News & Notes:  

Corbett renews call for compromise on Philly school funding, public pension reform

Jun30

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is renewing his appeal for compromise on the issues of Philadelphia school funding and public employee pension reform. House Democrat Cherelle Parker, head of the Philadelphia legislative delegation, reacted angrily Sunday night when Governor Corbett suggested Democrat votes for pension reform could produce Republican votes for a cigarette tax hike to fund Philadelphia […] More »

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Cigarette tax proposal to fund Philadelphia schools moves forward in Pa. Senate

Jun30

State lawmakers have sent Governor Tom Corbett a new budget as a cigarette tax proposal to fund Philadelphia schools has moved forward in one chamber of the legislature. In something of a surprise move, the state Senate Monday night approved an amendment that would enact the cigarette tax for Philadelphia schools. Mayor Michael Nutter celebrated […] More »

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Charter Reform Legislation Update – 6.30.14

Jun30

Dear PCPCS Members, Over the past few months there have been several major threats in Harrisburg to charters schools and charter school funding – charter reform legislation (SB 1085 and HB 618), special education funding reform (SB 1316 and HB 2138), and PSERS reimbursement elimination. As of today, here’s where we stand on all three issues: Charter […] More »

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Pittsburgh Online Academy to use district teachers

Jun25

After two years of using outsiders to teach online students, the Pittsburgh Public Schools board tonight approved changes at the Pittsburgh Online Academy that will turn the teaching over to district teachers.   Read more at: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2014/06/25/Pittsburgh-Online-Academy-to-use-district-teachers/stories/201406250219 More »

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Three schools promised grants totaling $343,600

Jun25

The Philadelphia School Partnership is scheduled to announce Wednesday grants totaling $343,600 to two Catholic elementary schools that serve low-income students and to a Center City charter. Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140625_Three_schools_promised_grants_totaling__343_600.html More »

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House panel approves $29.1B GOP budget plan

Jun24

Republicans on the Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved a spending blueprint that would hold the line on taxes, but would scale back increases for education and human services proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett while relying heavily on the unlikely sell-off of the state’s wine and liquor operations. Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2014/06/24/4238449/house-panel-oks-291b-gop-budget.html?sp=/99/116/129/ More »

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States’ special education services face tighter oversight by the Obama administration

Jun24

The Obama administration is tightening its oversight of the way states educate special-needs students, applying more- stringent criteria that drop the number of jurisdictions in compliance with federal law from 38 to 15.   Read more at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/states-special-education-services-face-tighter-oversight-by-the-obama-administration/2014/06/23/a103031e-fb36-11e3-b1f4-8e77c632c07b_story.html More »

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Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh opens new Hazelwood branch

Jun21

A run-down church building on Second Avenue in Hazelwood has become a gleaming glass-and-brick library and a symbol of hope for a neighborhood still clawing its way back from the demise of the steel industry. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/06/21/Carnegie-Library-of-Pittsburgh-opens-new-Hazelwood-branch/stories/201406210135 More »

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Teachers encourage use of games as a teaching tool

Jun20

Crouching between bookshelves, two pairs of young teens navigated a maze of numbered white index cards laid out on the floor, adding and subtracting to reach a target number and trying to pick up neon pink “wizard” cards along the way. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2014/06/21/Teachers-encourage-to-use-games-as-a-teaching-tool/stories/201406190332 More »

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Council passes budget in final session of season

Jun20

CITY COUNCIL yesterday passed a $4.5 billion operating budget for next year, complete with a smorgasbord of bills out of Council, closing out the final session before its 12-week summer sabbatical. Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20140620_Council_passes_budget_in_final_session_of_season.html More »

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Tie state school funding to performance

Jun18

Gov. Tom Corbett’s 2014-2015 school budget proposal contains an important provision some observers believe represents a game-changing concept in the struggle to improve educational outcomes for all students. With $240 million proposed for the Ready to Learn Block Grant, Pennsylvania’s education funding can align funding and flexibility to reward success. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/2014/06/18/lt-div-class-libPageBodyLinebreak-style-webkit-user-select-none-gt-Tie-school-funding-lt-br-gt-to-performance-lt-br-gt-lt-div-gt/stories/201406180045 More »

