Education 2019-2020

On October 21, 2019, the Senate Education Committee met to consider the following legislation: 

 1.)    H.B. 49 (Brown) – Would allow students to apply financial literacy credits toward graduation course requirements.  The bill was Reported as Amended by a vote of 8:2.

  • Amendment A03271 (Langerholc) – Would further provide for arrest powers and training of school security personnel, extend the reporting date of the Public Higher Education Funding Commission to November 30, 2020 and require applicants of the fostering independence waiver program to apply for all available Federal and state grants.  The amendment passed by a vote of 8:2.

 2.)    S.B. 331 (Brooks) – Would create a pilot program for colleges to offer fire instruction to high school students.  This bill was Reported as Amended unanimously.

  • Amendment A03248 (Langerholc) – Would make technical changes to the bill by updating “vocational and technical” to “career and technical.”  The amendment passed unanimously.

 3.)    S.B. 836 (Regan) – Would provide for electrocardiogram information and testing for student athletes.  The bill was Reported as Amended unanimously. 

  • Amendment A03275 (Langerholc) – Would clarify that electrocardiogram testing would be paid for by a student’s parent or guardian.  The amendment passed unanimously.  

 

On June 19, 2019, the following bills were reported out of the Senate Education Committee:

1.) H.B. 1615 (Turzai) – Would allow a qualified Subchapter S trust to be considered a pass-through entity for the purpose of receiving educational tax credits.  The bill was Reported as Committed by a vote of 7:4. 


 

On June 18, 2019, the following bills were reported out of the Senate Education Committee:

1.) H.B. 265 (Staats) – Would provide for expanded requirements for school articulation agreements to be included in the PA Department of Education’s electronic database or software program and portal.  The bill was Reported as Amended unanimously.

  • Amendment A02162 (Langerholc) – Would provide for the classification of vocational instruction programs by schools, require guidelines to specify when students’ credits may be applied toward an agriculture education program or vocational or technical coursework, programs or activities (H.B. 334) and provide for the distribution of career information in schools (H.B. 297).  The amendment passed unanimously.

2.) S.B. 751(Aument) – Would further provide for the rating of educator effectiveness using a department-developed rating tool and new evaluation formulas.  The bill was Reported as Amended by a vote of 9:2.

  • Amendment A02136 (Aument) – Would remove the requirement for the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study on the effectiveness of the rating tool and make other changes to the bill that are technical in nature.  The amendment passed unanimously.  

 

During the Senate Education Committee Meeting on June 11, 2019, the following legislation was considered:

1.) H.B. 297 (Mako) – Would require schools to offer opportunities for students to receive information and meet with recruiters regarding employment, training and education in the skilled trades, priority occupations, vocational-technical schools, community colleges, institutions of higher education and military opportunities.  The bill was Reported as Amended unanimously.

  • Amendment A01785 – Would require recruiters in the skilled trades, priority occupations, vocational-technical schools, community colleges and institutions of higher education to comply with background check requirements for volunteers in contact with children, require the Department of Labor and Industry provide guidelines to assist schools in implementing career and information requirements and provide for changes that are technical in nature.  The amendment passed unanimously. 

2.) H.B. 522 (Tobash) – Would establish the Career and Technical Education Investment Incentive Program, which would provide a business tax credit for contributions to Career and Technical Education Partnership Organizations.  The bill was Reported as Amended by a vote of 8:3.

  • Amendment A01787 – Would modify the definition of a high priority occupation to a profession that is a high-wage and high-skill for which there is excess employer demand or that requires a credential, certification, licensing, postsecondary training or degree.  Further, the amendment would reduce the required content of the Secretary of Community and Economic Development’s report to the General Assembly by removing student-related data requirements.  The amendment passed unanimously. 

3.) S.B. 200 (Hughes) – Would provide for the inclusion of information on trauma-informed approaches in school employee training, plans and coursework.  The bill was Reported as Amended unanimously. 

  • Amendment A01811 – Would require schools provide resources for employees experiencing secondary trauma, require training include evidence-based or -informed programs and make changes to the effective date.  This amendment passed unanimously.

