Dr. Mumin Named New PA Ed. Secretary (January 11, 2023)

On January 9th, Governor-elect Josh Shapiro named Dr. Khalid Mumin, superintendent of the Lower Merion School District, as the commonwealth’s new education secretary. Dr. Mumin has led Lower Merion for the past year and was formerly the superintendent at Reading, where he was named Pennsylvania’s Superintendent of the Year in 2021. Dr. Mumin will be sworn in as acting secretary of education on January 17th. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University, a master’s degree from Penn State, and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.

For more from the Philadelphia Inquirer, click here

PA State Board of Ed Holds January Meeting (January 11, 2023)

On Wednesday, January 11, 2023, the PA State Board of Education met at PDE in Harrisburg and via Zoom. The Board heard reports from the Academic Standards (Chapter 4) Committee and the Teacher and School Leader Committee. The Chapter 4 committee directed PDE to assign external advisors to both the Career Ed. and Work  Committee and the Family and Consumer Science and Economics Committee. The Teacher and Leader Committee’s PA Education Workforce Committee has focused on Act 55 issues with regard to the retention and attraction of instructors to the field of education. Of particular note is work in developing an extensive plan of action to address the decline educators in the commonwealth. Specifically mentioned was the Grow Your Own initiative and efforts towards encouraging paraprofessionals and others in the education setting to pursue teacher certification.

Excitement was also expressed with regard to the newly created CTE Pathway for opportunities in the field of education, which will be rolled out in 2023.

Acting secretary Eric Hagarty reported that Dr. Khalid Mumin has been appointed by incoming Governor Josh Shapiro to be the state’s new Secretary of Education.

Action items included approving the Board’s Annual Report to the Governor and General Assembly and a Resolution Honoring Acting Secretary Hagarty, who will be stepping down on January 17th. Both items were unanimously approved.

Gov. Wolf Calls for Special Session to Prioritize Increased Statute of Limitations for Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse (January 9, 2023)

On January 6, 2023 Governor Tom Wolf issued a proclamation calling for a special session of the General Assembly to be held on Monday, January 9, 2023, to propose a constitutional amendment to retroactively extend the timeline for victims of childhood sexual abuse to file civil actions.

“For far too many Pennsylvanians, justice and healing for the pain they’ve experienced is out of reach,” said Gov. Wolf. “This special session is a critical step to allow the General Assembly to focus their work on this important, and potentially life-saving, task. No survivor should be denied the chance to hold their abuser accountable, regardless of how much time has passed.”

At the special session, the governor is calling on the General Assembly to complete the constitutionally required second passage of last session’s House Bill 14 to ensure that the voters have their say in this May’s election. The process was already restarted when they passed House Bill 14 last session.

The governor is asking the General Assembly to pass the joint resolution no later than Friday, January 27, 2023. This timeframe would ensure the PA Department of State can meet the publication requirements so that voters have the opportunity to consider the amendment in May 2023.

In August 2022, Gov. Wolf and legislative leaders agreed that the constitutional amendment process is the best path forward.

PDE Awards $5 Million in Grants to Support Teacher and Principal Prep (January 9, 2023)

On January 6, 2023, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced that it has awarded $5 million in grant funding to support Pennsylvania’s educator workforce and increase the number and diversity of teachers and school leaders.

“In order to bolster our educator workforce, we must create the conditions for teachers and school leaders to learn, grow, and thrive in their chosen career,” said Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty. “The funding awarded in these three grant programs will complement recommended policy changes and stakeholder engagement efforts by preparing current and future educators to serve learners of all ages across the commonwealth.”

The Aspiring to Educate STEM-Computer Science (A2E STEM-CS) grant program uses PAsmart funds to make simultaneous progress to diversify the teacher workforce and increase the number, diversity, and cultural awareness of STEM-CS teachers. View the A2E STEM-CS awardees. 

The Innovative Principal Prep 2 Practice grant program provides awards of up to $100,000 to approved educator-preparation programs so they can build innovative partnerships with LEAs that improve the “prep to practice” linkage in the preparation of school leaders. View the Principal Prep 2 Practice awardees.

The Innovative Teacher Prep 2 Practice grant program provides funding to stimulate the creation of highly cohesive and innovative clinical experiences for teachers that make explicit connections across the three stages of clinical experience: as first-year candidates, during their capstone clinicals, and induction. View the Teacher Prep 2 Practice awardees.

