Governor Corbett Delivers Kudos to Harborcreek Schools

- February 11, 2014– Governor Tom Corbett today presented the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Academics to three schools in Harbor Creek School District, Erie County.

“These schools demonstrate the remarkable commitment and dedication of students, parents, taxpayers, teachers and administrators in preparing students for a successful future,” Corbett said. “Klein, Clark and Rolling Ridge elementary schools are great examples of the high-quality learning that is taking place in classrooms across Pennsylvania.”

Based on the 2012-13 School Performance Profile,, Klein Elementary School attained a 94.9 percent, the highest in the district and the second highest among the 75 public schools in Erie County.

Klein Elementary School followed with a 93.1 percent and Rolling Ridge Elementary School with a 92.6 percent.

“We are honored to receive this recognition. It reflects the commitment to providing the best teaching for our students and our pride as a District,” said Harbor Creek School District Superintendent Patricia Hawley. “We are thrilled to receive the Academic Excellence Awards. Harbor Creek School District will continue to maintain this momentum as we strive to provide quality education and lead the way in northwestern Pennsylvania.

“I want to applaud the hard work and accomplishments of our teachers, principals, and staff at every level. It is an honor to thank them on behalf of the Board of Directors, students, families, and community.”

The School Performance Profile offers parents, taxpayers and educators access to a comprehensive, straight-forward and user-friendly resource that provides detailed information about the academic performance of all public schools, including traditional public schools, brick-and-mortar and cyber charter schools, and career and technology centers.

The Governor, First Lady, Lt. Governor and Corbett administration officials are visiting high-performing schools across Pennsylvania to present them with Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Academics. Statewide, 428 school buildings in 164 districts attained a score of 90 or higher.

Since taking office in 2011, Governor Corbett has put into place education policies to increase accountability, enhance transparency and provide support systems for public schools. These include a new, comprehensive educator evaluation system that is based on multiple measures of student achievement; improved academic standards and assessments to ensure students are prepared for postsecondary opportunities; the School Performance Profile; and no-cost, high-quality educational resources, such as a voluntary model curriculum, lesson plans and classroom diagnostic tools.

Governor Corbett also outlined his 2014-15 education budget that invests more than $10.1 billion in state funding for support of public schools. This is an increase of $369 million, or 3.8 percent, over the current year.

The governor’s signature initiative, the Ready to Learn Block Grant, would strategically invest $340 million directly into classrooms to enhance learning opportunities and increase student achievement.

This block grant would distribute $100 million through the highly successful Accountability Block Grant and $240 million through a student-focused funding formula targeted to initiatives that are proven to raise student achievement. To allocate funding to schools, the formula considers student enrollment, the number of students identified as English language learners and the number of students identified as economically disadvantaged adjusted by a school’s aid ratio, or relative wealth.

Based on the School Performance Profile, schools will use their Ready to Learn Block Grant for programs that are proven to increase student achievement, such as:

Pre-kindergarten to grade 3 curriculum alignment;
Ensuring that all students are performing on grade level in both reading and math by third grade;
Extended learning opportunities for more customized student instruction;
Support for early literacy;
Supplemental instruction in biology, English language arts and algebra I;
Instructional coaches;
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education; and
Implementation of the State Literacy Plan.

As an additional component of the Ready to Learn Block Grant, $1 million in grant funding will be available to schools that have attained a 90 or higher on the School Performance Profile. Through the Governor’s Expanding Excellence Program high-performing schools would commit to sharing best practices that have proven to increase student achievement.

The governor’s budget also provides:

$5.53 billion for the Basic Education Funding line item.
$1.05 billion for Special Education, an increase of $20 million – the first increase in six years.
$62 million for Career and Technical Education.
$625.3 million for student transportation.
$482.5 million for School Employees’ Social Security.
$1.11 billion for School Employees’ Retirement.

With these additional investments, total state support of public schools increases by $1.55 billion, or 18.1 percent, since Corbett has taken office.

Corbett’s budget also increases funding for early education programs to $374 million, an additional $10.8 million, or 3 percent.

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts would receive $97.3 million, an increase of $10 million, or 11.5 percent. This would serve an additional 1,670 students, bringing the total number of students receiving high-quality early education services through Pre-K Counts to nearly 15,700.

Head Start Supplemental Assistance would receive $39.1 million.

Early Intervention, which provides support for students, age three to five, who have developmental disabilities, would receive $237.5 million. This includes $9.5 million to serve an additional 1,500 children, bringing the total number of students receiving services to nearly 52,350.

In an effort to offset the cost of a postsecondary education, Governor Corbett’s Ready to Succeed scholarship initiative would provide up to $2,000 to eligible students whose families earn up to $110,000.

In addition to income eligibility, students would have to demonstrate academic merit to qualify for a scholarship.

The scholarship program would be administered by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and would be in addition to the $345 million included in the budget for state grant funding for students.

“Every child in this state should be ready to learn, ready to grow and ready to succeed,” Corbett said. “At every level, from early childhood to high school and postsecondary education, every dollar we spend now is an investment in the future of our commonwealth. Pennsylvania’s children deserve the best education possible.”

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