Press Releases

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 2:08 PM

State Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover Township) will join the next monthly Twitter chat with Pennsylvania’s major educationleadership organizations on Tuesday, April 28 at 8 p.m.

Topics will include, but not be limited to: PlanCon, Property Tax, Governor Wolf’s budget proposal and of course the need for a fair, predictable basic education funtwitter chat april 28ding formula.

Use hashtag #FairFundingPA to participate and follow the conversation.

On the last Tuesday of each month at 8 p.m., the following organizations go to Twitter to discuss timely topics, ask questions and listen to the public’s responses:

  • The Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA);
  • The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA);
  • The Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO);
  • The Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PA Principals Association)   
  • The Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools (PARSS)

Join the conversation. Share your ideas, lurk, learn and let us know what you think about the state’s support for public schools. It’s a simple, free and fast-paced way to communicate and share information. If you’ve never tweeted before, here are directions and a few tips:

How to Get Started

Log-on to, sign-up, create your profile, find people and organizations you are interested in following and start tweeting out messages in 140 characters or less. Be sure to follow our Twitter chat participants:

  • @PASASupts          – Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators
  • @PSBA                  – Pennsylvania School Boards Association
  • @PASBO_org        – Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials
  • @PA Principals Association               -- Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals/Assistant Principals
  • @PARSS2go           – Pennsylvania Association of Rural and School Schools

What is a Twitter Chat?

Twitter chats happen when a group of people all tweet about the same topic using a specific tag (#), called a hashtag, which allows it to be followed like a transcript on Twitter. The chats are at a specific time, once, and often repeated at announced times.

Follow the Conversation or Check Back Later

To follow a Twitter chat live or to read the conversation later, log-on to Twitter, click on the #Discover link, then search for #FairFundingPA. By search for the hashtag, you can see all of the recent tweets on that topic. Then, read, reply and post your own thoughts and messages.

It’s That Easy to Join the Conversation!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 1:51 PM

A Principals as Evaluators and Coaches Workshop, Stragegies for Success, will be held on Monday, May 4, 2015 at the Capital Union Building, Penn State Harrisburg, Middletown, Pa., from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The workshop is sponsored by Project EXCELLENCE-A PDE Funded Project.  

Principals have many roles in today's schools and the demands of the job can be overwhelming. This morning workshop will focus on building Principal's capacity as an evaluator and as a coach to promote effective teaching and student learning. Three top experts will share research-based strategies and information related to these roles.  Click here for the workshop flyer.

Any questions, please contact Jane Wilburne (

To register, please check out the evite link below:


Wednesday, April 22, 2015 12:43 PM

All public school principals, including charter and cyber charter school principals, are subject to the applicable certification requirements of the Public School Code ( 24 P.S. § 11-1109) as well as any Act 45 continuing education and Pennsylvania Inspired Leaders (PIL) requirements. In keeping with the intent of section 1109, any person  who devotes half or more of their time to supervision or administration in a public school, without an identified principal, is serving as the "principal" of the school regardless of the locally titled position (i.e., school director, head teacher, etc.). Such individuals must hold a valid administrative certificate and comply with all applicable Act 45 and PIL requirements.  In addition, the public school should properly identify the individual as a principal in PIMS/PERMS regardless of the local title utilized.

Public schools should not create and utilize local titles to avoid employing a principal and circumvent the mandates of Public School Code (24 P.S. § 11-1109) and the Act 45 continuing education requirements.

For further clarification please visit the following links on PDE's website 

For additional inquiries, a ticket may be submitted to the Help Desk through the Help & Contact Info section of PDE's website.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015 11:08 AM

Research shows that children who have access to high quality early education experiences with families engaged in their early development are more likely to be prepared for and succeed in kindergarten. Families always want what’s best for their young children, but may not know where to start. 

The new Early Learning GPS,, is a great tool for all families who want to learn what they need to know and can do to help their young child learn and grow. This is a great resource for teachers and schools to share with families who have children in pre-kindergarten and the elementary grades. Because the Early Learning GPS is online, schools can post the logo and link to their websites and internet portals.

The Early Learning GPS helps families get reliable answers to questions like “how do I know if my child will be ready for kindergarten?”

After a family answers a question, they receive a simple video tip and links to reliable resources. Families can save their favorite tips and resources to their child’s map as well as:

  • Follow their child’s milestones;
  • Find fun family activities based on Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards; and
  • Compare child care/ early learning programs.

The child’s map will grow with him until kindergarten!

All of the information is from reliable sources like Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

Visit to get started. Professionals can access tips, ways to share the GPS with families, and professional development at /gps.

