logo text


Why join PASA?  Watch the video in HD. (Or watch the video in Standard Def.)

Education Update

Below is the current Education Update.  Click here for a list of other recent updates.
Save the Date:
PASA Leadership Forum: Unleashing Potential: Navigating the Continuum of Creativity & Innovation in Schools
When: March 13-15, 2024 at the Hershey Lodge
Featured Keynotes: Kent Julian and Gregg Behr
Registration to open in December!
Managing the Risks Webinar Series:
Designed for Superintendents and Central Office Leaders
Join us for our next session: Instructional Materials Selection and Red Flags on December 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Instructional material selection and implementation for public school districts has become a contentious issue, with challenges stemming from various sociopolitical, cultural, and pedagogical viewpoints. School boards and administrators strive to provide curricula that reflect both the educational standards and the values of their communities, however differing opinions on what is considered appropriate or valuable often lead to disputes. Balancing the need to provide quality education with the diverse beliefs and values of a community remains a complex challenge for school districts. This session will discuss school board policies and processes to be cognizant of when purchasing and implementing instructional materials.
Additional upcoming topics for the 2023-24 school year include:
  • Postponed: Complex Student Issues: Avoiding Ethical and Legal Issues (Date TBA)
  • Navigating Challenging Board Meetings (January 9, 2024)
  • Record Retention, Right to Know, Board Conflict of Interests, and Litigation Holds (January 30, 2024)
  • The Pennsylvania Public Official and Employees Ethics Act – Compliance and Potential Unintended Violations (February 28, 2024)
  • Completed and available on video for those who register for the series: How to Navigate Bias-Related Incidents as Educational Leaders
Knowing upfront the recent issues that superintendents and school leaders are facing and the common missteps to avoid can prevent serious mistakes to future leadership success.  Whether you are a new superintendent/school leader or a seasoned veteran, the updates and discussions presented by the panel of experts in this series will benefit all.
Register to attend the 2023 PASA Webinar Series “Managing the Risks”, built specifically to assist school leaders in gaining perspective and knowledge to be successful!
Each Webinar is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., including time for participants to ask questions on the topics presented!  Come listen and learn!
Receive two sessions free when you sign up for the full seven-part series. (Past sessions are available as taped sessions).
Member: $245; Non-Member: $345
Learn more about each part of the series, costs, and how to register on PASA’s website.
New Superintendent Induction Program: Mentors for New Leaders
PASA’s New Superintendent Induction Program provides needed support and guidance for beginning Superintendents by providing an experienced superintendent mentor to help with the transition into the Superintendency. This program facilitates a working relationship between the Superintendent and an experienced Mentor that allows for open and private discussions and provides resources to sustain school system leaders.
For more information and to apply, visit PASA’s website.
New Superintendents: Register for PASA’s New Superintendents’ Academy Series- Part 3:
PASA’s New Superintendents’ Academy Series (Year 1) registration is still open! Register for Session 3 this year, and reserve a seat for Part 1 and 2 for 2024-2025 school year.
The Year 1 Series includes:
  • Part 3, Professional and Community Leadership, January 11-12, 2024
  • (Completed) Part 1, Strategic and Cultural Leadership (Note: This session will be offered again in 2024.
  • (Completed) Part 2, Systems Leadership (Note: This session will be offered again in 2024.)
Additional virtual 1-hour sharing sessions to provide additional information on critical topics as well as opportunities to stay connected with other PA colleagues.
Registration information for Year 1 is available via our website, https://www.pasa-net.org/workshopnsa. Participants can register to attend the entire three-part series or select to attend individual components and are able to earn 25 hours of Act 45 credit per part (75 total hours.)
The U.S. EPA recently launched its 2023 Clean School Bus Rebate Program, making $500 million available, which can be used to purchase electric school buses and charging infrastructure. The World Resources Institute’s Electric School Bus Initiative developed free and publicly available tools and resources to support access to this funding by school districts.
Additional resources include: In Health, Safety, Equity & Learning News…
How to Find—and Keep—a Diverse Team of Teachers In response to an EdWeek Research Center survey conducted between Sept. 27 and Oct. 13, more than three-fifths of district leaders and principals said finding racially and ethnically diverse teachers for the current school year was proving “very difficult” or “impossible.” Only 2 percent said the task was easy. Read the rest of the story: “How to Find—and Keep—a Diverse Team of Teachers” (from Education Week, 12/4/23)
The Role Mentors and School Leaders Play in Retaining Teachers of Color— Research suggests that when teachers share an ethno-racial background with the growing population of Black, Latino, and Asian American students, these students are more likely to succeed academically, accumulate fewer suspensions, and be more motivated to pursue higher education. Travis Bristol, associate professor of teacher education and education policy at the University of California, Berkeley and chair of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, says that white students have also expressed a preference for teachers of color in past research surveys. Recognizing those benefits, many schools are looking to grow their ranks of teachers of color. Read the rest of the story: “The Role Mentors and School Leaders Play in Retaining Teachers of Color” (from,K-12 Dive, 12/4/23)
Schools Crack Down on Cell Phones, Sparking Debate on Safety and Tech Use Schools are finding creative ways to stop students from using their cell phones during the day, fueling debates about the effectiveness and wisdom of such bans. Some schools have partnered with companies to implement the use of pouches that students are required to put their phones into at the beginning of the day and that don’t unlock until the final bell rings, while others are threatening punishments including suspension if a student is caught with their phone, even at lunch time. Read the rest of the story: “Schools Crack Down on Cell Phones, Sparking Debate on Safety and Tech Use” (from The Hill, 12/4/23)
In State News…
School Mandate Relief Reviewed by Senate Education Committee— The burden of state mandates on public schools was reviewed in depth during a public hearing of the Senate Education Committee (on November 28), according to Sen. Dave Argall (R-29), who chairs the committee. The hearing was requested by Sen. Jarrett Coleman (R-16), who introduced Senate Bill 569 to reinstitute a mandate waiver program that operated from 2000 to 2010. Over 700 applications were approved during the previous program, saving a significant amount of local taxpayer dollars. The committee heard testimony from representatives of public schools including Dr. Mark Madson, the Superintendent of Parkland School District, and Andy Christ, the Senior Director of Education Policy at the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. Read the rest of the story: “School Mandate Relief Reviewed by Senate Education Committee” (from PA Senate Republicans, 11/28/23)

