Monday, February 1, 2021

PA Ed Policy Roundup for Feb. 1: The formula used to determine funding for cyber/charter schools is designed for brick and mortar schools

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, 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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Keystone State Education Coalition

PA Ed Policy Roundup for Feb. 1, 2021

The formula used to determine funding for cyber/charter schools is designed for brick and mortar schools



PSBA Spring Virtual Advocacy Day March 22 via Zoom

@PSBA @PASA public school leaders are invited to join us for our spring Virtual Advocacy Day on Monday, March 22, 2021, via Zoom. Registration on



Merlyn Clarke is a friend of this blog and a long time Stroudsburg Area School District Board of Education member.

Your View: Bill would extend the evils of gerrymandering to Pennsylvania courts


One of the thorniest issues dividing Americans since the foundation of the republic is the question of how representation should work. The anti-federalists, who opposed the adoption of the Constitution, argued that the people’s representatives should mirror those they represented. Representatives should have the same beliefs, occupational backgrounds, ideally share the same religion and certainly hail from the same community. In short, they believed their representatives should “look like us.” The Federalists, who supported the adoption of the Constitution, argued otherwise. Of primary concern to them were the evils of faction and the “tyranny of majorities.” They feared powerful factions, especially majority factions, would seize power and oppress minorities.They understood the near impossibility of selecting representatives who were truly reflective of an entire constituency, with the result that minorities would find themselves essentially unrepresented in the face of a dominant, largely homogeneous majority. The remedy to these dangers was best articulated by James Madison in his famous Federalist Number 10, in which he laid out the advantages of what he called the “large republic,” which would provide protections against the evils of factions. By creating legislative districts that were geographically large and diverse, representatives would not become the captives of a single dominant majority. Instead they would have to appeal to a geographically diverse public and serve as brokers who would need to find common ground among many groups and interests in order to secure a majority of votes — a majority that was numerical, but not based on a dominant, common interest.


EDUCATION: Amid the pandemic, public schools did not get a funding increase from the state this year. The state's school construction subsidy program is dormant, as are efforts to fix a charter school-funding scheme that public schools view as vastly unfair and debilitating to their finances. At the same time, Pennsylvania is barely using a funding formula it designed to iron out inequities in how it funds the poorest public schools. School districts have, however, received billions in federal pandemic aid, but school boards will want to see Wolf propose a funding increase for them. “I'm really hoping that the governor has a robust proposal for public education next Tuesday, because the school children deserve it and we have to figure out how to get them the help they deserve,” Hughes said.

What to watch for in Pennsylvania governor's budget proposal

Martinsville Bulletin By MARC LEVY Associated Press January 30, 2021

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf has weathered knock-down, drag-out budget fights with lawmakers, massive and unforeseen cash deficits and, now in his next-to-last year, perhaps the heaviest dose of financial stress and unpredictability he's seen. On Tuesday, the Democrat will deliver his seventh budget proposal to Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature, facing a pandemic that has helped spawn a projected multibillion-dollar state operating deficit and other liabilities, including fast-expanding Medicaid rolls, new debts and a cash crunch that let other problems fester. Still, nobody in Harrisburg is talking about tax increases or spending cuts to balance the budget. Rather, Wolf is hoping that more federal pandemic aid will rescue the state's finances until the economy recovers. “I think we should have a strong bounce-back, and that would make moving forward really good, but we have some one-time challenges in this budget and a lot of it is riding on what the federal government does," Wolf told a Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce audience this month. Underscoring the unpredictability of the situation, Wolf told reporters Thursday, “We’re all flying in an area of unknowns.” The budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 is being launched into the state Capitol's highly political blame game over the government's coronavirus response.


“If they’re doing it online…I can do it online a whole lot cheaper. They’re still getting money as if they were turning on lights and building a building and heating the building and putting carpet in the building and whatever else you need for the building,” he said. “They’re getting paid to run a building and they’re not running a building,” he added. Ulmer indicated that he had shared the information with local legislators and that they were “shocked.”

