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Education 2019-2020

The Senate Education Committee met on Monday, October 5, 2020

The Senate Education Committee met on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, to consider the following bills:

Senate Bill 1251 (Dinniman) – Amends the Public School Code by adding an Assessment Testing Select Committee. The bill was reported out 10-1. (Sen. L. Williams)

Amendment #A07238 (Dinniman) – Replaces the report date and sunset of the section from September 10, 2020 to not later than two weeks after the effective date. The amendment to the bill was adopted unanimously.

Senate Bill 1252 (Dinniman) – Amends the Public School Code providing for Retired Volunteer Educator Tutor Program. The bill was reported out unanimously. (11-0)

Amendment #A07285 (Dinniman) – Participation in the program is optional and not mandatory. The amendment to the bill was adopted unanimously.

Senate Bill 1268 (J. Ward) – Amends the Nurse Aide Resident Prevention Training Act to allow Temporary Nurse Aides to transition to Certified Nurse Aides. The bill was reported out unanimously. (11-0)

House Bill 703 (Brown) – Amends the Public School Code to require publication of email addresses for school directors. The bill was reported out unanimously. (11-0)

The Senate Education Committee met on Friday, September 4, 2020, to consider the following bill:

HB 2787, PN 4334, Rep. Reese – Amends the Public School Code to add COVID – 19 related provisions related to precautions against the spread of the virus and further for the scheduling sports and extracurricular activities. House bill 2787 was re-committed to the Education Committee for reconsideration of yesterday’s Committee meeting vote. The Education Committee took up HB 2787 again today to assure Sunshine Law requirements were fully met for the Committee’s voting meeting on the bill. The bill was re-reported out of committee today by a vote of 10-1.

The Senate Education Committee met on Thursday, September 3, 2020, to consider the following bill:

HB 2787, PN 4334, Rep. Reese – Amends the Public School Code to add COVID – 19 related provisions related to precautions against the spread of the virus and further for the scheduling sports and extracurricular activities. The bill was referred out of committee by a vote of 10-1.

The Education Committee met on Monday, June 22, 2020 to consider the following 2 bills:

SB 1216, PN 1784 (Sen. Langerholc) provides temporary certification flexibility to elevate some of the challenges that occurred with teacher certifications due to COVID – 19.

—This bill was reported out 11-0.

HB 2171, PN 3915 (Rep Sonney) was developed and amended in the House, in consultation with PASSHE, to help elevate the financial burdens and declining enrollment that were multiyear issues in some SSHE institutions but that were exasperated by COVID – 19.

— House Bill 2171, as amended, was reported out by a vote of 9-2.

— HB 2171 provides a process for the Board of Governors, with inclusion of the chancellor, stakeholders, general assembly and public comments to devise a plan for those system schools struggling with financial sustainability.

— HB 2171 aslo adds to, modifies or removes various powers and duties of the Board of Governors, the Chancellor, the Council of Trustees of the institutions and the Presidents of the institution

— HB 2171 was a part of a 3 bill package in the House that PASSHE participated in its development and promotion. The 3 bills were HB 2171 (Sonney), HB 2172 (Topper) and HB 2173 (Schroeder).

— HB 2171 and HB 2173 passed the House and have been referred to the Senate Education Committee. HB 2172 remains in the House.

AMDT 06364: The amendment adds provisions of HB 2173 and HB 2172 that had general support as needed for a system redesign. It added to the process for determining financial sustainability of an institution, added to the transparency steps of the process, lengthened the public comment period, made changes to the Board of Governor and the Council of Trustees requirements and qualifications, provided exemption from certain affiliation or collaboration efforts of institutions with a Fall 2019 enrollment greater than 10,000, added a three year expiration on the ability to issue and enforce certain policies and removed certain reporting requirements.

Further, it added language for cooperative and purchasing agreements, for Campus Police authorizations and clarified that Student records were exempt from the Right-To-Know and repealed outdated rental fee language.

— Amendment 06364 HB 2171 passed by vote of 10-1.

The Education Committee met on Monday, June 8, 2020 to consider the following 2 bills:

Both bills were amended with no negative votes on the amendments, and further, reported as amended, also with no negative votes.

SB 869 PN1231 – Sen Mastriano

This bill amends the School Code to provide for a moment of silence during a school day that falls on 9/11. Further, it requires PDE to make available model curriculum guidelines and in-service training programs to all school entity and any nonpublic school interested in the guidelines, training or any other such material developed for the observance of September 11, 2001.

AMDT 06087: The amendment eliminates State Board adoption of regulations for implementation which is included in PN 1231. The amendment further adds that the in-service training and the model curriculum added in the bill is voluntary or optional, as an addition to, the in school moment of silence. Changes “vocational-technical school” to “career and technical school

SB 1125 PN 1701 – Sen Martin

This bill amends the Local Tax Collection Law to provide School District Property Tax Payment and Penalty Relief. Further, it permits a board of directors of a school district to extend the time period that qualifies taxpayers for a discount or waive a penalty for failure to make timely payment on taxes of real property.

For the school board to provide the relief, if it so chooses, is to adopt a resolution by a majority vote to extend the discount period or waive penalties.  Upon adoption, the board is to immediately notify the tax collector who shall send notice of the resolution and, if so needed, further explanation to the taxpayers.

AMDT 06050: The amendment clarifies that the provisions only apply to taxes on real estate.

*The Committee went over HB 703 PN 3670, a bill that was originally on the meeting agenda

*HB 703 PN 3670 – Rep Rosemary Brown

This bill adds to the School Code provisions that requires an e-mail address for each School Director member and Board of Trustee member be public available on the schools publicly available website for members of the public, staff and students may communicate with the members. – Over

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

 HB 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.

 SB 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.

 SB 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.

The Senate Education Committee met on June 19, 2019 and the following bills were reported out of the Senate Education Committee:

HB 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.

The Senate Education Committee met on June 18, 2019 and the following bills were reported:

HB 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.

SB 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.

The Senate Education Committee met on June 11, 2019 to consider the following legislation:

HB 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.

HB 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.

SB 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.

SB 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.

SB 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.

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

HB 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.

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

The Senate Education Committee on June 4, 2019 to consider the following legislation:

SB 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.

SB 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.

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

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

SB 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. SB 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.

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

SB 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.

SB 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.

SB 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.

SB 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.

SR 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