Monday, July 30, 2012 2:54 PM
Under new legislation, school districts will have to file annual reports starting in 2013 detailing how boys's and girls's sports opportunities match up in middle and high schools. These reports will need to include numbers of participants and teams, coaches and trainers's compensation and spending on equipment, travel and uniforms. It might be helpful to review procedures this year to make implementing the reports go more smoothly next year. Click here for the full article.
Source: PenSPRA e-Comm Alerts, July 26, 2012 — Volume 7 #20.
Monday, July 30, 2012 2:05 PM
s part of the 2012-13 state budget, Governor Tom Corbett signed into law several bills that affect the Public School Code of 1949. These bills were passed in addition to Act 82 of 2012. Please note that this is a summary and further guidance on the implementation of these provisions will be forthcoming.
Act 31 of 2012 exempts a person who holds the qualifications of a teacher under Section 4(2) of the Private Driver Education or Training School Act from an Article 12 certification provided that the employing school district has posted the vacant position for a minimum of 10 days on the district'ss web site and no qualified candidate certified by the Department of Education to teach driver and safety education is available. For additional information, contact Terry Barnaby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Act 126 of 2012 requires school entities and independent contractors to provide their employees, who will have direct contact with children, with mandatory child abuse recognition and reporting training. Employees shall complete three hours of training every five years. Employees required to undergo continuing professional development under Section 1205.2 shall receive credit for the training provided that the program is approved by the department. For more information, contact Mike Kozup at email@example.com.
Act 59 of 2012 requires information about the signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest to be handed out to parents of children wishing to participate in interscholastic athletics. An informational meeting on this subject is required. A student-athlete displaying the signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest must be removed from play and coaches must participate in annual training on the subject. For more details, contact Mike Kozup at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Act 101 of 2012 requires information about the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries to be handed out to parents of children wishing to participate in interscholastic athletics. An informational meeting on this subject is required. A student-athlete displaying the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries must be removed from play and coaches must participate in training on the subject. For more information, contact Mike Kozup at email@example.com.
Act 141 of 2012 requires PDE to develop and implement an early warning system to identify school districts experiencing mild financial difficulties. Districts that meet the criteria established by PDE would be declared in Financial Watch Status based on data provided to the Department by the districts. PDE will notify districts that they have been designated in Financial Watch Status and provide these districts with technical assistance. The act also provides for the Secretary to declare a school district in Moderate Financial Recovery Status or Severe Financial Recovery Status. School districts in financial recovery status may apply for an interest-free loan through PDE'ss financial recovery transitional loan program to implement components of their financial recovery plan. School districts may only receive one loan from this account per fiscal year. For additional information, contact Amy Morton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Act 69 of 2012 allows a private, nonprofit college or university to offer an additional degree or to institute an additional major or program as long as the college or university is accredited and has operated continuously in the commonwealth for 10 years, or the department approves the additional degree, major, or program. Contact Jill Hans at email@example.com for additional information.
Act 132 of 2012 authorizes state-owned universities and system employees to enter into economic development agreements that benefit the State-owned universities and system employees. "Economic development agreement" is defined as an agreement that allows a State-owned university to develop and market intellectual property owned or created by a State System of Higher Education employee. For more information, contact Jill Hans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Act 134 of 2012 authorizes the State System of Higher Education to enter into an agreement with any entity for the cooperative use of supplies or services. All purchases and agreements made pursuant to this subsection must be the result of a system of competitive bidding and in accordance with Pennsylvania law. For more information, contact Jill Hans at email@example.com.
Act 85 of 2012 established the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program to provide low- and moderate-income students in low-achieving schools the option to apply for a scholarship to attend a participating public or nonpublic school. PDE will notify districts that have one or more low-achieving schools by Aug. 1, 2012, and by Feb. 1 of each year thereafter. For additional information, contact Steve Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, July 30, 2012 1:54 PM
As part of the 2012-13 state budget, Governor Tom Corbett signed into law House Bill 1901, which made several changes to the Public School Code of 1949. Below is an overview of the changes made by Act 82 of 2012.
Please note, this is a summary and further guidance on the implementation of these provisions will be forthcoming.
Clarifies that the employment prohibitions contained in Sections 111(e) and 111(f.1), based on conviction of certain offenses, applies to both current and prospective employees. The requirements to report arrests and convictions are expanded to include, in addition to the 111(e) offenses, arrests for or convictions of offenses listed under Section 111(f.1). The department will revise the report form required by Section 111 and publish the revised form in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and on the department'ss website. For more information, contact Steve Fisher at email@example.com.