Cyber, charter schooling may cost JSASD $3.2M this year


JERSEY SHORE — If the number of students from the Jersey Shore Area School District attending cyber/charter schools holds at about 200 for the rest of the school year, the district will spend $3.2 million for their education, according to figures compiled by Dr. Brian Ulmer, superintendent. Ulmer’s data showed that figure compares to the $628,000 that will be spent to educate approximately the same amount of students in the district’s cyber program, JSOL. Ulmer shared the information with the district’s school board at their meeting Monday night. The cost of educating a student in either special or regular education in the district’s program is $3,000 per student per year, while the cost for educating a special education student in the cyber/charter school setting is $25,849 per year and in regular education the cost is $12,266 per student per year. Ulmer pointed out that the formula used to determine funding for cyber/charter schools is designed for brick and mortar schools.


Report says Pennsylvania’s ‘hold harmless’ school funding system is actually harmful to some districts

By Mike DeNardo KYW Newsradio January 30, 2021

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A new report by nonprofit advocacy group Public Citizens for Children and Youth says growing school districts are being shortchanged by the way in which Pennsylvania funds education. The issue is a system known as “hold harmless,” which is Pennsylvania’s practice of giving school districts at least as much funding as they got the year before. The PCCY report says the policy effectively gives shrinking districts more per-pupil funding than districts where enrollment is growing. According to the report, shrinking districts have lost a total of 167,000 students — one-fifth of their student body — since 1991-92. PCCY Executive Director Donna Cooper said in the last 29 years under hold harmless, districts with dropping enrollment have been paid $590 million for students they no longer educate. Meanwhile, growing districts have 204,000 more students now than in 1991-92, but they have largely been denied additional funding to compensate for that increase.


Cancel the PSSAs and Keystones in 2021

Pennsylvania USA Today Network Editorial Board

York Daily Record February 1, 2021

It was March 19 when the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced that it was cancelling all Spring 2020 PSSA tests and Keystone exams due to COVID-19. That means there's still plenty of time for the department to do likewise for 2021. We believe it should. For the state, that means requesting and obtaining federal waivers of testing and accountability requirements for the 2020-2021 school year. We believe it is both illogical and inappropriate to push standardized tests under circumstances that are anything but standard as COVID-19 has many Pennsylvania school districts ping-ponging back and forth between virtual, in-person and hybrid education models to adjust to shifting infection rates and public opinions. The Pennsylvania System of School Assessments measure elementary and middle school student performance with an eye toward assessing whether the schools are meeting academic standards in language arts, math, science and technology. The Keystones are state-mandated end-of-course tests given to middle school and high school students that require them to show proficiency in core subjects in order to graduate. The Keystones are also a key component of a school's Act 82 Building Level Score, which gauges the effectiveness of principals and teachers on a building-by-building basis.


Philadelphia board promises change after report on low achievement, racial disparities

Chalkbeat Philly By Dale Mezzacappa  Jan 29, 2021, 2:47pm EST

report presented Thursday to the Philadelphia Board of Education showed that just 32% of third graders read on grade level, with stark gaps among racial groups and particularly low scores for English language learners and students with disabilities. The report classified 63 elementary schools as “off-track,” 64 as “near-track” and 21 as “on-track,” categories based on their progress toward meeting five-year goals in reading, math, and college readiness. The benchmarks for the report were gleaned through the district’s internal reading assessment, AIMSweb. Those considered on-track are likely to reach the goal of having 62% of students proficient by 2026. In a stark example of inequity within the district, the board’s data show that schools considered on track enroll fewer than 5,000 students and are disproportionately white, while the near-track and off-track schools enroll more than 31,000 students in the grades studied, kindergarten to third grade.


As schools seek to reopen, here’s what local data say about in-person classes and COVID-19

As schools seek to reopen, administrators are cautiously optimistic that they can keep students in classrooms.

