Friday, March 25, 2011

Flurry of Education Bills hit PA Senate

Thanks Ron C.
On March 22, the chairmen of the Senate Education Committee, Senator Jeff Piccola (R-15) and Senator Andrew Dinniman (D-19), announced the introduction of an 18 bill package aimed at providing mandate relief for school districts. The following bills were introduced:

Senate Bill 202 (Sen. Dinniman, D-19) would allow alternative certification pathways for principals and teachers; 

Senate Bill 293 (Sen. Eichelberger, R-30) would increase the thresholds for bidding contracts to $25,000;

Senate Bill 296 (Sen. Brubaker R-36) would increase the thresholds for bidding contracts to $25,000;

Senate Bill 329 (Sen. Dinniman, D-19) would suspend non-essential reports from districts to PDE in years in which state 
education funding declines;

Senate Bill 537 (Sen. Rafferty, R-44) would require a 2/3 vote by school boards to raise property taxes;

Senate Bill 612 (Sen. Folmer, R-48) would allow school districts to furlough for economic reasons and require proportionate reduction of administrators;

Senate Bill 801 (Sen. Waugh, R-28) would allow districts to bid single prime;

Senate Bill 802 (Sen. Piccola (R-15) would allow school districts to hire either school certified nurses or registered nurses;

Senate Bill 803 (Sen. Piccola, R-15) would allow districts to advertise from a menu of options including the internet;

Senate Bill 814 (Sen. Corman, R-34) would reauthorize the Mandate Waivers program and allow bidding for school construction projects both multi-prime and single prime;

Senate Bill 844 (Sen. Dinniman, D-19) would allow districts that are making AYP and showing adequate PVAAS growth be waived from PILS administrator training requirements;

Senate Bill 857 (Sen. Smucker, R-13) would repeal language that requires school districts to use increases in basic education funding for new programs and expansion of existing programs;

Senate Bill 858 (Sen. Waugh, R-28) would allow districts to hire certificated superintendents or candidates who have degrees in business or finance;

Senate Bill 869 Sen. Alloway (R-33) would no longer require school districts bordering Pennsylvania to provide transportation for students to attend out of state private schools;

Senate Bill 870 (Sen. Eichelberger, R-30) would repeal sections of the School Code that require 10 paid sick days and paid sabbatical leaves;

Senate Bill 871 (Sen. Brubaker, R-36) would suspend continuing education and professional development for teachers for 2 years;

Senate Bill 872 (Sen. Brubaker, R-36) would remove requirements for the establishment of concurrent enrollment committees and quarterly meetings;

Senate Bill 873 (Sen. Brubaker, R-36) would require the Secretary of Education and the State Board of Education to review and overhaul the PlanCon process for school construction and reimbursement.

The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to consider this package of bills on April 5.

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