EPLC Masthead
EPLC Education Notebook

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In this issue

The EPLC Education Notebook (current and past editions) also is available by visiting the EPLC web site at http://www.eplc.org/publications-reports/weekly-policy-notebook/



Budget News

On January 3, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue reported that Pennsylvania collected $2.3 billion in General Fund revenue in December, which was $141.5 million, or 5.9 percent, less than anticipated.  Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $ 11.6 billion, which is $ 486.8 million, or 4 percent, below estimate.  For more information, click here. 

A day after the December revenue collections were reported, Governor Tom Corbett ordered a nearly $160 million freeze in state spending.   Most state agencies will see a 3 percent reduction, but some individual appropriations have spending cut by up to 10 percent.  The basic education subsidy line item, which sends state dollars to local school districts, was not affected by the spending freeze.  However, the state-related universities (Pitt, Penn State, Temple, and Lincoln) and the State System of Higher Education line items were reduced by 5 percent.  Funding for the state's community colleges was not reduced.

2011-2012 BUDGETARY FREEZE (January 4, 2012)


 (amounts in thousands)


On December 23, Governor Tom Corbett announced that Pennsylvania has been awarded $41.3 million under the federally funded

Race to the Top (RTT) grant program.  According to the Governor, the money will be used to supplement the state's support of "student-specific educational choices in grades K-12 and current efforts to increase the number of outstanding teachers working in Pennsylvania classrooms."  Funds allocated under the RTT grant program will also be allocated to further develop the Pennsylvania Standards Aligned System, which provides educators with valuable tools and resources to improve student performance and provide students with greater access to quality charter schools and online curricular options.  Pennsylvania joins 22 other states that have received Race to the Top grants. The grant will be allocated over the next four years by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. For more information, click here.


A notice inviting public comments on the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) proposed grant application under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA-B) has been published in the December 24 edition of the PA Bulletin.  The purpose of the annual grant is to provide assurances that state policies and procedures in effect are consistent with the Federal law, to ensure that a free appropriate public education is made available to all children with a disability from 3 to 21 years of age, including children who have been suspended or expelled from school.  Individuals interested in providing input may provide written or verbal testimony regarding the proposed grant application and current policies and procedures by April 1, 2012.  The following dates have been scheduled for public hearings at the various Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network's (PaTTAN) offices:  March 12 (Pittsburgh); March 13 (Harrisburg); and March 14 (King of Prussia).


The first day for candidates to circulate and file nomination petitions for the 2012 Pennsylvania elections is Tuesday, January 24.  Primary Election Day is Tuesday, April 24.


Mark your calendars for EPLC's PA School Choices Forum being held in Pittsburgh, PA on Wednesday, February 1.  Details are available on the EPLC web site.

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries, within the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), is now accepting applications for the 2012-13 Pennypacker Fellowship Program.  The fellowship program provides support for up to eight weeks of full-time research and study.  Areas of focus include library, manuscript and artifact collections maintained by the State Library, as well as any PHMC facility, including the Pennsylvania State Archives, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, and 25 historic sites and museums throughout the state.  For a full description of the residency program and to obtain application materials, as well as information about the Library and Commission's research collections, visit the State Library's website at www.education.state.pa.us and click on "Commonwealth Libraries" under "Offices," or visit PHMC's website at www.phmc.state.pa.us.  The deadline to apply is Jan. 30, 2012.  For more information, click here.




The Pennsylvania House and Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, January 17 at 1:00 PM.


The House Education Committee will hold an informational meeting on Quality Education Vo-Tech programs in Jamison on Thursday, January 12 at 1:00 PM.  For more details on the meeting, contact the office of Representative Paul Clymer (R-145), Chairman of the House Education Committee, at (717) 783-3154.


The State Board of Education will meet January 11-12 in Harrisburg.


The Governor's Budget message is scheduled for Tuesday, February 7.



For information on upcoming events, please visit www.eplc.org and click on "Events Calendar".
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EPLC Education Notebook is published by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC).  Permission to reprint or electronically redistribute the Notebook in whole or in part is granted provided attribution to EPLC is provided.  The Education Policy and Leadership Center is an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit organization.  The Mission of the Education Policy and Leadership Center is to encourage and support the development and implementation of effective state-level education policies to improve student learning in grades P-12, increase the effective operation of schools, and enhance educational opportunities for citizens of all ages.