Press Releases

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 9:02 AM

From one side of the Capitol to the other, school children are entertaining passersby, staffers and lawmakers alike all week. But sour notes in budget talks are threatening the second half of the school year for many of those children. The budget stalemate is now in its 168th day.
Click here for full article.

Source: ABC News - Channel 27, Dec. 15, 2015.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 8:58 AM

Financial challenges that the late state budget has created for public schools may buy them and their educators and administrators more time to complete their state-mandated professional development requirements.
Click here for full article.

Source:, Dec. 15, 2015.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 8:47 AM

The premier conference for those transforming education in the mid-Atlantic and northeast regions. Featuring more than 60 sessions focused on personalizing learning for K-12 students, this conference is jointly organized by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) and the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU). The conference will be held from Monday, February 29, 2016 - Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. Click here for more information and to register.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015 8:36 AM

As we approach the end of the 2015 calendar year, PDE is increasing its capacity to respond to technical questions surrounding background checks for school employees and volunteers resulting from recent changes to the Child Protective Service Law, including Act 153 of 2014 and Act 15 of 2015.  Please review the guidance below to assist you in meeting these requirements. 

  • If an applicant does not have clearances on file that are less than 5 years old, please use the following links to complete applicable background checks.

Child Abuse Clearance:

State Criminal History Check:

Federal Criminal History Check:

  • To verify if an applicant has fingerprint results on file, please log onto your district’s Cogent account and enter the PAE registration number to view individual results.  Please print a copy for your records.
  • When inputting a PAE registration number, if no results are found, please contact PDE. When contacting PDE, please have the following:
    • Applicant’s name
    • Applicant’s birthday
    • Last four digit of the applicant’s Social Security number
    • Date/location where fingerprinting took place
  • If an applicant is awaiting results from name check verification, an applicant can expect to receive the results by mail from PDE.  PDE response time is approximately one week following notification from Cogent. 

If the above guidance does not answer your background check question, please send your inquiry to or contact us directly at (717) 783-3750 or (717) 772-3618. If you have already left a message our team is working diligently to respond to your request in a timely manner.


Thursday, December 10, 2015 10:46 AM

December 9, 2015: Statement on the Senate passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) from the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP):

Principals will celebrate the elimination of No Child Left Behind’s (NCLB) system of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), School Improvement Grants (SIG), and other letters that marked the highly punitive, overly-test-reliant era of NCLB. But more important, they recognize a great opportunity ESSA offers to create more holistic accountability systems that include successes a test score simply cannot capture.

We are also pleased that the role of the principal received a prominent place in the bill’s provisions. Specifically:

  • Inclusion of the School Principal Recruitment and Training Act, championed by Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN).
  • Inclusion of language crafted by Sen. Franken allowing states to reserve up to 3 percent of their Title II funds for principal professional development.
  • The clarification of school leader to mean a principal within the school building, an amendment introduced by Rep. Davis and Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL).

Under ESSA, states will reserve up to 7% of their Title I funds for school improvement activities that are not rigidly prescribed at the federal level, but that begin with a needs analysis and capacity assessment. While the legislation will support elementary schools meet the challenges with struggling students and help states expand early learning to all three- and four-year olds, we would have liked to see more dedicated resources for low-performing middle and high schools. We are, however, pleased that ESSA requires state plans to include information about how the state will work with districts to provide effective transitions of students to middle grades and high school to decrease the risk of students dropping out.

The bill is not perfect—no bill is—but it moves U.S. public education in the right direction. We applaud Congress for this tremendous bipartisan achievement, and look forward to the president’s signing of the bill, as well as working with the U.S. Department of Education and the states to implement ESSA’s provisions.


Source: NAESP Press Release,

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 8:55 AM

The National Institute of School Leaders (NISL) has updated the curriculum within the Executive Development Program (EDP) and we are pleased to announce that the Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership Program (PIL) has been enhanced to reflect these new changes!

As a result, the requirements for Pennsylvania's Principal Induction Program, as well as PIL courses to be offered will change as of July 1, 2016. Individuals currently enrolled in PIL courses including Courses 1 and/or 4 of the EDP will be able to fully complete those courses by June 2016.  In addition, a process was developed to allow all participants to transition to the newly revised courses. 

