Content in this edition:
- FY 2008-2009 State Budget
- Enacted Legislation
The EPLC Education Notebook (current and past editions) also is available by visiting the EPLC website at www.eplc.org/ednotebook.html.
FY 2008-2009 State Budget
The Pennsylvania General Assembly is expected to be in session into the Fourth of July holiday weekend to finalize the FY 2008-2009 State Budget and School Code language to accompany the budget. Negotiators announced June 30 that they had reached an agreement on a budget framework and have spent this week finalizing the details of that settlement. The budget bill – Senate Bill 1389 – now sits in a legislative conference committee that will present a final plan to members within hours.
EPLC will report on details of the education budget when they become available. In the meantime, it looks like only the Philadelphia School District will receive substantially less in basic subsidy than the amount forecast by the Governor’s funding proposal. And the Philadelphia District will recoup the cut by increases in other funding areas. All school districts will be assured an increase of at least 3% for basic subsidy in contrast to the Governor’s minimum increase guarantee of 1.5%. Advocates and others are still waiting to see what commitment is made about basic subsidy funding for future years.
Governor Rendell this week signed legislation consolidating local earned income tax collection at the county level. The law splits Allegheny County into four tax collection districts, and does not apply to Philadelphia whose tax collection system is governed by a different statute. Under Act 32 (Senate Bill 1063), a school district located in more than one county would be included in the tax collection district that includes the greatest share of the district’s population.
- Changes to the state’s special education regulations (Chapter 14) took effect upon their publication in the June 28 Pennsylvania Bulletin. These changes were necessary to comply with revisions to federal special education law and recent court rulings. Corresponding changes to Pennsylvania Department of Education regulations governing special education programs in charter and cyber charter schools also took effect upon publication in the June 28 Pennsylvania Bulletin. These changes were needed because Chapter 14 does not apply to students in charter schools.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is proposing revising regulations governing school bus drivers to update the medical requirements and standards for drivers who are being treated for diabetes mellitus. Public comments on the proposed changes will be accepted through July 27. Find the proposed changes in the June 28 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
- Representative Beverly Mackereth (R-York) has announced she will depart the General Assembly at the end of the current legislative session to become the executive director of the York County Human Services Department. Mackereth, who joined the Legislature in 2000, currently serves on the House Education Committee. In announcing her intent to withdraw from the November ballot, Mackereth said she is especially proud of her efforts to bring about the recent costing-out study to determine a better funding formula for Pennsylvania’s school districts.
- The Public Education Network has developed a Civic Index for Quality Public Education, designed to measure community support for public schools. The Index measures 10 qualities crucial to quality public education and provides communities with a self-assessment tool, suggestions on creating a community involvement report card, and ideas to engage the community and develop a community action plan.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly is expected to be in session into the Fourth of July holiday weekend to finalize the FY 2008-2009 state budget.
For information on 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.