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Senator Michele Brooks

Only 7 Days Left to Comment on State Education Plan

HARRISBURG – (August 22, 2017) Sen. Michele Brooks invites every Pennsylvanian with an interest in education to review and comment on the State Plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. 

ESSA, the successor to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, aims to give more decision-making authority to states and local leaders, in an effort to improve student achievement. 

The 144-page plan can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Education website (  The public comment period lasts until Aug. 31.  Citizens can review and provide feedback on the plan through an online survey or may email comments to  

“I wanted to let everyone know that they can comment on this plan and express their opinions, because so often policies are crafted behind closed doors, away from the classrooms, hallways and homes where true learning occurs.  Accessibility and openness are essential to this process.”   

“It is so important that residents have a part in crafting this plan, because it will have a far-reaching impact on standardized testing, graduation rates, chronic absenteeism and more,” Sen. Brooks said.  “So often, regulations are put into place by unelected bureaucrats who have a disconnect with the individuals and families in the front lines,” Sen. Brooks said.  “Whether you are a parent, educator, student, school board member, business leader, or other interested party, please take this opportunity to make your opinions known.”  

The plan has been developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education over the past year, in consultation with various stakeholder groups.  It must be submitted to the federal government by September 18. 

 “The more voices with common-sense suggestions from people within our communities, the better,” Sen. Brooks said.  “All students deserve access to well-rounded, rigorous, and personalized learning experiences that prepare them for success in the future. I’d like to thank everyone in advance for contributing to the development of a strong, forward-thinking plan.”

Did You Know This about Pymatuning State Park?

Congratulations to our own Pymatuning State Park in Crawford County, which was just selected by as one of the 25 most scenic parks in the Commonwealth. 

Pymatuning, spanning 16,892 plush green acres, is the largest of Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks.   (The smallest is Sand Bridge State Park in Union County, clocking in at a cozy three acres.)  The most visited state park is Presque Isle in Erie County.  

Pymatuning is also home to the Commonwealth’s largest lake.

State parks attract more than 40 million visits a year. 

You are encouraged to visit the website of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to weigh in on the state’s park plan, so that we can better improve and preserve Pennsylvania’s parks for outdoor recreation and education. 

  • The Lenape were living in the area when European settlers first arrived in the region.
  • The Seneca tribe, member of the larger Iroquois Confederacy, later moved in, but left the area under the terms of the Treaty of Greenville.
  • The most common species in the lake are largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, bluegill, crappie, perch, carp and muskellunge
  • Bald eagles, white-tailed deer, and ducks also thrive in this scenic region

Do You Have a Question about Lyme Disease?

In the fall, I plan to host a hearing and cable TV show on Lyme Disease, the tick-borne disease that has debilitated so many Pennsylvanians in recent years. I would like to include you in the process.

Please submit your questions about ticks, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and more, to by Sept. 30, and we will try to ask as many of your questions as possible. 


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