Thursday, February 11, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup Feb 11: Dinniman bill: No budget, forfeit pay and benefits

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup February 11, 2016:
Dinniman bill: No budget, forfeit pay and benefits

RSVP Today for One of EPLC’s Education Policy Forum Series on Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 State Budget Proposal
Thursday, February 11, 2016 – Harrisburg
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - Philadelphia
Thursday, February 25, 2016 - Pittsburgh

"If parental choice matters, then the decision to privatize these schools should have been based on a transparent and open vote of all of the families now in the schools and a full and complete consideration of how the resources available to these schools affect the data on which the SRC is basing its decisions."
SRC plan to privatize 3 Philly schools a gross overreach, inconsistent
The following letter was sent on Feb. 9, 2016, to the School Reform Commission on behalf of a number of area academics. Also copied were Otis Hackney, Philadelphia's chief education officer; members of Philadelphia City Council; and Mayor Jim Kenney.
Dear Members of the SRC and Superintendent Hite,
We are professors from different Philadelphia-area institutions and from different fields, including political science, education, urban studies, and law. All of us study, write, and teach about the role public education plays in the United States and in Philadelphia. We share a commitment to the value of public education as a public good that is essential to a functioning democracy. In that context, we write to express our deep concern over the SRC's recent decision to privatize three more neighborhood schools — Wister, Cooke, and Huey. The views we express are our own; we are not speaking on behalf of our institutions.  Too many of those who demand privatization of public schools in the name of "choice" completely dismiss the choice of parents who want a neighborhood public school. Before the SRC vote on privatizing Wister, Huey, and Cooke, Jonathan Cetel of PennCAN argued that Wister parents weren't being heard — but he ignored the strong voices of Wister parents who rejected charterization of their school. By his own data, a strong majority of the in-catchment families have not opted out of their school — 66 percent to 34 percent — according to him. Parents of Wister, Cooke, and Huey were not even given the respect of being allowed to vote on who should run their schools.

Kenney asked to investigate why Wister went charter
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham and Tricia L. Nadolny, STAFF WRITERS. Updated: FEBRUARY 10, 2016 — 8:37 PM EST
A coalition of officials, parents, and activists asked Mayor Kenney on Wednesday to direct an investigation into an eleventh-hour School Reform Commission vote to hand Wister Elementary School over to a charter organization.  Councilwoman Helen Gym, chiefs of the unions representing Philadelphia School District principals and teachers, the head of the local NAACP chapter, and others asked Kenney to order the city's chief integrity officer to conduct "a full ethics review" of the school system and SRC.  A spokesman for Kenney said the city's integrity officer lacks investigatory powers, but separately will conduct an ethics review of the district and the SRC.

"That's why, my legislation will also require the legislature to remain in continuous session, meeting every day without leave, without pay, without reimbursements, and without per diems, if a complete budget is not passed and signed by July 1.  The same goes for the governor, his senior staff and cabinet members.  That doesn't mean salary, reimbursements and per diems will be temporarily suspended and paid out after a budget plan is passed, as is currently the case. It means they'll be forfeited.  It means when the legislature and the governor don't do their job and don't meet their constitutional obligations, they get nothing. 
It's not enough to pass a budget, Harrisburg's culture has to change: Andy Dinniman
PennLive Op-Ed  By Andy Dinniman  on February 10, 2016 at 2:00 PM, updated February 10, 2016 at 2:01 PM
State Sen. Andy Dinniman represents the 19th Senate District, which includes part of Chester County. He is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Education Committee.
The state budget impasse, now in its eighth month, is symptomatic of what's wrong with Harrisburg. In turn, it offers an opportunity to finally address real and long-standing problems in the legislative and budget process.  Pennsylvania's budget runs past the July 1 deadline 37 percent of the time, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That is unacceptable and it cannot be allowed to continue.  There is no question that entering a fiscal year without a finished budget has potentially disastrous and widespread impacts.  Meanwhile, other states have enacted measures to help avoid budget stalemates and to spur lawmakers to action when partisan gridlock begins to set in.   As a result of this year's budget impasse and additional research into approaches that have been successful in other states, I am introducing and supporting a series of bills that will move up the Pennsylvania's budget calendar; impose severe consequence on the legislature when budgets run late; make more budget negotiations public, and move the Commonwealth's budget process to a more long-term planning approach. 

