Press Releases

Monday, April 22, 2013 2:35 PM

Last week, the Senate Education Committee reported Senate Bill 34 from Committee to the Senate for further consideration. SB 34 (Sen. Lloyd Smucker, R-13) would make extensive changes to the Professional Education Discipline Act.  It would shorten the title to "Education Discipline Act" and further provide for definitions and imposition of discipline on additional grounds. SB 34 would provide for confidentiality, subpoenas, and disposition of fees and fines.  It would also provide for cyber charter schools and make substantial editorial and technical changes and related repeals.  A technical amendment was adopted and then SB 34 was reported as amended.

Source: EPLC Education Notebook, April 19, 2013.

 
Monday, April 22, 2013 12:22 PM

Today is the deadline to vote in the May 21st Primary Election. For more information on voting, go to www.votespa.com.

 
Thursday, April 18, 2013 12:41 PM

While this is not PA Principals Association's position, please be aware that:  During a state House of Representatives committee hearing about proposed state pension plan changes, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) caught the attention of state lawmakers twice. First, Emily Leader, PSBA’s acting chief counsel, announced, for the first time, PSBA’s support of efforts to change future pension benefits for current employees. Click here for more. Click here to read a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about Leader’s remarks.
Source: PA Education Policy Roundup, April 18, 2013.

 
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 4:48 PM

Each year, the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PA Principals Association) selects a recipient for the “Service to Children” award.  Nominations for this award are now open to elementary and secondary members and are limited to one of three regions – east, central or west - on a rotating basis. This year the recipient will be selected from one of the following intermediate units in the western region:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 27 or 28. The deadline for nominations is May 31, 2013.

Click here for the informational letter or a 2013 nomination form.

(You must print a copy of the nomination form -- not a writeable file.)

 
Friday, April 12, 2013 6:09 PM

HB 2 was passed by the Senate this week and will now be sent to Gov. Corbett for his signature. HB 2 implements a new special education funding formula, establishing how any increases in the current special education appropriation are distributed using weighting factors based on category of disability. The bill also creates a Special Education Funding Commission to develop the components of the special education funding formula, including the weighting factors and the parameters of each category of disability.

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, April 11, 2013.

 
Friday, April 12, 2013 6:08 PM

The House of Representatives passed HB 930 this week, which makes extensive changes to the Professional Educator Discipline Act. Among the changes, HB 930: expands the jurisdiction of the Professional Standards and Practices Commission to include educators holding Private Academic School certification and educators working for independent contractors in public schools; expands the bases for discipline to include founded and indicated reports of child abuse as well as “grooming” behaviors such as sending a student sexually explicit text messages; shortens the time period for mandatory reporting to Pennsylvania Department of Education; requires an educator arrested or indicted for or convicted of certain enumerated crimes to report the indictment, arrest or conviction to the employing school entity within 72 hours; prohibits school entities from entering into confidential settlement agreements that interfere with a school entity’s mandatory reporting; and eliminates the current statute of limitations for the filing of misconduct complaints.

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, April 11, 2013.

 
Friday, April 12, 2013 6:07 PM

The House Education Committee will consider several bills of interest next week, including HB 969, which changes the requirement for all professional employees in a school district to be certified.  Instead, only 75% of the professional employees would be required to be certified.
Note: The PA Principals Association does not support this legislation.

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, April 11, 2013.

 
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 3:43 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) would like to inform all entities that administer the PSSA and/or Keystone Exams of the importance of accounting for all testing materials. As the assessments' results serve multiple purposes, the necessity to ensure test security is paramount. If all testing materials that are sent to you from Data Recognition Corporation are not returned to Data Recognition Corporation, the possibility of a testing breach may occur, causing an entire test form to be discontinued. The replacement of a test form is a very costly endeavor, with the development of an individual item costing from $1,000 up to $8,000. PDE would like to avoid any instances where an entity with access to testing materials is required to bear the cost of replacing a test form; therefore, we urge all entities in possession of test materials to ensure that all materials are accounted for and returned to Data Recognition Corporation at the completion of testing.