The revised PIL courses and units will be as follows:

Course 1: World Class Schooling: Vision and Goals

Unit 1: The Educational Challenge

Unit 2: The Principal as Strategic Thinker Unit 3: Elements of Standards-Aligned Instructional Systems

Course 2: Focus on Teaching and Learning

Unit 4: Foundations of Effective Learning Unit 5: Leadership in the Instructional Core: Part 1 Unit 6: Leadership in the Instructional Core: Part 2 Unit 7: Coaching for High Quality Teaching

Course 3: Sustaining Capacity through Capacity and Commitment

Unit 8: Promoting the Learning Organization Unit 9: Teams for Instructional Leadership Unit 10: Ethical Leadership for Equity Unit 11: Driving and Sustaining Transformation Unit 12: Final Case Simulation and Presentation

The following number of Act 48/PIL hours will be provided for successful completion of each course:

Course 1: 45 Hours

Course 2: 60 Hours

Course 3: 75 Hours

The PRINCIPAL INDUCTION PROGRAM will now consist of successful completion of courses 1 and 2.

Additionally, the title of Regional Site Coordinator has been changed to Regional Program Lead (RPL) to better reflect the role and responsibilities.  Questions regarding these PIL program changes should be directed to the RPL in your region.

Link to PIL website:


Wednesday, December 9, 2015 8:42 AM

 December 8, 2015 (Washington, DC) — The National Council on Teacher Quality today released its ninth annual State Teacher Policy Yearbook, which includes a 360-degree analysis of every state law, rule and regulation that shapes the effectiveness of the teaching profession in Pennsylvania.

Click here for the full NCTQ Press Release.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 1:13 PM

Dr. Joseph Clapper, Assistant Executive Director of the PA Principals Association, represented the association at the budget rally today. Today’s press conference was assembled to urge legislators to move the agreed upon budget framework to passage and to vote down any alternate budget proposals in the House. See the links below for additional information.

The Campaign for Fair Education Funding

Budget Remarks

Clapper Remarks at Capitol


Monday, December 7, 2015 11:45 AM

UPDATE: The U.S. House of Representatives approved the final conference agreement to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which is now known as the Every Student Succeeds Act, on December 2. The Senate is now expected to take up the conference report on December 8, and it’s not too late to make your voice heard. Join other members by sending  a message to your senators before their expected Tuesday evening vote!

We are at a critical point in the legislative process. Now it is more important than ever that school leaders reach out to their members of Congress and urge them to vote on the final conference agreement to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which is now known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and is currently facing a vote in the House. A vote in favor of this agreement will put an end to the test-and-punish policies and shift greater authority to the states to determine accountability systems that work better for schools. It will also bring greater attention to the role of principals and acknowledge how your vital role ensures that every child has a high quality educational experience.

You have the opportunity to reach out to your legislators right now by sending a message to Congress through the new joint NAESP and NASSP action center. The action center can be found on both associations’ websites and you will be able to access action alerts on either page. The joint Principal’s Legislative Action Center is reflective of the collaboration between NAESP and NASSP to advance education policy that reflects the interests of principals on behalf of all students. NAESP and NASSP have been working together closely on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act over the past several years, and are pleased to have come together for this final push to renew the Every Student Succeeds Act. 

Please take a moment to send your message of support to Congress now.

Monday, December 7, 2015 11:32 AM

PA Principals Association Executive Director urges members to get involved in securing a budget deal. Over the weekend, we learned that the House Republicans have decided not to support the budget framework agreed upon by the Senate, the Governor and the House Democrats. The House Republicans plan to move their own budget bill which only includes 150 million in new dollars for basic education funding. They are working on their language as we speak.

Members are urged to contact House Republicans NOW to let them know that $150 million is simply not enough and they should support the budget framework which includes $350 million for basic education funding, $50 million for special education and about $60 million for Pre-K. Also, urge House Republicans to not stall the budget process by voting NO on any new House budget bill.   

In the Senate, the budget framework may be put up for a vote today.

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P.O. Box 39, 122 Valley Road, Summerdale, PA 17093 Phone: (717) 732-4999 Fax: (717) 732-4890