Tuesday, May 22, 2018

PA Ed Policy Roundup May 22: #SB2: Committee to vote on voucher bill at Tuesday morning 10:30 am meeting


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
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

#SB2: Committee to vote on voucher bill at Tuesday morning 10:30 am meeting



Press Conference on the Needs of Urban School Districts in Pennsylvania
All media outlets are invited to attend a press conference in the Main Rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol, Harrisburg on May 22, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. 
MEDIA ADVISORY Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators
CONTACT: Mark D. DiRocco, Executive Director - 717-540-4448 - mdirocco@pasa-net.org
Several urban school district superintendents will speak to the need for resources and assistance to adequately educate the children in their schools.  The press conference will feature:
           Dr. Juan Baughn, Superintendent of Chester Upland School District
           Dr. Stephen Butz, Superintendent of Southeast Delco School District
           Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney, Superintendent of Harrisburg School District
           Mr. Stephen Rodriguez, Superintendent of Pottstown School District
           Mr. Alan Johnson, Superintendent of Woodland Hills School District
           Dr. Khalid Mumin, Superintendent of Reading School District
We encourage media representatives to attend this event to learn more about the unique needs and challenges of Pennsylvania’s urban public school districts.



McClatchy Editorial Cartoons for the week of May 14, 2018
Centre Daily Times May 16, 2018
http://www.centredaily.com/opinion/editorial-cartoons/article211252499.html

Please consider taking action this morning to oppose this legislation.
#SB2: Senate Ed Committee to vote on voucher bill at Tuesday morning 10:30 am meeting
PA Ed Policy Roundup May 21, 2018
https://keystonestateeducationcoalition.blogspot.com/2018/05/pa-ed-policy-roundup-may-21-sb2-senate.html

“Public school districts argue that the education savings accounts would divert more state funding from school systems already suffering from underfunding at the state level. Proponents of Senate Bill 2, such as the Commonwealth Foundation, a free-market think tank, see the creation of education savings accounts as a way to help students in poorly performing school districts. Six other states have similar programs.”
SB2: Committee to vote on school-choice bill
GoErie By Ed Palattella  Posted May 21, 2018 at 4:10 PM
All 13 school districts in Erie County oppose Senate Bill 2, which would create education savings accounts.
The state Senate Education Committee on Tuesday is scheduled to vote on a school-choice bill that has drawn opposition from public school districts across Pennsylvania, including all 13 in Erie County. If the committee passes Senate Bill 2, the legislation would then head to the full Senate for a vote. The House would consider it next. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has indicated he would veto the bill if the GOP-controlled General Assembly passes it. Senate Bill 2 would reshape public and private school funding in Pennsylvania by creating education savings accounts, similar to vouchers. The bill would allow state money to pay for private school tuition of elementary and high school students in struggling public school districts, such as Erie’s. The state Senate Education Committee had been scheduled to vote on April 24 on whether to move Senate Bill 2 to the full Senate. But the bill was removed from the committee’s agenda. The Erie School District and the 12 other school districts in Erie County have passed resolutions opposing the bill, according to a list that the Pennsylvania School Boards Association maintains. Overall, 238 of the state’s 500 school districts have passed such resolutions, according to the PSBA.
http://www.goerie.com/news/20180521/committee-to-vote-on-school-choice-bill

SB2: Education savings account vouchers program misses the mark | Opinion
by Nathan G. Mains, For the Inquirer Updated: MAY 21, 2018 — 5:00 AM EDT
Nathan G. Mains is CEO of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. 
The proposal to create a new type of school voucher program in Pennsylvania has prompted substantial debate in the legislature and the public on the best way to help students in struggling schools. Senate Bill 2 proposes the creation of Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) for students in public schools ranking in the bottom 15 percent, based on state standardized test scores, to use on education expenses. Expenses such as private or parochial school tuition, textbooks, tutoring, and other “valid educational expenses” would be covered by taxpayer-funded vouchers, which are purported to save public schools money. Instead of hyperbole and rhetoric, data and a real-world example illustrate how S.B. 2 fails to address the barriers to achievement present in struggling schools. In reality, S.B. 2 will make things worse for those schools and communities. First, poverty has a significant impact on student achievement. The average acute poverty rate (percentage of children living in families with income less than 100 percent of federal poverty limits) in school districts with more than one low-achieving school was 33.3 percent – more than double the state average of 16.3 percent. There is a strong correlation between higher poverty and lower achievement on state standardized testing. On average, the proficiency rate for students in the highest-poverty school districts is 33 percent less than students in the lowest-poverty school districts.
http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/vouchers-pennsylvania-schools-education-savings-accounts-funding-20180521.html