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Some schools find healthier lunches palatable

Jun18

When City Charter High School recently served chicken Caesar salad as its hot lunch, some gawked at the presentation: chicken pieces, cheese and dressing on top of whole leaves of romaine lettuce. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/2014/06/18/Healthier-school-lunches-are-catching-on/stories/201406160198 More »

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Establishment Panel: The education task force needs outside perspective

Jun18

Pittsburgh mayors have no legal authority over the city school district, but Bill Peduto is right to have a strong interest in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Education quality, after all, is necessary to sustain a thriving American city. Read more at: http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2014/06/18/Establishment-panel-The-education-task-force-needs-outside-perspective/stories/201406180014 More »

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Capitolwire: Amendment eases most charter schools’ concerns over special education funding bill.

Jun18

By Christen Smith Staff Reporter Capitolwire HARRISBURG (June 17) — Senate lawmakers appeared to side with charter schools Tuesday after weeks of outcry over Senate Bill 1316 and what those schools claimed was the bill’s potential to bankrupt charter schools statewide. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, proposed an amendment to SB 1316 that would create a hold-harmless provision for charter schools, […] More »

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Our take: York teachers’ union must keep promise

Jun17

It probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that York city teachers’ union members have balked at a contract that calls for a 5 percent salary cut and higher health insurance costs.   Read more at: http://www.ydr.com/opinion/ci_25978235/our-take-york-teachers-union-must-keep-promise More »

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Philly schools plead for at least $96 million

Jun17

The head of Philadelphia’s public schools said Tuesday that the district needs an additional $96 million to offer students even a “wholly inadequate” education next year, and he implored city and state lawmakers to invest much more in the cash-strapped system. Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140617_ap_5624c63e9ab64bd695e6f753223443d9.html?c=r More »

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APPLY NOW! 2014-2015 PA EDUCATION POLICY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

Jun17

Applications are available now for the 2014-2015 Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP).  The Education Policy Fellowship Program is sponsored in Pennsylvania by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC). With about 400 graduates in its first fifteen years, this Program is a premier professional development opportunity for educators, state and local policymakers, advocates, and community […] More »

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Bethlehem board blames tax increase on charter schools

Jun17

When Bethlehem Area School District residents open their tax bills this summer and see a roughly 5 percent increase, they also will receive a personal explanation from the school board president. Read more at: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/bethlehem/mc-bethlehem-schools-final-budget-20140617,0,3537753.story More »

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Pa. court: Truancy law applies to kindergarten

Jun16

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that parents who enroll their children in kindergarten are subject to the state’s compulsory attendance law. Read more at: http://www.centredaily.com/2014/06/16/4226880/pa-court-truancy-law-applies-to.html?sp=/99/116/129/ More »

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Council grills SRC on funding focus

Jun12

Accusing the school district of “foot dragging” when it comes to supporting itself financially, City Council members gave school officials a finger-wagging yesterday before voting to lend them a helping hand.    Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140612_Council_grills_SRC_on_funding_focus.html More »

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1 in 5 city H.S. students involved with justice or DHS systems

Jun11

One in five students sitting in a Philadelphia high school classroom today has been involved with the city’s child welfare or juvenile justice systems, a staggering number for a school system struggling to provide children with the most basic services.   Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140611_Report__1_in_5_Phila__H_S__students_are_involved_with_either_the_criminal_justice_system__DHS_or_both.html More »

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Congratulations to Jonathan Peri, Esq.