Inquirer by Jason Laughlin, and Maddie Hanna January 31, 2021

On Monday, the Cheltenham School District will reopen classrooms for the first time since emptying them almost a year ago as COVID-19 hit the area. Though coronavirus cases are higher now than in the fall, Superintendent Wagner Marseille feels prepared. The district has consulted health experts, installed air purifiers in its oldest buildings, and watched as other communities have ushered students back into schools. “It was fear of the unknown,” Marseille said of starting the school year online. But many schools have been in person since the fall, “and they have found ways to make it work.” As has become commonplace during the pandemic, uncertainty abounds. Marseille was unsure enough teachers would return to work Monday to staff in-person classes, something he warned parents was a possibility as late as Friday night. And after months of students staying home, predictions of significant snowfall could make their first day back a snow day. But more in-person schooling is coming. Marseille is among the educators buoyed by federal health officials who say data from several states and Europe indicate “little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.”


Will Philly’s third attempt at school reopening stick? Teachers are wary and parents are split.

If any teacher chooses not to go back over safety concerns, “we support them in making that decision," a member of the teacher's union's Caucus of Working Educators said.

Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham Published Jan 30, 2021

After COVID-19 abruptly ended 120,000 Philadelphia students’ in-person education in March, children were set to return to classrooms in September until community pushback scuttled that attempt. The next plan had some young people returning in November. But a surge in coronavirus cases kept doors closed. Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. announced Wednesday the district was trying again: Prekindergarten through second-grade students can return to classes two days a week beginning Feb. 22, with staff who work with those children due back Feb. 8. Will this return plan stick? It’s not clear; the teachers’ union hasn’t signed off, though Mayor Jim Kenney, City Council, and the school board have emphasized their desire to have children back in school as soon as possible.


As 2,000 NEPA educators receive COVID-19 vaccine, others wait for their turn


School personnel in at least 13 of the 22 school districts in Lackawanna, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The superintendent of the Riverside School District reaches out to health care providers daily, desperately seeking COVID-19 vaccinations to keep employees safe and in the classroom.

As he sees nearly 2,000 educators in Northeast Pennsylvania get the opportunity, he wonders when Riverside’s staff will receive the same. “Our teachers are in the trenches. We are fighting for their health and safety,” Superintendent Paul Brennan said. “And we’re also fighting for our society. The work we do helps make society run.” But in Northeast Pennsylvania, vaccine distributions to school districts are often based on local connections, and not a statewide plan. Superintendents are left to reach out to hospitals, pharmacies and other medical facilities daily, hoping to secure enough doses for employees. For some districts, such as Scranton, a vaccinated staff will mean the district is one step closer to reopening its doors for the first time since March.


The local Black history hidden in Philadelphia’s school names

WHYY By Avi Wolfman-Arent February 1, 2021

Philadelphia’s school buildings are a tribute to its past. That’s true of the structures themselves, some of which date back over a century. But it’s also a nod to the people commemorated in the names of those school buildings. Those names — in ways big and small — help tell the city’s history. The vast majority of public schools in the city are named after white men. (The school-namers of yore were partial to Union Civil War soldiers and former school board officials.) Still, in a city that didn’t have a statue of a Black person on public land until 2017, school buildings are among the rare public spaces with any echo of Philadelphia’s Black history. In this handful of names with city roots, there are stories long forgotten and glimpses of an overlooked past. And to mark the start of Black History Month, WHYY wanted to tell some of those stories.


Wilkes-Barre Area planning to resume in-person learning March 1

Citizens Voice BY MICHAEL P. BUFFER STAFF WRITER Jan 28, 2021

Wilkes-Barre Area School District tentatively plans to resume in-person instruction March 1, Superintendent Brian Costello announced Thursday. The district will remain in the fully remote learning mode in February because Luzerne County continues to have substantial COVID-19 transmission, Costello said, noting recommendations from the state health and education departments. The state recommends all-virtual learning or a blended model with in-person learning only for elementary school students for schools in counties with substantial transmission. The state guidance is not a mandate. A county has substantial transmission when the test positivity rate is at least 10% or the COVID-19 incidence rate is at least 100 cases per 100,000 residents over seven days. Test positivity in Luzerne County was 11.9% from Jan. 15-21, and the county incidence rate was 295.5. Wilkes-Barre Area began the school year in September with in-person learning for students who chose that option and suspended in-person classes when Luzerne County moved from moderate to substantial transmission in late October. The county incidence rate was 138.8 from Oct. 30 to Nov. 5 and surged to 663 from Dec. 11-17.


