Press Releases

Friday, May 20, 2016 9:42 AM

Click here for an infographic that demonstrates the importance of high-quality pre-K in Pennsylvania.

 
Tuesday, May 17, 2016 8:29 AM

In recent weeks two Philadelphia suburban school districts adopted comprehensive policies addressing the rights of transgender students.
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Source: PennLive.com, May 17, 2016.


 
Tuesday, May 17, 2016 8:29 AM

Democratic state Rep. James Roebuck of Philadelphia argues for the need to reform Pennsylvania’s 20-year-old charter school law, which state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has called the worst in the nation. 
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Source: Bucks County Courier Times, May 13, 2016.



 
Monday, May 16, 2016 1:55 PM

By now you may have heard that the Obama Administration released new Guidance on Title IX that will impact your school related to protections for transgender students and allowing use of facilities that match a particular individual's chosen identity. Given the safety and social-emotional well-being of every student that must be at the forefront of discussions in your learning community on this issue, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) would like to draw your immediate attention to an accompanying document, Examples of Emerging Policies and Practices to Support Transgender Students.

Given the importance of this issue and protections for transgender students, as well as age-appropriate considerations that every Pre-K-8 principal must take into account, NAESP would like to underscore that this federal guidance jointly signed by the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) and U.S. Department of Education (USED) does not add requirements to current law, but provides information to states, districts and schools through examples on how to evaluate policy and practices when considering compliance with any legal obligations.

NAESP encourages all principals to be acquainted with state and district policies regarding transgender students, and to consult your school or district attorney should you have any questions or concerns. Any school district policies that include protections for transgender students should include the perspective of principals in the school building where policies are not currently in place, and we encourage you to weigh in as state and local determinations are made. Finally, it is critically important to maintain a positive school culture where all students feel included and respected, regardless of their gender identity or gender expression, and NAESP encourages you to work with your school support personnel, such as counselors and psychologists, to ensure that younger students have clear and age-appropriate communication.

 

 

 

 

 
Monday, May 16, 2016 1:24 PM

The deadline has been extended from Friday, May 27, 2016 to Friday, June 10, 2016 for the following PA Principals Association Awards: 2016 Bob D. Schiller Memorial Cancer Research and Support Award; 2016 Mini-Grant Awards; and the 2016 Service to Children Award. Click here for more information and for the award applications. Also, watch your inbox for more information.

 
Monday, May 16, 2016 12:44 PM

The NASSP Board of Directors stated its intent to adopt the following position statement on Transgender Students on May 5. It will be open for a public comment period until Friday, June 10, and the Board will give final approval at its next meeting in July. Please encourage your members to send feedback to Amanda Karhuse, NASSP Director of Advocacy, at karhusea@nassp.org.

Here is the link to the position statement:

https://www.nassp.org/who-we-are/board-of-directors/position-statements/transgender-students

 

 
Monday, May 16, 2016 9:34 AM

Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican lawmakers are at sharp odds over another education issue — teacher layoffs.
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Source: Scranton Times-Tribune, May 16, 2016.

 
Monday, May 16, 2016 9:33 AM

The federal notification to schools that discomfort doesn’t justify discrimination comes as many districts are tackling issues raised by and about transgender students.
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Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 14, 2016.

 
Monday, May 16, 2016 9:29 AM

The Obama administration is issuing guidance to schools Friday, saying they must allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.
Click here for full article.
Source: NPR.org, May 13, 2016.

 
Monday, May 16, 2016 8:49 AM

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released joint guidance today to help provide educators the information they need to ensure that all students, including transgender students, can attend school in an environment free from discrimination based on sex.

Recently, questions have arisen from school districts, colleges and universities, and others about transgender students and how to best ensure these students, and non-transgender students, can all enjoy a safe and discrimination-free environment.

Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student’s sex, including a student’s transgender status. The guidance makes clear that both federal agencies treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX.

The guidance explains that when students or their parents, as appropriate, notify a school that a student is transgender, the school must treat the student consistent with the student’s gender identity. A school may not require transgender students to have a medical diagnosis, undergo any medical treatment, or produce a birth certificate or other identification document before treating them consistent with their gender identity.

The guidance also explains schools’ obligations to:

  • Respond promptly and effectively to sex-based harassment of all students, including harassment based on a student’s actual or perceived gender identity, transgender status, or gender transition;
  • Treat students consistent with their gender identity even if their school records or identification documents indicate a different sex;
  • Allow students to participate in sex-segregated activities and access sex-segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity; and
  • Protect students’ privacy related to their transgender status under Title IX and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

At the same time, the guidance makes clear that schools can provide additional privacy options to any student for any reason. The guidance does not require any student to use shared bathrooms or changing spaces, when, for example, there are other appropriate options available; and schools can also take steps to increase privacy within shared facilities. 

In addition to the Departments’ joint Title IX guidance, the Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education also released Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students, a compilation of policies and practices that schools across the country are already using to support transgender students. The document shares some common questions on topics such as school records, privacy, and terminology, and then explains how some state and school district policies have answered these questions, which may be useful for other states and school districts that are considering these issues. In this document, the Education Department does not endorse any particular policy, but offers examples from actual policies to help educators develop policies and practices for their own schools.

Many parents, schools, and districts have raised questions about this area of civil rights law. Together, these documents will help navigate what may be a new terrain for some. Government resources for transgender and gender-nonconforming students are available here

 
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