School funding again at the center of Wolf's budget agenda
With a big question mark still looming over this year's school funding plan, on Tuesday
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf presented his education budget vision for next school year — doubling down on his ambitious agenda.  Since the last budget address, a year of negotiations with the Republican-held State House and Senate have yielded none of Wolf's education funding priorities.  On Tuesday, that didn't stop the governor from calling for more.  During a budget address that was short on specifics, but long on contempt for Republican lawmakers, Wolf warned that further stalled negotiations would lead to continued downgrades of credit ratings,  more local property tax hikes, and worsening school services.  "Thousands of teachers will be laid off. Guidance and career counselors will be handed pink slips. In all, more than 23,000 education professionals will be immediately yanked out of Pennsylvania's schools," said Wolf.  In total, between this year's unresolved budget and next year's, Wolf proposes a $677 million boost to basic and special education spending.  The $200 million called for in this year's basic education line would be driven through the student-weighted funding formula proposed recently by a bipartisan legislative funding commission.

Gov. Tom Wolf pushes for more education funding
York Daily Record by Angie Mason, amason@ydr.com11:10 a.m. EST February 10, 2016
Gov. Tom Wolf is pushing for increases in education funding for this year and next.
Gov. Tom Wolf painted a gloomy scenario for schools, if a state deficit is left to grow to $2 billion.
It could mean a billion dollars in education cuts, he said, putting thousands of teachers and other school professionals out of work, cutting programs and putting more of the burden on local taxpayers. Wolf spokesman Jeffrey Sheridan, asked how the administration arrived at those numbers, didn't provide a specific formula. House Majority leader Dave Reed told WITF that Wolf's "gloom and doom" scenario is to justify "the biggest tax increase possible."
Wolf offered the scenario Tuesday as he made his second budget address, pushing for major increases in education funding, not only for next year, but in the current year's budget, which remains unresolved.

Press Release: Campaign for Fair Education Funding Statement on Gov. Wolf’s Proposed Budget
Campaign for Fair Education Funding February 9, 2016
HARRISBURG – The Campaign for Fair Education Funding issued the following statement on Gov. Tom Wolf’s basic education funding budget announcement today:
“We support Governor Wolf’s commitment to public schools in his proposals for completing the current fiscal year budget with an increase of $377 million, increasing basic education funding further in the upcoming year, and applying the fair funding formula proposed by the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission. In fact, we believe the Governor and General Assembly must invest even more than the $200 million proposed by the Governor for next year to move the state further toward the goal of full and fair funding for schools.  “Pennsylvania has the largest funding gap between the wealthiest and poorest schools in the U.S. It has some of the widest economic, racial and ethnic achievement gaps in the country. Now, it is one of only two states that has not passed a budget this year, leaving schools to borrow millions of dollars to stay open. It is time for Pennsylvania to become a leader instead of a laggard in supporting the education of our children.”

District official: Erie schools headed for 'bankruptcy'
By Erica Erwin  814-870-1846 Erie Times-News February 11, 2016 01:01 AM
ERIE, Pa. -- The Erie School District could enter the equivalent of bankruptcy and be subject to state takeover in the next couple of years if the way school districts are funded isn't changed, district administrators said.  Chief Financial Officer Brian Polito on Wednesday laid out a worst-case scenario of the district's financial future that shows the district ending the 2015-16 school year $3.4 million in the red and with a $2.8 million structural deficit once its current fund balance is exhausted.  That structural deficit would grow as annual expenses continued to exceed revenues, up to $11.7 million in 2016-17 and $20.8 million in 2017-18. By 2019-20, the district would face a structural deficit of $39.5 million, according to district figures.  If something doesn't happen for us in Harrisburg, we're probably looking at bankruptcy in the next couple of years," Polito said.  For public school districts, bankruptcy means being identified by the state as a financial recovery district. Once a district is identified as financially distressed -- triggers include not being able to make payroll and requesting advances on state subsidies -- the state appoints a three-person Board of Control that has power over the local school board, and a chief recovery officer who is charged with designing and executing a financial recovery plan.
Four districts -- Chester-Upland, Harrisburg City, Duquesne City and York City -- are all in financial recovery.

