Monday, August 12, 2019

PA Ed Policy Roundup Aug.12: LETTER: Unequal school funding persists in Pennsylvania

Started in November 2010, daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 4050 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, Governor's staff, current/former PA Secretaries of Education, Wolf education transition team members, superintendents, school solicitors, principals, charter school leaders, PTO/PTA officers, parent advocates, teacher leaders, business leaders, faith-based organizations, labor organizations, education professors, members of the press and a broad array of P-16 regulatory agencies, professional associations and education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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PA Ed Policy Roundup August 12, 2019
LETTER: Unequal school funding persists in Pennsylvania

Rep. Dan Williams hosts House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on Fair Education Funding Today in Coatesville, Monday Aug. 12 at 1:00 pm
The event is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12, at The Spackman Center, 215 Reeceville Road, Coatesville, 19320. Media and the public are invited to attend.

Senate Education Committee to Hold Public Hearing on Charter School Funding on Wed, Aug. 14 in Everett
Education Committee Chairman Senator Langerholc’s Website Posted on Aug 09, 2019
MEDIA ALERT: The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35), will hold a public hearing on charter school funding at 1 p.m. on  Wednesday, August 14, at Everett Area High School located at 1 Renaissance Circle in Everett, PA. 
Among those scheduled to testify are area superintendents, state education officials, and representatives of charter schools.
The hearing will be streamed live on and

Pennsylvania Council of Churches Ministry of Public Witness August 7, 2019
From Education Voters of Pennsylvania (

Pottstown Mercury Letter by Michael Churchill, Of Counsel, Public Interest Law Center Philadelphia Aug 9, 2019
Your recent article, “Pennsylvania schools in middle of pack in U.S. for quality despite high spending,” misses the point that spending in Pennsylvania is more unequal between low-wealth and high-wealth districts than in any other state. Pennsylvania’s state contribution to that spending is also amongst the lowest in the country. This inequality and high reliance on local funding means rich districts spend a lot and poor districts don’t. The consequence is indeed a “weak school system,” with a wide variation in results. Our recent analysis showed that 52 percent of Pennsylvania districts that spent more than the state median on instruction were high performing — scoring in the top half on PSSA tests. Only 24 percent of those spending less than the median met that standard. State increases in funding that your report describes have also not kept pace with increases in mandated expenses, like payments to charter schools and pensions, leaving local taxpayers to foot the bill. It is time for the state legislature to face up to the needs of our districts.

“Act 1 of 2006 was supposed to cap property tax increases, with exceptions for rising costs. Those rising costs soon came to include the pension increase the Legislature passed five years earlier. After boosting their own pensions by 50% (and those of state employees and public school teachers by 25%), lawmakers in Harrisburg now scold school districts for raising property taxes. Given such history, Pennsylvania seniors can be pardoned for wanting the state to continue keeping its hands off their retirement income.”
Editorial: Latest property tax proposal unpopular with seniors
Delco Times Editorial Aug 10, 2019 Updated Aug 10, 2019
Eliminating school property taxes in Pennsylvania is no simple fix. All responsible proposals to do so require raising or expanding one or more other taxes. One idea that recently got attention — mostly negative — is to tax retirement income at 4.92%, with 3.07% going to the state and 1.85% going to the taxpayer’s local school district. Social Security benefits would not be subject to taxation. The measure also would impose a 2% local sales tax on food and clothing — items now exempt from the state’s 6% sales tax — with an exemption on the food tax for those on public assistance. The proposal has been floated by state Rep. Frank X. Ryan, an accountant and a Lebanon County Republican. He plans to offer the proposal as a bill on Aug. 15. State Rep. Mark M. Gillen, a Berks County Republican, spoke against Ryan’s proposal, calling it “a new tax on the nest eggs of retirees.” State Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone, a Reading Democrat, said taxing retirement income is “out of the question.” State Sen. Judy Schwank, a Ruscombmanor Township Democrat, was not excited about the idea, either, but she credited Ryan for at least injecting “new energy” into the debate over how to get rid of school property taxes. And state Sen. David G. Argall, reached by email this week, says he wants to hear the details. “I am scheduled to thoroughly review this legislation with Rep. Ryan later this week,” the Schuylkill County Republican said. “The calls and emails to my office are strongly opposed to the bill.”
Our senators have the right idea.

