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During a March 2022 radio interview, gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano said that PA should reduce per-student school funding by $10,000 annually. He has also called for the complete elimination of local school property taxes.

This extreme proposal would be devastating to PA’s public schools and 1.7 million students. Imagine a public education system with half the teachers, counselors, nurses, and support staff who teach and serve our students.

In the absence of any details from Sen. Mastriano, PSEA took his proposal and estimated funding cuts, job losses, and increases in student-to-teacher ratios.

American Rescue Plan provides historic school funding

President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law on March 11, authorizing unprecedented federal investments in K-12 and higher education, support for state and local governments, and programs that will slash child poverty for children under 18 by nearly 50 percent.

The single largest federal investment ever in public education, the historic aid package includes $170 billion for K-12 schools and colleges and universities, with $6.46 billion of those funds earmarked for Pennsylvania.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

In the fall of 2020, PSEA established a Task Force on Racial Justice and Equity in PSEA (Task Force) charged with:

1) Developing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement for the Board’s consideration, and;

2) Overseeing an equity assessment of PSEA’s organizational operations, policies, and practices. The first step – the development and adoption of a DEI Statement - is foundational for ensuring PSEA’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are realized in our culture, practices, and policies.

PSEA's Center For Professional Learning

Keep up-to-date on all of the ways PSEA is prepared to meet your professional learning needs.

Keeping Connected is an e-newsletter for PSEA members to stay informed during the COVID-19 coronavirus school closures. In each issue, you'll receive the latest legislative and policy updates from your association, helpful links, and inspiring stories of educators going above and beyond to make the best of an extraordinarily difficult time.

Interactive Map: The Mastriano Plan

Doug Mastriano's irresponsible plan to cut school funding by $12.75 billion would cost us 118,000 education jobs and increase class sizes through the roof.
Learn how this terrible plan would impact your school by viewing PSEA's interactive map.

Click on any district in the interactive map (linked below) to find information on funding cuts, staff cuts, and the increase in student-teacher ratio.

Hart Research poll is great news for educators

A recent national survey of public school parents from Hart Research Associates and Lake Research Partners has yielded some very positive numbers. Check out the animation above to see what they are.

Subs wanted!

There’s a substitute teacher shortage in Pennsylvania’s public schools, and it’s making it harder for kids to learn. Our schools need substitute teachers. Badly.

In late 2021, Act 91 was passed into law allowing more Pennsylvanians to support educators, schools, and students as a day-to-day or long-term substitute teacher. And there are several different pathways to help you get started.

Learn more about how you can make a difference as a substitute teacher with the resources in our "Subs Wanted!" section of the site.

2022 PA Teacher of the Year - Elizabeth Raff

Elizabeth Raff of Penn Manor EA was named the Pennsylvania 2022 Teacher of the Year. Each year, the Pennsylvania Department of Education recognizes excellence in teaching by honoring a K-12 public education teacher who has made outstanding academic contributions to his or her students.

Elizabeth is a sixth grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at Pequea Elementary School in Lancaster County. Read what she has to say about her recognition in the March 2022 issue of The Voice.

PSEA Celebrates Black History Month

Find resources for the classroom, share your ideas, hear about notable Black Pennsylvanians, and more. 

Dee Scales, the 2021 ESP of the Year!

There’s no better time than American Education Week to celebrate our hardworking ESP members. And none more deserving of recognition than Dee Scales, the 2021 Dolores McCracken PSEA Education Support Professional of the Year.

“I am honored to receive this recognition,” Scales said. “It means a lot because support professionals do a lot of work, not only within our schools but in our communities, as well. Many support professionals live in the communities where they work so they have a great rapport not just with students but with students’ families, too.”

Scales has worked as a paraprofessional in the Woodland Hills School District for the past 26 years, including working with students having special needs in life skills, learning support, and emotional support classrooms. She currently works with students in an emotional support classroom in the Dickson Preparatory STEAM Academy.

Colleagues praised Scales’ dedication and ability to draw out the very best in her students.

Dee on a recent episode of PA Newsmakers explaining the roles of paraprofessionals and support staff in schools.

Central Bucks member named 2021 School Psychologist of the Year

Congratulations to Central Bucks School District member Julia Szarko for being named the 2021 School Psychologist of the Year at both the state and national levels. Throughout her 25-year career, Szarko has been a strong advocate for her students. She has worked tirelessly to meet students’ individual academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs and push for improvements across the school system. She’s even taken her advocacy work to Congress.

This week is typically when members of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) head to Washington DC for “DC Hill Day,” a week of advocacy training and Hill meetings with lawmakers. This year it's being held virtually, but that hasn’t slowed down Szarko. 

“I’ve been very focused on, for a long time, expanding access to school mental health services,” Szarko said. “Also we are facing a huge national shortage of school psychologists. So our big advocacy focus is remedying the shortages.”

Szarko has been working with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick to encourage passage of HR 4025, the Mental Health in Schools Excellence Program Act of 2019, which was reintroduced this year. 

“That is a bill that would provide a funding stream for students going into school psychology and school mental health field,” Szarko said. “So it’s something where the federal government would match with the graduate institution’s direct funding towards tuition. We’re one of the states with the most school psychology programs,” she said. “So we could obtain a good number of students receiving funding through this bill if we can get it passed.”

In our Locals

Find moments that spark joy

Garrettford Youth Court is now in session

Commitment to teaching Holocaust truth

Student art project makes a powerful impact

Seneca Valley’s No Cost to Shop store

Issues & Action