News & Notes: Government 

Co-chair Pedro Rivera talks about Wolf’s education transition team

Jan09

Longtime Philadelphia teacher and administrator Pedro Rivera, who is now the Lancaster superintendent, is the co-chair of Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s transition committee for education. Rivera was born and raised in Philadelphia, spent 13 years in the Philadelphia system, and has led Lancaster schools since 2008. He said in a Thursday interview that the committee is […] More »

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Senator Smucker Moves Up To Chair Education Committee

Jan09

For state Senator Lloyd Smucker, the new legislative session begins with a challenging assignment he was seeking – chairing the Senate Education Committee. “All the discussions in our communities about growing jobs and expanding opportunities and encouraging investment and development ultimately come back to the quality of the workforce, which in turn reflects on how […] More »

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National Alliance for Public Charter Schools: Washington Update

Oct31

We are less than a week from Election Day. Political prognosticators are focused on the United States Senate where Republicans need six seats to take the majority. With very close races in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina —and the Louisiana race expected to be determined by runoff […] More »

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Upcoming Basic Education Funding Commission Meetings

Oct27

Upcoming Basic Education Funding Commission Meetings* Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 10 AM, Harrisburg, NOB, Hearing Room 1 Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 1 PM & Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 10 AM Philadelphia Monday, November 24, 2014 at 10 AM IU#13 Lancaster Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 10 AM East Stroudsburg Wednesday, December 10, […] More »

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Education Committee moves sweeping charter reform package to House floor.

Jun04

SOURCE: CAPITOLWIRE By Peter L. DeCoursey Bureau Chief Capitolwire HARRISBURG (June 3) – The House Education Committee on Monday moved to the floor a sweeping charter school reform package supporters say will move an estimated $80 million a year from charters back to their districts. The committee separately passed legislation containing a three-year moratorium on new […] More »

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Schwank, Senate Committee to Hear Public Opinion On Cyber Charter Bill

May29

The following is a communication from Senator Schwank’s office concerning tomorrow’s hearing. SB 335 proposes to allow districts to deny funding to any cyber charter school if the district offers a cyber “… program equal in scope and content to an existing publicly chartered cyber school…” This legislation fails to provide any definition as to […] More »

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Sen.Teplitz Calls for Costing-out Study of ‘Flawed’ Charter School Funding Formula

May29

PRESS RELEASE FROM SENATOR TEPLITZ Teplitz Calls for Costing-out Study of ‘Flawed’ Charter School Funding Formula HARRISBURG, May 29, 2013 — As school districts continue to struggle with tighter budgets, state Sen. Rob Teplitz said a thorough examination of the charter school funding formula is needed to address spending inequities. Teplitz has introduced a resolution directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct […] More »

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Governor Corbett Announces Changes at Pennsylvania Department of Education

May15

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Governor Tom Corbett today announced that Ronald J. Tomalis will leave his post as Secretary of Education on May 31 to become Special Adviser to the Governor on Higher Education. Tomalis, who has been with the administration since January 2011, will be responsible for overseeing, implementing […] More »

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Senator Folmer: Pennsylvania’s education debate must focus on kids, parents

Apr16

Presently, it is parents who decide to enroll their children in cyber schools (or other schools). Parents should make such decisions: They know best what’s best for their children. I don’t think government – any government – should interfere with these rights – ever. This will be my guiding principle whenever the General Assembly deliberates […] More »

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HB 2: Special Ed. Funding Overhaul Goes to Governor’s Desk

Apr15

The Senate on Tuesday voted to send legislation to Gov. Tom Corbett that would establish a 15-member commission to develop a special education funding formula to replace an archaic one that is more than two decades old. HB 2 defines three levels for special ed funding for all public schools – traditional, cyber charter, and brick and […] More »

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Action Alert !

Apr12

Ask your Member of Congress to Support More Federal Funding for Public Charter Schools! Four public charter school champions in the U.S. House of Representatives are seeking support for an increase in federal funds for the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP). Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO), Tom Petri (R-WI), Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Duncan Hunter (R-CA) […] More »

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Rep. Grove Tours Cyber Charter School

Apr11

In response to the PCPCS cyber charter members’ “Get to Know Us” campaign, State Representative Seth Grove recently toured the Achievement House Cyber Charter School in Exton. “Representative Grove spent two hours touring our facility, meeting with much of our staff, and asking a lot of questions,” said AHCCS CEO Dr. Tim Daniels. “It was […] More »

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PCPCS STATEMENT CONCERNING REP. ROEBUCK’S STUDY ON CHARTER SCHOOLS

Mar19

PCPCS issued the following response to State Rep. James Roebuck’s report on charter and cyber charter schools that was clearly drafted in the interests of  maintaining the status quo and destroying real choice for parents. Representative Roebuck acknowledges that the study focuses on only a very few charter schools and very specific situations. Furthermore, the report […] More »

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Recap: March 14 House Education Committee Hearing on Devastating Cyber Charter Legislation

Mar17

Recap House Education Committee Hearing on Devastating Cyber Charter Legislation On Thursday, March 14, the House Education Committee held a hearing on proposed legislation that, if passed, will negatively impact the future of every Pennsylvania cyber charter school. Links to the bills and testimony follow:  Committee(s): House Education Committee Meeting type: Public hearing Subject: Cyber charter school […] More »