On “Schools that Teach” Tour, Governor Wolf Outlines Two Paths for the Future of Pennsylvania Schools
Governor Wolf's website February 10, 2016
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf made two “Schools that Teach” tour stops to outline the two paths we have for the future of Pennsylvania schools. The commonwealth is at a critical crossroads. We can fund our schools and fix our deficit, or we will be faced with an additional $1 billion in cuts to our schools.  The governor discussed the two paths Pennsylvania can take at Clairton Elementary School in the Clairton School District and Altoona Area Junior High School in the Altoona Area School District.  “We have a choice in Harrisburg,” Governor Wolf said today. “We can choose a path that funds our schools, eliminates our deficit, and puts Pennsylvania back on track. But if we choose to continue to ignore reality, we will be forced to make drastic cuts to education and in turn face billions in local property tax increases.”  Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 Budget proposes that the state take its rightful share of the responsibility for funding our schools with real sources of revenue. The governor’s proposed 2016-17 Budget provides for a $200 million (3.3 percent) increase in the Basic Education Subsidy, a $50 million (4.6 percent) increase in the Special Education Subsidy, and a $60 million (30.5 percent) increase in high¬-quality early childhood education.

"But as he did Tuesday, Wolf said his arguments were buttressed by unassailable budget math showing the state headed toward a future of yawning deficits ($2.2 billion in the coming fiscal year); drastic cuts to education and social services, and continued credit downgrades if the Democratic administration and legislative Republicans can't come to terms on what are broadly referred to as "recurring revenues."
Exclusive: 'The message is the message. It won't change by booing me,' Gov. Wolf says of his budget tough talk
Penn Live by John L. Micek | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on February 10, 2016 at 4:19 PM, updated February 10, 2016 at 5:08 PM
Gov. Tom Wolf is defending the stern tone he took with the Republican-controlled General Assembly during his budget address Tuesday, saying he's "just the messenger" of fiscal bad news that's been known for a number of years.  "Let's be honest about where we are," the York County Democrat said during a brief telephone interview on Wednesday. "Let's face up to reality and not try to wish it or pray it away. There are two stark contrasts [facing the state]. I'm the messenger. You know what you're not supposed to do to messengers."  Wolf was hit with catcalls and boos, mainly by House Republicans, as he delivered his fiscal 2016-17 $33.2 billion spending plan to a joint session of the state House and Senate.  Wolf, who has still not secured legislative approval for his first budget, slammed the House GOP for walking away from talks that could have resolved a stand-off that's now dragging past its eighth month.  Enraged Republicans complained afterward that he'd fatally undermined future budget talks.

'Taxes in Neverland' - Wolf's budget riles GOP lawmakers - but what if he's right?: Wednesday Morning Coffee
Penn Live By John L. Micek |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter on February 10, 2016 at 8:30 AM, updated February 10, 2016 at 8:08 PM
Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
On the morning after Gov. Tom Wolf delivered his second budget address, here are the four things we know for sure about the York Democrat's spending plan:
1. The Bottom Line: Wolf has proposed spending $32.7 billion. And his spending plan depends on a suite of tax increases, including a serious state income tax hike and an expansion of the state sales tax base, to achieve balance.  All told, the administration's budget proposal would result in a more than $2.2 billion tax increase for the fiscal year that starts July 1, according to administration Budget Secretary Randy Albright.
2. Republicans Hate It Already: Wolf did himself few favors in a 25-minute speech. In a hectoring tone, he laid blame for the state's current fiscal mess at the feet of House Republicans, whom he faulted for walking away from the negotiating table last December. That scuttled a laboriously negotiated 'framework' budget that had the support of three out of four legislative caucuses and, more importantly, a critical mass of House Republicans. 