“An estimated 800,000 Pennsylvanians — 6% of the state’s population — do not have high-speed access to the internet, according to the Federal Communications Commission, which defines connectivity as having minimum download speeds of 25 megabits per second of data, the requirement for watching a Netflix video in ultra high-definition.”
Please wait while we connect you: Rural broadband access an issue in Pa. Capitol
Inquirer by Sasha Hupka, Updated: August 11, 2019
DOVER, Pa. — Nearly every night, as Ray Van de Castle locks up the Dover Area Community Library in York County, he notices people in parked cars with their eyes glued to gently glowing screens. The people camped out in the parking lot do not have good internet access at their homes and come to the library to take advantage of its free WiFi, which Van de Castle, the library’s director, said is always switched on.  “There’s pockets up here that don’t even have dial-up,” he said. Van de Castle’s community is similar to many others across Pennsylvania — rural, blue-collar areas struggling with a lack of broadband connectivity amid a nationwide technological boom. Now, tackling the disparity in internet access, which impacts everything from schools to local businesses, has become a rallying cry in Harrisburg. Over the last six months, Gov. Tom Wolf has crisscrossed the state highlighting the issue. And although he and lawmakers have yet to settle on a fix, they agree it should be a priority. “When we look at broadband, what we fail to do sometimes is peel back the layers and see how this is impacting families and educators and real-life people,” said Sheri Collins, director of the Governor’s Office of Broadband Initiatives. “The broadband issue in Pennsylvania is extremely complicated and extremely expensive, but we have got to take a leadership position and solve these issues.”

“The fact is, our mental illness is guns. Poll after poll points to huge numbers of American in favor of gun control laws to minimize the chance of mass slaughters. The majority support expanded background checks that close the loopholes that allow anyone, whatever their criminal history, to purchase a gun at a gun show or from a private dealer. There is widespread support for heavier regulation of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. But mass murder after mass murder, Congress has done nothing.”
America’s mental illness is guns | Editorial
The Inquirer Editorial Board Updated: August 11, 2019 - 6:05 AM
Rattlesnakes are only poisonous if you think they are. Women can stop their bodies from getting pregnant as a result of rape. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is prohibited from computerizing gun sale records into a searchable database that would allow them to easily trace guns used in crimes. All of these statements are insane. And one of them is true: the ATF is forced to rely on primitive digital records on gun sales, forcing a cumbersome search, via paper or phone, whenever a gun used in a crime is investigated. Because gun owners want privacy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, charged with our public health and safety, is prohibited by law (and lack of funding) from using its budget to research gun violence. The strict language is that research can’t argue for gun control, even if data suggests homicides increase in houses that have guns. Denying that gun violence — responsible for 30,000 deaths a year — is a public health problem is like saying cancer can be cured by the application of leeches. When it comes to guns, we are expected to disbelieve everything that our own eyes — and our broken hearts — tell us.

Background checks and red flags: A divided Congress tries to muster compromise on gun violence
DANIEL MOORE Post-Gazette Washington Bureau AUG 10, 2019
WASHINGTON — In February, four months after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Squirrel Hill, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a bill to require background checks on private firearm sales. All but two Democrats voted for it, ensuring its passage onto the Senate, where the bill has sat ever since. All but eight Republicans — including all four Western Pennsylvania Republicans — voted against it. That type of partisan divide has gridlocked Congress on federal gun policy for years, even as the nation has witnessed a steady raft of mass shootings, each as horrific as the last, in schools, places of worship, concerts, festivals, dance clubs and a Walmart store. Pleas to stem the violence have constantly run up against Constitutional concerns and a powerful gun lobby.  Yet as lawmakers left Washington for their five-week summer recess, three shootings in the span of a week have heightened calls on Capitol Hill to pass restrictions on who should have access to a gun — and how it might be taken away. 

