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Welcome to "Mike's Memo," an update on what's happening in the 48th Legislative District, the State Capitol, and the progress of my legislative priorities. If you haven't done so already, please take a few moments to visit my website at www.senatorfolmer.com to learn more about issues that may affect you and your family.

Week of August 14, 2017

PA Department of Education Draft ESSA Consolidated State Plan
The PA Department of Education’s draft Consolidated State Plan pursuant to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is available for public review and comment here.  According to the Department, the draft plan was “informed by the ideas, input and feedback shared by stakeholders from every corner of the Commonwealth, including parents and families, students, educators, legislators, advocacy groups and community members.  The Department’s stakeholder engagement process relied on feedback provided through the state’s four ESSA Stakeholder Workgroups convened in the spring and summer 2016, regional listening tours and discussions with more than 30 groups at conferences and meetings over the past year.”  Public comment can be submitted through August 31 via an online survey or e-mail to RA-edESSA@pa.gov.  The final plan will be submitted to the US Department of Education on September 18. 

PA Department of Education 2017-18 Pre-K Counts Grants Awarded
The PA Department of Education’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning administers the Pre-K Counts Program, which provides half-day and full-day pre-kindergarten for children in the Commonwealth who are between the age of three and the entry age for kindergarten, and are at risk of school failure and living in families earning up to 300% of the federal income poverty level who may also be English language learners or have special needs.  The following were awarded grants to serve constituents of the 48th Senatorial District:  KinderCare-Lancaster, $267,750, serving Central York, York Suburban, Central Dauphin and Steelton-Highspire school districts, and; Bright Futures Learning Centers, Inc., Steelton, $850,000, serving Steelton-Highspire, Middletown Area, Northern York and West Shore school districts. 

PA Department of Education 2017-18 Family Literacy Grants Awarded
The PA Department of Education also recently awarded the Family Literacy Grants to help fund programs that address the literacy needs of all members of the family while promoting parents’ involvement in their children’s education.  Family literacy programs integrate early childhood education and adult education in a unified program.  In the 48th Senatorial District, the Lancaster-Lebanon IU-13 was awarded $400,000. 

PennDOT “PA Transportation Projects” Website
The PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is responsible for 40,000 roadway miles and 25,000 bridges in the Commonwealth.  On the PA Transportation Projects website, you can see active construction projects through maps showing investments over four and twelve year increments. 

Road Construction on Route 72, North of Lebanon City
PennDOT announced milling and paving operations on 2.63-miles of Route 72 from the intersection with Walnut Street near Coleman Park in the City of Lebanon to Horst Drive in North Lebanon Township began and is scheduled to be complete by the end of October.  Work includes roadway base repair, drainage and shoulder improvements, removal of existing roadway and replacement with a bituminous overlay, guiderail installation, new signs and pavement markings.  Travelers will encounter single-lane traffic restrictions with flaggers between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. and between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. 

Lebanon City “Walk with the Mayor”
A “Walk with the Mayor” will be held on August 22 at 12:30 p.m., where participants will meet Mayor Sherry Capello at the 9th and Cumberland Street parking lot and walk one-mile through the downtown City of Lebanon.  Each will receive a free pedometer, bottle of water and fitness tips from a YMCA Health Coach. 

Residents & Businesses in 717 Area Code Should Prepare for 10-Digit Dialing
The PA Public Utility Commission is encouraging residents and businesses served by the 717 area code to prepare for the upcoming switch to mandatory 10-digit dialing for all local calls beginning August 26.  The switch is required for the activation of a new “overlay” area code – 223 – which will serve the 16-county region included in the 717 service area because of the minimal remaining supply of 717 telephone numbers.  The list of devices that consumers should check, to verify they are configured for 10-digit dialing, includes:

  • Mobile and landline phones, tablets and fax machines
  • Line-safety and medical alert systems
  • Alarm/security systems and security gates
  • Call-forwarding settings and voicemail services
  • Internet dial-up systems
  • Automatic dialing equipment and software
  • Speed-dialers
  • Ankle monitors
  • Any other device that can save, store and automatically dial phone numbers

Contact Information
Please feel free to contact me at any time on state-related issues that are of concern to you. I may be reached through my website or my Lebanon or Harrisburg offices.

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