Press Releases

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 8:42 AM

Three State Senators, Representatives DiSanto, Scarnati III and Eichelberger plan to introduce legislation Tuesday, they say will help students attending low-achieving schools through the establishment of education savings accounts. 
CBS Channel 21, Aug. 7, 2017
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Monday, August 7, 2017 8:52 AM

“The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.” --Article III, Section 14, Pennsylvania Constitution. The premise sounds so simple. Yet, if you ask 10 legislators what it means, you will get a dozen opinions. If you are a school director, none of those may be exactly what you want to hear. 
Bucks County Courier Times, Aug. 7, 2017
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Monday, August 7, 2017 8:50 AM

Will Pennsylvania become the next state to offer the latest iteration of a school voucher program? Freshman Sen. John DiSanto, a Republican from Dauphin County, on Tuesday intends to do his part to make that happen by unveiling his legislation to establish education savings accounts for those who live in attendance areas served by low-achieving public schools.
PennLive.com, Aug. 7, 2017
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Monday, August 7, 2017 8:49 AM

Tax increase proposals drew most of the attention when the state Senate approved a package of legislation late last month designed to bring Pennsylvania's budget stalemate to an end, but lawmakers also tacked on a provision that would give them more leverage during any future standoff with the governor.
Associated Press, Aug. 7, 2017
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Friday, August 4, 2017 8:33 AM

Pennsylvania's state treasurer Thursday authorized a short-term $750 million line of credit to keep the state's general fund from dipping into negative territory. Treasurer Joe Torsella says the state hasn't had to borrow that much so early in the fiscal year in 25 years.
PennLive.com, Aug. 3, 2017
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Friday, August 4, 2017 8:32 AM

Much of the debate in Harrisburg this summer has been centered on how Pennsylvania should overcome its $2.2 billion deficit. But, as usual, there has also been a great deal of focus on issues related to public school funding and policy.
WHYY Newsworks, Aug. 3, 2017
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Thursday, August 3, 2017 9:32 AM

The ESSA State Plan and related materials are now available on the PDE web site at http://www.education.pa.gov/K-12/ESSA/Pages/default.aspx#tab-1

Below is the press release issued on 08/02/2017:

PDE Announces ESSA Consolidated State Plan Draft Now Available for Public Comment

Harrisburg, PA - State Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera today announced the commonwealth’s proposed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Consolidated State Plan is on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) website and is available for public comment. The plan builds on an 18-month collaboration between PDE and a diverse group of stakeholders from around the state.

“The Wolf Administration, through its Schools That Teach initiative, has been focused on ensuring that all students, regardless of their age, socioeconomic status, or zip code, have access to high-quality educators and schools,” said Secretary Rivera. “Pennsylvania’s ESSA Consolidated State Plan accelerates state-level priorities in these same areas, and helps the state transition from the prescriptive policies and unintended consequences of NCLB to a more student-centered approach.”

To develop the ESSA Consolidated State Plan, PDE:

  • Assembled four work groups – comprised of teachers, charter school and district level administrators, advocates, civil rights leaders, former policymakers from both parties, and others – to study key aspects of the law and develop framework recommendations;
  • Commissioned an independent study to examine work group recommendations in the context of academic literature and other evidence;
  • Testified before the House and Senate Education committees and worked with lawmakers to address plan components;
  • Held six dedicated town halls in every region of the commonwealth to gather additional stakeholder feedback;
  • Participated in approximately 30 statewide conferences, professional association meetings, and other forums to reach more than 2,000 Pennsylvanians and present on the state’s ESSA planning and early implementation; and
  • Consulted with national nonpartisan policy and technical experts (American Institutes for Research, Council of Chief State School Officers, Education Commission of the States) to solicit additional insight, feedback, and suggestions for specific plan components.

Rivera noted that the plan also presents new opportunities for the commonwealth to develop, recruit, and retain a talented and diverse pool of educators, bolsters college and career readiness and effective transition strategies throughout the pre-K to postsecondary continuum, and focuses on student and school equity.

Additionally, the development of the Future Ready PA Index, a new, public-facing school report card that expands the indicators used to measure performance, extends the comprehensive approach to ensuring student and school success. The Index will place additional emphasis on academic growth, evaluation of school climate through a robust chronic absenteeism measure, attention to both four-year and extended-year graduation rates, and assessments of postsecondary readiness.

“The plan represents a collaborative, evidence-based approach to help every student, in every Pennsylvania public school, access a high-quality, well-rounded education,” said Secretary Rivera. “That collaboration continues as we invite stakeholders and members of the public to provide feedback on Pennsylvania’s Consolidated State Plan.”

Rivera added that public comment will close on September 2, and the Department will submit its Consolidated State Plan to the U.S. Department of Education on September 18. Initial implementation of the plan will begin in the 2017-18 school year, with full rollout by 2018-19.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, or to read the ESSA Consolidated State Plan, visit the Department of Education’s website at www.education.pa.gov or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

 
Thursday, August 3, 2017 9:02 AM

While future teachers might not receive as lucrative a pension as those guaranteed to today's school employees, experts who make a living providing clients with financial advice contend the plan remains attractive.
Bucks County Intelligencer, Aug. 3, 2017
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Thursday, August 3, 2017 8:59 AM

Gov. Wolf himself has largely stayed out of the fray, instead choosing to call certain legislative leaders for private discussions.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aug. 3, 2017
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Thursday, August 3, 2017 8:58 AM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education will unveil a new school quality metric in 2018 — dubbed the Future Ready PA Index — that it believes will foster a more holistic student experience, one less narrowly focused on state standardized tests. The change was announced Wednesday as part of PDE's plan to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
WHYY Newsworks, Aug. 2, 2017
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P.O. Box 39, 122 Valley Road, Summerdale, PA 17093 Phone: (717) 732-4999 Fax: (717) 732-4890
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