SB2: Julie Gallagher and Karen Beck Pooley: School voucher legislation would divert needed funds from public schools
Morning Call Opinion by Julie Gallagher and Karen Beck Pooley May 21, 2018
Julie Gallagher is an executive board member of BASD Proud Parents, and Karen Beck Pooley is executive board member of BASD Proud Parents and a member of the Bethlehem Area School Board.
We are deeply disappointed to learn that the state Senate Education Committee is again giving serious consideration to Senate Bill 2. Although named the "Education Savings Account Act," this bill stands to create vouchers that will drain essential resources from public school districts across the state and transfer those dollars to private schools. The bill explicitly states that a district's basic education funding and other state subsidies "shall be reduced by the grant amount calculated for [each] student" receiving a voucher. This could mean a significant loss of funds for public schools. Adding insult to injury, the bill proposes that private contractors be hired to manage the voucher program, and, even worse, stipulates that state and local school boards will have no right to regulate the private schools teaching students supported by public tax dollars. As engaged citizens, as property-owning taxpayers, and, most importantly, as proud parents of children in the Bethlehem Area School District, we strongly oppose this bill. If SB2 passes, it will undermine our children's educational opportunities and devastatingly compromise Bethlehem's notable successes. As an example of the kind of damage SB2 could do, estimates show that Bethlehem schools will lose a budget-busting $14.7 million — if just one-third of eligible students request and receive vouchers. To put that number in context, $14.7 million is roughly 3 1/2 times what the district plans to spend on its highly successful Reading By Grade 3 initiative and over 30 times what it plans to spend updating its middle school curriculum.
http://www.mcall.com/opinion/yourview/mc-school-choice-vouchers-public-education-web-052-20180521-story.html

SB2: PSEA President: Tuition voucher plan is a disaster for public schools and students
PSEA Website May 21, 2018
HARRISBURG (May 21, 2018) – Dolores McCracken, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, issued the following statement today related to the state Senate Education Committee’s plans to schedule Senate Bill 2, a tuition voucher plan that could siphon more than $500 million in state funds from Pennsylvania’s public schools, for a vote on May 22. “Some state senators are making another run at passing a tuition voucher scheme that will be a disaster for public education. There’s absolutely no reason to vote on a bill that could cut more than $500 million from school districts that need state funding the most. “For many of these school districts, these cuts are larger than the historic losses they and their students suffered when the General Assembly cut nearly $1 billion in public school funding in 2011. “Pennsylvania’s students and taxpayers just can’t afford this kind of ill-conceived and senseless legislation. Most lawmakers know better, and that’s why bills like this haven’t ever become law – even though some legislators have tried to pass them for decades. “Vouchers don’t help students learn, they drain money from public schools, and they don’t hold private schools accountable for how they would spend the money. “I encourage state senators to let their colleagues on the Senate Education Committee know that this bill should not come up for a vote, and to oppose it if it does. Pennsylvania’s public school students deserve better.”
https://www.psea.org/voucherbillcommitteevote