Click to view PDE’s educator workforce strategy. 
For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, please visit the Department of Education’s website.

BSE Announces Annual Deaf-Blind Child Count for Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Students (December 29, 2022)

On December 29, 2022, Bureau of Special Education Director Carole L. Clancy  released a PennLink titled Annual Deaf-Blind Child Count for Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Students. According to the message, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), has an annual requirement that for the Pennsylvania Deaf-Blind Project to conduct the National Deaf-Blind Child Count, formerly called the National Deaf-Blind Census. The Deaf-Blind Child Count records the number of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and students who have dual sensory impairments or who are at risk of developing dual sensory impairments, and who are enrolled in early intervention or special education as of the December 1, 2022 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) child count.

The count will be conducted beginning with Approved Private School programs in January 2023 followed by LEAs in February 2023. You must verify and submit your information no later than February 28, 2023. It is important for Pennsylvania to have an accurate Deaf-Blind Child Count as this information is tied to funding research, training, and technical assistance for this population of children.

Please be aware that for the Deaf-Blind Child Count, the federal definition of deaf-blindness is more inclusive and extensive than the one used for the IDEA child count. Children ages birth to 21 should be reported in the count if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and students who have a diagnosis of deaf-blindness and/or receive both vision and hearing support services;
  2. Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and students who have a mild to profound hearing loss and vision loss with correction that still requires adaptations or modifications;
  3. Infants and toddlers (ages birth-to-three; i.e. Part C) who have a diagnosis that places them at-risk for an intellectual disability with inconsistent responses to light and sound. (At-risk means a diagnosis that does not guarantee hearing/vision loss); or
  4. Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and students with multiple disabilities who may demonstrate inconsistent responses to light and sound.

It is important for each Early Intervention Program and Local Educational Agency (LEA) to participate in the Deaf-Blind Child Count.

  1. If you do not have any infants, toddlers, preschoolers, or students with deaf-blindness, you will still need to log in and identify that you are not educating anyone with deaf-blindness at the present time.
  2. If you are educating an infant, toddler, preschooler, or student with dual sensory impairments, you will need to either enter a new record or verify information about a child who already exists in the system.
  3. School-age and preschool programs are encouraged to work closely with contracted providers (e.g., Approved Private Schools, Charter Schools for the Deaf or Blind) to ensure an accurate count of children.

Connecting families of children who are deaf-blind with supporting networks and information is vital. A feature of the Deaf-Blind Child Count is a letter which you will be asked to send to the family of each child listed in your count. The letter provides information which will link them to support and information for their family.

Deaf-Blind Child Count – Approved Private School Entries
All Approved Private Schools (APS) entered their student data prior to the Deaf-Blind Child Count being opened for Early Intervention programs, school districts, charter schools, and service providers.  While there are few infants and toddlers served in an APS, you may see a child in the Deaf-Blind Child Count which has been entered by an APS. For those programs with many students who qualify, this will save them valuable time. This was done by all APSs even if there are no students who qualify for the Deaf-Blind Child Count enrolled in their school. As the Early Intervention Program or LEA for these respective children, you must either confirm that the child is your responsibility or reject them if the child is not within your catchment area or in the age range of children you serve. After you confirm that you are the Early Intervention Program or LEA for the child, you can update other data as necessary.

Deaf-Blind Child Count – Early Intervention Programs
If you are the Early Intervention Program responsible for providing early intervention services to the entered child, you should confirm that the child is your responsibility. If the child is not the responsibility of your program (i.e., the child is not within your county/county joinder or in the age range of children you serve), please email dbchildcount@pattan.net.

Log In Information
The Deaf-Blind Child Count website is: https://www.leaderservices.com/_DBcensus.
The process for entering information is as follows:
How to log in and submit your count. 
1.     Log in with your username and password at https://www.leaderservices.com/_DBcensus.
2.     If you do not know or cannot remember your username or password for the Deaf-Blind Child Count, use the “Forget your Login Info” link on the Deaf-Blind Child Count website to have the information emailed to you or email dbchildcount@pattan.net for support.

If you have any questions regarding the data collection system or your responsibilities for entering child data into the Deaf-Blind Child Count, please email dbchildcount@pattan.net.