Press Releases

Friday, June 8, 2018 8:32 AM

When someone makes a threat aimed at a school or public place it's all hands on deck for law enforcement agencies... even if that original call turns out to be a prank. The FBI is sending a message, "Fake threats are not a joke."  The bureau is announcing a new campaign aimed at educating the public on the consequences of posting hoax threats to schools and other public places.
YourErie.com, June 7, 2018
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Friday, June 8, 2018 8:28 AM

In a new poll released Thursday, 64% of Pennsylvania likely voters said they would support a tax increase to expand publicly funded preschool education, responding to a hypothetical hike of .01 percentage points in the personal income tax, which would cost an average taxpayer about $50.
Philadelphia Inquirer, June 7, 2018
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Thursday, June 7, 2018 2:36 PM

Social-emotional learning, mental health, and student poverty are among the top student-related concerns of Pre-K through grade 8 principals, according to The Pre-K-8 School Leader in 2018: A 10-Year Study. The new study is the ninth in a series published by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Since 1928, NAESP has reviewed the trends and working conditions of principal leadership, as well as their impact on the students and the entire school community.

“School principals set the tone for everything from school climate to school improvement. That is why we need to know more about their experiences,” said NAESP Executive Director Dr. L. Earl Franks, CAE. “It’s essential that policymakers focus on what principals identify as their leaning needs, and then support them with associated professional learning opportunities.”  

The study reviews data in 10 areas, including: 

  • Experience and professional preparation;
  • Accountability and decision-making;
  • Conditions of employment;
  • Professional learning needs; and
  • Future career intentions.

NAESP partnered with the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) to develop this resource. “The quality of education a student experiences in elementary school greatly impacts their education and life trajectory, and research has demonstrated that educational leaders strongly shape the conditions for high-quality teaching and learning,” said UCEA Executive Director Michelle Young. “The NAESP 10-year study provides a portrait of these critical educational professionals, their concerns, their triumphs and key considerations for educational stakeholders. It not only provides vivid insight into the work of contemporary elementary school leaders, but it also identifies multiple avenues for future research.”

“Recent research has shown that 20 percent of principals leave their positions each year, with almost 30 percent of principals in high-poverty schools leaving each year. In fact, the average school tenure of a principal is less than five years,” said Ed Fuller, who is UCEA Associate Director for Policy and one of the report authors. “This high rate of churn has negative effects on both teachers and students as well as costs districts a substantial amount of money. Some emerging research suggests that the working conditions of principals substantially affects their decisions to stay in a school. Moreover, working conditions appear to also affect their effectiveness on the job. Thus, understanding how to better support principals in the important work they do is critical to improving schools.”

Responses to the 2018 NAESP 10-year study identify multiple areas of professional development need, including improving student performance, improving staff performance, understanding and applying technology, time management, using social media effectively, and school improvement planning.

Read the full report here.

 
Thursday, June 7, 2018 9:00 AM

The Campaign for Fair Education Funding was back at the Capitol on June 6th to urge the state to pay its fair share for public schools, starting with the enactment of the governor’s proposed public education funding increases in the 2018-19 budget - AND to announce its new name: PA Schools Work! School funding is an integral indicator of excellence among schools and communities across Pennsylvania. We have a fair funding formula but we must continue the effort. PA Schools Work is a non-partisan campaign working for adequate and equitable funding to ensure all students succeed and all communities thrive. Please follow and like PA Schools Work on Facebook. #WeWorkForFunding

Click here for 2018 PA Schools Work Fact Sheet. 

Click here for talking points.

Click here for Launch Q&A.

 
Thursday, June 7, 2018 8:40 AM

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!  Join the PA Principals Association, the PA Association of School Administrators and the PA Association of Rural and Small Schools for PA Education Leaders Advocacy Day 2018 at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 19, at the Capitol in Harrisburg, PA.  

A rally in support of public education and important education issues will be held on the Main Rotunda Steps at 1 p.m. Visits with legislators will be conducted earlier in the day.

To register, send an email to Dr. Joseph Clapper at clapper@paprincipals.org before Friday, June 8, 2018.

Click here to view the PA Education Leaders Advocacy Day 2018 Flyer (INCLUDES EVENT SCHEDULE AND IMPORTANT ISSUES.) 