Blogger note: described as a “free market think tank”, the Commonwealth Foundation’s school privatization agenda is funded by the likes of the Koch Brothers and the Scaife Family Foundation. Here’s their position on the voucher bill.
Every child deserves a choice in their education | Opinion
Penn Live Guest Editorial By Charles Mitchell Updated 9:15 AM; Posted 9:15 AM
Charles Mitchell is president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation a conservative think-tank in Harrisburg.
Barbara "Annie" Jackson waitresses at Roxy's Cafe on North Street in Harrisburg, where she serves steaming plates of eggs and mugs of hot coffee to hungry Capitol patrons. Eight months pregnant, Annie is expecting a son in June--a brother to five-year-old Grace, who started pre-K this year. While working a demanding job, Annie's also planning to pursue a nursing degree at Harrisburg Area Community College. But what's most important to Annie is her children's education. Sadly, while many school districts offer a quality, effective education, Harrisburg isn't one of them.  A friend who teaches in the Harrisburg school district even warned Annie against sending Grace to district schools--and no wonder. Harrisburg schools' academic performance is consistently in the bottom 15 percent statewide. Despite spending nearly $19,000 per pupil, as of the 2015-16 school year, just 20 percent of district students are proficient in reading and only 10 percent can do math at grade level. "Kids in Harrisburg aren't any less intelligent or deserving," Annie says. "The system is failing them. It isn't fair."
http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2018/05/every_child_deserves_a_choice.html

Soda tax may not be the only school-funding loss if new Pa. House Bill passes | Opinion
Inquirer Opinion by Darrell L. Clarke, For the Inquirer Updated: MAY 21, 2018  9:55 AM EDT
Darrell L. Clarke is president of Philadelphia City Council. Darrell.Clarke@phila.govCity Council Majority Leader Bobby Henon, Majority Whip Blondell Reynolds Brown, and Deputy Majority Whip Bill Greenlee also contributed to this piece.
As resources for services, programs, and critical needs including public education have declined, municipalities have been forced to think creatively about how to make up the gap without overburdening local taxpayers. One creative solution put forth locally is the Philadelphia Beverage Tax (PBT), a levy on the distribution of artificially and sugar-sweetened beverages in order to expand quality pre-K to our children. We know that early childhood education pays dividends, not just academically but in overall health and other metrics. Polls show pre-K expansion is overwhelmingly popular in Pennsylvania. Yet, investments by the commonwealth have failed to meet demand. City Council’s vote on the PBT was one of the most emotional we’ve ever seen. Yet, we made the difficult decision to approve this tax, knowing the PBT would yield significant investments for early childhood education. Which is why we are extremely concerned that an effort to kill the PBT appears to be working its way through the Pennsylvania House. House Bill 2241, which is scheduled for second consideration on Tuesday, would restrict any political subdivision from imposing a fee, surcharge, or tax on any food and beverage, or the delivery, acquisition, or distribution of any food and beverage, or food and beverage container. This bill not only threatens the ongoing expansion of pre-K, but funding for the School District of Philadelphia as well by way of the liquor-by-the-drink tax – which was affirmed with state-enabling legislation.
http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/commentary/soda-tax-philadelphia-beverage-tax-city-council-darrell-clarke-20180521.html

Battle for control of U.S. Senate may not include Pa., Mitch McConnell says | Monday Morning Coffee
Penn Live By John L. Micek jmicek@pennlive.com Updated May 21, 7:49 AM; Posted May 21, 7:48 AM
Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
National Republicans may well be sweating control of the U.S. House and Senate this campaign season, but the Senate's top Republican isn't including Pennsylvania on his list of states that are in play. And that looks like more bad news for GOP U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, of Hazleton, who's challenging Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., in November.  First elected in 2010, the ex-Hazleton mayor and early supporter of President Donald Trump is already facing internal skepticism over his candidacy among Republican operatives, who are worried about his ability to stay competitive in what's expected to be a pricey race to unseat Casey this fall.
Speaking to The Washington Post late last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, ticked off a list of nine states that he believes will determine control of the Senate this fall.

http://www.pennlive.com/capitol-notebook/2018/05/battle_for_control_of_us_senat.html#incart_river_index