“The Washington Post keeps a database of gun violence in the United States. It has found that more than 228,000 K-12 students have experienced gun violence at school since the Columbine High shootings in Colorado in 1999. More than 4 million K-12 students experienced lockdowns because of a shooter or fear of one in the 2017 school year, in the latest data available. And millions more participate in lockdown drills in anticipation of an event each year.”
Trump: Kids scared of going to school because of gun violence ‘have nothing to fear'
Washington Post Answer Sheet By Valerie Strauss August 9
“They have nothing to fear.” That’s what President Trump said Friday when asked if he had any advice for students who are returning to class for the 2019-2020 school year and are afraid because of recent gun violence. His response came as he was answering questions from reporters on the White House lawn before departing for the Hamptons in New York, where he was expected to attend a high-priced fundraiser. He answered queries about gun-control legislation — saying he wanted “very meaningful” checks to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people — and other issues, including immigration raids in Mississippi and the trade war with China. More than halfway through the nearly 35-minute exchange, a reporter asked the president if he had advice for children going to school amid fear of gun violence following recent mass shootings in California, Texas and Ohio. This is what he said:

Want Safer Schools? It Takes Human Capital.
Counselors, school resource officers, educators play key roles, experts say
Education Writers Association JULY 26, 2019 GEORGIE SILVAROLE FOR EWA
During an assembly at the high school where she was principal, Liz Dozier once asked 1,000-plus students if they knew someone who had been shot. Every single student raised a hand.
“When I first got to the school, I didn’t understand all the effects of trauma — I just knew that our school was in crisis,” Dozier said. “The whole ecosystem that we had set up around kids was dysfunctional.” Dozier, who served as the principal of Christian Fenger Academy High School on Chicago’s South Side for six years, was one of four panelists who spoke about the people who aim to make schools a safer place. The panel was part of the Education Writers Association 2019 National Seminar in May in Baltimore. Dozier said she focused on identifying students in need and creating “care teams” made up of faculty and staff members students could trust. And she pointed to improvements over time, including raising the graduation rate from 40 percent to 80 percent, lowering the number of arrests each year from 300 to less than 10, and reducing the dropout rate from 20 percent to less than 2 percent. Addressing trauma and mental health issues is becoming part of the job description for many people who work in a school, even if they’re not a counselor, Dozier said. The dual roles of every employee — and especially those of school resource officers and counselors — were the focus of the EWA panel, moderated by The Los Angeles Times’ Sonali Kohli.

Delco schools slow to move on arming security staff
A new state law that sets the parameters for armed and unarmed school security personnel is not generating much discussion in local school districts to update their own policies. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in early July signed the Republican-backed Senate Bill 621 into law as Act 67 of 2019, amending Act 44 of 2018 which established a new state school safety commission and school security grant program. Act 67 lays out the training and qualifications for school safety officers, school resource officers and school security guards, all of whom may carry a firearm. A district may contract security personnel out to a third-party vendor that may also be qualified to carry a firearm. The law does not mandate armed personnel for districts, but it is still gives the option to the districts if they wish to have any armed security personnel, be it a retired police officer or a security guard. Garnet Valley will swear in a school district director of safety and security on Aug. l13 and will be the only armed officer in the district. His responsibilities, and those of district security guards, were formalized in district Policy 705.1 that was revised in late June days before Wolf was presented with SB 621 to be signed. Garnet Valley Superintendent Marc Bertrando said this policy change was a product of Act 44, “along with the myriad school safety issues” throughout the country and not for eventually signing of SB 621 into law.

Bulletproof school backpacks now for sale in central Pa. stores
Penn Live By Jana Benscoter | Today 5:11 AM
Hanging alongside KennethCole, Samsonite, Swiss Guard, Targus and Wenger backpacks at the Office Max in Carlisle is a bag with an unusual feature. It’s bullet-proof. Bullet resistant backpacks hit the market a few years ago, and some parents are adding the item to their back-to-school shopping lists. "Every once and a while, people ask about them,” a supervisor at Office Max said. "Thankfully, around here, we’re pretty safe and pretty low key. They’re not flying off the shelves or anything.” The backpacks at Office Max are made by Guard Dog Security, but other manufacturers such as TuffyPacks and Bullet Blocker make similar products. Bullet Blocker’s website is advertising the backpacks as part of “back to school” line of products that includes bullet-resistant notebook inserts. But are the such backpacks, which typically cost $100 to $200, likely to provide additional safety in a mass shooter situation? PennLive asked two police officers: one endorsed the idea as an extra layer of protection, while the other saw it as an unnecessary expense.

