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Week of 4-27-2020

A message from Rich Askey

During the COVID-19 emergency, PSEA’s goal is to support you.

Whether we’re providing updates on legislative activity, the latest news that impacts our schools, students, and livelihoods, or resources to help you teach kids in new and innovative ways, we want to do everything we can to help.

That’s why we’ll be doing this e-newsletter frequently.

I know that this is a tough, stressful time for you, your families, and your students. PSEA wants to make it easier by keeping in touch and offering good, helpful information.

So, have a look. And let’s keep connected.

Inside this issue

  • Critical Alert: Contact your lawmaker now about new COVID-19 bill
  • PA Legislature extends deadline for FBI background checks
  • What’s the nicest thing a student ever did for you?
  • Carbondale Area ESP starts a Playdough Challenge Club
  • Hatboro Horsham EA pulls off first-ever drive-through contract ratification
  • Reminder to register to vote by mail
  • Online learning opportunities through PSEA’s Center for Professional Learning
  • PSEA’s COVID-19 resources
  • Member Benefits highlight: URL Life Insurance

Help get our school districts the funding they desperately need

Our members have done an incredible job teaching and serving students during this emergency.

But the fact is, this pandemic will have real and lasting impacts on Pennsylvania’s school district budgets. Without help from the federal government, school districts project revenue shortfalls of up to $325 million this school year and more than $1 billion in the 2020-21 school year. These deficits could force schools to cut thousands of employees and eliminate programs that help students learn.

Contact your U.S. senator and representative today and ask them to support additional, significant, and flexible federal funding for our school districts.

PA Legislature extends deadline for FBI background checks

Teacher Appreciation: What’s the nicest thing a student ever did for you?

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and it couldn’t come at a more appropriate time.

Everyone is feeling stressed as we’ve worked to adjust to the “new normal” of our post-COVID-19 reality.

But rest assured, the incredible things you’re doing for your students have not gone unnoticed, including by your students. Do you have a story of a particularly nice thing a student has done for you? Either before or during this emergency? Share it with us.

We could all use a reminder of how much we’re appreciated by those we work so hard to teach, no matter the circumstances.

On a bright note: Carbondale Area ESP starts a Playdough Challenge Club

Cori Wright, a member of the Carbondale Area ESP, started a Playdough Challenge Club on Facebook.

She posts new challenges every day for kids to do with playdough. She also made about 400 containers of homemade aromatherapy playdough for parents and caregivers to pick up outside her house if they didn’t have any playdough of their own.

“We are having a great time and welcome new members every day!” Wright said.

Hatboro Horsham EA pulls off first ever drive-through contract ratification

On Monday, April 20, the 382 members of the Hatboro Horsham EA managed to ratify their Tentative Agreement with the school district despite the COVID-19 emergency.

On the eve of a school board vote to ratify their contract that had expired in June of 2019, HHEA set up a drive-through ratification in the parking lot of the middle school.

The local accepted ballots that were sealed in envelopes that were then sealed in another envelope signed by the member. All by-laws were followed, and secret balloting was preserved.

Armed with masks and gloves, the officers – (left to right, above) Vice President Sue McGorrey, Membership Chair Steph Keene, Treasurer Kate Rae, President Bryan Moore, and Secretary Jen Basmajian – collected enough ballots to put the vote over the top. And school board members ratified as well.

Way to go on overcoming such a significant obstacle and checking off what we’re sure is a COVID-19 first!

Reminder: Register now to vote by mail in the June 2 primary

What’s the safest, easiest way to cast your vote for pro-public education candidates? By mail, of course! Sign up right now to take part in Pennsylvania’s June 2 primary.

The final day to register is May 26.

Click the button below to request your mail-in ballot. It’ll only take a couple of minutes.

Upcoming training on PSEA’s Center for Professional Learning

Wellness Training:

Act 48 Book Discussions:


Check out PSEA’s COVID-19 resources

PSEA is committed to providing members with the most up-to-date information and resources on the COVID-19 emergency. We want to help you cope with this unprecedented challenge, and we want to make sure you have the tools you need to help your students.

Be sure to visit regularly. We update the information you’ll find there daily. Here are a few things you’ll find.

Member Benefits highlight: URL Life Insurance

Harrisburg-based URL Insurance Group is offering a new Voluntary Life Insurance program for PSEA members and their families.

URL customizes coverage for PSEA members based on each member’s specific need and circumstance. They review over 40 highly rated life insurance companies and hundreds of life insurance products to ensure our members are getting the best deal.

For a no-pressure quote or more information, call 717-216-8051 or visit

400 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

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