Jun11

Congratulations to Neumann University’s Vice President and General Counsel Jonathan Peri, Esq., who was recently appointed to the State Charter School Appeal Board earlier this month.  Jon has served Neumann University since 2006 and leads the University’s Center for Community Leadership Development and Entrepreneurship. He has also been previously appointed to the Pennsylvania State Board […] More »

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Hundreds of Charter School Advocates Gather in Harrisburg for Rally to Oppose Funding Cuts

Jun10

Charter school leaders and advocates will fight for funding equal to their traditional public school counterparts   HARRISBURG, PA – Parents, children, advocates and leaders of charter schools from across the state gathered with legislators for a rally on June 9 at the Harrisburg State Capitol Rotunda to encourage state lawmakers to vote NO on PA House Bill […] More »

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York City school board looks to close $5 million deficit

Jun09

To help close a nearly $5 million deficit, the York City School Board will consider a 2014-15 budget later this month that doesn’t include some initiatives the district hoped to take on next year, such as expanding pre-kindergarten.   Read more at: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_25931158/york-city-school-board-looks-close-5-million More »

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Hugs, memories, a library

Jun08

The library has one wall painted bright yellow, because that was Jamie Soukup Reid’s favorite color, and six chess sets, because she loved and taught the challenges of the game.   Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-06-08/news/50423465_1_will-reid-west-philadelphia-washington-state More »

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Bear Creek Charter unveils new science program

Jun06

A new science program that includes online resources for students and plenty of hands-on interactive activities will be part of the curriculum for all grades at the Bear Creek Community Charter School starting next school year.  Read more at: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1447558/Bear-Creek-Charter-unveils-new-science-program More »

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Pocono Mountain Charter School’s charter revoked

Jun05

More than 330 students could be looking for a new school — and their teachers for new jobs — after what may be the final step in a fraught charter revocation process ended in victory for the Pocono Mountain School District on Tuesday.   Read more at: http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140605/NEWS/406050309 More »

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Mastery Charter Schools seniors take part in College Signing Day

Jun05

Keanu Davis didn’t like going to school during his freshman year at Simon Gratz High School, and the numbers prove it: He was absent 30 times and arrived late 80 more times, he said yesterday.   Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-06-05/news/50333068_1_mastery-charter-schools-nicetown-school-mastery-students More »

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Charter pupils get $100,000 scholarships to Widener U.

Jun05

With one daughter headed to college and another to high school – and, she hopes, someday, college – Angela Dawson didn’t know how she was going to pay all the tuition bills.    Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-06-05/news/50362573_1_widener-university-college-scholarships-college-awards More »

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Council bill aims $120 million at schools – but red ink still flows

Jun05

Philadelphia City Council took a big step Wednesday toward resolving a piece of the School District’s budget woes, giving preliminary approval to a bill that would guarantee the district $120 million in sales tax revenue next year.    Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-06-05/news/50362541_1_councilwoman-jannie-l-clarke-philadelphia-city-council More »

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OP-ED: Folmer gets an earful on education

Jun05

My focus as Senate Education Committee chair is students and parents. While I believe education choice would best meet their needs, I realize there’s not enough support to pass choice.    Read more at: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/opinion/ci_25903805/op-ed-folmer-gets-an-earful-education More »

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Schools get road map for improving discipline practices

Jun03

A national report described as a first-of-its-kind road map for improving discipline practices in U.S. public schools was released Tuesday, with 60 recommendations intended to help schools reduce suspensions and create better learning conditions.   Read more at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/schools-get-road-map-for-improving-discipline-practices/2014/06/02/da13257c-e8f2-11e3-8f90-73e071f3d637_story.html More »

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Did SRC’s refusal to pass budget help district?

Jun02

As the deadline for the Philadelphia School District to adopt a budget approached, its leaders gathered in a room to brainstorm: What could they do to make the numbers work?    Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-06-02/news/50248117_1_budget-the-src-zack-stalberg More »

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Capitolwire: Tensions grow over special education funding formula

Jun02

By Christen Smith Staff Reporter Capitolwire HARRISBURG (June 2) — As lawmakers hunker down for another budget season, the fate of a slew of education proposals — including the hotly-contested special education funding formula — hang in the balance. When the General Assembly recessed last month, Senate Bill 1316 was left sitting on the chamber floor amidst growing […] More »

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