“Because LVA is a regional charter school, it needs permission of both Bethlehem Area and Saucon Valley school districts. As of last week, LVA had not filed a formal request with Bethlehem Area, Superintendent Joseph Roy said. Most of LVA’s 1,700 students come from the Bethlehem region.”
Lehigh Valley Academy prepares to make new school pitch in Bethlehem Township
The Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School is moving forward with plans to build a school in Bethlehem Township, filing sketch plans with the township last week. The school, which comes with a preliminary $50 million price tag and would house kindergarten through 12th grade, was originally planned for Hanover Township, Northampton County, but Lehigh Valley Academy nixed that plan because of “insurmountable zoning issues.” It won’t face that problem at the 58.7-acre Bethlehem Township tract along Hecktown Road, north of Route 22. That’s because the land, owned by the estate of Fred Jaindl, is zoned agricultural and a school is among the permitted uses. Barring the pursuit of any zoning variances, Lehigh Valley Academy will only have the township’s planning commission and Board of Commissioners to contend with. The plans are slated for discussion at the Aug. 26 Bethlehem Township Planning Commission meeting.

Eyes on the Philly Board of Education: August 15, 2019
Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools by Karel Kilimnik
Welcome to the start of the 2019-29 school year. Judging from this month’s Action Items, the welcome mat has been rolled out for the many branches of the Broad Foundation. We need to understand the history of privatization in Philadelphia to see how the unaccredited Broad Academy has been able to bring the outsourcing of services and the subsequent depletion of union membership to this and other school districts across the country. In 2002 the District recruited businessman and politician Paul Vallas, who took the title of CEO as a statement of the change of direction toward a business model–and because he had no qualifications to take the position of superintendent. Vallas left just a few years later, leaving a $73 million deficit. Vallas opened the door for the tsunami of privatization to come, much of it carried out by administrators trained at the Broad Superintendents Academy.

What’s on school menus this fall? Trade mitigation
WHYY By Associated Press Food & Health Writer Candice Choi August 12, 2019
School lunch menus already have Meatless Mondays and Taco Tuesdays. Now some may get Trade Mitigation Thursdays. This fall, U.S. school cafeterias are expecting shipments of free food courtesy of President Donald Trump’s trade disputes. The products are coming from the Department of Agriculture, which is giving away the $1.2 billion in foods it’s buying to help farmers hurt by trade negotiations. A Maryland district is awaiting a truckload of canned kidney beans — one of several “trade mitigation” items schools were offered. “We make our own chili soup, so we knew we had a use for that,” said Barbara Harral, a nutrition official for Montgomery County Public Schools. All told, she said the district is getting $70,000 worth of free products for the fall, including apples and oranges. Harral, who has been with the district for 22 years, doesn’t recall the USDA offering trade mitigation foods before.

She fought her high school on censorship; now, she’s gone national
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Updated: August 11, 2019
Grace Marion was hooked on journalism from her first days as a student at Neshaminy High School. She files records requests for fun, and visibly brightens when discussing media law. Over her four years at Neshaminy, Marion clashed with the administration, battling what she says was censorship and the mishandling of sexual-misconduct claims. Now, Marion, a 2018 graduate of Neshaminy, has won national recognition for her high school work. This month, she was named winner of a Society of Professional Journalists prize for “outstanding service to the First Amendment.” It was another in a string of high-profile awards for Marion, who had multiple articles cut or changed by administrators during her time as editor of The Playwickian, Neshaminy’s student newspaper. Marion also received threats over her work and revealed, after years of investigation, what she described as a school policy of placing sexual-misconduct allegations against staffers not in their files but in students’ records.

He wanted to give away all his money. Now he helps Philly schools.
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Updated: August 10, 2019
When Ed Riehl was 60, he had an epiphany. After years as a high-powered lawyer, he wanted to ditch corporate America and spend the rest of his life giving away his money. The way Riehl saw it, he had advantages as a white man born at the end of World War II without the burden of generational poverty. If he had grown up in different circumstances, he said, he never would have had the opportunity to earn degrees, to work as a college professor, to become general counsel for a large international firm.  “I lucked into good fortune,” said Riehl. “So I founded an organization to get rid of the money that I don’t need.” Riehl’s dream has taken root with the Delaware Valley Fairness Project, a nonprofit that supports Philadelphia schools and families. Since 2016, it has invested more than $500,000 on staff to support schools and on projects large and small, from launching and maintaining food pantries inside four city schools to buying furniture for a family getting back on its feet after homelessness. Donors provide some funds, but the bulk of the money the organization spends — more than $200,000 in 2018, tax records show — has come from Riehl, now 73, who describes his project as a way to “make life a little more fair.”

