Articles tagged with Pennsylvania School Boards Association

NSBA offers sympathies for victims in school stabbing incident

According to news reports, a teenage student went on a stabbing rampage at Franklin Regional Senior High School in Murrysville, Pa., seriously injuring at least 20 people. At the request of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) released the following statement on April 9:

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the 20 students and staff seriously injured in today’s stabbing rampage at Franklin Regional Senior High in Murrysville,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “As the police, school and local community begin to piece together facts on what led to this horrific crime, it is important to emphasize how rapidly the school district mobilized to keep district students at all levels – middle, high school, and elementary – safe.”

“While such violence is unimaginable, parents, families and the Pittsburgh community should take comfort in the rapid responses of the school principal and the school resource officer to contain the high school sophomore identified as the suspect. While America’s public schools are still one of the safest places we can send our children, this shows why when the unimaginable occurs, having strong safety plans and procedures in place has the power to save lives and protect communities.”

 

 

Joetta Sack-Min|April 9th, 2014|Categories: Announcements, Crisis Management, School Climate, School Security, State School Boards Associations|Tags: , , , , |

Report: Pennsylvania’s charters are costly to traditional public schools

Pennsylvania’s growing number of charter and cyber-charter schools do not save school districts money and, in many cases, add to their expenses, says a new report from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA).

“Charter schools do not charge a standard rate for their educational services,” says the report by PSBA’s Education Research and Policy Center. “In fact, the amount paid to charter schools varies greatly by school district, and is often completely unrelated to the actual operational costs incurred by charter schools.”

Tuition payments to Pennsylvania charter schools rose from $960 million in 2010-11 to more than $1.15 billion in 2011-12.

The tuition calculation for charter schools is much the same as for the per-student Actual Institutional Expense (AIE) of traditional schools; however, several cost elements excluded from the AIE —  for example, early intervention, vocational expenditures, and selected federal revenue — are included in the charter school tuition formula, thus driving up the cost of this subsidy, the report said.

“The problem is compounded by the fact that in most cases, less than 30 students from each district building attend charters, meaning districts are unable to reduce overhead costs, such as heating and electricity,” the report said. “Neither are school districts able to reduce the size of their faculty or staff.”

In addition, many students choosing to attend charter or cyber-charter schools were previously attending private schools or being home-schooled, meaning that these tuition payments are “an entirely new expense for school districts,” the report said.

PSBA’s report made several recommendations, among them requesting that the state set “reasonable limits” on the amount of unexpended tuition funds charters can receive from school districts and that these schools be required to return any unused balances to the district that sent them the money.

 

 

Lawrence Hardy|February 12th, 2014|Categories: Budgeting, Educational Finance, Educational Legislation, Privatization, School Vouchers, State School Boards Associations|Tags: , , |

NSBA announces Thomas J. Gentzel as new Executive Director

Thomas J. Gentzel

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) Board of Directors unanimously selected Thomas J. Gentzel to be the next NSBA executive director late last week. Gentzel is the executive director of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA).

“I am honored to lead NSBA at such an important time for the organization and for public education,” said Gentzel. “I am deeply committed to community ownership of public schools, which is the essence of school board governance. We will build on a strong foundation, taking an active role in shaping education policy and ensuring a quality education for all children in America.”

In his current role at PSBA, Gentzel represents and serves more than 5,000 school directors, administrators, and other officials from school entities throughout Pennsylvania. He joined the PSBA staff in 1980 as a lobbyist and, five years later, was promoted to head the organization’s Office of Governmental and Member Relations–a position he held until being promoted to Executive Director in 2001. He is also the Immediate Past Chair of NSBA’s Organization of State Association Executive Directors. Before joining PSBA, he served as the county administrator for Pennsylvania’s Centre County Board of Commissioners and, later, as Assistant Executive Director of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.

In addition, Gentzel has served as Vice President at Large for the National School Public Relations Association and as a member of the Outreach Advisory Board for The Pennsylvania State University. He was appointed by Gov. Tom Ridge and reappointed twice by Gov. Edward Rendell to the State Advisory Panel on Special Education. In 2009 he was named by Rendell to the Pennsylvania Early Learning Council. He previously chaired the Pennsylvania Coalition for Public Education and was founder and coordinator of the Alliance for a School Aid Partnership.

NSBA President C. Ed Massey noted that NSBA’s search committee had undertaken a comprehensive selection process to choose Gentzel, who received the committee’s unanimous recommendation before the board’s vote.

NSBA’s Executive Director reports directly to  the organization’s Board of Directors and is responsible for guiding the development and implementation of the strategic plan, programs, policies, and practices of the association. The Executive Director is responsible for the management and development of nearly 100 employees and an annual budget of more than $20 million.

NSBA’s current Executive Director Anne L. Bryant said, “Tom Gentzel brings extraordinary insight into NSBA. He will not only have 100 percent support from our state associations across the nation, he has the vision for the leadership role of school boards and school board governance in public education.”

Gentzel will begin his new role on December 1. Bryant is retiring at the end of this month after more than 16 years as Executive Director.  Joseph S. Villani, NSBA’s Deputy Executive Director & Chief Operations Officer, will serve as Interim Executive Director from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, 2012.

Joetta Sack-Min|September 24th, 2012|Categories: Announcements, School Board News|Tags: , , , |
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