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Week of 5-25-2020

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

  • State budget passes, shifting focus to federal funding
  • Critical alert: Tell our U.S. senators that our schools need $175 billion in emergency federal aid
  • Multi-agency task force is moving forward on plans to reopen schools safely
  • On a bright note: Congratulations class of 2020!
  • Upcoming training on PSEA’s Center for Professional Learning
  • PSEA’s COVID-19 resources

State budget passes, shifting focus to federal funding

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has approved a state budget that maintains 2019-20 school funding levels for K-12 public schools and higher education, an important first step to filling local revenue deficits due to the COVID-19 emergency and leaving a gap only federal funds can fill.

Lawmakers and Gov. Wolf recognize that school districts can’t open in the fall and provide for the health and safety of students and staff with the kinds of funding cuts that other states are considering. That’s why they have approved a budget with no cuts to public schools.

Unfortunately, this funding won’t fill the budget gaps that schools are facing due to the COVID-19 emergency.  The Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials estimates that declines in earned income tax and other local revenue could leave K-12 school districts with a combined deficit of as much as $1 billion in 2020-21.

Now it’s up to Congress to step up and help bridge this gap so that our schools are able to reopen safely. PSEA needs your help to encourage Congress to provide $175 billion in emergency aid to schools, funds that will compensate for local revenue shortfalls and ensure that schools can open safely in the fall. Contact your U.S. senator today.

These federal funds will ensure that schools have enough teachers to avoid overcrowded classrooms, custodians to sanitize and maintain school buildings, school nurses to manage student health, and counselors, psychologists, and social workers to provide mental health services.

Tell our U.S. senators that our schools need $175 billion in emergency federal aid

For our schools to open again, we need to do it in a way that keeps everyone in them safe and healthy and ensures that our jobs, our salaries, and our pensions are protected from budget cuts.

The federal government is the only place we can turn for help.

Contact our U.S. senators today using the link below and ask them to support $175 billion in emergency federal aid. Your voice matters!

Multi-agency task force is moving forward on plans to reopen schools safely

A couple of weeks ago, we announced that PSEA is part of a statewide task force working on devising an action plan for reopening schools. PSEA, along with each of the other organizations involved (PSBAPASAPASBOPAIUPPAPACTA, and PARSS), is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our members, our students, and our communities.

While the technology that has allowed learning to continue remotely during this pandemic is incredibly valuable, it can never replace in-person instruction. And while we’re all eager for a return to normalcy, many challenges and considerations remain.

With subgroups looking at everything from transportation logistics to instruction to staffing considerations to health and wellness, we’re making sure all the bases are covered, and we’ll have a series of guidelines that each school district can adapt to the needs of that particular school community. We want you to feel comfortable and secure returning to the classroom and reconnecting with your students and colleagues.

Stay tuned for more on this in the coming weeks.

Congratulations, class of 2020!

As this year’s graduates close the books on this chapter of their academic lives, we salute their resilience and fortitude in the face of these unprecedented challenges.

Across the state, we’ve seen teachers, parents, and school districts stepping up with creative ways to honor this momentous occasion. From drive-through ceremonies to smaller celebrations that observe social distancing guidelines to virtual parties, there are countless ways to mark this milestone.

How are you planning to celebrate your graduates? Click on this link and let us know.

Upcoming training on PSEA’s Center for Professional Learning

Earn Act 48/Chapter 14 credits from the comfort of your own home! Here’s what we’ve got coming up:


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.

400 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

This content is intended for PSEA members and their immediate families.

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