Harrisburg, PA – This morning, at midnight, HB178 (commonly referred to as the School Code) became law after Governor Wolf chose not to take action on the bill after 10 days on his desk. Below is a statement from Jonathan Cetel, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Campaign for Achievement Now (PennCAN) on the importance pieces of policy contained in the School Code:
“Over the past several years, Pennsylvania has increased funding to schools by hundreds of millions of dollars without enacting any meaningful reforms to help districts manage costs, retain excellent teachers or expand high-quality school options.
The passage of the School Code (HB178) is a victory for students and a huge step towards achieving an education system that is well resourced, and accountable to taxpayers and families. We are grateful that the House and Senate has continuously made these issues a priority, and we are pleased that Governor Wolf’s actions prove that sometimes good policy can win out over political pressures.
This year’s School Code officially ends the practice of furloughing educators based solely on seniority (commonly referred to as Last In; First Out). Now, in times of economic hardship, school districts have the ability to furlough teachers based on their quality and ensure the best educators remain in our classrooms.
Additionally, the School Code expands the scholarship tax credit programs, which provide families with greater access to educational options. It also bans the shaming of students with unpaid lunch debts, allows for the streamlining of charter school operations for greater efficiency and mandates training for elected school board members.”