Which Centre County schools are operating remotely due to COVID-19? Here’s a running list

Centre Daily Times BY MARLEY PARISH JANUARY 29, 2021 08:32 AM, UPDATED JANUARY 29, 2021 11:19 AM

Since reopening in August, Centre County school districts have been forced to make adjustments to instructional plans as community COVID-19 cases continue to rise and statewide mitigation efforts aim to slow virus transmission. The Centre Daily Times is keeping a running list of school closures and planned reopenings. Because area schools are not required to publicly announce confirmed cases or building closures, this list may not be comprehensive but will be updated weekly with any changes or updates to instructional plans. If a school closure is not listed, or to provide more information, please email


Philly school board silences teachers, parents, and students with new meeting structure | Opinion

This board cannot achieve any of their stated goals unless they repair the trust and relationships with the people in the schools: the students, families, and teachers.

by Stephanie King, For The Inquirer Published Jan 29, 2021

Stephanie King is the president of Kearny Friends, the community group supporting Gen. Philip Kearny School in Northern Liberties.

Philadelphia schools freed themselves from the state control of the School Reform Commission thanks to the sustained activism of numerous parents, teachers, and students across the city. But now that we have a school board appointed by the mayor, the current board and superintendent seem determined, at every opportunity, to shut out the voices of those they serve. With the unveiling of their new “Goals and Guardrails,” the board has promised a renewed focus, but they have repeatedly shown contempt for our voices. According to the school board, Goals and Guardrails aims to prioritize diverse voices and to create time for the board to spend more of its time scrutinizing the administration on academic performance. This board cannot achieve any of their stated goals unless they repair the trust and relationships with the people in the schools: the students, families, and teachers. Instead, the board has responded to increased education activism by introducing a raft of new policies designed to silence the participation of their main constituents. Changes include limiting the number of speakers at each board meeting to 10 students and 30 members of the general public and restricting each speaker to two minutes. The board has replaced committee meetings — which were the only chance for the public to comment on initiatives before they come to a vote at action meetings — with written comments that are little more than a suggestion box.


Area school officials planning to spend COVID-19 relief funding

Wilkes Barre Citizens Voice BY MICHAEL P. BUFFER STAFF WRITER February 1, 2021

Area school officials are busy planning applications for the latest federal allocation of COVID-19 relief money. School districts in Luzerne County and the Bear Creek Community Charter School will receive a total of $61.7 million, according to a preliminary estimate from the state Department of Education. The funding is from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund passed by Congress in December. Pennsylvania’s allocation is $2.2 billion. Allocations will be about four times what schools received in the first round of relief funding last spring. Districts must submit applications to receive their allotments. Lake-Lehman School District’s allotment of nearly $1.1 million “necessitates time and collaboration prior to making a spending plan,” Superintendent James McGovern said. Funds may be applied to costs dating back to the onset of the national emergency on March 13, 2020, and can cover spending obligations through Sept. 30, 2023. “We are carefully analyzing our needs,” Wyoming Area Superintendent Janet Serino said. Districts and charter schools can use the funds for various purposes including: technology, sanitization, improving indoor air quality, facility improvements to reduce virus-transmission risk and addressing learning loss among students. Wyoming Valley West School District is “in the very early stages of putting together a committee to examine and implement a comprehensive needs assessment plan” on how to spend its allocation of nearly $7.6 million, Superintendent David Tosh said. “Recouping lost learning for students and infusing new, more advanced technology will be critical components of the plan that is in the very early stages as we complete the application,” Tosh said.


Keystone Oaks teachers go on strike

HALLIE LAUER Pittsburgh Post-Gazette FEB 1, 2021 6:00 AM

The teachers at Keystone Oaks School District announced Sunday that they will go on strike Monday, as they and the district’s board of school directors have not yet reached an agreement on a new contract. Classes are canceled until further notice. However, the district must complete 180 days of school by June 15, according to state law, which leaves the union only six days to strike. That means the strike can last no longer than Feb. 9, based on the number of makeup days the district has remaining. “Our hope is that an agreement can be reached and students can return to classes as soon as possible,” Superintendent William Stropkaj said in a statement on the school district’s website.