Fighting from Day One: GOP lawmakers hate Wolf proposal, see red over his tone
Penn Live By Jan Murphy |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on February 09, 2016 at 5:39 PM, updated February 09, 2016 at 8:32 PM
Gov. Tom Wolf may have yet to figure out how to finalize a budget agreement with the Republicans who control the General Assembly but one thing he has nailed down is how to get under their skin.  The tone of his 2016-17 budget address on Tuesday riled House and Senate Republicans in ways that none could recall a previous governor doing.  They said they didn't like being lectured to by the Democratic governor and said it did nothing to curry their favor for his proposed $33.2 billion budget and $2.7 billion tax increase package he says is needed to balance it.

What does Gov. Wolf's budget mean for your school district?
By Sara K. Satullo | For  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  on February 10, 2016 at 10:49 AM
Each year, superintendents and business managers across Pennsylvania anxiously await the governor's budget address.  It gives them their first hint at just how much state aid to build into budgets they began crafting in January in compliance with state law.  But with Pennsylvania seven months into a 2015-16 state budget impasse. Gov. Tom Wolf's 2016-17 budget address Tuesday didn't carry the same weight.  "I didn't even really pay attention this year," Bethlehem Area School DistrictSuperintendent Joseph Roy said of the build-up to Tuesday's speech.  Historically, the governor's budget gives districts a marker of where to start off their budgets.  On Tuesday, Wolf proposed a $200 million increase in the basic education subsidy that flows to all districts. The money would be doled out using the funding formula recommended by the Basic Education Funding Commission in June.  The increase assumes a $377 million increase in basic ed funding in this year's unfinished budget. That's well above the $100 million increase included in the most recent budget lawmakers sent Wolf.  In December, Wolf signed a stop-gap budget that provided partial funding to schools and human services agencies, so they could keep their doors open.  "We can't assume anything off of what was proposed," Roy said. "It used to give us parameters, to have an idea. I don't even know if we can have faith it does that anymore."

Educators back Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, but skeptical he’ll win over lawmakers
Delco Times By The Associated Press POSTED: 02/10/16, 11:19 AM EST 
HARRISBURG >> Pennsylvania educators are happy to see Gov. Tom Wolf advocating for another big boost in aid to public schools in his second budget proposal, but they are skeptical that he will secure a significant victory from the state Legislature since he’s yet to secure victory in his first attempt.  Bethlehem Area Superintendent Joseph Roy tells the Allentown Morning Call that he paid virtually no attention to Wolf’s new proposal because he doesn’t think it’ll help him plan a budget for the 2016-17 school year.  The Democratic governor’s proposal is broadly supported by education advocates.  However, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association says three out of every five school districts it surveyed expect to borrow money this spring if Wolf and lawmakers don’t pass a full-year subsidy figure for the current year.

Legislators seek to avoid future budget impasse harm
The PLS Reporter Author: Jason Gottesman/Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Amid the organized chaos of Tuesday’s budget address day activities, a bicameral group of Republican lawmakers stood up to call for passage of a number of their proposals they say would avoid future budget impasse harm.  “No matter who you might think is at fault for the latest budget impasse and no matter who you think is responsible for inflicting pain on our most vulnerable populations, I think we can all agree that we need to do whatever is necessary to make sure that if and when we have another budget impasse, the public is not caught in the crossfire,” said Rep. Dan Truitt (R-Chester).  Rep. Truitt is the sponsor of House Bill 1410, legislation that would put revenues collected during a budget impasse into a temporary fund that could be utilized by the Budget Secretary to make payments to health and human services agencies, school districts, and other entities providing governmental services at the same level as the previous year’s budgets until a full fiscal year budget can be enacted.