Pa. kids need CHIP to grow up healthy | Opinion
Penn Live Guest Editorial By Erin Kramer Updated 8:30 AM; Posted 8:30 AM
Erin Kramer is executive director of One Pennsylvania, a Pittsburgh-based advocacy group.
As the parent of three, young children, I know how important it is to have access to reliable health care. From the earliest days of infancy, through the elementary school years, being able to build a relationship with our pediatrician has been crucial to make sure that I understand and can provide for my kids' health needs--not just the regular health and weight checkups, but also the late night questions like "is this fever too high?" My older daughter, Rose, has had strep two dozen times. Yes, you read that right. My younger daughter, Josephine had about a dozen ear infections, until we had tubes put in. (Happily, my son, Victor seems to have skipped the gene for catching common childhood infections.) Having regular pediatric care meant we weren't spending hours--and thousands of dollars--on ER visits that could potentially bankrupt our family. These aren't exotic diseases, these are normal childhood illnesses, and everyone's kids should be able to get treatment for them, in the wealthiest country on earth. So I was dismayed to see that President Donald Trump, in a recent article in the Washington Post, is calling on Congress to make $15 billion in cuts to social spending, including cuts to the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.
http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2018/05/pa_kids_need_chip_to_grow_up_h.html

Lawmakers return to Capitol optimistic about state budget
Daily Item By John Finnerty CNHI Harrisburg Reporter May 19, 2018
HARRISBURG — Republican lawmakers on Friday struck an optimistic tone about the upcoming state budget, saying that tax revenues have met projections, meaning the state government should be in better shape than prior years. Lawmakers return to the Capitol in the coming week to begin the six-week press to get a budget onto Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk. They will be looking to rein in the spending and will resist any talk of new taxes. "Wolf is asking for a more than 3 percent increase. That's not doable," said state Sen. John Gordner, R-Columbia County, the Senate Majority Whip. "We'll be scaling that back and we're not going to look at the revenue sources" proposed by the governor. Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal, unveiled more than two months ago, called for $1 billion in increased spending and a tax on natural gas drilling along with a tax on communities that don’t provide local police. Wolf's plan would spend $33 billion. The budgeting work didn’t get any easier, thanks to a judge’s ruling on Thursday that bars the state from using $200 million in an account set aside for insuring health care providers.
http://www.dailyitem.com/news/state/lawmakers-return-to-capitol-optimistic-about-state-budget/article_0105c6db-801b-5c70-9cf6-30d90ba37d13.html

Move over tea party: 'Progressive' Democrats also a force in ousting moderate incumbents
Morning Call by Gillian McGoldrick Call Harrisburg Bureau May 21, 2018
Republican state Sen. Randy Vulakovich and Democratic state Rep. Dom Costa may hail from different political parties. But they share a few things in common: Both were police officers. Both represent parts of Allegheny County. And both are middle-of-the-road lawmakers who cross party lines to make deals. Now they have something else in common: They’ll be out of jobs come Dec. 1. Vulakovich and Costa lost primaries last week, victims of shifting political winds within their respective parties. Those winds, pundits say, may be blowing in different directions — far right and far left — but they threaten to do the same thing: Make compromise harder between and among Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Harrisburg.
http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/capitol-ideas/mc-nws-pennsylvania-progressive-tea-party-20180521-story.html

Phila. Schools Take a Systematic Route to Better Discipline
Education Week By Sarah D. Sparks May 15, 2018
Philadelphia leaders hope that digging into the culture, training, and assistance for schools will help them make headway on one of the thorniest problems facing educators today: curbing schools' use of discipline practices that take students out of the classroom. Philadelphia is one of many districts nationwide that has been trying to limit out-of-school suspensions and reduce racial gaps among students who receive exclusionary discipline, but results so far have been uneven both in Philadelphia and across the country. Now, the district is launching a series of rapid-fire pilot programs to find ways to speed up and smooth out the transition to better school discipline. "We found school administrators are coming around to the idea that they need to do something different with school discipline, but teachers don't really feel they have options," said Abigail Gray, a senior researcher at the University of Pennsylvania's Consortium for Policy Research in Education, which is working with the 130,000-student district. "We need to be actively developing those alternatives."
https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/05/16/phila-schools-take-a-systematic-route-to.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news1-rm&M=58493657&U=1430490

