EPLC Education Notebook

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

    Content in this edition:
    Pennsylvania Policymakers
    Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign
    - Joint the Campaign
    - Legislative Candidates Survey
    Research and Reports

    The EPLC Education Notebook (current and past editions) also is available by visiting the EPLC website at www.eplc.org/ednotebook.html.

  • The Pennsylvania House and Senate returned to Session on Monday, March 31 after being in recess last week.

  • The House Education Committee met in Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 26 for a public hearing on the Governor’s proposed basic education funding initiatives. For more information, contact the office of Committee Chair James Roebuck at (717) 783-1000.

  • Pennsylvania policymakers are beginning to review legislation that would appropriate state funding for FY 2008-2009. The House Appropriations Committee recently approved a state budget bill, which includes funding for the state education budget, as well as numerous non-preferred appropriations bills, which provide funding for state-related higher education institutions and certain other education entities. Each funding bill was tabled following passage by the Appropriations Committee as negotiations on the next state budget get underway. For a complete list of relevant education funding legislation, see EPLC’s Education Policy Information Clearinghouse.

  • Information about the Pennsylvania General Assembly, including details on contacting your local state representatives and locating bills cited in this Notebook, is available at www.legis.state.pa.us/index.cfm.

    Join the Campaign

    The Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign is a growing coalition of individuals and organizations representing parents, advocates, school board members, administrators, teachers and the faith community and committed to advocating for legislative action to fix Pennsylvania’s broken and unfair school funding system.

    The goals of the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign are:

    1. To implement and fully finance by 2013 a comprehensive, systemic and sustainable education funding plan based on the core principles of adequacy, equity, efficiency, accountability and predictability, and

    2. To allocate sufficient funds in the FY 2008-2009 budget to make a significant start toward implementation of a new school funding formula based on the state’s costing-out-study.

    The Campaign is building a network of individuals who will visit their own legislators in communities across the Commonwealth. Visit www.paschoolfunding.org to learn more about the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign, and to become a partner in these efforts.

    Pennsylvania ranks ninth in the nation in the use of technology in classrooms, according to the latest edition of Education Week’s annual report Technology Counts 2008. Pennsylvania earned an overall grade of B-, compared to the national average of C+, on the report which grades states’ policies and practices related to technology in schools. The state scored well on the three criteria measured by Technology Counts – access to technology, use of technology, and capacity to use technology.

    Pennsylvania earned a B (above the national average of C) in technology access, which measures the percentage of students with access to computers and the ratio of students to computers and PCs with high-speed Internet connections. The Commonwealth scored at the national average of B- for use of technology, which measures how states integrate technology into their academic standards, if students are tested on technology, whether states support a virtual school, and whether states offer computer-based assessments. Finally, Pennsylvania scored a B- (above the national average of C) in capacity to use technology, which measures whether states build the technology literacy of their educators through teacher and administrator standards, initial licensure requirements, and recertification requirements. Click here to read Technology Counts Pennsylvania State Report.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) in partnership with the Center for Schools and Communities is sponsoring three regional trainings for 21st CCLC afterschool providers, supporters and grantees. These one-day regional trainings will be held in:

    Pittsburgh - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
    Harrisburg - Friday, April 18, 2008 - 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
    King of Prussia - Monday, April 21, 2008 - 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

    These trainings will provide participants the opportunity to learn the fundamental components of a quality afterschool program, the skills needed to embrace individual investor-based fundraising as an integral part of their sustainability efforts and how to actively engage in understanding and addressing issues of diversity.

    There is no registration fee to attend and Act 48 and CBK Keystone Stars credits will be available. Online registration for these trainings is available on the 21st Century Community Learning Center website at www.21stcclc.org.

    This Week...

  • The PA Commission for Community Colleges is holding its Annual Meeting and Lobby Day this week on Monday and Tuesday in Harrisburg.
  • The House Education Committee meets Wednesday to consider House Bills 287, 1833 & 2235.
  • The National Association of Elementary School Principals holds its annual convention in Nashville on April 3-8.
  • The American Association of Community Colleges hosts its annual convention in Philadelphia on April 5-8.

    For information on these and other upcoming events, see www.eplc.org/calendar.html.

  • EPLC Education Notebook is published by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC). Permission to reprint or electronically redistribute the Notebook in whole or in part is granted provided attribution to EPLC is provided.

    The Education Policy and Leadership Center is an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit organization. The Mission of EPLC is to encourage and support the enactment and implementation of effective state-level education policies in order to improve student learning in grades P-12, increase the effective operation of schools, and enhance educational opportunities for citizens of all ages.

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