EPLC Education Notebook

Monday, April 14, 2008

    Content in this edition:
    Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign
    Pennsylvania Policymakers
    - State House
    - State Senate
    Pennsylvania Bulletin

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

    There is no more important priority this spring than for the Pennsylvania General Assembly to enact a permanent school funding formula and fully fund it in no more than six years.

    The state is buzzing with the excitement of the primary elections coming up on April 22nd. While much of the debate is focused on the presidential race it is critical that education advocates go to the polls fully informed on the positions candidates for the Pennsylvania General Assembly have taken on public education issues.

    The Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign (PSFC) conducted a candidate survey earlier a few weeks ago. Before you go to the polls next week, please be sure to take a minute and review the positions of those running for office in your community on public education by visiting website of PSFC. CLICK HERE to see the results of the candidates’ survey. Be sure to thank your candidate for expressing their public views on important education issues. But if they failed to respond, to the Voter Information Survey, ask them why not.

    While you are at it, tell a friend about the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign and suggest that they review the candidate survey as well and take a moment to endorse the campaign by CLICKING HERE.

    Election Day is critical to the future of public education and we urge you to support candidates who make a commitment to a high quality public education for every child.

    For more information on the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign and additional tools and resources, please go to http://www.paschoolfunding.org.

    The Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Pennsylvania State Senate are in recess for the Primary Election. The Senate returns on to session on April 28 and the House on May 5.

    Pennsylvania House

  • The House Education Committee’s Subcommittee on Special Education held two public hearings last week related to the transition of special needs students to adulthood. The Subcommittee met on Tuesday to discuss post-secondary transition for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. On Thursday, the Subcommittee met to discuss legislation being developed – the Special Needs Assistance Program Act (House Bill 2406) – that would establish two programs within the Treasury Department allowing parents to save for the future needs of adult children with special needs. For more information about the hearings, contact the office of Subcommittee Chair Barbara McIlvaine Smith at (717) 705-1922.

  • The House Education Committee approved the following legislation on April 9. Both bills await further consideration by the full House:

    House Bill 2408: Increases the rate of reimbursement for school nurse services from $7.00 to $12.00 per student. According to bill sponsor Rep. Kathy Manderino (D-194), this reimbursement has not been increased since 1991.

    House Bill 2186: Allows school districts to hire and be reimbursed for construction managers who provide coordination between contractors. Currently, construction managers are not part of the vendors in the PLANCON formula for which districts can be reimbursed a portion/percentage of their fees. The bill also would allow school districts to be reimbursed for school safety projects that fall under the 20% rule. Currently, PDE does not reimburse school districts for school safety construction projects (such as securing entrances) that fall below 20% of the total replacement value.

  • Pennsylvania Senate

  • The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday adopted Senate Resolution 289 calling on the United States Congress to take immediate action on the current student lending crisis affecting the ability of Pennsylvania students enrolled in institutions of higher education to obtain the necessary student aid to further their education. SR 289 awaits consideration by the full Senate.

  • The Senate last week passed legislation (Senate Bill 1345) to provide for the administrative expenses of the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) for FY 2008-09. SB 1345 awaits referral to a House Committee.

  • Senator Raphael Musto has introduced legislation that would establish a new basic education funding formula based on the plan laid out in Governor Rendell’s 2008-09 state budget proposal. Senate Bill 1338 has been referred to the Senate Education Committee.

  • 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.

    The Pennsylvania State Board of Education published a revised statement of policy in the April 12 Pennsylvania Bulletin that removes the prohibition that private academic schools must operate for at least two years before they may be recognized as being accredited in order to have approval to operate under the Private Academic Schools Act.

    John Springer will take the lead as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) effective June 2, 2008, following the retirement of Carolyn Dumaresq. Springer, who has been with PSEA since 1979, currently serves as the Association’s Assistant Executive Director of Administrative Services.

    This Week...

  • The Pennsylvania Association of Federal Program Coordinators holds its Annual Conference in Hershey on April 13-16.
  • The Pennsylvania School Counselors Association holds its Annual Conference in Lancaster on April 16-19.
  • EPLC hosts a Pennsylvania Education Policy Forum in Philadelphia on Thursday.
  • The Independent Regulatory Review Commission meets Thursday to discuss Department of Education #6-298: Vocational Education.

    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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