Eyes on the SRC: May 24, 2018
Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools by Lisa Haver May 21, 2018
Will This Budget Provide Essential Services for All Students?
The resolution list for this second May meeting is a relatively short one. The first two resolutions, without text at this point, propose the final operating and capital budgets for the 2018-19 fiscal year. [See the full resolution list below*.  Find the complete resolution summary here.]
Why the Disruption for Kindergarten Students and Families?
Resolution SRC-4 finalizes the academic calendar for 2018-19; first day for staff is August 20, first day for students is August 27.  As Dr. Hite noted at the May 17 meeting, this will be the first year that Kindergarten students begin on the same day as students in all other grades. He did not give a reason for the change, but teachers know that this will make the beginning of school a more chaotic time for schools and a more frightening time for the 5-year old Kindergarten students. Teachers have been told by administrators that they can meet with parents instead of going to the mandated Professional Development sessions their colleagues will be attending during the week before students arrive. In the past, some Kindergarten teachers would contact the families of new students over the summer (or in the first few days of school) and make appointments to meet them during the first week of school.  
https://appsphilly.net/eyes-on-the-src-may-24-2018/

Daniel Boone School Board OKs budget with tax hike
The Mercury By Denise Larive, For Digital First Media POSTED: 05/21/18, 10:23 AM EDT 
The Daniel Boone Area School Board will balance the 2018-19 budget deficit of $1.66 million with a property tax increase. Board member Michael D. Wolfe — the only member to vote against the proposed final budget on May 14 — said the district’s financial future should be decided by its registered voters. We knew there were a lot of moving pieces (with the budget), and now tonight we’ve been handed a lot more,” said Wolfe. The board had just learned that renovations to the Birdsboro Elementary Center building are estimated at $1.9 million. In addition to that cost, board members are considering a bond of up to $5 million for district-wide capital improvements (including Birdsboro Elementary Center). It’s the years that the district didn’t raise taxes (and have the compounding effect on the district’s revenue), combined with rising district costs (health insurance, PSERS — the state’s employees’ retirement system, teacher salaries) which may have the major effect on the district. “At some point we won’t be able to tax ourselves out of the hole and we’ll need to go to referendum to pay for basic education,” said Wolfe. “PSERS money is coming out of basic education and we will need to go to a voter referendum to keep the district running.”
http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20180521/daniel-boone-school-board-oks-budget-with-tax-hike

Highlands hikes taxes, lays off 26, reconfigures schools
Trib Live by MADASYN CZEBINIAK  | Monday, May 21, 2018, 11:39 p.m.
Despite strong opposition from an audience made up of more than 100 community members, the Highlands School District on Monday voted to increase taxes, furlough 26 employees and reconfigure the district's schools in an effort to fix a budget crisis that just came to light last week. School board members voted 5-4 to reconfigure the schools; 9-0 to pass the proposed 2018-19 budget, which includes a 3.5 percent tax increase; and 9-0 to furlough the employees, seven of whom are teachers. “New superintendent!” one woman called out after the vote to reconfigure the schools. The meeting, held in the high school auditorium, lasted more than three hours. Dozens of people lined up to address the board before they voted to reconfigure the schools, including Harrison resident Clint Crowell, 36, who had protested the reconfiguration plan before.
http://triblive.com/local/valleynewsdispatch/13673568-74/highlands-hikes-taxes-lays-off-26-reconfigures-schools

Norwin schools plan to cut 8 teaching positions
Trib Live by JOE NAPSHA  | Monday, May 21, 2018, 9:48 p.m.
Eight teaching positions will be eliminated as the Norwin School District grapples with a budget deficit the school board hoped to eliminate with a 3.1 percent increase in real estate taxes for the 2018-2019 school year. The school board Monday narrowly approved the changes in a 5-4 vote that gave the administration the authority to curtail and alter programs the district offers in art, family and consumer science and technology education. “We've been wrestling with this for some time. Nobody wants to make cuts to the professional staff,” board President Robert Perkins said. Pointing out that the state has only given Norwin an additional $160,000 in basic education subsidies for the school year, Perkins told more than 40 teachers who jammed the meeting room “that's not enough to sustain the programs we have.”
http://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/13675186-74/norwin-schools-plan-to-cut-8-teaching-positions