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PA House Fails Pennsylvania Children

Oct18

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) is incredibly disappointed that the House of Representatives has chosen to bow to special interest groups over the well being of the children of this state. In failing to pass SB 1115, the House rejected three years of work by people who have been sincerely and passionately dedicated to crafting legislation that increases accountability for charter schools and provides better quality educational options for our children. More »

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Students urge Pennsylvania state lawmakers to pass charter school reform bill

Sep25

Fourth-grader Karson Hair of Mechanicsburg, who came with an army of students from Commonwealth Connections Academy, also was ready with a reason why it was important to keep the charter school movement thriving. "For some kids, the right school is public school and that's right for them but you can't just throw every child into a public school and think they are going to be successful because some kids need better education and cybercharter schools are going to give them that education," Karson said. More »

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PCPCS Expresses Disappointment on Failure of Senate to Pass Charter School Law

Jul02

West Chester, PA – The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools expresses profound disappointment in the failure of the Senate to act on Senate Bill 1115 which passed the House yesterday with comprehensive charter reform amendments. The encouraging action by the House represented an imperfect, but long overdue update of the charter school law that […] More »

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Important information from PDE on 363 calculations and immunizations

Jun21

1. Some charter school have questioned school district backing out federal stimulus money from the Social Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) and the Education Jobs Fund (EduJobs) on their 363 calculation. It is PDE’s position that ANY federal portion of BEF, including SFSF and EduJobs, should be considered state funds for the purpose of the 363 […] More »

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PCPCS Statement on State Rep. Mike Fleck’s House Bill 2364

Jun04

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools is profoundly disappointed that State Rep. Mike Fleck served as a mouthpiece for special interests seeking to destroy charter schools and eliminate parental choice. Rep. Fleck’s legislation is disingenuous and shows incredible disrespect for the intelligence of legislators and Pennsylvania taxpayers. It talks about reform but protects the […] More »

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Why Pennsylvania Needs a Statewide Independent Authorizer for Charter Schools

May14

Visit www.ChildrenPA.com and take two minutes to let your legislator know you want to see an independent authorizer in Pennsylvania. After more than 14 years of operation and experience in Pennsylvania and from educators in 39 other states, we know what makes for high-performing charter schools – dedicated teachers, involved parents, individualized attention, exceptional curriculums, […] More »

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Two US Department of Education (USDOE) Competitive Grants available for Charter Schools

Apr23

The U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program (CSP) has just announced two new Non-State Educational Agency (Non-SEA) grant competitions for 2012. Applications for both competitions are due June 6, 2012. The CSP’s Non-SEA Planning, Program Design, and Implementation competition (84.282B) provides grants directly to public charter schools so they can plan, design, and complete […] More »

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Commonwealth Court supports decision to award Walter Palmer Charter School $1.25MM

Apr03

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools is very pleased to report that on April 3, 2012 the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld the March 4, 2011 decision of the Secretary of Education which previously awarded the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partner Charters School $1,253,225.82 in its enrollment cap dispute with the School District […] More »

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PCPCS testifies before Philadelphia City Council

Mar27

On Tuesday March 27th, PCPCS Board President Lawrence Jones testified before the Philadelphia City Council Education Committee on behalf of Charter Schools and the ever expanding role they play in revolutionizing public education in Philadelphia. Specifically Mr. Jones testified about the historical friction between charters and the District that may be addressed through open discussions […] More »

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Protect Charter School Teacher Retirement Funds

Feb13

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued a Proposed Regulation titled “Determination of Government Plan Status.” This regulation would force states to prohibit charter school teachers from participating in state retirement plans. Presently, every single state that authorizes charter schools either requires or permits charter school participation in the state’s retirement system. Therefore, this regulation would […] More »

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PCPCS Position on Independent Authorizers

Dec13

After 14 years of operation and experience in Pennsylvania and from educators in 39 other states, we know what makes for high-performing charter schools – dedicated teachers, involved parents, individualized attention, exceptional curriculums, enlightened leadership, and strong authorizers. None of this is surprising, and with the exception of the strong authorizer, every one is identical […] More »

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Statewide Poll Indicates Pennsylvanians Support Public School Choice

Oct26

The results are in: The majority of PA residents support public school choice. The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools in partnership with Susquehanna Polling and Research recently conducted a statewide survey to determine how taxpayers view charter and cyber charter schools. The survey results indicate that residents across the Commonwealth recognize the value of […] More »

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PCPCS President testifies on behalf of Charter Schools before the House Education Committee.

Aug01

The following is a transcript of the testimony of Lawrence F. Jones, President of the Pennsylvania Coalition for Public Charter Schools, given to the the PA House Education Committee in Philadelphia on Thursday July 28th. Good afternoon Chairman Clymer, Chairman Roebuck, members of the Education Committee, members of the legislature, and audience members. My name is Lawrence F. […] More »

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Pa. Education Secretary Tomalis: School districts can’t blame Charter Schools

Jun08

“I don’t see how the success of a program like this threatens a traditional K-12 district,” Tomalis said. “What you see in this building is what public education should really be about.” The education secretary was at [the Lincoln Elementary Charter School in York] shoulder-to-shoulder with Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, a Republican representing a portion of […] More »

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