9 Ways Collaborative Learning Benefits Teachers and Students Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around for many years, but the introduction of ChatGPT in November 2022 has generated many discussions of how this technology can impact education – both how students learn and how educators teach. While new and emerging technologies can feel like a hurdle at times, there is also much that can be gained by incorporating them into our curriculum. And those benefits are even greater when educators and students learn together, especially as we navigate new tech enablers like AI apps and tools. Read the rest of the story: “9 Ways Collaborative Learning Benefits Teachers and Students” (from ESchoolNews, 12/4/23)

Testing Shows Many Pennsylvania Kids are Drinking Lead-Tainted Water at School— It's a space for learning and growing, but some schools are exposing children to daily doses of lead-tainted water. Experts say Pennsylvania is sitting at the back of the class when it comes to protecting drinking water at school.  Read the rest of the story: “Testing Shows Many Pennsylvania Kids are Drinking Lead-Tainted Water at School” (from CBS News Pittsburgh, 11/27/23)
Later School Start Time Proposed— State Rep. Jill Cooper, R-Export and a member of the House Education Committee, is circulating a co-sponsorship memorandum for legislation she is drafting that will require the commonwealth’s secondary schools to start no earlier than 8:15 a.m. starting in the 2026-27 school year. Cooper cites an October 2019 report by the Joint State Government Commission in Pennsylvania, “Sleep Deprivation in Adolescents: A Case for Delaying Secondary School Start Times,” to justify the required later starting time. Read the rest of the story: “Later School Start Time Proposed” (from Times Observer, 12/4/23)
In National and International News…

House Democrats Press Education Department Over Title IX Rule Delay
 House Democrats are urging the U.S. Department of Education to finalize its two highly anticipated Title IX regulations as quickly as possible, arguing their continual delay leaves sexual assault survivors, transgender students and other historically marginalized groups without adequate civil rights protections. The Biden administration missed the October deadline it set to release the two rules. One would direct how federally funded schools must investigate and resolve sexual assault complaints and include LGTBQ+ students in sex discrimination protections, while the other would prevent blanket bans on transgender students participating in athletics aligned with their gender identity. Read the rest of the story: “House Democrats Press Education Department Over Title IX Rule Delay” (from K-12 Dive, 11/30/23)

