PRINTER'S NO. 859
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
725
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY EICHELBERGER, DINNIMAN, GORDNER, YUDICHAK, BROOKS,
SABATINA, MARTIN, RESCHENTHALER, BLAKE, MENSCH, BOSCOLA,
VOGEL, WAGNER, BREWSTER, VULAKOVICH, FOLMER, SCAVELLO, AUMENT
AND STEFANO, MAY 19, 2017
REFERRED TO EDUCATION, MAY 19, 2017
AN ACT
Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
act relating to the public school system, including certain
provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
laws relating thereto," in preliminary provisions, providing
for Every Student Succeeds Act State plan review.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known
as the Public School Code of 1949, is amended by adding a
section to read:
Section 126. Every Student Succeeds Act State Plan Review.--
(a) The General Assembly find and declares as follows:
(1) Article III, section 14 of the Constitution of
Pennsylvania confers numerous express duties upon the General
Assembly, including providing a system of public education.
Specifically, the provision provides that "The General Assembly
shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and
efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the
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Commonwealth."
(2) The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
(Public Law 89-10, 20 U.S.C. ยง 6301 et seq.) was recently
reauthorized by the ESSA which reduces and redefines the more
prescriptive Federal role in elementary and secondary education
under the scheme of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and
restores flexibility to states to design a state education
system that "provides all children the opportunity to receive a
fair, equitable, and high-quality education."
(3) The ESSA further requires that a state plan shall be
developed with timely and meaningful consultation with a state
legislature.
(4) A new State plan developed under the ESSA is a
significant opportunity to establish new education policies that
ensure all students of this Commonwealth, regardless of their
individual circumstances, can succeed in the global economy.
(5) It is the intent of the General Assembly to exercise its
authority regarding the maintenance and support of a thorough
and efficient system of public education in this Commonwealth
through the following:
(i) Timely and meaningful consultation with the department
in its development and revision of the State plan as provided in
the ESSA or its regulations.
(ii) A review of the proposed State plan by the General
Assembly, through the Education Committee of the Senate and the
Education Committee of the House of Representatives, prior to
the State plan's submission to the United States Secretary of
Education.
(iii) Limiting the implementation of a new State plan until
the General Assembly shall have expressly approved or
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appropriated funds for the State plan's implementation.
(b) The State plan shall be developed and submitted as
follows:
(1) The department shall develop the State plan with timely
and meaningful consultation with the chair and minority chair of
the Education committee of the Senate and the chair and minority
chair of the Education committee of the House of
Representatives, with opportunity for input into the plan's
formation. Consultation shall occur with regard to the
initiatives that are newly created or that retain or modify
existing law, regulation or department policy or directive with
regard to the following:
(i) The use and format of student academic assessments,
adjustments or alternatives to existing student academic
assessments.
(ii) Ongoing parental involvement in assessment and
accountability measures.
(iii) Teacher evaluation and accountability.
(iv) Low-performing school assessment and improvement.
(v) Vocational and career education academic assessments,
pathways and standards.
(vi) Comparability and fairness in assessments of public and
private charter schools.
(vii) School district or school building performance
measures.
(viii) Contracting standards with regard to a third-party
provision of the assessments or evaluations provided for in the
State plan.
(2) The department shall not submit a proposed State plan to
the United States Secretary of Education until the Education
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Committee of the Senate and the Education committee of the House
of Representatives have been provided at least sixty (60) days
to review and comment on the proposed State plan.
(c) No State plan shall be implemented by the department
until the General Assembly has approved the State plan or has
appropriated funds for the State plan's implementation.
(d) As used in this section, the following words and phrases
shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless
the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"ESSA." The Every Student Succeeds Act (Public Law 114-95,
129 Stat. 1802).
"State plan." The State plan prepared by the department for
the Commonwealth to implement the ESSA and submitted to the
United States Secretary of Education for approval, as provided
in section 1005 of the ESSA. The term includes:
(1) A provision within the State plan that is an election by
the department to retain and modify an existing law or
regulation or department policy and a provision that will
necessitate the enactment of laws or the promulgation of
regulations.
(2) A revision of the State plan, regardless of whether the
revision is:
(i) required by the United States Secretary of Education for
approval or by amendment to the ESSA or its regulations;
(ii) pursued under a waiver process authorized under the
ESSA; or
(iii) required by a Federal reauthorization.
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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