Schools may also order free Early Learning GPS promotional kits with bookmarks, table tents and posters that they can display in school offices and classrooms and include with other parent communications at

The Early Learning GPS is developed by Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children in partnership with Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning with funding from Pennsylvania’s Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant. For more information, visit

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 8:42 AM

A lawsuit contending that Pennsylvania's system of school funding is broken will move to the state's top court, attorneys vowed Tuesday after a lower court dismissed the case brought by school districts, parents, and advocates. Lawyers said they would appeal to the state Supreme Court after the Commonwealth Court ruled that education funding was a legislative issue and not a legal matter.

Click here to read the article.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, April 22, 2015.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015 8:40 AM

Meet Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education Pedro Rivera. Learn about his background in education, his goals for the department, and what he likes to do in his down time.

Source: The PLS Reporter, Author: Alanna Koll/Tuesday, April 21, 2015 Video runtime 4:08.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 8:34 AM

Following a healthy discussion that touched on a myriad of educational issues, the Senate Education Committee voted on Tuesday to recommend Pedro Rivera's nomination as Gov. Tom Wolf's education secretary for confirmation by the full Senate.  Rivera, 45, emphasized to the committee his commitment to transparency, being accountable, being responsive, listening to stakeholders and being focused on improving student learning. "We want our successes to outlast us all. So whether I'm secretary or whomever is secretary next, I hope to build a culture and legacy that's going to serve the children of the commonwealth for 50 to 100 years," Rivera said, as his wife Erika watched from the first row of seats in the hearing room.

Click here to read the article.

Source: By Jan Murphy | on April 21, 2015 at 3:10 PM, updated April 21, 2015 at 3:11 PM.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 3:42 PM

On Tuesday, lawmakers will begin the confirmation process for Governor Tom Wolf’s pick to lead the State Department of Education. Pedro Rivera is the former superintendent of the Lancaster School District. Wolf appointed him in January. As education secretary, he would run the state’s 500 school districts. Tuesday morning, an 11 member panel from the Senate Education Committee will ask questions to determine if they believe he is qualified. If they approve, the next step will be to confirm him with a vote by the full Senate. That would likely happen in May.

Click here for full story.

Source: abc27 By Ali Lanyon Published: April 21, 2015, 3:39 am.

Monday, April 20, 2015 2:28 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is required to develop and submit to the U.S. Department of Education by June 1, 2015, a state plan that ensures equitable access for all students to excellent teachers and principals.  Essential to the development of Pennsylvania's state plan is the engagement and involvement of an external stakeholders group, which include representatives from: educational associations/organizations; urban and rural districts; intermediate units; higher education teacher preparation institutions; nonpublic schools; charter schools; parents; federal program coordinators; teachers' unions; and business and community groups/organizations.

Consistent with ESEA sections 1111(a)(1), 1119b)(8)(C) and 9304(a)(3)(B), Pennsylvania's state plan is required to include:

1.  Description and documentation related to steps taken to consult with LEAs, teachers, principals, pupil services personnel, administrators,  other staff and parents.

2.  Identify equity gaps using the most recent data available to calculate differences, if any, between the rates poor and minority children are taught by "inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field" teachers when compared to other children.

3.  Explanation of the likely causes of the identified equity gaps.

4.  Strategies to eliminate the identified equity gaps, timelines for implementation of strategies and monitoring activities.

5.  Description of measures, methods and timelines for evaluating progress toward eliminating equity gaps.

6.  Description of how POE will publicly report on its progress in eliminating equity gaps.

The recording from the first stakeholders meeting (conducted as a webinar) is available for anyone.  To access it, visit, then click on the "recordings" tab at the left, then select April 7 from the calendar on the right.

Stakeholders have been asked to enlist local support from peers, colleagues, local community, teachers, principals, and others by sharing information about Pennsylvania's  strategies for ensuring equitable access for all students to excellent teachers and principals.

A resource account ( has been created to gather feedback and suggestions throughout the development of Pennsylvania's state plan.

If an educational association or organization contacts you for feedback or if you listen to the stakeholders' webinar, please follow-up via email to the above resource account (

Next steps include the following:

*Convening a statewide workgroup to assist in identifying: existing gaps in local strategic management  of human resources (recruitment, hiring, retention, professional development); and school climate that affect hiring and retention of teachers and principals (these are areas that are not reported to POE);

*Continuing to analyze Pennsylvania's data metrics (number of teachers who are not certified, not highly qualified, working outside the scope of their existing Pennsylvania teaching certificate; years of teaching experience; principal education levels; teacher turnover; etc.) for purposes of identifying equity gaps;

*Conducting a root cause analysis with members of Pennsylvania's Educator Equity Stakeholder Group and identifying strategies for overcoming equity gaps; and

*Implementing  a cycle of continually incorporating workgroup and stakeholder group feedback and suggestions into Pennsylvania's draft state plan.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015 8:46 AM

State Representative Glen Grell (R-Cumberland) will become the Executive Director of the Public Schools Employee Retirement System (PSERS), sources confirmed for abc27. Click here for more.

Source: ABC27, April 14, 2015; PSBA Daily EDition, April 15, 2015.

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