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EPLC Education Notebook

Monday, May 21, 2012


MAY 21-25

For more information about some events and activities occurring this week, CLICK HERE 

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/


The Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Senate reconvened in voting session on Monday, May 21 at 1:00 PM.


On May 14, the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign sent a letter to members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives urging them to support the K-12 education funding changes made by the Senate to the Governor's proposed budget (Senate Bill 1466), and then to improve upon them in light of the state's improving fiscal situation.


Specifically, the campaign lauded the Senate for rejecting the Governor's plan for a new Student Achievement Block Grant (that neither supported student achievement nor gave flexibility to school districts), restoring $50 million for the Accountability Block Grant Program, and adding $ 50 million to the Basic Subsidy line item for "distressed districts."


Noting the state's improved revenue picture, the Campaign also asked House members to build upon the Senate's budget proposal and to begin a multi-year process of restoring cuts totaling almost $900 million in state support for public education made last summer. 


To read this letter and others sent to state lawmakers on behalf of the Campaign, click here.  The "Letters to Legislators" area is located on the lower right side of the page.


The Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign is an unprecedented coalition of more than 30 statewide and regional education and advocacy organizations representing hundreds of thousands of parents, students, educators, school board members, administrators, and other concerned citizens advocating for adequate and equitable funding of Pennsylvania's public schools.


On May 11, the Secretary of Education announced the names of the twelve finalists for Pennsylvania's 2013 Teacher of the Year.  The finalists are:


Staci Blair, Millcreek Township School District, Erie County
Denise Bolcavage, Forest City Regional School District, Susquehanna County
Ryan Devlin, Brockway Area School District, Jefferson County
Nancy Gheysens, Rose Tree Media School District, Delaware County
Paula Giran, Norwin School District, Westmoreland County
Michael Miller, Wyomissing Area School District, Berks County
Janet Miltenberger, Southern Lehigh School District, Lehigh County
James Prince, North Allegheny School District, Allegheny County
DeAnn Scherer, Rose Tree Media School District, Delaware County
Janette Showalter, Northern Lebanon School District, Lebanon County
Jacquelyn Wagner, Penns Valley Area School District, Centre County
Denise Williams, Northern Lebanon School District, Lebanon County


The twelve educators were nominated by students, parents, their colleagues, and members of their community.  The winner will be announced later this year.  Pennsylvania's Teacher of the Year program is co-sponsored by PDE and the Pennsylvania chapter of the National State Teacher of the Year, which was founded in 1995.


The first of five regional meetings of Governor Tom Corbett's Advisory Commission on Postsecondary Education was held on Thursday, May 17 in Harrisburg.  The Governor's Commission was created to "make recommendations related to the establishment and maintenance of a robust and responsive postsecondary education system in the Commonwealth for the 21st century to serve the students and citizens of the commonwealth."  Members of the public are invited to speak at these regional meetings. Registration is required.  Meetings are scheduled for the following dates and locations:  Friday, June 1 (Philadelphia); Thursday June 14 (Pittsburgh/ West Middlesex); and Thursday, June 28 (Wilkes-Barre).


The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) received notice from the State Board of Education that Regulation No. 2928 State Board of Education #6-325: Safe Schools (final omit regulation) has been formally withdrawn.  The regulation has been removed from the agenda of the May 17, 2012, public meeting.  The State Board of Education anticipates resubmitting a Safe Schools regulation in the future.


Recently, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) issued nonbinding guidance to states, local school districts, preschool, elementary, and secondary schools, parents, and other stakeholders for implementing policies and procedures related to student restraint and seclusion.  This resource document, which includes fifteen principles that serve as a framework, is the result of testimony, reports, and letters gathered by the USDE over the past three years.  The guidelines discuss the context within which the fifteen principles were developed, list the principles, and highlight the current state of practice and implementation considerations for each principle.  In addition, the document provides a synopsis of ongoing efforts by federal agencies to address national concerns about using restraint and seclusion in schools.  Click here for more information. 