Hempfield will shuffle finances, fees to try and stave off proposed coaching cuts
Trib Live by PATRICK VARINE  | Monday, May 21, 2018, 10:54 p.m.
Hempfield school board members want to see additional athletic-fee options before voting to eliminate nine supplemental coaching positions. Above, the board meets on Monday, May 21, 2018.
Hempfield school board President Sonya Brajdic wanted to make sure people who voiced objections at last week's board meeting — about the proposed elimination of nine supplemental athletic coaching positions — knew they were being taken seriously. "We listened last week," Brajdic said prior to Monday night's voting meeting. "We heard what you said." Following an executive session, the board tabled several items on its agenda, including the coaching positions, the proposed elimination of part-time secretaries at five elementary schools, and a one-year contract extension for Athletic Director Greg Meisner.
http://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/13675602-74/hempfield-will-shuffle-finances-fees-to-try-and-stave-off-proposed-coaching

“The board last month voted to support an $88.6 million budget and a 2.35 percent real estate tax increase, but a recent court case revolving around how charter school tuition rates are calculated in Pennsylvania required proposing an increase of 2.4 percent, he said. The ruling, which mandates basing tuition on actual rather than budgeted numbers, will cost the district an additional $100,000 next year with no obvious means to offset the increase, Whiteleather said.”
Nazareth board falls short of finalizing budget
Kevin Duffy Special to The Morning Call May 21, 2018
The Nazareth School Board couldn’t gather the required number of yes votes to finalize its budget for next year, and may wait until the final hour to consider it again. The board’s 4-3 vote Monday in support of an $88.8 million budget and 2.4 percent tax increase for next year didn’t generate the five votes in support state law mandates for passage, and there was no motion to advertise it for adoption at the next meeting June 11. Jerry Treon, Melissa Kalinoski, Kenneth Butz and Adam McGlynn voted in favor of the budget and tax plan, with Denise Glaros, Jodi Mammana and Linda Stubits voting no. Kathryn Roberts, who was sworn in earlier in the day to replace Joseph Vasko, abstained. School districts have a 10-day window in which to advertise their budgets for adoption, business administrator Stuart Whiteleather said. As such, if the board should direct administration to do so during the June 11 meeting, the earliest opportunity to vote on it would be June 26, the second public meeting and four days before the June 30 deadline for budgets to be finalized. The board, said Whiteleather, might have to hold a special public meeting to conduct the vote if it isn’t done by June 26, since June 30 falls on a Saturday.
http://www.mcall.com/news/local/nazareth/mc-nws-nazareth-schools-20180521-story.html

Bethlehem Area increases pay for substitute teachers
Jacqueline Palochko Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call May 21, 2018
Bethlehem Area substitute teachers will see their daily rates increase by $10 next year.
At Monday’s school board meeting, the school board voted to increase the rates for substitute teachers to be more competitive with other school districts that pay more. The board also approved giving substitutes a $250 bonus per semester for those who work 95 percent of the student days. Regular day-to-day substitutes will be paid $100, while building substitutes will receive $120. A retired Bethlehem Area substitute will be paid $115 and an extended day-to-day substitute will see $125 for a daily rate.
http://www.mcall.com/news/education/mc-nws-bethlehem-school-board-20180521-story.html

2018 EdPAC solicitation campaign is underway!
POSTED ON MAY 21, 2018 IN PSBA NEWS
The 2018 EdPAC solicitation campaign has officially kicked off. As part of our 2018 EdPAC campaign, you will hear from our EdPAC board members across the state about how EdPAC helps public education succeed and why your contribution to EdPAC can make a difference. Imagine the impact we can have together! EdPAC empowers education advocates to strengthen public education in the commonwealth through its dedication to supporting the election of pro-public education leaders to the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Without a well-funded PAC with common goals, the public school voice sometimes gets over- looked. Contributing to EdPAC unifies and amplifies our voice. Make a donation and become another voice for public education. Learn more. Thank you to our EdPAC board members for their time and dedication to our cause.
https://www.psba.org/2018/05/2018-edpac-solicitation-campaign-is-underway/


