EPLC Education Notebook

Friday, December 3, 2010

    Content in this edition:
    Pennsylvania Policymakers
    - Governor-elect
    - State House of Representatives
    - State Senate
    State Budget Update
    Pennsylvania Bulletin

    Research and Reports
    EPLC News

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




    Governor-elect Tom Corbett has announced his Education Committee transition team.  They are as follows:

    • Co-Chair – Joel Greenberg, Susquehanna International Group
    • Co-Chair – Mark Nordenberg, Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh

    Jim Agras, CEO of Triangle Tech and State Board of Education; Jeanne Allen, President of Center for Education Reform; Chris Bravacos, President, Bravo Group; Matt Brouillette, President, Commonwealth Foundation; PA State Rep. Paul Clymer; Marie Conley, Chair of the Human Resources Committee, Board of Governors;  Bill Donahue, Treasurer of Donahue Family Foundation; Carolyn Dumaresq, Partner, Dumaresq Consulting; Dan Fitzpatrick, President/CEO, Citizens Bank; Amy Forester, Saul Ewing; Don Francis, Independent Colleges and Universities; Dennis Giorno, Malady & Wooten; Vahan Gureghian, Chester County Charter School; Larry Jones, President of Charter School Association; Michael Karp, President of University City Housing; Ruth O’Block Grant, Member, Board of Trustees, Seton Hill University; Pat O’Connor, COB, Temple University, Cozen & O’Connor; PA State Senator Jeffrey Piccola; David Pollard, Susquehanna International Group; Ana Puig, Co-Chair of Kitchen Table Patriots; Father Ed Quinlan, Secretary of Education, Harrisburg Diocese; Cynthia Richey, Director of Mt. Lebanon Library System; Richard Sand, Managing Partner of Sand & Saidel Law Firm; Dave Schulik, Schulik Law Offices; Carl Singley, Counsel, Ciardi, Ciardi and Astin; Karen Stout, President of Montgomery County Community College; Bob Taylor, Trustee, Slippery Rock University; Paul Taylor, Executive Director Archabbey, St. Vincent’s College; Ron Tomalis, Director of Dutko Worldwide; Dennis Tulli, Cyber Charters; PA State Senator Anthony Williams; Charles Zogby, K12 Inc. (Knowledge Universe).

    House of Representatives

    The House will convene at 1:00 p.m. on January 4, 2010 to take their oath of office for the new session.  Additionally, the House has set their schedule for the first quarter of 2011

    The dates are:
    January 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26; February 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 and 28; and March 1 and 2


    The Senate has set their schedule for the first quarter of 2011 to concur with the House.   

    The dates are:
    January 4, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26; February 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 and 28; and March 1 and 2.


    Pennsylvania Secretary of Revenue C. Daniel Hassell announced in a press release on December 1 that Pennsylvania continues to be above its annual revenue estimate despite November collections that were slightly lower than anticipated.  Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $9.2 billion, which is $14 million, or 0.2 percent above estimates.  The state collected $1.6 billion in General Fund revenue in November, which was $4.5 million, or 0.3 percent, below estimates.


    Notice was published in the PA Bulletin (Vol. 40, No 48) announcing grant application guidelines for targeted assistance to eligible partnerships in developing innovative programs for regular and/or special education teachers to become highly qualified in the core academic subjects of mathematics, science, English/language arts, social studies, art/music and or foreign languages as defined by the “No Child Left Behind Act.”  An estimated $1.7 million is available on a competitive basis for up to three funding cycles, beginning in the spring 2011 and ending September 30, 2014.  For more information on the Eligible Partnerships Postsecondary Grant Application guidelines and forms, visit PDE’s website http://www.pde.state.pa.us  or contact the Division of Teacher Quality, Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality, PDE 717-772-3566.


    According to the 2009-2010 Program Reach and Risk Report released by Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), only one third of at-risk children in the state have access to a quality early education.  Of the children between the ages of three and four, 53% attend a state or federally funded early education program.  Of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania, 46 were at moderate-high to high risk of school failure.  The report also found that half of the children under age five live in economically at-risk families, which is defined as living below 300% of the federal poverty level.  The study cites other research which illustrates the measurable gains from a quality early education in long-term education and remediation costs.

    A study released by Civic Enterprises, Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, and America’s Promise Alliance entitled Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic draws attention to the increase in graduation rates across the country.  The number of dropout factory high schools, or schools that graduate 60 percent or fewer of their incoming 9th graders four years later, fell from 2,007 schools in 2002 to 1,746 schools in 2008.  The graduation rate in the country increased from 72 percent to 75 percent between 2001 and 2008.  Twenty nine states increased their graduation rates, with significant gains made across the South.  States and school districts helped raise graduation rates by developing a more rigorous curriculum to better prepare students for college and work, and by implementing new student-tracking systems that identify and target students with recurring attendance, academic, or behavior problems.  Eighteen states had graduation rates that remained essentially the same, and three states (Arizona, Nevada, and Utah) saw noticeable decreases in their graduation rates. There is, however, still much room for improvement.  According to the study, more than one million public high school students are still failing to graduate with their class each year.  The improvement in graduation rates will also have to increase five times faster in order to meet the goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020.


    EPLC is recruiting for a current college student to serve as a part-time intern beginning January of 2011 in the downtown Harrisburg offices.  Work will support education policy and programs as well as the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign.  Ideal candidates have an interest/course work in political science, social studies or education and also have strong research, communications, and critical thinking skills.  The internship is unpaid, but free parking is available.  Weekly hours of the internship are negotiable.  To apply or to suggest a candidate, please email Anita Weikel for further information at weikel@eplc.org.

    EPLC is recruiting for a current law student or graduate student to serve as a part-time intern beginning January of 2011 in the downtown Harrisburg offices.  Work will support the arts policy mapping/review related to EPLC’s new Arts and Education Initiative (AEI).   Ideal candidates have a demonstrable background in the arts and in education, strong skills in legal research, critical thinking, and writing, as well as a commitment to the study of public policy.  The internship is unpaid, but free parking is available.   Weekly hours of the internship are negotiable.  To apply or to suggest a candidate, please email Jordan Crosby for further information at crosby@eplc.org.


    Next week…

    EPLC is hosting a Western Region Pennsylvania Education Policy Forum in Pittsburgh on December 9.

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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