Press Releases

Monday, November 16, 2015 1:19 PM

There’s little debate at the Capitol that Pennsylvanians need a break on the property taxes they pay for local schools. A fierce battle is shaping up over how big and lasting that break will be.
Click here for full article.

Source: Sunbury Daily Item, Nov. 13, 2015.

 
Friday, November 13, 2015 10:26 AM

The Pennsylvania School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) has released its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015. The report is intended to provide financial, investment, actuarial, and statistical information regarding PSERS.  The CAFR states that the past fiscal year was a mixed year to be invested in higher risk assets, with modestly positive returns to equities while commodity and commodity-related securities struggled. PSERS' Board and investment staff made significant changes to the fund's investment asset allocation, further refining investment strategy and increasing the diversification of the fund's assets. For the second year in a row, PSERS' investment manager fees have declined.
 
The report also notes that, for many years, the commonwealth and school employers paid below the annual required contribution (ARC) that was necessary to pay down the unfunded liability of the system. The ARC percentage received fell to a low of 27% before significant pension reform was enacted in 2010. Act 120 of 2010 has made dramatic progress toward addressing the funding issue at PSERS. Since 2010, Act 120 has slowly resulted in increased employer contributions to the system and has raised the ARC to a level closer to other states. In FY 2015, PSERS received 69% of the ARC and is projected to receive 80% of the ARC in FY 2016. After FY 2017, PSERS' Employer Contribution Rates are projected to plateau.
 
According to the report, employer contributions increased from $2.1 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2014 to $2.7 billion in FY 2015 due to the increase in the total employer contribution rate from 16.93% in FY 2014 to 21.40% in FY 2015.  The rate will continue to climb over the next several years, projecting to peak at 32.23% in 2020 and remain at almost 32% through 2029. 
 
Click here to see the entire CAFR report.
 
Click here to see the actuarial section.

 
Friday, November 13, 2015 9:25 AM

Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday in Lancaster he's not getting everything he wants in a proposed budget deal, but Pennsylvanians will benefit from lower property taxes and an historic increase in school funding.
Click here for full article.
Source: LancasterOnline, Nov. 13, 2015.


 
Friday, November 13, 2015 9:24 AM

Forcing school districts to go to referendums for any property tax increases would devastate districts, several Palmyra Area SD (Lebanon Co.) officials said during Thursday's meeting.
Click here for full article.
Source: PennLive.com, Nov. 12, 2015.

 
Friday, November 13, 2015 9:19 AM

Culinary victories for healthy eating are being achieved every week at Bower Hill Elementary School in Peters (Washington Co.). Each Monday morning, four eager junior chefs gathered in the school kitchen to tape “Snack Scene.” The weekly 10-minute video program presented healthy snack recipes submitted and demonstrated by students.
Click here for full article.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 6, 2015. 

 
Friday, November 13, 2015 8:53 AM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning are pleased to announce the 2016 Prenatal to Grade 3 (P-3) **Governor’s Institute: P-3 Collaboration - Working Together for Student Success.** The purpose of Pennsylvania’s P-3 Governor’s Institute is to help school districts, early learning providers and community organizations throughout the commonwealth make the vital connections and collaborations necessary for student success from birth through grade 3. The 2016 P-3 Governor’s Institutes are being offered regionally in:

•             June 21-23 Kalahari Convention Center-- Pocono Manor

•             June 27-29 Ambassador Center—Erie

•             July 18-20 Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel--Philadelphia

•             August 2-4 Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square--Pittsburgh

Participation in the 2016 institute is limited to 28 teams per region.

Participating teams will be selected through an application process.

Districts and birth-5 early learning programs may submit applications for more than one team, if each applying team represents a different elementary school and birth-5 feeder school/program. Teams should be built around a specific elementary school(s), its feeder early-learning programs and the local community. Selected teams will participate in this 3-day event focusing on Kristie Kauerz’ Framework for Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Pre-K-3rd Grade Approaches. Professional development will be offered to support team specific implementation of P-3 efforts.

The framework can be accessed at:

http://depts.washington.edu/pthru3/PreK-3rd_Framework_Legal%20paper.pdf

Most expenses, except meals, will be covered for participating teams using Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant funds. Act 48 and Act 45/PIL professional development credits and Pennsylvania Quality Assurance System (PQAS) hours will be offered.

To be considered for participation in this event, participating teams must agree to the following:

Attend the entire 3-day event;

• Bring a core team of no less than 4 educators (maximum participating team of 8 members): a birth-5 administrator, a birth-5 teacher, a K-3 administrator and a K-3 teacher. 

Preference will be given to applicants who include up to 4 of the following: family leader or family representative, Early Intervention representative, community member, librarian, curriculum specialist, higher education partner, IU representative.

• Engage in continuous improvement via sharing and implementation of strategies/programs that will enhance student achievement; and

• Maintain an active role in the Governor’s Institute cohort subsequent to the event (e.g., professional learning community, webinars, monthly follow up).

Applications will be available beginning January 11, 2016.

If you have any questions, please contact Jolie Phillips at jolphillip@pa.gov.

Click here for the informational flyer.

 
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 10:19 AM

It's still not too late to sign up for the multimedia Web Seminar!

Research has shown that oral language has a profound effect on children’s reading success throughout their academic career.

In this first-ever online, multimedia Web Seminar, learn how GrapeSEED’s oral language acquisition and critical listening strategies are significantly improving reading fluency in young learners and test scores for all student populations. You will:

  • See a classroom in action
  • Learn about the latest research findings
  • Experience GrapeSEED materials, videos, and songs
  • Watch literacy experts, teachers, and principals as they share their insights

GrapeSEED is a complete early literacy solution for educators. Find out first-hand why it works!

Sign up now!

 
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 8:54 AM

Attention Members: The PA Principals Association joined the Fair Education Funding Campaign's stance on the opposition to any discussions about including tax referendums as part of the budget deal. A letter was sent yesterday to the Governor and key legislators outlining our views on this issue. Please feel free to forward the attached letter to your local legislators as soon as possible so that referendums do not become part of any budget deal. Click here for the letter  

Thanks,
Dr. Paul Healey
Executive Director

 
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 8:53 AM

Discussion about a budget deal in Pennsylvania includes tougher restrictions on school property tax increases, while chances are dimming that a deal will include a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production sought by Gov. Tom Wolf.

Click here for full article.
Source: Associated Press, Nov. 9, 2015.
Full story

 
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 8:31 AM

Pennsylvania’s wealthiest school districts enjoyed the smallest of former Gov. Tom Corbett’s education funding cuts in 2011, and now their funding is being restored more quickly than poorer districts, according to a new study.

Click here for full article.
Source: The Pottstown Mercury, Nov. 9, 2015.

 
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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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