Angela Reese, wife of Mike Reese, to run for late husband’s state House seat

Trib Live by JACOB TIERNEY   | Friday, January 29, 2021 7:15 p.m.

Angela Reese said she hopes to carry on her late husband’s legacy by running for his former seat in the state House. Mike Reese, 42, a Republican, died of an apparent brain aneurysm Jan. 2. He was reelected in November to a seventh term representing the 59th Legislative District after running unopposed. “It was a very difficult decision, not something I wanted to have to think about right away. … I spent a lot of time talking with family and close friends, and it just seemed like the right thing to do,” Angela Reese said. “We did everything as a family, and I just wanted to continue that and continue his legacy.” A special election to fill the seat will be held May 18.


Improper mask usage? No playing. Bethlehem made right call to suspend Liberty High School hoops team


I hope other school districts are willing to bench their sports teams if they don’t wear masks properly while competing, as Bethlehem Area recently did. Superintendent Joseph Roy suspended the Liberty High School boys basketball team from practices and games for three days. His decision came after he and school board members saw photos of players wearing masks around their chin or under their nose during a game last week. Not all school districts require athletes to wear masks. But those that do need to enforce the rule. Liberty plays in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, which requires masks.


Radnor school officials outline mascot change procedures

Delco Times By Richard Ilgenfritz Jan 29, 2021

RADNOR – Months after voting to dump the Raiders name and Native American imagery, Radnor school officials have begun moving toward its rebranding. In September, the board voted unanimously to drop all Native American imagery. On the same night, they cast a second vote to drop the Raiders nickname. At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, Michael Petitti, director of communications for the school district, and Dan Bechtold, director of secondary teaching and learning, outlined the steps moving forward to decide on a new nickname and mascot. But first they have to continue the purging of all the older images. According to Petitti, district officials will identify instances where Native American imagery, including anything with the “R” and feathers or the name Raiders and remove it. The Native American head on the side of the school has already been removed, he said. Other items, such as a score table with a Native American image and chairs with both the name Raiders and an image of a Native American, have been selected to be removed, he said. Although some things have been removed and changed, one uncertainty is how much everything will cost the district.


Why we’re removing comments on most of

The comments on far too many stories are toxic and have gotten worse as mounting extremism and election denialism pollute our national discourse. Our staff and readers deserve better.

The Philadelphia Inquirer February 1, 2021

As of today, we are removing comments from most of Comments will still be available on Sports stories and our Inquirer Live events, and there will be other ways for people to engage with our journalism and our journalists, including our letters section, social media channels and other features that our readers have become accustomed to, as well as new capabilities that we’re developing. Here’s more about this change and what you can expect to see.


Flip in control of U.S. Senate may give both of Pa.’s members more clout, in different ways

Penn Live By Charles Thompson | Posted Jan 29, 2021

There is a case to be made that the control-shifting results of the 2020 elections could amplify the clout of both of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators — one Democrat, one Republican — in the upcoming 117th Congress. Besides the inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the big change this year, after the two January run-off elections in Georgia, is the retaking of the Senate by the Democrats. Of course, 50 Democrats to 50 Republicans with Vice President Kamala Harris as tie-breaker is the slimmest majority any party can have. But, said Jessica Taylor, who watches U.S. Senate politics for the Cook Political Report newsletter, “it is still a majority, so I think it’s better (for any senator) to be in power than out of power. And the fact that they (Democrats) have the power in the House and the White House also carries a lot of weight.” That’s good news for Sen. Robert P. Casey, a third-term Democrat who goes from a member of the minority party seemingly destined to butt heads with the Republican president, to being part of a majority with a chance to work with a Democrat in the Oval Office. And some say the shift also may make for interesting times for Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey, who has been called upon to broker bipartisan deals in the past, and whose skills in that regard may be needed more than ever as Democrats try to move some policy ideas with bipartisan support.