Virginia transgender bathroom case: Judge favors ex-student
AP By BEN FINLEY August 9, 2019
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A federal judge in Virginia ruled Friday that a school board’s transgender bathroom ban discriminated against a former student, Gavin Grimm, the latest in a string of decisions nationwide that favor transgender students who faced similar policies. The order issued by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen in Norfolk is a major victory for the American Civil Liberties Union and for Grimm. His four-year lawsuit was once a federal test case and had come to embody the debate about transgender student rights. The issue remains far from settled as a patchwork of differing policies governs schools across the nation. More court cases are making their way through the courts. The Gloucester County School Board’s policy required Grimm, a transgender male, to use girls’ restrooms or private bathrooms. The judge wrote that Grimm’s rights were violated under the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause as well as under Title IX, the federal policy that protects against gender-based discrimination.

J.D. Salinger's books are finally going digital
Delco Times by AP 12 hrs ago
NEW YORK (AP) — You'll finally be able to catch the late J.D. Salinger's books in digital format. Longtime Salinger publisher Little, Brown and Company said all four of his works, including "The Catcher in the Rye," will be made available as e-books Tuesday, marking the first time that the entirety of his published work will be available in digital format. His son, Matt Salinger, said the digital holdout ended because many readers use e-books exclusively and some people with disabilities can only use them. "There were few things my father loved more than the full tactile experience of reading a printed book, but he may have loved his readers more — and not just the 'ideal private reader' he wrote about, but all his readers," said Salinger, who helps oversee his father's literary estate. In addition to "The Catcher in the Rye," the e-books include "Nine Stories," ''Franny and Zooey," and "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction." The electronic publication continues a yearlong centennial celebration of author's birth and his contributions to literature.

Yong Zhao: The Achievement Gap Mania in America
Diane Ravitch’s Blog By dianeravitch August 9, 2019 //
Yong Zhao is one of the scholars I admire most. He turns out book after book, each saturated with remarkable scholarship and learning. He is also a superb speaker, who fills his lectures with learning and humor.  He recently posted the introduction to a book he published last year called Reach for Greatness.  In it, he wrote about America’s obsession with “the achievement gap,” which is based on the belief that someday the bell curve, on which all standardized tests are normed, will close. The test score gaps can be reduced, as history shows. The biggest narrowing of the gap occurred at the high point of racial integration (late 1970s, early 1980s). For the past decade, the black-white gaps on NAEP have been unchanged. The gap may narrow but it is designed never to close because bell curves  are intended to rank people from best to worst, highest to lowest, most to least.

Here's when you can watch the tonight's Perseid meteor shower (and other astrological events)
Lancaster Online by MICKAYLA MILLER | Website Producer August 12, 2019
The Perseid meteor shower is known as one of the most vivid, visible astrological events. But, this year's show may be less spectacular than usual. According to, the meteor shower will be visible this Monday and Tuesday, but there's a chance that the almost-full moon could make the sky too bright. The best time to view the meteor shower will be pre-dusk Tuesday morning, according to "The Perseids are rich in fireballs, so you'll still see Perseids," said NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke to "You just won't see the show you've seen on nights when the moon has not been around." suggests that those who watch the meteor shower should give themselves at least an hour outside: 20 minutes for the eyes to adjust, and another 40 to observe. Viewers won't need any special equipment, just a set of eyes and dark skies.

Fall migration starts this month
Track Monarch Butterfly Migration
Weekly Migration News: August - November, 2019
Report your sightings each fall and spring as the monarchs travel to and from Mexico. Track migration on real-time migration maps and follow the migration news. Fall migration extends from August to November; spring migration from March to June. Find out what to report each spring and fall. Scientists rely on the help of citizen scientists to understand the monarch’s conservation needs. Your observations make a valuable contribution — and help tell the dramatic story of the monarch’s journey to Mexico. More…

IU1 and The Consortium for Public Education: Rachel's Challenge Presentation -  Aug. 14 9:00 – 3:30 California University of PA
IU1 and the Consortium for Public Education are joining forces to bring you a FREE professional development opportunity, Rachel's Challenge, presented by Darrell Scott. The mission of Rachel's Challenge is to equip and empower adults and students to sustain a positive culture change in their organization and communities by starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion. Rachel's inspiring story provides a simple, yet powerful example of how small acts of kindness and acceptance motivates us to consider our relationships with people we come in contact with every day. Rachel's story gives us permission to start our own chain reaction of kindness and compassion, which positively affects the climate in our schools and communities. For more information, please visit
To receive Act 48 hours for this event, you must complete all areas of the registration form below, including entering your PPID number. Each person from your team must register individually.