For more information, contact Judith Roseborough, PA Department of Education, Bureau of Assessment and Accountability, at 717-265-7655.

 
Friday, April 5, 2013 3:07 PM

Leading education organizations have called on Congress and the Administration to enact school safety policies that will genuinely support the well-being and learning of students over the long term, rather than reactive strategies that may cause more harm than good. The American School Counseling Association (ASCA), National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) released A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools, their joint recommendations for improved school safety and access to mental health services for students.

“Principals know the key to preserving the health, well-being, and safety of students is building strong, collaborative school/community relationships necessary for implementing effective prevention and intervention programs," said Gail Connelly, Executive Director, NAESP.  "Instead of guns, schools must be armed with multidisciplinary strategies resulting in a positive and nurturing school climate proven to prevent threatening or violent behaviors. Federal lawmakers can rely on this powerful framework to craft policies that will provide meaningful and long-term solutions to keeping our schools and our students safe.”

The groups caution against excessive emphasis on overly restrictive security measures, such as armed guards and metal detectors, which do not necessarily improve safety and can undermine the school climate and learning. They oppose arming school staff and reiterate that, if a school determines the need for armed security, school resource officers (commissioned police officers trained to work in schools) should be the only armed school personnel of any kind.

“At a time when resources are tight, we need to be focusing on those strategies that will create a school climate where students want come ready to learn,” noted NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “We have to ask ourselves not just ‘will this really work’ but also ‘is this the best use of our resources'."

Within the Framework, the education groups emphasize the importance of establishing policies and practices that are comprehensive, integrated, and multitiered; facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration across school teams and among school and community providers; make most effective use of school personnel; and are sustainable. More than 100 education and children’s mental health groups and experts have endorsed the recommendations.

Other recommendations include: allowing for blended, flexible use of funding streams to address school climate, safety, crisis response, and mental health needs more cohesively and effectively; improving staffing ratios of school-employed mental health professionals to allow for the delivery of a full range of services and the support of effective school–community partnerships; employing effective school discipline that promotes positive behavior; and integrating ongoing school safety and crisis and emergency preparedness and response teams, training, and planning.
The full report is available at: http://www.nasponline.org/resources/framework-safe-and-successful-schools.aspx

Source: NAESP Press Release, April 4, 2013.

 
Thursday, April 4, 2013 2:57 PM

PA Principals Association and EF Tours have partnered to host a tour of Europe for principals that provides PIL credits. Coming this summer, principals can learn about Global Leadership as they tour the cities of London, Normandy, Paris, Berlin, Munich and Salzburg.  Dr. William Ziegler, PA Principals Association’s president-elect, will be teaching a PIL-approved course (Creating Globally Competent Schools) on the trip.  The group will be visiting a school in Munich and talking with educators in that city.

The PIL piece is optional, and other educators may attend at the discounted rate. Your spouse or special guest is welcome to attend, but they will need to pay the non-discounted rate (unless they are an educator). The price for educators is the most discounted rate given by EF Tours. Teachers are welcome to attend, so please forward this e-mail to all of your teachers so they can also join this special rate and experience. The current educator price from Philadelphia is $3,580 and $3,738 from Pittsburgh.

EF is also hosting an online webinar to answer any questions on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.  The deadline for registering for the tour is April 29, 2013. To register for the webinar, please email Mike Brown, EF PA Representative, at Mike.Brown@EF.com.

This trip promises to be amazing as we explore the streets of Churchill's city, walk the battlefields of Normandy, climb the Eiffel Tower, learn from the STEM education in Germany and so much more.

Seating is limited on this trip, so please be sure to reserve your spot by registering now. Go to this web site to learn more and register for the trip:  http://www.eftours.com/preview-tour.aspx?gt=1348180; or check out this flyer. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Ziegler at wziegler@pgsd.org.

Reserve your spot today!

 
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