EPLC Education Notebook

Monday, October 27, 2008

    Content in this edition:
    EPLC News
    Governor Ed Rendell
    State Board of Education

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



  • At its annual Education Policy Leadership Awards Reception on October 22, EPLC recognized the career accomplishments of Dr. Carolyn Dumaresq who received the 2008 Edward Donley Education Policy Leadership Award.  The award recognizes individuals who represent an exemplary model of dedicated service to children, commitment to stronger educational opportunities for all, and hard work to improve the effectiveness of local, state and national education policy.

    The Center also recognized with the EPLC Partner Award the Education Law Center and Good Schools Pennsylvania.  In addition, the Center presented the EPLC Leadership Program Alumni Award to Laura Cowburn and Dr. A. Lee Williams.  Laura Cowburn, Assistant to the Superintendent for Business Services at Columbia Borough School District, is the President-elect of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO).  Lee Williams, a faculty member at Slippery Rock University, was appointed a member of the State Board of Education earlier this year.

  • Residents of the Philadelphia region are invited to submit applications for EPLC’s new Parent and Community Leadership Institute.  The Institute is for individuals who want to know more about education policy issues and want to join a network of community leaders who are able to influence important statewide and local education policies.  The free, 12-hour program will be held over four Wednesdays (November 12 & 19 and December 3 & 10) from 6:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.  Subjects include (Session 1) Governance of Education; (Session 2) Standards, Assessments and Accountability; (Session 3) Financing Public Education; and (Session 4) Parent, School and Community Partnerships; Public Advocacy.  For program details and to apply online, see www.eplc.org/PCLI.html.

  • EPLC’s annual Pennsylvania Education Finance Symposium will take place Thursday, November 20 in Harrisburg. For event and registration information, see www.eplc.org/financesymposium.html.



    Governor Ed Rendell has again vetoed legislation (Senate Bill 1258) that would have limited school districts’ and local governments’ ability to appeal the assessments of undervalued properties.  Rendell expressed disappointment that the General Assembly did not ultimately adopt the compromise that had been reached on this issue, which the Governor said would have protected new homeowners from unfair reverse appeals while ensuring that all taxpayers are paying their fair share of property taxes.

    In his veto message, Rendell said “we ask our school districts to do a great deal and we have not provided them with enough revenue to accomplish these goals.  This is in great part due to the state not living up to its historic commitment of funding 50% of education costs, and as a result school districts are overly dependent on property taxes.  In this context, limiting the appropriate distribution of the property tax burden among all property owners is both unfair and unwarranted.  With the limitations in law on the ability to raise millage that we adopted in 2006, it is more important than ever that properties that are severely under-assessed are paying their fair share.”



  • The State Board of Education began a series of statewide public hearings on college affordability last week, meeting in Nanticoke (Northeastern PA) on Thursday and in Philadelphia on Friday.  Click here for information about how you can participate in upcoming hearings in Harrisburg, Monroeville and Clarion.

  • The State Board of Education held a public roundtable discussion on potential changes to Chapter 33 (College and University Security) and Chapter 34 (Branch Campuses for State Supported Institutions) in Downingtown on Monday.  For more information, contact the Board at (717) 787-3787.



    This week…

  • The Keystone State Reading Association holds its annual conference on October 26-29 in Seven Springs, PA.

  • The Pennsylvania State Board of Education holds public hearings on college affordability in Harrisburg on Tuesday and in Monroeville on Wednesday.

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Education hosts the 2008 Migrant Education Program Annual Conference on October 29-30 in King of Prussia.

  • The Pennsylvania Educational Research Association hosts a lunch and speaker series in Grantville on Wednesday.

  • The Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators and the Pennsylvania Educational Research Association host the 37th Annual Teacher Education Assembly on October 29-31 in Harrisburg.

  • 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.

To return to the EPLC Education Notebook homepage, click here.

To return to The Education Policy and Leadership Center homepage, click here.