EPLC Education Notebook

Friday, September 12, 2008

    Content in this edition:
    EPLC News
    Pennsylvania House of Representatives
    Pennsylvania Bulletin

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



  • EPLC’s annual Education Policy Leadership Awards Reception takes place Wednesday, October 22 at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey.  This year, the Center honors Carolyn Dumaresq, Executive Director of the PA State Education Association (1996-2008), with the Edward Donley Education Policy Leadership Award.  The Donley award was established to recognize exemplary leaders in improving local, state and national education policy.

    The Center also will recognize with the EPLC Leadership Program Alumni Award Laura E. Cowburn, President-Elect, PA Association of School Business Officials and A. Lee Williams, Member, PA State Board of Education.  EPLC also will present its Partner Award to Good Schools Pennsylvania and the Education Law Center.

    For details about the event, including purchasing tickets and program ads online, see www.eplc.org/awards/reception.html.
  • Residents of the Lehigh Valley are invited to submit applications for the new Parent and Community Leadership Institute sponsored by EPLC and the Children’s Coalition of the Lehigh Valley.  The Institute is for people 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 Thursdays (October 2, 16, 23 and November 6) 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) School and Community Partnerships; Public Advocacy.  For program details and to apply online, see www.eplc.org/PCLI/lv.html.
  • Details for Parent and Community Leadership Institute workshops in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas will be announced in a few days.

  • SEND US YOUR NEWS ABOUT EVENTS AND EDUCATION POLICY ISSUES!  EPLC welcomes policy announcements and event information from state policy leaders as well as statewide and regional education and advocacy organizations.  Please e-mail your media releases, publications and other news material to news@eplc.org or mail toNews at EPLC, 800 North Third Street, Suite 408, Harrisburg, PA 17102.

    We will use your policy and event information in several ways:

    • Weekly electronic EPLC Education Notebook;
    • Posting event information on the Calendar page of the EPLC website;
    • Posting policy information on the policy pages of the EPLC web site; and
    • Monthly electronic Pennsylvania Education Journal which will begin publication in October.



  • The House Local Government Committee held a hearing Thursday on legislation (House Bill 1753) that would establish the Political Subdivision Communication and Cooperation Act.  HB 1753 would require counties and municipalities to participate in joint meetings with governing bodies of at least one other contiguous municipality.  School districts, under this proposal, would be required to meet once every three months with the governing body of each municipality that is partly or wholly situated within the school district.  The purpose of these meetings is to identify common interests, mutual goals and potential cost-cutting efforts by working in a cooperative fashion.  The legislation further requires each political subdivision to submit a one-page summary of any meetings under this act to the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).  Based on the reports submitted, counties, municipalities and school districts may be eligible for grants, as determined by DCED.  Click here for testimony from the hearing.

  • On Thursday, the House Health and Human Services Committee held a public hearing on House Resolution 501, which directs the Committee to recommend a sports nutrition education program for high school athletes that can be used by coaches and athletic directors as part of sport-specific or interscholastic training programs.  The Committee’s report also would include information about the fundamentals of nutrition as it relates to healthy performance during intense physical training, exercise and recovery; appropriate foods as part of a healthy, balanced nutrition and training program; and, the dangers of prohibited performance enhancing substances.  The Committee also may make recommendations on funding needed for the ongoing training and education of high school coaches.

    Dr. Kim Crawford, Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh, said nutrition is the most commonly overlooked aspect of youth athletic training programs.  Both Crawford and Dr. Alan Utter, a professor at Appalachian State University, said youth athletes are prone to engage in unhealthy weight control practices, including the use of potentially dangerous dietary supplements.  Along with Michael Moyer, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association, Crawford and Utter appeared before the Committee in support of HR 501’s effort to provide educational resources to athletic coaches in appropriate sports nutrition since many student athletes turn to their coach as the primary source of information on this topic.  Click here for available testimony from the hearing.



  • PDE is accepting applications for 2008-2009 Career and Technical Education Federal Tech Prep Grants.  Applications are due by Monday, October 6, 2008.  For information on grant eligibility and how to apply, see the September 6 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

  • The September 6 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin includes notice that the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) has disapproved proposed Keystone Educational Accountability Best Management Practices Standards put forth by the PA Department of Education to implement the Keystone Educational Accountability Act of 2003.  IRRC took issue with a provision in the proposed standards that would have limited school districts’ financial management practices reviews only to years when state funds are specifically allocated for that purpose, a provision IRRC says does not comply with the law’s requirement for districts to undergo such reviews every six years.  IRRC also called for clarifications to terms defined in the standards and raised an issue with the standard’s formatting.  PDE now must decide how to respond to the disapproval order by either resubmitting the proposed standards with or without changes to IRRC within 40 days or voluntarily withdrawing the regulation.  If PDE takes no action within 40 days, the proposed standards will be deemed withdrawn.



    Next week…

  • The Pennsylvania State Board of Education holds a public roundtable discussion on proposed changes to Chapter 33 (College and University Security) and Chapter 34 (Branch Campuses for State Supported Institutions) on Tuesday in Harrisburg.

  • Tuesday is Step Up for Kids Action Day at the Pennsylvania State Capitol.

  • The House Education Committee meets Wednesday to consider House Bill 2743, Senate Bill 1376 and Senate Bill 472.

  • The Pennsylvania State Board of Education meets Wednesday and Thursday.

  • The House Education, Intergovernmental Affairs, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committees hold a joint public hearing on House Bill 2518, the interstate compact for educational opportunity of military children, on Thursday in Harrisburg.

  • The House Labor Relations Committee meets in Wilkes-Barre on Thursday for a public hearing on House Bill 2626, which allows collective bargaining rights for lay teachers and other lay employees of religiously affiliated schools.

  • The Independent Regulatory Review Commission meets Thursday to consider changes to the state’s Special Education regulations (Chapter 16).

  • The Mid-Atlantic Consortium of Education Foundations holds its Western Pennsylvania Conference in Harrison City on Thursday.

  • 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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