Will the Texas Shooting Prompt Action From Trump's School Safety Commission?
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Alyson Klein on May 21, 2018 1:30 PM
Earlier this year, shortly after 17 students and teachers were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., President Donald Trump created a school commission, led by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, to explore solutions. And now that there has been another deadly school shooting, at Santa Fe High School in Texas, educators, parents, and others—including advocates in Washington and folks on social media—are wondering just what the commission has been up to since its inception in early March. Besides DeVos, the commission includes Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. It has had one organizational meeting, on March 28. By contrast, there have been seven school shootings since the one in Parkland, Fla., according to Education Week's tracker.  Separately, DeVos met May 17 with experts and those personally affected by past school shootingsThat meeting was not open to the public or press, but has been posted online here.  Several news outlets, including CNN, have reported that Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said the commission was "activated" after the May 18 shooting in Texas and will meet early this week.
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2018/05/school_safety_devos_commission_advocates_texas_parkland.html


Join with EdVotersPA and PCCY for Capitol Caravan Days and fight for our public schools! When: 9:00-3:00 on June 12 or June 20 (your choice!)
Where: The Harrisburg Capitol
Why: To show state lawmakers that their constituents expect them to support public school students in the '18-19 budget

Education Voters of PA joining together with Pennsylvania Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) for a lobby day in Harrisburg. Join a team and meet with your state legislators and legislative leaders to talk about how the state can support K-12 students in the state budget.
Register Here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdrk24gH61bp7Zjy_JFpIELPYcEvXx05Ld4-_CPltQYyqLSPw/viewform

POWER 100% SCHOOL FUNDING Day of Action Wednesday, June 20th at 1 PM at the PA Capitol
On Wednesday, June 20th at 1 PM, students, parents, community activists, and faith leaders from different traditions will gather on the steps of the State Capitol Main Rotunda for POWER’s 100% SCHOOL FUNDING Day of Action to demand support for legislation to put 100% of the Commonwealth's Basic Education Budget through PA's Fair Funding Formula. We ask you to join us as we stand in solidarity with one another and continue demanding fair and fully funded education for Pennsylvania’s public school students. In addition to a large rally, we will march to Governor Tom Wolfe's office to pray for his support for 100% through the Formula. Join us as we hold meetings that day with our legislators asking each one to speak out in favor of POWER's 100% plan.
Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/100-school-funding-day-of-action-tickets-46143414194?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=esfb&utm-source=fb&utm-term=listing

EquityFirst #CivilFundingWar Meeting on Education Funding
EquityFirst and The Citizens for Fair School Funding
Harrisburg, PA Monday, June 4, 2018 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
PENNSYLVANIA KNOWINGLY UNDERFUNDS POOR, MINORITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS BY MILLIONS
Harrisburg School District is underfunded by $31.77 million $38 million! Every Year in Basic and Special Education Funding
JOIN US FOR A PUBLIC MEETING TO LEARN ABOUT HOW WE CAN FIX THIS!
Monday, June 4, 2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Meeting Light Refreshments will be served.
Living Water Community Church 206 Oakleigh Avenue, Harrisburg, PA
For more information contact: Shelly@SupportEquityFirst.org or 717.623.0909 or visit www.SupportEquityFirst.org.
Register Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/equityfirst-civilfundingwar-meeting-on-education-funding-tickets-46197055637

Nominations for PSBA’s Allwein Advocacy Award
PSBA Website May 14, 2018
The Timothy M. Allwein Advocacy Award was established in 2011 by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and may be presented annually to the individual school director or entire school board to recognize outstanding leadership in legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of public education and students that are consistent with the positions in PSBA’s Legislative Platform. In addition to being a highly respected lobbyist, Timothy Allwein served to help our members be effective advocates in their own right. Many have said that Tim inspired them to become active in our Legislative Action Program and to develop personal working relationships with their legislators. The 2018 Allwein Award nomination process will begin on Monday, May 14, 2018. The application due date is July 16, 2018 in the honor of Tim’s birth date of July 16.
Download the Application