"If we can’t look our constituents in the eyes and tell them that we’re doing everything that we can to control costs, it is unacceptable to ask them to send us more of their hard-earned money.  If the governor wants to talk about ways to reform government and create savings to reduce the deficit, I will be the first one at the table. However, until that time, he has no business asking working Pennsylvanians to send more money to Harrisburg."
Wagner: How dare Wolf ask for more of your money?
York daily record Opinion by Scott Wagner, Guest Writer4:11 p.m. EST February 10, 2016
Sen. Scott Wagner is a Republican from Spring Garden Township.
More money.  $3.6 billion to be exact.  That is the amount of additional tax revenue Gov. Wolf wants from you to fund his tax and spend budget.  To that I ask, “How dare he?”  Although his budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Feb. 9 was lacking specifics of his 2016-2017 budget proposal, the reality is that Gov. Wolf is continuing the tax and spend theme presented last year.

Groundhog Day, Harrisburg style
Delco Times Heron's Nest Blog by Editor Phil Heron Thursday, February 11, 2016
Bill Murray's got nothing on our own Tom Wolf.
That was the governor in Harrisburg on Monday starring in his own version of 'Groundhog Day.' Forget Punxsutawney Phil. Tom Wolf emerged from his governor's mansion burrow, saw his shadow, and immediately predicted six more weeks of budget gridlock - at least.  Actually, what the governor did was present his second budget plan.  He apparently managed to do this with a straight face, seeing as how he has yet to get Republicans in the state House and Senate to agree on his first spending plan for the state.  Wolf believes Pennsylvania is facing fire problems, and he wants a lot more revenue to fix them. To do that, of course, he will need to raise taxes.  Republicans, coming off four years of on-time, no-tax-hike budgets crafted by former Gov. Tom Corbett, have turned up their noses at Wolf's spendthrift ways.  Not surprisingly, they were less than thrilled with Round Two of the Harrisburg budget follies.

"While just 37% of the responding districts said they can make it to the remainder of the year without borrowing, a majority 63% of districts will not. Each month, the number of districts that will be in fiscal trouble will continue to climb."
"PSBA asked districts if they believed they would be forced to raise additional local tax revenue in 2016-17 to meet state education mandates. An overwhelming 87% of districts said yes, and only 13% felt that a tax increase would not be necessary."
PSBA: The Financial Impact of the Budget Impasse on Pennsylvania School Districts February 2016
PSBA website February 2016
With the beginning of the 2016-17 budget season now blended into the unfinished business of 2015-16, school districts are operating with a combination of the partial “emergency” state funding that was distributed in January 2016 and local resources. Districts have made difficult decisions and continue to do so. Some have had to borrow money, miss payments or halt programs due to the budget impasse. In February 2016, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) sent a survey to all districts, asking them to provide some insight into the impact of the budget impasse and costs incurred, looking over the past several months and ahead into the remainder of the current school year. Districts were also asked about how the impasse affects current and planned district operations, services and programs, and what they did with the funding they received in January. The association received survey responses from 195 districts in 57 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Here’s what PSBA heard from across the state:

Manheim Twp. school board moves Thursday's meeting location; residents will present petition for President Bill Murry's resignation
Lancaster Online by Kara Newhouse Staff Writer February 9, 2016
Manheim Township school board has changed the location of its Thursday work session in anticipation of a large crowd.  The board will meet at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the former Neff school building — now an Intermediate Unit 13 site — at 21 Valley Road. The board typically meets in the district office.  A group of concerned residents plan to present a petition to the board calling for the resignation of its president Bill Murry during tomorrow's work session. The petition was started after similar calls were made by residents during a packed board meeting last Thursday.  Residents filled the room to overflowing that night after LNP reported on the board's plan to shut the public out of discussion about the search for a new superintendent. The district's top leader, John Nodecker, resigned at the end of January, 18 months into his four-year contract.  During the meeting, attendees sat on the floor and lined up along walls as taxpayers, parents and students voiced anger and embarrassment at the board's actions.  The LNP story included excerpts from a leaked audio recording of a closed board meeting on Jan. 28, when board president Murry is heard planning to call individual board members by phone to get their choice for a superintendent search firm.  The Sunshine Act requires school boards to deliberate in public when a quorum of board members is involved. Making individual phone calls to avoid a quorum is "contrary to the letter and the intention of the law," Melissa Melewsky, a state Sunshine Act expert, said.