Late Arrivals, Steep Costs: Why Some Districts Ditch Third-Party Bus Companies In the late 2010s, the school buses in Worcester, Mass., were becoming a major headache for district administrators. Parents called to complain that their children were late getting to school and returning home. But administrators themselves didn’t know why, because they couldn’t get a straight answer from the third-party vendor that was running transportation for the 23,000-student district. Meanwhile, the costs of contracting with the vendor were getting out of hand: up 6.1 percent for the contract term between 2005 and 2010, up another 15.6 percent for the period from 2010 to 2015, and up yet another 11 percent for the 2015-to-2020 term. Read the rest of the story: “Late Arrivals, Steep Costs: Why Some Districts Ditch Third-Party Bus Companies” (from, Education Week, 11/30/23)
Rural Students Face Persistent Access Barriers to Counselors, Gifted Programming Students attending rural schools have less access to school psychologists and counselors than their nonrural peers. They also may face other educational, mental and physical well-being barriers impacting rural areas, according to research from the National Rural Education Association. The report, which is the latest in a series of research on rural students, also highlights areas of progress, including increased diversity of rural students and a slightly higher graduation rate than their nonrural peers. Read the rest of the story: “Rural Students Face Persistent Access Barriers to Counselors, Gifted Programming” (from K-12Dive, 11/30/23)

Convening Discusses Implications of AI in K-12 Education — As artificial intelligence (AI) continues its rapid growth throughout industries and culture, educators and leaders in AI gathered at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, part of the College of Education at North Carolina State University, on Nov. 15 for its AI in K-12 Convening to discuss the implementations and potentials of AI in classrooms. Read the rest of the story: “Convening Discusses Implications of AI in K-12 Education” (from EducationNC, 11/29/23)

Legislative Updates from Last Week: 
Note: State Rep. John Galloway (D) plans to resign his seat in the House of Representatives on December 15. When the resignation become official, the House will be deadlocked at 101 Democrats and 101 Republicans until Galloway’s seat is filled.

HB 1870: Introduced on November 30 in the House: This bill would ban the suspension or expulsion of any child eight years of age or younger unless the child poses an imminent threat of harm or danger to others and specify that no student, regardless of age, shall be excluded from in-person classroom instruction for more than 10 school days without a proper disciplinary hearing. 

HB 1874: Introduced on November 30 in the House: This bill would provide an alternative pathway for veterans seeking certification as a teacher by removing the requirement for a baccalaureate degree for issuance of a temporary educator certificate if certain requirements are met. Veterans who successfully obtain a temporary teaching certificate would be assigned a mentor teacher for a minimum of two years to support their classroom teaching. Veterans would also be required to earn their bachelor’s degree during the 5-year period to be eligible for a full professional certificate; the temporary certificate cannot be renewed once it expires. Veterans utilizing this temporary certificate may not teach subject areas that require a Master’s Degree.
Upcoming Legislative Schedule – (Subject to change)
House of Representatives:
Next Session: December 11 at Noon
Next sessions: December 11 at 1 p.m.
Senate Scheduled Session Days:
December:         11, 12, 13
January              2, 16, 17
February           5, 6 (Governor’s Budget Address), 7
March                18, 19, 20
April                   8, 9, 10, 29, 30
May                    1, 6, 7, 8
June                    3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30  
Senate Budget Hearings are scheduled for the following days:
February           20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29
March                5, 6, 7
Note:   Tuesday, April 23 is Primary Election Day in Pennsylvania
House Scheduled Session Days:
House Session Schedule
December: 11, 12, 13
On the PASA Calendar…
December 6-7:        Second Session of PASA’s 2024 Cohort of the AASA Superintendent Certification Program
December 13:         Assistant Superintendents/Supervisors Summit follow-up Webinar
December 14:         Managing the Risks: Instructional Materials Selection and Red Flags
January 9:               Managing the Risks: Navigating Challenging Board Meetings
January 11-12:        New Superintendents’ Academy Series (Part 3): Professional & Community Leadership
January 30:             Managing the Risks: Record Retention, Right to Know, Board Conflict of Interest, and Litigation Holds
February 2:              Aspiring to Leadership Workshop (Virtual)
February 15-17:      AASA National Conference on Education
February 17:            PASA State Reception at Rustic Root
February 28:            Managing the Risks: The Pennsylvania Public Official and Employees Ethics Act—Compliance and Potential Unintended Violations
March 13:                PA League of Urban Schools (PLUS) Conference (Hershey Lodge)
March 13-15:           2023 PASA Leadership Forum: Unleashing Potential: Navigating the Continuum of Creativity and Innovation in Schools (Hershey Lodge)
May 19-21:              Women’s Caucus Annual Spring Conference at the Hershey Hotel)
Click here to view the full calendar of events.
(PDF for Printing)