4.) S.B. 723 (Laughlin) – Would provide for students to earn up to one credit toward a course graduation requirement, if they successfully complete a personal finance course during grades nine through twelve.  The bill was Reported as Amended unanimously. 

  • Amendment A01786 – Would specify a student, who successfully completes a personal finance course during grades nine through twelve, would not be permitted to apply more than one earned credit toward a math requirement for graduation.  The amendment passed unanimously. 

5.) S.B. 729 (Costa/Hughes) – Would further provide for school safety and security by requiring schools establish threat assessment teams and expand the School Safety and Security Grant program to include threat assessment measures.  The bill was Reported as Committed unanimously.                       


 

On June 5, 2019, the Senate Education Committee met to consider the following legislation: 

1.) H.B. 800 (Turzai) – Would provide for a $100 million increase in tax credits available under the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program for contributions made by business firms to scholarship organizations.  The bill was Reported as Committed by a vote of 8:3.

2.) H.B. 1210 (Jones) – Would repeal outdated language in the Public School Code.  The bill was Reported as Committed by a vote of 10:1.


 

On June 4, 2019, the Senate Education Committee met to consider the following legislation:

1.) S.B. 462 (Phillips-Hill) – Would provide for updates to the Public School Code by repealing various language and sections.  The bill was Reported as Amended by a vote of 10:1.

  • Amendment A01531 – Would provide technical changes to bring the bill’s language into alignment with companion bill, H.B. 1210.  The amendment was adopted by a vote of 10:1.

2.) S.B. 536 (Browne) – Would establish the Public Higher Education Funding Commission.  The bill was Reported as Amended unanimously.

  • Amendment A01523 – Would provide for technical changes to clarify the bill, along with equal representation on the commission from the Governor’s office and both chambers of the PA General Assembly.  The amendment passed unanimously.

3.) S.B. 590 (Browne) – Would create the Charter School Funding Advisory Committee.  The bill was Reported as Committed unanimously.

 4.) S.B. 700 (Browne) – Would provide for new procedures for schools to receive reimbursement for the construction and renovation of buildings.  The bill was Reported as Committed unanimously.


 

On May 7, 2019, the Senate Education Committee met to consider the following legislation:

1.) S.B. 456 (Bartolotta) – Would allow for the expansion of multibranch training schools beyond the county of the main school. The bill was Reported as Committed unanimously.

2.) S.B. 621 (Regan) – Would allow school security guards to carry firearms in schools and further provide for security training requirements. The bill was Reported as Amended unanimously.


 

On March 19, 2019, the Senate Education Committee met to consider the following legislation:

1.) S.B. 89 (Hughes) – Would rename vocational-technical schools as career and technical schools in Pennsylvania’s Public School Code and update language throughout the statute.  The bill was Reported as Amended unanimously. 

  • Amendment A00316 (Hughes) – Would make several changes to the bill that are technical in nature.  The amendment was adopted unanimously. 

2.) S.B. 115 (Killion) – Would provide for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) curriculum for students in grades 9 through 12.  The Department of Education would provide model curriculum and guidelines in consultation with the Department of Health and at least one approved agency no later than the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.  CPR instructors would not need to be certified in CPR.  This bill was Reported as Committed unanimously. 

3.) S.B. 144 (Martin) – Would create the Keystone Telepresence Education Grant Program in Pennsylvania to award grants to intermediate units for the purchase of telepresence equipment and related support services for homebound students.  Up to $300,000 of undistributed department funds would be allocated for these grants.  This bill would not require or create an entitlement to telepresence equipment for any student’s individualized education plan.  The bill was Reported as Committed unanimously. 

4.) S.B. 440 (Phillips-Hill) – Would permanently establish the Flexible Instruction Days Program within the Public School Code.  The program would be valid for three years in schools that would apply and receive department approval to participate in this program.  Currently, it is a three-year pilot program set to expire at the end of 2019.  This bill was Reported as Committed unanimously. 

5.) S.R. 34 (Dinniman) – Would create a Global Education Task Force to study and report its findings to the Governor and PA General Assembly regarding the development and expansion of global competence in schools for the benefit of both students and the Commonwealth.  The resolution was Reported as Amended unanimously.

Senator Andy Dinniman

Senator Andy Dinniman

Committee Chair