Wednesday, June 24, 2015 9:25 AM
Public exasperation is starting to show at the state Capitol with the slow progress of Pennsylvania's budget talks. Gov. Tom Wolf, frustrated with what he increasingly sees as a Republican obsession with privatizating liquor sales, said Tuesday he told GOP leaders the budget talks "can't be held hostage to booze."
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Source: Pennlive.com, June 23, 2015.
Monday, June 22, 2015 12:34 PM
Through an amazing grant opportunity offered by the Food Research and Action Center, NAESP Foundation and several other groups, recently joined the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom to bring the Breakfast in the Classroom program to Pennsylvania school districts.
Breakfast in the Classroom takes the traditional school breakfast approach and improves it by moving it to the classroom. Breakfast is available to every child, no matter the family's income level, making it possible for all children to participate. There are more than 25 million children in our nation's schools, many of whom come to school hungry. What happens next is heartbreaking. Their attention spans shorten. Their energy levels plummet. Their productivity wanes. Learning suffers. Lives suffer. It's time to start a movement to change that. The solution? Breakfast in the Classroom. It's a fact: eating breakfast at school helps children learn. Studies show that children who eat breakfast at the start of their school day have higher math and reading scores.
In addition, a number of PA organizations are working to increase breakfast participation in Pennsylvania and to do so, they are sponsoring the Second Pennsylvania School Breakfast Challenge to help highlight the importance of school breakfast and offer incentives to schools that make meaningful changes to increase student access to school breakfast: http://www.hungercoalition.org/breakfast.
PA Principals Association will continue to promote the Breakfast in the Classroom program in our publications, website, broadcast emails and at the annual conference. Other Pennsylvania partners include: Public Citizens for Children and Youth, the Pennsylvania State Education Association and the School Nutrition Association of Pennsylvania.
With generous funding from the Walmart Foundation, grants are available to start a Breakfast in the Classroom program in your school district and/or school. For more information, contact Etienne Melcher at EMelcher@frac.org.
If you require more information about the partnership and/or the Breakfast in the Classroom program, please check out the links below:
Monday, June 22, 2015 10:17 AM
An overhaul of the way Pennsylvania funds its 500 school districts could begin to move in the state House and Senate as soon as next week. And, while Republican and Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf seem to embrace the recommended funding formula approved on Thursday by the Basic Education Funding Commission, the GOP and Wolf disagree on one thing: when to start using it.
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Source: Pennlive.com, June 19, 2015.
Monday, June 22, 2015 10:10 AM
Just 90 words in a letter from a mid-level program analyst in the Department of Labor and Industry to a handful of state human service providers warning of the mere possibility of a failure to pass a 2015-16 budget by July 1 is all that it took last week to raise the specter of the disruptions of Commonwealth funding crises of the past.
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Source: Pennlive.com, June 21, 2015.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 3:07 PM
Thursday, June 18, 2015 10:07 AM
Most of Pennsylvania’s registered voters are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.
About half (49 percent) support Gov. Tom Wolf’s death penalty moratorium, versus 37 percent who oppose it. And they want action on increasing education funding and property tax reform.
Those are some of the findings of the latest Franklin & Marshall College poll, released Thursday.
F&M political scientist G. Terry Madonna, who directs the poll, said he wanted to gauge public sentiment on some of the main issues before the state Legislature.
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Source: Lancaster Online, By TIM STUHLDREHER, Staff Writer, Thursday, June 18, 2015 6:00 am.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 10:05 AM
A bill permitting Pennsylvania school districts to tie future teacher layoffs to job performance evaluations narrowly survived an early-round vote in the state House Wednesday. The 95-94 vote on an amendment drafted by House Education Committee Chairman Stan Saylor, R-Red Lion, left the bill's immediate future anything but a slam dunk, as supporters try to rally the votes needed for final passage. The bill essentially adds budget shortfalls to the list of reasons a district can lay off classroom teachers, and administrators - when using that reason - would be required to first eliminate affected personnel with "failing," or "needs improvement," ratings.
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Source: Pennlive.com, By Charles Thompson, June 17, 2015 at 9:35 PM, updated June 17, 2015 at 10:36 PM.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 10:04 AM
Pennsylvania House members voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to exempt more people from a state law that requires background checks for those who work with children. The 180-9 vote sent the Senate the proposal to limit the checks for adult volunteers and employees at schools, child care facilities and similar places to those who have direct and routine interaction with children.
The more vigorous checks were enacted last year as part of the Legislature's response to the child sex abuse case against former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and scandals involving church clergy. Some lawmakers said they hoped the Senate will remove a provision that exempts school or university workers who do not interact with students or prospective students who are less than 16 years old.
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Source: Pennlive.com, By PennLive staff and wire reports, June 17, 2015 at 7:22 PM.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 8:17 AM
In theory, Pennsylvania school districts whose communities are similar economically are supposed to receive about the same amount of money per student from the state. But, with politics muscling in on how public school aid was distributed in the last two decades, officials have long complained about gaping disparities in public school aid.
Some communities now get half as much per-student aid as those with similar economic circumstances.
On Thursday, a panel of lawmakers and top advisers to Gov. Tom Wolf is set to recommend a way to close the gap, an effort that comes as Wolf is seeking the biggest one-year boost in public school aid in the state's history.
An Associated Press review of state data shows per-student funding differences can be great.
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Source: Associated Press, By Marc Levy, June 17, 2015.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 9:18 AM
The Basic Education Funding Commission, Co-Chaired by Senator Pat Browne (R-16 Lehigh) and Representative Mike Vereb (R-150 Montgomery), will meet on Thursday, June 18th at 10 a.m. to consider recommendations and a funding formula and release its report to the General Assembly and the public. The Basic Education Funding Commission was established through Act 51 of 2014 to develop a new formula for the distribution of state funding for basic education to Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts. The 15-member commission has undertaken a comprehensive study of a number of factors, held 15 hearings over the past 11 months and heard from a wide-range of experts and advocates in the education field, as well as parents, before arriving ultimately at a consensus on a new formula. The meeting will be held in the Majority Caucus Room of the House of Representatives. The recommendations of the commission will not go into effect, however, without legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor. Barring any unforeseen technical difficulties, the hearing will stream live on www.pasenategop.com and www.pahousegop.com.
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Source: PA Senate Republican website, June 16, 2015; PA Education Policy Roundup, June 17, 2015.