"Support Fair Districts PA, a coalition of citizens and nonprofits whose sole mission is to fight gerrymandering in Pennsylvania"
How to disenfranchise voters the American way
Philadelphia Citizen BY STEPHEN ST.VINCENT FEB. 09, 2016
In his final State of the Union address last month, President Obama singled out gerrymandering as a necessary reform to restore the public trust in our government institutions. “We have to end the practice of drawing our Congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters and not the other way around,” he said.  Those who are steeped in the more nuanced details of politics know all too well the phenomenon of gerrymandering. Those who were tuning in for their first ever State of the Union probably had no idea what President Obama was talking about (if they weren’t too busy trying to find “Jerry Mander” on their bingo cards or drinking game list). Either way, this seems a good opportunity to consider the issue, and what it means for us here in Philadelphia.

Lawmakers to States, Ed. Dept. on ESSA: We'll Be Watching You
Education Week Politics K-12 Blog By Alyson Klein on February 10, 2016 1:49 PM
Washington Lawmakers on the House education committee had a not-so-subtle message Wednesday for states and the U.S. Department of Education as they move to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act: We'll be watching you.   Republicans on the panel that held the hearing seemed to be trying to cut potential federal overreach off at the pass, making it crystal clear from the get-go that, in their view, the law is aimed at returning key authority over K-12 schools to states and districts.   ESSA "includes more than 50 provisions to keep the Department of Education in check" when it comes to accountability, standards, assessments, and more, said Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., the chairman of the subcommittee that oversees K-12 policy in his opening statement. "Congress promised to restore state and local control over K-12 education, and now it's our job to ensure that promise is kept."  Meanwhile, Democrats made it equally clear they'll be keeping their eye on the department and states to make sure that they don't use this newfound flexibility to trample on protections for historically overlooked groups of students, such as English-language learners and those in special education.

A Campaign Issue Left Behind
Candidates aren't saying much about education, but the next president will
US News Opinion by Andrew Rotherham February 10, 2016
With the primary season upon us everyone in the education world is talking about the presidential candidates. But the presidential candidates are not really talking about education.  This shouldn't surprise. It happens almost every cycle but is nonetheless treated as novel or curious even though education rarely matters to presidential campaigns. Yes, voters, especially Democratic voters, tell pollsters education is a priority but that's not the same thing as voting based on a candidate's education positions. I haven't seen it polled in recent years (see, I told you education doesn't matter a great deal in presidential elections) but when pollsters used to ask voters if they'd base their vote solely or largely on education less than ten percent said they would. That makes education different than issues like guns, abortion or even taxes – where a single issue can drive votes. Presidential candidates understand this and respond accordingly.  Today voters say education matters to them – but they say that about a lot of issues. For instance a NBC poll released last month is pretty typical. Pollsters asked voters what issues mattered most to them. Education was right there in the second tier after jobs and the economy, terrorism and health care – but only nine percent of voters said it mattered most. That's compared to 23 percent for terrorism and 27 percent for the economy.

Where do the 2016 presidential candidates stand on education?
Parents Across America Chart February 10, 2016
PAA does not endorse any candidate, but we are committed to educating parents and the general public about where the candidates and parties stand on education issues. The information in the following table was retrieved on Feb. 10. 2016 from and We have focused on the two remaining Democratic candidates and the top 6 Republican nominees based on today's national polling.

