EPLC Education Notebook – Monday, January 24, 2011

Content in this edition:
Corbett Administration
Pennsylvania Policymakers
– Legislature
State Board of Education

The EPLC Education Notebook (current and past editions) also is available by visiting the EPLC website at https://www.eplc.org/category/education-notebook/.


On January 18, Tom Corbett took the oath as Pennsylvania’s first Republican governor in eight years, vowing to rein in state spending, enact government reforms and “do the right things, for the right reasons, even in the most challenging of times.”  Corbett succeeds Democrat Ed Rendell, who stepped down after having served the maximum two four-year terms.  Corbett’s inauguration, combined with the GOP takeover of the House of Representatives, gives the Republicans control of both the executive and legislative branches, which could aid Corbett as he moves to implement his agenda.  Read Governor Corbett’s inaugural speech here. 



The Pennsylvania House and Senate released tentative session day schedules for the remainder of the current fiscal year.  

Between now and the end of June, the state House plans to be in session on the following days: January 24, 25, 26;  February 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 28;  March 1, 2, 7, 8, 9;  April 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 25 (non-voting), 26, 27;  May 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 23, 24, 25; and June 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30. 

The Senate schedule is fairly similar, although there are a few differences: January 24, 25, 26; February 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 28;  March 1, 2, 7, 8, 9;  April 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 26, 27;  May 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 23, 24; and June 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30


On January 12, 2011, the State Board of Education approved a resolution honoring former Acting Secretary of Education, Thomas E. Gluck.  Gluck will serve as Senior Advisor to the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units.

At the same meeting, the Boardalso authorized the use of $12,500 in state school funds to secure a private match to fund a study of Pennsylvania’s school libraries as required by House Resolution 987, which was adopted unanimously by the House on October 5, 2010.  Once private donors are secured and a contractor has been selected and approved, an official motion for action by the full Board will be presented at its March 16, 2011 meeting.  Read the authorization letter.

On January 19, the Second Annual Report of the State Board of Education was released.  The theme of this year’s report was “Forward, Together” to emphasize a commitment over the past year to advance measures that will improve the equity of academic expectations statewide.  Read the full report here.


EPLC will again conduct a series of regional workshops for school board candidates and other voters interested in education issues early in 2011.  The all-day workshops will be held on Saturdays during February and March (Montgomery County – 2/26; Lehigh Valley 3/5; Monroeville 3/12; and Harrisburg 3/19).  Agenda and registration details are available at www.eplc.org


REMINDER!  Tomorrow night (1/25) in his State of the Union address, President Obama is expected to outline a bold vision for education reform tied to 21st century jobs and long-term economic prosperity.  Given before a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the House of Representatives, the State of the Union reports on both the nation’s condition and outlines legislative agenda and priorities for the upcoming year. 

On January 20, the State System of Higher Education’s board of governors, overseeing Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities, amended its pricing policies, replacing tuition for full-time grad students with a per-credit system and granting campuses new flexibility in what they charge out-of-state students and distance learners.  The board also voted to let Chancellor John C. Cavanaugh and university presidents establish alternative pricing on individual campuses that have summer and winter sessions.  The fees and policies have been in place since 1999, and have been in discussion to revise by a task force since late 2009.  The vote came as schools are looking toward tougher financial challenges due to the economy and the expected loss of $38 million in federal stimulus aid that has replaced cuts in state funding the past two years..

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has extended the deadline for applying for the 2010-2011 cycle for National Board Certification and Take One! until January 31, 2011.  If you want to submit a candidate application for the 2011-2012 cycle, begin the application process here.

The Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) is holding a 2011 Minority Leadership Training Conference March 4 – 6, 2011 at the Marriott Lancaster at Penn Square in Lancaster.  The registration deadline is February 7.


For information on upcoming events, please visit www.eplc.org and click on “Events Calendar”.


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