Biden administration urged to allow states to cancel spring standardized testing

Washington Post By Valerie Strauss Reporter Jan. 30, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. EST

Calls are growing for President Biden and Miguel Cardona, the man expected to be confirmed as his education secretary, to give states permission not to give student federally mandated standardized tests this spring. Some states have already declared they will seek a waiver from the federal mandate, and now more than 70 local, state and national organizations joined to sign a letter (see text below) to Cardona urging him to let states use other assessments to determine how much progress students have made this year. More than 10,000 individuals signed it as well.

The letter says in part: “It does not take a standardized assessment to know that for millions of America’s children, the burden of learning remotely, either full- or part-time, expands academic learning gaps between haves and have nots. Whenever children are able to return fully to their classrooms, every instructional moment should be dedicated to teaching, not to teasing out test score gaps that we already know exist. If the tests are given this spring, the scores will not be released until the fall of 2021 when students have different teachers and may even be enrolled in a different school. Scores will have little to no diagnostic value when they finally arrive. Simply put, a test is a measure, not a remedy.”


School reopenings are Biden's first big test

Beaver County Times Opinion By Michael R. Bloomberg February 1, 2021

America’s schoolchildren and teachers have just gotten some very good news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After reviewing data from multiple studies in the U.S. and abroad, the agency has concluded that in-person schooling poses very little risk of coronavirus transmission as long as basic safety precautions are followed. That should send a clear message to governors, mayors and teachers union leaders: It’s time to open the schools. In addition to the terrible toll COVID-19 has taken on the nation’s health, it’s been a calamity for American education. Only about 15% of school districts offered full-time in-person classes last fall. For students and parents elsewhere, the pandemic has meant navigating novel and often dubious remote-learning software. Any parent of a young child can attest that virtual instruction typically falls somewhere between subpar and hopeless.


“The problem is not that schools are unsafe for children,” Mr. Johnson said last week. “The problem is schools may nonetheless act as vectors for transmission, causing the virus to spread between households.”

Europe’s Schools Are Closing Again on Concerns They Spread Covid-19

Countries are abandoning pledges to keep classrooms open as concerns mount over children’s capacity to pass on the virus

Wall Street Journal by Ruth Bender Updated Jan. 16, 2021 9:40 am ET

BERLIN—As U.S. authorities debate whether to keep schools open, a consensus is emerging in Europe that children are a considerable factor in the spread of Covid-19—and more countries are shutting schools for the first time since the spring. Closures have been announced recently in the U.K., Germany, Ireland, Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands on concerns about a more infectious variant of the virus first detected in the U.K. and rising case counts despite lockdowns. While the debate continues, recent studies and outbreaks show that schoolchildren, even younger ones, can play a significant role in spreading infections. “In the second wave we acquired much more evidence that schoolchildren are almost equally, if not more infected by SARS-CoV-2 than others,“ said Antoine Flahault, director of the University of Geneva’s Institute of Global Health. Schools have represented one of the most contentious issues of the pandemic given the possible long-term impact of closures on children and the economic fallout from parents being forced to stay home. The recent shutdown of schools was especially dramatic in England. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially planned to keep elementary schools there open after the Christmas break, but changed course amid soaring infections. After one day back, schools were closed until further notice. Plans to gradually reopen high schools through January were also scrapped.



PSBA: Upcoming PA budget recap webinar Feb. 3rd


On Tuesday, February 2, Gov. Tom Wolf will present his 2021-22 state budget proposal before a joint meeting of the Senate and House of Representatives. Following the governor’s budget address, the Senate and House appropriations committees will convene hearings beginning March 15 on specific components of the proposal. The PSBA Government Affairs team will be providing members with complete coverage of the governor’s budget proposal, budget details and resources for school boards on February 3 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Claim your spot for the budget recap here.


Join PFPS and NPE for “Fighting Voucher Legislation in 2021: An Update on State Voucher Bills and Tools to Oppose Them” Webinar Feb. 4th 4 p.m.