  • EPLC will hold a community forum on May 22 at the University of the Arts (Connelly Hall, 8th Floor) in Philadelphia from 6:30 PM- 8:30 PM as part of the Arts and Education Initiative (AEI).  Registration and light refreshments will be available starting at 6:00 PM.  Learn more about the recommendations in "Creating Pennsylvania's Future through the Arts and Education" and how through your participation you can help build a public policy agenda for the arts and arts education.  Please plan to join a discussion about policies, priorities, and next steps for effective advocacy for the arts and arts education.  Visit www.aei-pa.org for more details and registration information.
  • The Center on Reinventing Public Education, in partnership with theU.S. Department of Education's National School Choice Resource Center, will hold the third in a six-part webinar series on Strategies to Expand School Choice on Thursday, May 24 from 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM.  CRPE Senior Research Analyst Christine Campbell will highlight the importance of supporting choice to provide for diverse educational choices.  Click here to register.  Information on other upcoming webinars in the series can be found here.
  • Philadelphia Public School The Notebook will hold will hold their end-of-the-year annual event, "Turning the Page for Change" on Tuesday, June 12, from 4:30PM - 7:00 PM at the University of the Arts.  The event will celebrate Strength in Community -the history of education activism, the city's best in student journalism, and growing partnerships throughout Philadelphia.  For more details, click here.
  • The first public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is available from May 11 to June 1.  The NGSS have been written as student performance expectations grouped by topics (Earth and Space Sciences; Engineering, Technology and Application of Science; Life Sciences; and Physical Sciences).  These draft performance expectations describe how students will demonstrate their understanding in the various topics.  The NGSS are building upon the Framework for K-12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences, which was released in July 2011.
  • On May 16, the College Board announced that David Coleman will become the president of the College Board starting in October.  Coleman will succeed Governor Gaston Caperton who has served 13 years as president.  Coleman is known as an architect of the Common Core Standards and is a founding partner of Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the successful implementation of the Standards.


  • The House Finance Committee is holding a public hearing on HB 1776 (Property Tax Independence Act) in Harrisburg on Monday, May 21, at 10:00 AM.  For more information, contact the office of Representative Kerry Benninghoff, Majority Chairman of the Finance Committee at (717) 783-1918.
  • The Pennsylvania Association of College Admission Counselors (PACAC) will be holding 2012 College Access Forum and Walk the Hill in Harrisburg on May 21-22.  Click here for details.
  • The Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) and the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) will hold a press conference to release the results of a statewide survey on the impact of funding cuts to school districts on Tuesday, May 22 at 2:30 PM in the Capitol Rotunda.
  • A Day on the Hill will be held at the State Capitol on Tuesday, May 22 sponsored by the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools and PA Families for Public Cyber Schools.  For more, go to http://pacharters.org/.
  • Education Voters PA will be holding a "Call to Action for Public Education Day" on May 23.  For more information on how you can participate, please visit www.educationvoterspa.org.
  • The House Education Committee will hold a meeting to consider SB 1406 (amends Title 24 to allow private, nonprofit colleges or universities to offer additional programs and majors without approval of the PDE) on Wednesday, May 23 at 9:00 AM.
  • The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee will release a report on the financial and academic status of the Duquesne City School District on Wednesday, May 23 at 10:00 AM.
  • The Media Area NAACP and CU Keystone Honors Program will host 2012 Conference on the State of Education in Pennsylvania "Calling for a Trauma Informed Education System" at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (Marcus Foster Student Union, 2nd floor) on Friday, May 25 from 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM.  For agenda and registration details, click here 


  • The Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) will hold its 58th Annual Conference and Exhibits March 19 - 22, 2013 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh.
  • EPLC's Arts and Education Symposium will be held on Thursday, October 11 in Harrisburg.
  • EPLC's Annual Education Finance Symposium will be held on Friday, November 16 in Harrisburg.
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.