Educators worry the guv’s education reform bill could drain cash from local schools

By James McGinnis Staff writer Calkins Media, Inc. Local reaction to Gov. Tom Corbett’s state education reform plan can best be summarized in a single question: Will it drain cash from local districts? Corbett earlier this week promoted taxpayer-paid vouchers for low-income students in failing schools, changes to how charter schools are established, tying student performance to teacher evaluations and expanding tax credits for businesses that fund scholarships. Centennial School District board member Mark Miller is unhappy with Corbett’s plan. It would divert another billion dollars of education funding away from students and give it to a privileged few, Miller said. “The answer is not ‘rescuing’ a small percentage of students from failing schools, rather to fix those failing schools to serve the best interests of each and every student,” Miller wrote in an email. The governor must also recognize his responsibility to fix the state’s Charter School Law, he wrote. The district will host a county-wide PTO meeting in the William Tennent High School auditorium to discuss education and its funding with members of the House Education Committee at … Continue reading

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Congressman Fitzpatrick Details Education Initiative

Congressman Fitzpatrick Details Education Initiative The grand opening of the new high school provided a backdrop for Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick and School Director Mark B Miller to highlight some goals toward creating more education opportunities for all students, including those with special needs. PATCH Video by Brad Seecof  http://uppersouthampton.patch.com/articles/congressman-fitzpatrick-details-education-initiative#video-7794153

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A School Choice Is Made

For release: Immediate Horace Spencer III is only 14 years old and entering high school in September, but; in the midst of some legislators jockeying to enact “school choice” through unproven voucher programs and rapid expansion of charter schools, Horace had an important school choice of his own. Horace is already 6’8” tall, wears a size 17 sneaker. He is ranked #2 in the nation among incoming freshmen in the class of 2015. Despite several options and offers from private and parochial schools, Horace chose to attend William Tennent High School, his neighborhood public school.   Coach Rick Barrett has been a strong supporter of public education over his 27 years coaching many standout players. Horace Spencer, Jr. wants to be sure his son has something other than basketball in his life, even though he likes Horace III’s prospects to reach the NBA. Mr. Spencer knows anything can happen over the next eight years and wants a strong foundation in learning as a backup. School Director and KeySEC Co-Chair, Mark B Miller, explained how he met with the student, father and coach to … Continue reading

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Increase Revenue, Not Taxes!

Centennial hunts for more dollars Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 5:41 am | Updated: 7:15 am, Mon Jun 6, 2011. Centennial hunts for more dollars By Manasee Wagh Staff Writer Centennial School District is looking for fresh ideas to overcome education funding cuts without having to raise taxes or shrink programs and extracurricular activities. Officials and community members are putting their heads together to hopefully generate $2.5 million over the next two years. “The goal is to raise (the money) through community partnerships, business affiliation, sponsorships and fund raising,” said board member Mark Miller, chairman of the newly formed Alternative Revenue Committee. The committee’s first priority is paying back the $800,000 borrowed from the district’s general fund to complete construction of the William Tennent High School stadium in the 2007-08 school year. More than a dozen people have volunteered to serve on the committee, but more are needed, Miller said. He expects the committee will have between nine and 15 people from different parts of the Centennial community, including the administration, professional and support staff, community members, student government, home … Continue reading

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Miller Tops Both Tickets in Race for Region One School Board Director

Elections Miller Tops Both Tickets in Race for Region 1 School Board Director The unofficial results have cross-listed candidate Mark B. Miller taking the top spot for both parties in the only contested race in Upper Southampton. By Jennifer Mohan | Email the author | May 17, 2011     new     Preliminary results are in for the May 17 primaries. Patch Photos (1) Photos Credit Patch Add your photos & videos With all of the districts in Upper Southampton Township reporting, here are the unofficial results for the local races in Tuesday’s primary election: In the only contested race in the township, the unofficial results are as follows Centennial School Board Director Votes Percentage of Vote Republican:Mark B. Miller Flemming Godiksen David Shafter   534 288 449  42% 22.7% 35.3% Democrat:Mark B. Miller Flemming Godiksen Celina Cancelliere  274 205 230  38.6% 28.9% 32.4% Two seats are available representing Region 1 for Centennial School Board. The top two candidates will be on the ballot in November’s election. Incumbents win ballot spots Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 6:06 am | Updated: … Continue reading

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Voucher Bill Could Mean Big Losses for District

by Manassee Wagh, Bucks County Courier Times Centennial could lose more than a million dollars because of a school choice voucher bill that’s awaiting a vote in the state Senate. “The voucher bill is bringing up many challenges for Centennial,” said school board member Mark Miller at the board meeting Tuesday evening. Miller is also co-chair of the Keystone State Education Coalition, a grassroots public education advocacy group. Centennial faces a $1.29 million loss from Senate Bill 1, a taxpayer-funded tuition voucher bill, which proposes deferring public tax dollars to private and parochial schools in Pennsylvania. That’s in addition to losses expected because of changing state funding formulas, Miller said. “The amount each district gets is based on several variables tied to the actual amount of funds we receive from the state. We will lose more than New Hope-Solebury, Palisades, Council Rock and Central Bucks combined,” said Miller. Terry Madonna School Voucher Poll View more presentations from Mark Miller. The school board plans to discuss possible repercussions of the bill and state budget cuts at a finance committee meeting planned … Continue reading

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About Me.

I have been a community member living in Centennial School District since 1984, residing in Warminster until 2005 and then moving to Southampton, where I currently reside. I have represented Southampton as one of its three Region One School Directors since 2007, but; I do my very best to represent the interest of all Centennial School District residents at all times. I have never missed a meeting of the Board of School Directors and always study every issue. I have also attended almost every committee meeting (even if I am not a member of the committee holding a particular meeting). Of the few meetings I have missed, half were to attend to other business of Centennial School District. My family and I care deeply for the District and all its participants. You will find me supporting as many events as possible, sometimes as many as one or two per day. I make myself available for any community member and make it my practice to respond to every inquiry the same day, whenever possible. While I attended Central High School (in … Continue reading

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