Allows for the addition of a graduate degree in management to qualify individuals for election or appointment of superintendent and also, for the next three years, permits a person with a Juris Doctorate degree and at least four years of relevant work experience in law to serve as a superintendent or assistant superintendent. The department will review and confirm that individuals meet the new statutory requirements for appointment. A request for review of the qualifications may be made by a form that the department will develop, which will be made available on the department'ss web site. The department will also issue a commission upon hiring. For more details, contact Steve Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Provides for superintendent contract transparency, requiring that superintendent and assistant superintendent contracts include specific provisions/limitations, such as all provisions for compensation and benefits to be paid; termination, buy out and severance provisions; limitations related to compensation for unused sick leave from previous employment; post-retirement benefits and benefit duration; and objective performance standards. It further provides for annual performance reviews and subjects the contracts to the Right to Know Law. For more information, contact Steve Fisher at email@example.com.
Provides for the creation of a new rating tool for classroom teachers starting in the 2013-14 school year and for principals and nonteaching professionals starting in the 2014-15 school year. The tool for classroom teachers needs to be developed, issued and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin by June 30, 2013. The tools for principals and nonteaching professionals need to be developed, issued and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin by June 30, 2014. For more information, contact Carolyn Dumaresq at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allows schools to suspend/furlough employees based on curtailments or alterations of educational programs without the department'ss approval of the programmatic change. The district must still notify the department and the information will be posted online. For more information, contact Steve Fisher at email@example.com.
Provides for Accountability Block Grants (ABG) in the 2012-13 fiscal year to be distributed by a formula and prorated if sufficient funds are not available. The funds are to be used for ABG eligible expenses as defined in Section 2599.2. For additional information, contact Ed Vollbrecht at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allows school districts to reopen their 2012-13 budgets to reflect state and federal appropriations for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 fiscal years. In addition, budgets may be reopened for an increase in local revenue if the change is due to legislation enacted during the 2011 regular session. Contact Benjamin Hanft at email@example.com for additional information.
Provides for payments for Basic Education Funding, Special Education Funding and intermediate units. For additional information, contact Benjamin Hanft at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Provides for payments to community colleges. For additional information, contact Jessica Sites at email@example.com.
Provides for payments for libraries. For additional information, contact Eileen Kocher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Provides for a moratorium on new Part A PlanCon project applications not received by the department by October 1, 2012. The department will also conduct a review of the current process in which school building projects are reviewed and approved. For additional information, contact Nichole Duffy at email@example.com.
Provides that contracts for work or purchase of supplies that exceed $18,500 as adjusted by CPI must be done under separate contracts. Also provides that a school district can proceed with emergency repairs without the approval of the department, but still requires notification to the department. The department will provide the form and manner for school districts to report these types of incidents. Contact Nichole Duffy at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Eliminates the incentive program for health and nutrition. For more information, contact Vonda Cooke at email@example.com.
Provides that a school district is not prohibited from receiving reimbursement for approved building improvements, including the cost of acquiring a suitable site for a school building, the cost of constructing a new school building or the cost of providing needed additions or alterations to existing buildings if a school district elects not to remove any relocatable or modular classroom utilized after the completion of a building project. For more information, contact Nichole Duffy firstname.lastname@example.org.
Modifies the deployment of the Keystone Exams. By the 2020-21 school year, the department will, subject to annual appropriation, develop and implement the following Keystone exams: Algebra I, Literature, Biology, English Composition, Algebra II, Geometry, United States History, Chemistry, Civics and Government and World History. For questions regarding the Keystone Exams, contact Rich Maraschiello at email@example.com.
Creates an open campus initiative to encourage collaboration between and among school districts to provide high-quality education through cooperative agreements. These agreements are to be developed by school districts. The department is to provide any technical assistance needed to the school districts that are establishing and operating these open campus initiatives. Contact Mike Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Removes the 165-student cap for designating students to neighboring school districts in third class school districts operating under a special board of control that do not operate a high school program. Provides that the tuition rate for the 2012-13 school year and each year thereafter that a designated school district receives for each student it receives shall be the greater of $10,000 or the product of the tuition rate established for the prior school year and the greater of the percentage increase in total budgeted revenues or the index set pursuant to the Taxpayer Relief Act. For two consecutive school years following the effective date, a school district designated to receive students shall receive $500 per student reassigned and entering grades 7, 8 or 9 for transition services. This section currently only applies to the Duquesne City School District and those school districts designated to receive Duquesne'ss high school students. For questions on reassignment of students, contact Carolyn Dumaresq at email@example.com. For information on district reimbursement, contact Nichole Duffy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requires each school entity (AVTS, charter, cyber charter, IU, nonpublic or school district) to have at each school/location one person certified in CPR during regular school hours. For additional information, contact Mike Kozup at email@example.com.
Provides that the State Board of Education may revise the model memorandum of understanding (MOU) for school safety by publishing a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin that contains the complete revised model MOU. Contact Mike Kozup at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Permits a local board of school directors to enter into agreements with other political subdivisions to provide for safety and security of a school. For additional information, contact Mike Kozup at email@example.com.
Creates the Targeted Industry Cluster Certificate Scholarship Program within the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). The need-based program is geared toward students enrolled in courses of study in the energy, advanced materials, diversified manufacturing, agriculture and food production fields. Eligible courses of study must be more than 10 weeks in length, less than two academic years in length and be Title IV eligible. A list of eligible programs and participation requirements can be found at www.pheaa.org/pa-tip.