EPLC/DCIU 2019 Regional Training Workshop for PA School Board Candidates Sept. 14th
The Pennsylvania Education Policy and Leadership Center will conduct a regional Full Day Workshop for 2019 Pennsylvania School Board Candidates at the DCIU on September 14, 2019.
Target Audience: School Board Directors and Candidates, Community Members, School Administrators
Description: Full Day Workshop for 2019 Pennsylvania School Board Candidates. Incumbents, non-incumbents, campaign supporters and all interested voters are invited to participate in this workshop. The workshop will include Legal and Leadership Roles of School Directors and School Boards; State and Federal Policies: Implications for School Boards; School District Finances and Budgeting; Candidates and the Law; Information Resources; "State and Federal Policies" section includes, but is not limited to:
K-12 Governance
PA Standards, Student Assessment, and Accountability
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
K-12 State Funding
Early Education
Student Choices (Non-Public, Home Schooling, Charter Schools, Career-Technical, and more)
Teacher Issues
Linking K-12 to Workforce and Post-Secondary Education
Linking K-12 to Community Partners
***Fee: $75.00. Payment by Credit Card Only, Visa or Mastercard, PLEASE DO NOT SELECT ANY OTHER PAYMENT TYPE*** Registration ends 9/7/2019

Join @RepBrianFitz and @CongBoyle at this complimentary focus meeting to talk about the critical need to modernize and fully fund the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 
Register for Federal Focus: Fully funding IDEA at William Tennant HS Wednesday August 21st, 7-9 pm
PSBA News July 30, 2019
Join U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-01) and other IDEA Act co-sponsors at this complimentary focus meeting to talk about the critical need to modernize and fully fund the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Learn about bipartisan efforts now in the U.S. Congress to ensure that special education funding is a priority in the federal budget, and how you can help bring this important legislation to the finish line. Bring your school district facts and questions. This event will be held Aug. 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Centennial School District in Bucks Co. There is no cost to attend, but you must register through Questions can be directed to Megan McDonough at (717) 506-2450, ext. 3321. This program is hosted by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) and the Centennial School District. 

“Each member entity will have one vote for each officer. This will require boards of the various school entities to come to a consensus on each candidate and cast their vote electronically during the open voting period (Aug. 23 – Oct. 11, 2019).”
PSBA Officer Elections: Slate of Candidates
PSBA members seeking election to office for the association were required to submit a nomination form no later than June 1, 2019, to be considered. All candidates who properly completed applications by the deadline are included on the slate of candidates below. In addition, the Leadership Development Committee met on June 15th at PSBA headquarters in Mechanicsburg to interview candidates. According to bylaws, the Leadership Development Committee may determine candidates highly qualified for the office they seek. This is noted next to each person’s name with an asterisk (*).

Take the four-week PSBA advocacy challenge
Calling all public education advocates! Even though students are out for the summer, we need you to continue your efforts to share your district's story, and the needs of public schools across the state, with your legislators. Follow the four easy steps on the challenge to increase your engagement with lawmakers this summer and you'll receive some PSBA swag as a thank-you. We've also included some talking points to help inform you on the latest issues. Contact Advocacy Coordinator Jamie Zuvich at with questions. Click here to see the challenge and talking points.

In November, many boards will be preparing to welcome new directors to their governance Team of Ten. This event will help attendees create a full year on-boarding schedule based on best practices and thoughtful prioritization. Register now:
PSBA: Start Strong: Developing a District On-Boarding Plan for New Directors
SEP 11, 2019 • 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
In November, many boards will be faced with a significant transition as they prepare to welcome new directors to their governance Team of Ten. This single-day program facilitated by PSBA trainers and an experienced PA board president will guide attendees to creating a strong, full year on-boarding schedule based on best practices and thoughtful prioritization. Grounded in PSBA’s Principles for Governance and Leadership, attendees will hear best practices from their colleagues and leave with a full year’s schedule, a jump drive of resources, ideas for effective local training, and a plan to start strong.
Register online at MyPSBA: and click on “MyPSBA” in the upper right corner.

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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