Teach for America: Lies, Damned Lies, and Special Contracts
Huffington Post by T. Jameson Brewer Ph.D. Candidate, Researcher, Writer, Educator Co-authored by Beth Sondel  02/10/2016 02:44 pm ET | Updated 15 hours ago
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this past weekend, Teach For America (TFA) marked a milestone. Over the past 25 years, the organization has not only expanded, but also shifted their mission and approach. With seemingly good, albeit naive and arrogant, intentions, TFA originated as a solution to the national teacher shortage by recruiting college graduates from "elite universities" to serve as supplemental faculty in hard to staff districts. Founder Wendy Kopp claimed that TFA "would bill itself as an emergency response to a shortage of experienced, qualified teachers and would therefore not be telling the nation that its inexperienced members were preferable to, or as qualified as, experienced teachers." Fully departing from that description, TFA now claims that their corps members are superior to traditionally trained teachers and the organization has effectively changed its mission to "enlist, develop, and mobilize as many as possible of our nation's most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence."  Over the last quarter-century, TFA has been taken to task, for example, for their;inadequate trainingdemographics of corps membersconnection to charter schools and corporate philanthropistsdevelopment of leaders with a market-oriented "brand" of education reformattempts to undercut unions, and their generalarrogance and hubris in ignoring those critiques.
Among these critiques, there has been much anecdotal evidence that TFA displaces other, more qualified teachers.

Education Bloggers Daily Highlights 2-11-16

PSBA Members Budget Update Webinar
FEB 12, 2016 • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Join PSBA Assistant Executive Director of Public Policy John Callahan as he hosts PA Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera to discuss the proposed 2016-17 state budget. Participants will learn about issues impacting public education related to the budget impasse and the recent release of emergency funding to school districts during this live, complimentary members-only webinar.
PLEASE NOTE: Registration is only open to PSBA members. All registrations must be manually verified before links are sent so please allow for a delay in receiving this information. We cannot guarantee receipt of this information in time if registering less than one hour before the presentation starts at noon on Feb. 12.

"Southeastern Region Forum Series"Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Networking and Coffee - 9:30 a.m. Program - 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Penn Center for Educational Leadership (5th Floor)
University of Pennsylvania - 3440 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19104-3325
SUBJECT: Governor Wolf's Proposed Education Budget for 2016-2017
An Overview of the Proposed 2016-2017 State Budget and Education Issues Will Be Provided By:
Representative of The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
Ron Cowell, President, The Education Policy and Leadership Center
Statewide and Regional Perspectives Will Be Provided By:
Donna Cooper, Executive Director, Public Citizens for Children and Youth
Deborah Gordon Klehr, Executive Director, Education Law Center
Dr. George Steinhoff, Superintendent, Penn Delco School District
One or more representatives of other statewide and regional organizations are still to be confirmed.
RSVP for Southeastern Forum on-line at

"Capital Region Forum Series" Thursday, February 11, 2016
Continental Breakfast - 8:00 a.m. Program - 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Harrisburg Hilton Hotel - Two North Second Street Harrisburg, PA 17101
SUBJECT: Governor Wolf's Proposed Education Budget for 2016-2017
An Overview of the Proposed 2016-2017 State Budget and Education Issues Will Be Provided By:
Representative of The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
Ron Cowell, President, The Education Policy and Leadership Center
Statewide and Regional Perspectives Will Be Provided By:
Dr. Brian Barnhart, Executive Director, Lancaster-Lebanon IU #13
Thomas Gluck, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units
Representatives of other statewide and regional organizations are still to be confirmed.
While there is no registration fee, seating is limited and an RSVP is required.
RSVP for Harrisburg Forum on-line at 

PSBA New School Director Training Remaining Locations:
  • North Central area —Feb. 13 Mansfield University, Mansfield
PSBA New School Director Training
School boards who will welcome new directors after the election should plan to attend PSBA training to help everyone feel more confident right from the start. This one-day event is targeted to help members learn the basics of their new roles and responsibilities. Meet the friendly, knowledgeable PSBA team and bring everyone on your “team of 10” to get on the same page fast.
  • $150 per registrant (No charge if your district has a LEARN PassNote: All-Access members also have LEARN Pass.)
  • One-hour lunch on your own — bring your lunch, go to lunch, or we’ll bring a box lunch to you; coffee/tea provided all day
  • Course materials available online or we’ll bring a printed copy to you for an additional $25
  • Registrants receive one month of 100-level online courses for each registrant, after the live class

Save the Dates for These 2016 Annual EPLC Regional State Budget Education Policy Forums
Sponsored by The Education Policy and Leadership Center
Thursday, February 11 - 8:30-11:00 a.m. - Harrisburg
Wednesday, February 17 - 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania)
Thursday, February 25 - 8:30-11:00 a.m. - Pittsburgh
Invitation and more details in January

Attend the United Opt Out Conference in Philadelphia February 26-28
United Opt Out: The Movement to End Corporate Reform will hold its annual conference on Philadelphia from February 26-28.

