EPLC Education Notebook

Monday, June 1, 2009

    Content in this edition:
    Pennsylvania Policymakers
    - State House
    - Department of Education Pennsylvania Bulletin

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



    State House

    The House Education Committee held a public hearing on May 26 on basic education funding legislation (House Bill 1493) that would distribute dollars using the new school funding formula adopted by the General Assembly last year, which is based on the state’s 2007 Costing-out study.  The legislation would allow the state to use $418 million in federal stabilization funds to increase current funding for basic education and keep the state on track with reaching the state’s adequacy funding targets by 2013-2014.

    Citizens from Easton, Steelton, William Penn, Baldwin-Whitehall and other schools districts statewide shared success stories about important academic improvements made possible in their districts as a result of the state’s new education funding formula and urged policymakers to continue supporting its full implementation.  These citizens represent hundreds serving on community involvement teams across the state that have been collaborating with school districts and reviewing spending plans to ensure new state education dollars are spent effectively for student achievement needs.  The Committee also heard from representative of the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign and the PA Department of Education.  Click here for testimony presented to the Committee.

    PA Department of Education

    The Secretaries of Education and Health have announced two new grant initiatives aimed at reducing childhood obesity and increasing student physical activity in middle schools.  Middle schools can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to implement evidence based physical activity programs that improve cardiovascular, lung and bone health and lower childhood obesity rates under the Active Schools Grant program.  Applications for the 2009-2010 school year will be accepted June 1 through June 30.  PDE also announced that recipients of 21st Century Learning Center grants will be required to include at least 30-60 minutes of physical activity into after school and summer programs.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity rates have tripled since 1980.



    The PA Department of Education is accepting applications for the 2009-2010 Career and Technical Education Equipment Grants, as published in May 23 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin.  Career and Technical Centers/Area Vocational Technical Schools along with school districts that offer approved programs can apply for these competitive grants until June 26.  The maximum grant award per project is $50,000.  To view grant guidelines and apply through the E-Grant System, visit PDE’s website at www.pde.state.pa.us .  For more information on the grants, contact John Bonchalk, General Vocational Education Advisor, PDE Bureau of Career and Technical Education at 717-772-4853 or jbonchalk@state.pa.us.



    The Pennsylvania State Senate and the House of Representatives return to session on Monday, June 1.

    This week…

  • The Senate Appropriations Committee meets Monday to consider Senate Bills 287, 598 and 687.

  • The Senate Education Committee meets Tuesday for a public hearing with PA Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchak on graduation competency assessments and to consider Senate Bills 281, 441, 553, 736 and 893.

  • The House Education Committee meets Wednesday to consider House Bill 1493 (basic education funding legislation).

  • EPLC hosts a Pennsylvania Education Policy Forum in Harrisburg on Wednesday.

  • The Senate Education Committee meets in West Chester on Thursday for a public hearing on higher education affordability and Senate Bill 820 (relating to articulation and transfer of credits) and Senate Bill 881 (relating to tuition controls).

  • 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.