Author: PFPS Posted: Jan 28, 2021

Public Funds Public Schools resumes our engaging and well attended webinar series begun in 2020 with the first installment of 2021. Join PFPS and the Network for Public Education on Thursday, February 4, at 4 p.m. EST for an important and topical webinar, “Fighting Voucher Legislation in 2021: An Update on State Voucher Bills and Tools to Oppose Them.”

Panelists will discuss the significant private school voucher bills that have already been introduced in State Legislatures around the country, additional legislative action to watch for during 2021 legislative sessions, and tools and resources made available to advocates by PFPS and others. The webinar will feature representatives from the SPLC Action Fund and Education Law Center, which support the PFPS campaign, and from the National Coalition for Public Education, as well as Carol Burris, Executive Director of the Network for Public Education.

Use this link to register for Fighting Voucher Legislation: An Update on State Voucher Bills and Tools to Oppose Them on February 4 at 4 p.m. EST.


EDUCATION CONVERSATION: An Introduction to the Philadelphia School Board’s “Goals and Guardrails” Initiative

Philadelphia Education Fund Free Virtual Event Thursday February 4, 2021 9:00 am - 10:15 am

Attend a typical school board meeting anywhere in the country, and the agenda will likely be largely made up of financial, contracting, and spending resolutions. What if, instead of school operations, a school board were to focus its attention on student achievement? Might that accelerate gains for students? Could that improve the student experience? Would that deliver educational equity?  Two years ago, the Philadelphia Board of Education began consulting with education leaders across the country to explore this question. The answer, announced just last month, is Goals and Guardrails. The initiative has been described by former board member, Lee Huang, as both “obvious and revolutionary.” And, Superintendent Bill Hite called it a “game changer.” To learn more about this approach and what it might mean for Philadelphia’s schoolchildren, register for this free event here.


  • Leticia Egea-Hinton, Vice President, Board of Education
  • Mallory Fix Lopez, Member, Board of Education
  • Angela McIver, Member, Board of Education


PSBA Spring Virtual Advocacy Day - MAR 22, 2021

PSBA Website January 2021

All public school leaders are invited to join us for our spring Virtual Advocacy Day on Monday, March 22, 2021, via Zoom. We need all of you to help strengthen our advocacy impact. The day will center around contacting legislators to discuss critical issues affecting public education. Registrants will receive the meeting invitation with a link to our spring Virtual Advocacy Day website that contains talking points, a link to locate contact information for your legislator and additional information to help you have a successful day.

Cost: Complimentary for members

Registration: Registration is available under Event Registration on


Attend the NSBA 2021 Online Experience April 8-10

NSBA is pleased to announce the transformation of its in-person NSBA 2021 Annual Conference & Exposition to the NSBA 2021 Online Experience. This experience will bring world-class programming, inspirational keynotes, top education solution providers, and plentiful networking opportunities. Join us on April 8-10, 2021, for a fully transformed and memorable event!


Adopt the 2020 PSBA resolution for charter school funding reform

In this legislative session, PSBA has been leading the charge with the Senate, House of Representatives and the Governor’s Administration to push for positive charter reform. We’re now asking you to join the campaign: Adopt the resolution: We’re asking all school boards to adopt the 2020 resolution for charter school funding reform at your next board meeting and submit it to your legislators and to PSBA.

Resolution for charter funding reform (pdf)

Link to submit your adopted resolution to PSBA


342 PA school boards have adopted charter reform resolutions

Charter school funding reform continues to be a concern as over 330 school boards across the state have adopted a resolution calling for legislators to enact significant reforms to the Charter School Law to provide funding relief and ensure all schools are held to the same quality and ethics standards. Now more than ever, there is a growing momentum from school officials across the state to call for charter school funding reform. Legislators are hearing loud and clear that school districts need relief from the unfair funding system that results in school districts overpaying millions of dollars to charter schools.

The school boards from the following districts have adopted resolutions calling for charter funding reform.


Know Your Facts on Funding and Charter Performance. Then Call for Charter Change!

PSBA Charter Change Website:



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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