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center will host its Annual Budget Summit on Thursday, March 3, 2016 9:00 - 3:30 at the Hilton Harrisburg.
PA Budget and Policy Center website
Join us for an in-depth look at the Governor's 2016-17 budget proposal, including what it means for education, health and human services, and local communities. The Summit will focus on the leading issues facing the commonwealth in 2016, with workshops, lunch, and a legislative panel discussion.  Space is limited, so fill out the form below to reserve your spot at the Budget Summit.
Thursday, March 3, 2016 Hilton Hotel, Harrisburg Pennsylvania
The event is free, but PBPC welcomes donations of any size to help off-set costs.

PASBO 61st Annual Conference and Exhibits March 8 - 11, 2016
Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania

PenSPRA's Annual Symposium, Friday April 8th in Shippensburg, PA
PenSPRA, or the Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association, has developed a powerhouse line-up of speakers and topics for a captivating day of professional development in Shippensburg on April 8th. Learn to master data to defeat your critics, use stories to clarify your district's brand and take your social media efforts to the next level with a better understanding of metrics and the newest trends.  Join us the evening before the Symposium for a “Conversation with Colleagues” from 5 – 6 pm followed by a Networking Social Cocktail Hour from 6 – 8 pm.  Both the Symposium Friday and the social events on Thursday evening will be held at the Shippensburg University Conference Center. Snacks at the social hour, and Friday’s breakfast and lunch is included in your registration cost. $125 for PenSPRA members and $150 for non-members. Learn more about our speakers and topics and register today at this link:

The Network for Public Education 3rd Annual National Conference April 16-17, 2016 Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Network for Public Education is thrilled to announce the location for our 3rd Annual National Conference. On April 16 and 17, 2016 public education advocates from across the country will gather in Raleigh, North Carolina.  We chose Raleigh to highlight the tremendous activist movement that is flourishing in North Carolina. No one exemplifies that movement better than the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, who will be the conference keynote speaker. Rev. Barber is the current president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, the National NAACP chair of the Legislative Political Action Committee, and the founder of Moral Mondays.

2016 PA Educational Leadership Summit July 24-26 State College
Summit Sponsors: PA Principals Association - PA Association of School Administrators - PA Association of Middle Level Educators - PA Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development 
The 2016 Educational Leadership Summit, co-sponsored by four leading Pennsylvania education associations, provides an excellent opportunity for school district administrative teams and instructional leaders to learn, share and plan together at a quality venue in "Happy Valley." 
Featuring Grant Lichtman, author of EdJourney: A Roadmap to the Future of Education, Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera (invited), and Dana Lightman, author of POWER Optimism: Enjoy the Life You Have... Create the Success You Want, keynote speakers, high quality breakout sessions, table talks on hot topics and district team planning and job alike sessions provides practical ideas that can be immediately reviewed and discussed at the summit before returning back to your district.   Register and pay by April 30, 2016 for the discounted "early bird" registration rate:

Interested in letting our elected leadership know your thoughts on education funding, a severance tax, property taxes and the budget?
Governor Tom Wolf, (717) 787-2500

Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Turzai, (717) 772-9943
House Majority Leader Rep. Dave Reed, (717) 705-7173
Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. Joe Scarnati, (717) 787-7084
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Jake Corman, (717) 787-1377

1 comment:

  1. PAA does not endorse any candidate, but we are committed to educating parents and the general public about where the candidates and parties stand on education issues. The information in the following table was retrieved on Feb. 10. 2016

    8th Class Result 2016


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