Corbett Imposes Steep Cuts to Education Schools underwrite campaign promises (Guest Opinion by Mark B Miller) Our governor has much explaining to do for slashing $1 billion of education funding from the next state budget. His administration cannot be blind to the fact that removing $550 million will result in an additional tax burden for residents of Bucks County (and elsewhere) by forcing some area school districts to increase taxes beyond the Act I limit. Likewise, pulling all those millions out of higher education will make it difficult for even high-income families to pay college tuition at state institutions. The proposed cuts are massive, more than $30 million in Bucks County alone. We also face potential losses of federal funding after reauthorization of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act aka “No Child Left Behind” and the Child Nutrition Act. The Child Nutrition Act has increased funding, though greater amounts of money are being pushed from suburban school districts to pay for free and reduced lunch in urban school districts like Philadelphia, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, etc. I’m curious how Gov. Corbett can insist on giving a … Continue reading

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CSD Honored for Advanced Placement Gains

Centennial School District Named to AP® Achievement List by the College Board for Significant Gains in Advanced Placement® Access and Student Performance 388 U.S. Public School Districts Across the Nation Are Honored Centennial School District is one of fewer than 400 school districts in the nation being honored by the College Board with a place on its AP® Achievement List for opening AP classroom doors to a significantly broader pool of students, while maintaining or improving the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher. From 2008 to 2010, Centennial has increased the number of students participating in AP from 136 to 303, while improving the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher, the score typically needed to earn college credit, from 73% in 2008 to 81% in 2010. “We are absolutely delighted to receive this recognition,” stated Dr. Jenny Cressman, Superintendent of Schools.  “Our goal is to prepare all of our students to be able to take AP coursework and thrive in an academically rigorous and enriching AP environment. The Centennial community has a … Continue reading

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VOUCHERS – Your Tax Dollars With ZERO Accountability!

Here is an instant primer on Senator Piccola and Williams pet project of providing School Choice through “vouchers” which can take more than $1,000,000,000 more dollars out of Pennsylvania School Districts by 2013-14. This website offers a quick primer on SB1. Click Here (Feel free to contact me with additional questions and concerns.) – MBMiller

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PASBO – Annual Conference (Pittsburgh, PA – March 15-18)

At the Thursday session of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials, the big topic of discussion was Governor Corbett’s announcement of deep cuts to school budgets and the consequences to every school district across the Commonwealth. With funding rolled back to below 2008 levels many school districts will be forced to cut budgets through drastic measures, including increasing class size, eliminating programs, reducing staff, charging participation fees for athletics, curtailing services, etc…  Invited as a guest speaker, I presented three consecutive mini-workshops proposing ways school districts can work to increase revenue (without raising taxes) as an alternative to cutting expenses beyond prudent levels. Various techniques included business affiliation and community partnerships, seeking grants for energy conservation, profit from energy generation, effective use of technology, municipal joint ventures, and; creation of district operated cyber academies as an alternative to the high cost of sending students to cyber charter schools. A copy of the presentation is available by clicking here. Centennial School District was well represented at PASBO. Our new Director of Business Administration, Chris Berdnik, participated in the continuing education session … Continue reading

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