 
Thursday, June 7, 2018 8:39 AM

Governor Tom Wolf plans to sign a new law requiring Pennsylvania students to take a test of civics knowledge, although they don't need it to graduate. Wolf's office announced his plans hours after the state House on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly for the bill that mandates a locally developed test of U.S. history, government and civics.
Associated Press, June 6, 2018
Full story

 
Thursday, June 7, 2018 8:38 AM

Pennsylvania’s Senate advanced legislation on Wednesday to set up a state-administered program to take anonymous reports of dangerous activities or threats of violence in schools, as lawmakers explore improvements to school safety spurred by February’s school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people.
Associated Press, June 6, 2018
Full story

 
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 2:10 PM

Paul Healey, Ph.D., PA Principals Association executive director, and Dr. Joseph Clapper, PA Principals Association assistant executive director, joined other education leaders at a rally held today at the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg to demand funding increases in the PA State Budget. The rally was sponsored by PA Schools Work.

PA Schools Work is a non-partisan grassroots campaign calling on the state to pay its fair share and adequately and equitably fund public education so that all Pennsylvania students can attend public schools that will ensure they graduate with the 21st-century skills necessary for success in college or a career.

Its first order of business: urging that the General Assembly, at a minimum, increase funding for basic education by $100 million, special education by $20 million, and the career and technical education subsidy by $10 million in the 2018-19 state budget.

  • Pennsylvania schools work – for students, communities and the economy – when they have the resources to give all students an equal opportunity to attend a local public school that has adequate resources to ensure that he or she can learn and meet state academic standards.
  • But Pennsylvania is not delivering for its students.
  • Pennsylvania ranks 47th in the country in the state’s share of funding for public schools, leaving local taxpayers to bear a higher burden of education costs.
  • It has one of the widest gaps between the highest and lowest spending school districts of any state in the country, meaning that the educational opportunities available to a student depends largely on where that student lives.
  • Lawmakers must recognize that if the state is to fund all schools adequately and eliminate funding disparities across school districts, the state must significantly increase its investment in public schools.
  • A student’s classroom experience is affected not only by funding coming through the basic education line item in the state budget, but also by special education funding for students with disabilities and the state subsidy for career and technical education that gives students practical, tangible skills they need to be prepared for future education and work.
  • Special education services have risen by more than $1.6 billion over the last decade and state funding has not kept pace.  As a result, the state share of support for special education declined from more than 36 percent of the cost incurred by school districts to less than 25 percent of actual costs.
  • The same trends exist for career and technical education. The state subsidy to support Career and Technical Education (CTE) has fallen to less than eight percent of CTE costs after eight years of stagnant funding. At a time when more Pennsylvania employers say it is hard to find qualified workers, the state must do more.
  • That is why PA Schools Work is being launched: to carry the message that Pennsylvania must begin paying its fair share so all students’ classroom needs.
  • We are calling on the state to fund public education equitably and adequately so that all Pennsylvania students, regardless of race, ethnicity, ability, family income or the community where they live, can attend public schools that will ensure they graduate with the 21st-century skills necessary for success in college or a career. 
  • To achieve that goal, the state must pay its fair share for public education by
  • The state must generate the necessary revenues through sustainable, recurring funding sources to support adequate and equitable funding in these areas, while delivering targeted property tax relief to those who need it.
  • The need is more imperative than ever before, with 429 of Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts not getting their fair share from the state and 227 districts forced to spend less than what is needed to educate their students.
  • These goals will not be reached immediately, but the state must start taking action right away.
    • Increasing basic education funding by at least $3 billion through the state’s fair funding formula
    • Ensuring all special education students get the high-quality, inclusive services they need and deserve by increasing, over the next five years, the state’s share of special education funding up to 35 percent of special education costs
    • Ensuring that funding for CTE is adequate and equitably distributed so that every student who chooses to pursue CTE can get learning opportunities that allow them to progress towards an industry-based credential in their chosen career.rally2018
 
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 10:21 AM

State Sen. Andy Dinniman has welcomed news that Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale will consider questions regarding the transparency of state contracts related to standardized testing and the Keystone Exams.
Pottstown Mercury, June 5, 2018
Full story

 
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 10:20 AM

On Tuesday, a state House bill that would overhaul congressional map-drawing was assigned to an unusual committee -- circumventing a different panel where such proposals have repeatedly been struck down.
WITF, June 5, 2018
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