EPLC Education Notebook – Thursday, July 28, 2011

Content in this edition:
National Policymakers
– U.S. House
Pennsylvania Policymakers
– House of Representatives

Pennsylvania Department of Education

Education Policy Fellowship Program

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


U.S. House

On July 27, the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing on “Education Reforms:  Exploring Teacher Quality Initiatives” in Washington, DC.  The hearing examined state and local efforts to support more effective teachers.  Testifiers included:   Kevin Huffman, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Education; Tom Boasberg, Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools; David Cicarella, President of the New Haven Federation of Teachers; and Kate Walsh, President of the National Council on Teacher Quality.  For additional information, click here.


House of Representatives

On July 27-28, the House Education Committee held two informational hearings in Philadelphia on legislative proposals addressing the Charter School law and school choice.  These hearings are the first two in a series of informational meetings the Committee will be conducting this summer.  Representatives from the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Student Union, Education Law Center, Students First, Democrats Impatient for School Choice Organization (DISCO), UNITEPA, Independence Hall Tea Party Association, Philadelphia Archdiocese and Freedom Works were scheduled to testify on July 27.

Representatives from the following organizations and schools were scheduled to testify on July 28:  the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Keystone State Education Coalition, Pennsylvania NAACP, Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO), Pennsylvania Coalition of Charter Schools (PCCS), Chester Community Charter School and School Lane Charter School.

At the time of publication, EPLC is unable to provide links to the testimony presented at these hearings. However, links to the testimony and a summary will be available to our readers in the next edition of the Notebook. 


The Pennsylvania Department of Education has announced the availability of a website to assist low-income families find locations where summer meals are served for their children.  The Summer Food Service Program provides meals at no charge to eligible children under the age of 18.  To find a summer meal program location, visit www.pasummermeals.com.  For additional information about the Summer Food Service Program, visit the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service website at www.fns.usda.gov.


EPLC is recruiting for a current undergraduate or graduate student to serve as a part-time intern during the fall 2011 semester, beginning in early September in the downtown Harrisburg offices.  The internship will support the culminating events of year one of the Arts and Education Initiative, and preparations for the public policy advocacy campaign of 2012.  Ideal candidates have a demonstrable background in the arts and education, strong skills in research, writing, and speaking, as well as a commitment to grassroots advocacy organizing.  The internship is unpaid, but free parking is available.  Weekly hours of the internship are negotiable and may fluctuate due to special events.  To apply or to suggest a candidate, please email AEI Director Jordie Crosby for further information: crosby@eplc.org


  • Education Week will host a webinar “Narrowing the Achievement Gap by Expanding Time in School:  What Educators Need to Consider “on Wednesday, August 10 from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM.  Jennifer Davis, Executive Director of the National Center for Time and Learning and Emily McCann, President of Citizens Schools will be presenters.  For more information, click here.
  • The city of Philadelphia has been selected as one of eight cities to participate in the Community Arts Journalism Challenge, a new competition funded by the Knight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts that is seeking ideas from individuals and organizations for the development of new, sustainable models for arts journalism.  Deadline for applying is Thursday, August 18
  • The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) Foundation has announced that it will be accepting applications for its fourth annual Americans for the Arts scholarships.  The award recipient must come from an economic disadvantaged household, have attended a public school, participated in extracurricular programs including (and/or in addition to) programs supported by the Americans for the Arts, excelled academically, and formally declared the intent to study and apply economics in their pursuit of higher education and professional career.  For more information, click here
  • Education Voters of Pennsylvania is holding a video contest to highlight the impact of the education budget cuts on critical programs that serve children, and the importance of education to our communities and our economy.  Please visit http://www.educationvoterspa.org/index.php/video-contest to learn more and to submit a video.


  • Recently, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) issued a report on “Pennsylvania’s Real Property Tax Collection System” pursuant to Senate Resolution 250 of 2010.  Under SR 250, the LBFC was directed to conduct a comprehensive study of how property taxes are collected in Pennsylvania and other states, including considering costs and benefits of consolidating property tax collections at the county or other level.   To view a summary of the findings, click here.


Fewer than ten positions remain available for the 2011-2012 Pennsylvania Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) which is sponsored by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC).

With more than 300 graduates in its first twelve years, this Program is a premier professional development opportunity for educators, state and local policymakers, advocates, and community leaders.  Act 48 credits are available to individuals holding Pennsylvania teaching or administrative certificates, and State Board of Accountancy (SBA) credits are available to certified public accountants.
The Fellowship Program begins with a two-day retreat on September 8-9, 2011 and continues through June 2012. 

Applications are being accepted now.  For schedule and more information or to download an application, please click on https://www.eplc.org/leadership_fellowship_about.shtml.  Since space is limited to approximately 30 positions, it is advisable to submit an application as soon as possible.


  • The Senate Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public hearing on school choice at the Community College of Philadelphia Northeast Regional Center in Philadelphia, PA on August 2 at 10:00 AM.  For more information, click here.
  • The House Education Committee will hold two informational meetings on legislative proposals addressing the Charter School law and school choice on Wednesday, August 3 and Thursday, August 4 in Harrisburg, PA from 10:00 AM- 3:30 PM.  Additional hearings have been scheduled to be held in Harrisburg on August 17 and 18.  For more information, contact the office of the Chairman of the House Education Committee, Representative Paul Clymer at (717) 783-3154.
  • The House Labor and Industry Committee will hold a public hearing on HB 927 (Child Labor Law) in Harrisburg, PA on Wednesday, August 3 at 1:00 PM.
  • The House Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public hearing on the impact of state budget cuts to higher education in Johnstown, PA on August 4 at 10:00 AM.  Click here for details.
  • The Public Employee Retirement Commission will hold a meeting and legislative review of HB 418, HB 1676 (SERS) and HB 1677 (PSERS) in Harrisburg, PA on August 4 at 10:00 AM.

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


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