https://www.psba.org/2018/05/nominations-allwein-advocacy-award/

Electing PSBA Officers:  Applications Due by June 1st
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 June 1, 11:59 p.m., to PSBA's Leadership Development Committee (LDC). The nomination process
All persons seeking nomination for elected positions of the Association shall send applications to the attention of the chair of the Leadership Development Committee, during the months of April and May an Application for Nomination 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 by June 1 to be considered and timely filed.” (PSBA Bylaws, Article IV, Section 5.E.).
Open positions are:
In addition to the application form, PSBA Governing Board Policy 302 asks that all candidates furnish with their application a recent, print quality photograph and letters of application. The application form specifies no less than three letters of recommendation and no more than four, and are specifically requested as follows:
https://www.psba.org/2018/03/electing-psba-officers/

the notebook Annual Celebration - June 5, 2018 - New Location!
Please join us on June 5, 2018, at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia! Please note the new location!
Buy your tickets today!
Every June, 400 public school supporters gather in celebration at the end of the school year. This festive event features awards for outstanding high school journalism, talented local musicians, a silent auction, and the opportunity to speak with the most influential voices in the local education community. This year, the Notebook staff and board of directors would like to honor public education advocates who are committed to our mission of advancing quality and equity in our city’s schools.
Our Honorees:
Debra Weiner - A longtime advocate for public education at a variety of nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions, and a member of the Notebook’s editorial advisory board

Mary Goldman - Former 27th Ward Leader and advocate for children and public schools
Our City Our Schools - A coalition of local grassroots organizations that campaigned to return the school board to local control
The event will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5, at the National Museum of American Jewish History.
http://thenotebook.org/annual-fundraiser

BRIEFING: PUBLIC EDUCATION FUNDING IN PENNSYLVANIA
IN PHILLY, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2018, 8:30-10:00 A.M.
Join Law Center attorneys Michael Churchill, Jennifer Clarke, and Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg for a free briefing on the state of education funding in Pennsylvania. They’ll cover the basics of education funding, our fair school funding lawsuit, the property tax elimination bill, the 2018-2019 state budget, and more! RSVP online here. The briefing will be held on Wednesday, June 13th at 8:30 a.m. at 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
Download a flyer for this event.
https://www.pubintlaw.org/events/briefing-public-education-funding-in-pennsylvania-2/


MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! Join the PA Principals Association, the PA Association of School Administrators and the PA Association of Rural and Small Schools for PA Education Leaders Advocacy Day at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at the Capitol in Harrisburg, PA.  
A rally in support of public education and important education issues will be held on the Main Rotunda Steps from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Visits with legislators will be conducted earlier in the day. More information will be sent via email, shared in our publications and posted on our website closer to the event.
To register, send an email to Dr. Joseph Clapper at clapper@paprincipals.org before Friday, June 8, 2018.
Click here to view the PA Education Leaders Advocacy Day 2018 Save The Date Flyer (INCLUDES EVENT SCHEDULE AND IMPORTANT ISSUES.) 

SAVE THE DATE for the 2018 PA Educational Leadership Summit - July 29-31 - State College, PA sponsored by the PA Principals Association, PASA, PAMLE and PASCD.  
This year's Summit will be held from July 29-31, 2018 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, State College, PA.

Save the Dates PASA/PSBA School Leadership Conference – Hershey, Oct. 17-19, 2018 
Mark your calendar! The Delegate Assembly will take place Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, at 2:30 p.m.
Housing now open!

Our Public Schools Our Democracy: Our Fight for the Future
NPE / NPE Action 5th Annual National Conference
October 20th - 21st, 2018 Indianapolis, Indiana
We are delighted to let you know that you can purchase your discounted Early Bird ticket to register for our annual conference starting today. Purchase your ticket here.
Early Bird tickets will be on sale until May 30 or until all are sold out, so don't wait.  These tickets are a great price--$135. Not only do they offer conference admission, they also include breakfast and lunch on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday. Please don't forget to register for your hotel room. We have secured discounted rates on a limited basis. You can find that link here. Finally, if you require additional financial support to attend, we do offer some scholarships based on need. Go here and fill in an application. We will get back to you as soon as we can. Please join us in Indianapolis as we fight for the public schools that our children and communities deserve. Don't forget to get your Early Bird ticket here. We can't wait to see you.


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.