Amends the data moratorium language to provide that institutions of higher education may voluntarily provide data to the department. For more information, contact Jen Dugan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTHER CHANGES TO THE SCHOOL CODE
Requires that schools submit to the department athletic opportunity and treatment data for male and female secondary students for the preceding year by October 15 of each year through a disclosure form established by the department. This form will be available on the department'ss web site and copies of the completed forms will be accessible on the department'ss website beginning in 2013. For additional information, contact Steve Fisher at email@example.com.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 2:53 PM
Attention Members: You do not need to log in to the PA Principals Association web site in order to register for the PA Principals Association Conference, Oct. 21-23, 2012, in Pittsburgh, PA. Hover your mouse over the State Conference tab on the Main Menu until you see the drop down menu and REGISTER NOW! Click on this tab and you will see the online registration form. It's quick and easy!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:37 PM
Once again, NASSP and NAESP will be declaring October 2012 as "National Principals Month." A web site will go live in August, which will include a map with all states who have passed resolutions or proclamations for "National Principals Month," as well as activity ideas to celebrate this event for principal, students, teachers and parents. Watch for more information over the next month.
Monday, July 23, 2012 1:29 PM
There has been some concern expressed regarding the ability of local education agencies (LEA) to determine the current service time validity of a Level I certificate by referencing the TIMS system. Employers should not solely rely on TIMS to determine whether a Level I certificate marked as "valid" has not lapsed.
Level I certificates are "valid" for a specified number of years of service. In recognition of this fact, Certification and Staffing Policy Guideline #3, Validity of a Pennsylvania Certificate ( http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/certification_staffing_policies_%28cspgs%29/8626/general_certification_information_%28numbers_1_-_24%29) clearly states "The years valid and effective date fields printed on a Pennsylvania certificate are not to be used as the singular factor for determining certificate validity." Like the validity period printed on the certificate, the "valid" status in TIMS indicates that the certificate is legitimate for a set number of service years, not calendar years. It is important to note that the "valid" status displayed for Level I certificates does not and cannot confirm the number of service years used or remaining on the certificate. The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) can only determine the service year validity of a Level I certificate by reviewing a complete work record for the individual holding the certificate. TIMS does not automatically calculate service time on a Level I certificate. Therefore, the certificate holder and employing LEA continue to be responsible for tracking Level I certificate service time for the certificate holder.
PDE will do a "validity check" for LEAs who are uncertain of the number of service years an employee has worked. LEAs will be asked to complete a Documentation Worksheet for this purpose. It is important to remember that partial years of service do count based on the formula described in CSPG #7, Level II Certification (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/certification_staffing_policies_%28cspgs%29/8626/general_certification_information_%28numbers_1_-_24%29).
The TIMS system currently assumes all Level I certificates have a "valid" status. Any change in the validity status of a Level I certificate to "lapsed" will only be made when PDE has done a review of an educator'ss service time and determined that the educator has completed six service years and failed to convert to a Level II. A validity determination letter from PDE in response to an LEA'ss or educator'ss request via a Documentation Worksheet will establish the current and accurate validity status of a Level I certificate. LEA'ss who are concerned about the validity of an educator'ss certification may contact Karen Turner in PDE'ss Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality at 717-783-6730, or at firstname.lastname@example.org for the purpose of verifying certificate validity status.
Thursday, July 19, 2012 12:35 PM
The revised schedule for the delivery of the 2011-12 PSSA and AYP Data is as follows: The District Student Data Files available at www.drc-web.com/reportdelivery and the preliminary AYP Data File available at www.drc-web.com/aypappeals, both originally scheduled for release on July 18, will now be available July 23, 2012. If an LEA believes it has been identified in error in the preliminary AYP file, it has until Aug. 7, 2012, to file an AYP Appeal. The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will have AYP Appeals reviewed by Aug. 22, 2012. The eMetric site, Data InteractionTM, will be available Sept. 24, 2012, and School and District Summaries are now scheduled for Oct. 1, 2012.
Education Secretary Announces $19.78 Million Awarded to Enhance Academic Opportunities for At-Risk Students
Monday, July 16, 2012 6:19 PM
Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis recently announced the 61 awardees that will receive a total of $19.78 million as part of the 21st Century Community Learning Challenge Grant.
Source: PDE Press Release, http://www.education.state.pa.us
Monday, July 16, 2012 2:55 PM
An upcoming webinar is being held where the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will present the three year transition plan for state assessments. Of particular interest is the requirement that in 2012-13 all 11th grade students must take the three Keystone Exams (Algebra I, Literature and Biology) in lieu of the 11th grade PSSA.
Thursday, July 12, 2012 6:33 PM
The deadline has been extended for the PA Principals Association Conference Early Bird registration discount from Friday, July 13, 2012 to on/before Tuesday, July 31, 2012!
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