]
 The State Charter School Appeal Board will meet as follows:
July 24, 2019
1 p.m.
Honors Suite
September 17, 2019
1 p.m.
Honors Suite
October 22, 2019
1 p.m.
Honors Suite
December 3, 2019
1 p.m.
Heritage Suite A
January 14, 2020
1 p.m.
Honors Suite
February 25, 2020
1 p.m.
Honors Suite
April 14, 2020
1 p.m.
Honors Suite
May 19, 2020
1 p.m.
Heritage Suite A
June 16, 2020
1 p.m.
Honors Suite
 Unless due and timely notice to the contrary is given, these meetings will be held as previously stated. The Honors Suite is on the First Floor, Department of Education Building, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA. Heritage A is off the lobby right past the security gates.
 Persons with disabilities needing special accommodations to attend the meetings may contact Sara Hockenberry, Counsel to the Board, 9th Floor, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333, (717) 787-5500 or the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service (800) 654-5984 at least 24 hours in advance so that arrangements can be made.

PSBA Members: State Budget Webcast JUL 9, 2019 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Join PSBA government affairs experts for an in-depth look at the 2019-20 state budget and related School Code bills. What do the new numbers and policy changes mean for your school district, teachers and students? Bring your questions to this complimentary webcast for members!
Presenters: PSBA Chief Advocacy Officer John Callahan, Director of Government Affairs Jonathan Berger and Director of Research Andy Christ. This webcast is for PSBA members only. Members may register at no cost online through PSBA’s webconferencing host:

The deadline to submit a cover letter, resume and application is August 19, 2019.
Become a 2019-2020 PSBA Advocacy Ambassador
PSBA is seeking applications for two open Advocacy Ambassador positions. Candidates should have experience in day-to-day functions of a school district, on the school board, or in a school leadership position. The purpose of the PSBA Advocacy Ambassador program is to facilitate the education and engagement of local school directors and public education stakeholders through the advocacy leadership of the ambassadors. Each Advocacy Ambassador will be responsible for assisting PSBA in achieving its advocacy goals. To achieve their mission, ambassadors will be kept up to date on current legislation and PSBA positions on legislation. The current open positions will cover PSBA Sections 3 and 4, and Section 7.
PSBA Advocacy Ambassadors are independent contractors representing PSBA and serve as liaisons between PSBA and their local elected officials. Advocacy Ambassadors also commit to building strong relationships with PSBA members with the purpose of engaging the designated members to be active and committed grassroots advocates for PSBA’s legislative priorities. 

PSBA: Nominations for The Allwein Society are open!
This award program recognizes school directors who are outstanding leaders & advocates on behalf of public schools & students. Nominations are accepted year-round with selections announced early fall: 

EPLC is accepting applications for the 2019-20 PA Education Policy Fellowship Program
Education Policy & Leadership Center
PA's premier education policy leadership program for education, policy & community leaders with 582 alumni since 1999. Application with program schedule & agenda are at 

2019 PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference Oct. 16-18, 2019
WHERE: Hershey Lodge and Convention Center 325 University Drive, Hershey, PA
WHEN: Wednesday, October 16 to Friday, October 18, 201
Registration is now open!
Growth from knowledge acquired. Vision inspired by innovation. Impact created by a synergized leadership community. You are called upon to be the drivers of a thriving public education system. It’s a complex and challenging role. Expand your skillset and give yourself the tools needed for the challenge. Packed into two and a half daysꟷꟷgain access to top-notch education and insights, dynamic speakers, peer learning opportunities and the latest product and service innovations. Come to the PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference to grow!

NPE Action National Conference - Save the Date - March 28-29, 2020 in Philadelphia, PA.
The window is now open for workshop proposals for the Network for Public Education conference, March 28-29, 2020, in Philadelphia. I hope you all sign on to present on a panel and certainly we want all to attend.

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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