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                                                       PRINTER'S NO. 781



No. 679 Session of 2005

           MAY 9, 2005


                                     AN ACT

     1  Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
     2     act relating to the public school system, including certain
     3     provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
     4     schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
     5     laws relating thereto," further providing for program of
     6     continuing professional education.

     7     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     8  hereby enacts as follows:
     9     Section 1.  Section 1205.2(a), (h) and (o) of the act of
    10  March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code
    11  of 1949, added November 23, 1999 (P.L.529, No.48), are amended
    12  and the section is amended by adding subsections to read:
    13     Section 1205.2.  Program of Continuing Professional
    14  Education.--(a)  A continuing professional education program is
    15  hereby established for professional educators, the satisfactory
    16  completion of which is required to maintain active
    17  certification. [The] Except as provided in subsection (j.1), the
    18  continuing professional education program shall require the
    19  satisfactory completion of continuing professional education

     1  every five (5) years, which shall include:
     2     (1)  six (6) credits of collegiate study;
     3     (2)  six (6) credits of continuing professional education
     4  courses;
     5     (3)  one hundred eighty (180) hours of continuing
     6  professional education programs, activities or learning
     7  experiences; or
     8     (4)  any combination of collegiate studies, continuing
     9  professional education courses, or other programs, activities or
    10  learning experiences equivalent to one hundred eighty (180)
    11  hours.
    12     * * *
    13     (h)  The department shall provide the following information
    14  to professional educators and school entities:
    15     (1)  Notice of the number of credits or hours needed for a
    16  professional educator to comply with this section, as of the
    17  date on which such notice is given. Such notice shall be
    18  provided no later twelve (12) months prior to the end of a
    19  professional educator's five-year compliance period. For
    20  professional educators who have not completed sufficient credits
    21  or hours to comply with this section, such notice shall be
    22  provided in writing and mailed to the most recent address on
    23  record with the department. For professional educators who have
    24  completed sufficient credits or hours to comply with this
    25  section, such notice shall be provided by electronic means,
    26  which shall include a notation on the electronic system
    27  maintained by the department pursuant to subsection (g)
    28  affirming that the professional educator has completed
    29  sufficient credits or hours to comply with this section.
    30     (2)  Reasonable access to reports and records relating to a
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     1  professional educator's continuing professional education.
     2     (3)  Notice of inactive certification requested by a
     3  professional educator.
     4     (4)  Notice of inactive certification due to failure of the
     5  professional educator to meet the requirements of this section,
     6  whether or not the individual is employed by a school entity.
     7     (5)  Notice of reinstatement.
     8     (h.1)  Whenever a professional educator moves from the
     9  address named in the application for State certification or from
    10  the professional educator's current address, such professional
    11  educator shall notify the department and provide the department
    12  with the most current address. Notification shall be made in a
    13  form and manner determined by the department.
    14     * * *
    15     (j.1)  (1)  The continuing professional education program
    16  shall require satisfactory completion of continuing professional
    17  education by April 30, 2006, for a professional educator who:
    18     (i)  was certified prior to May 1, 2001;
    19     (ii)  was not provided written notice as required under
    20  subsection (h)(1); and
    21     (iii)  has not satisfactorily completed continuing
    22  professional education as required under subsection (a).
    23     (2)  After a professional educator to whom this subsection
    24  applies completes the credits or hours needed to satisfy the
    25  requirements of the initial compliance period, any record of
    26  additional credits or hours shall be credited toward the
    27  subsequent compliance period: Provided, That credits or hours
    28  credited to a professional educator as a result of the
    29  satisfactory completion of an individual course of collegiate
    30  studies, an individual continuing professional education course,
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     1  or an individual program, activity or learning experience shall
     2  not be divided between the initial compliance period and the
     3  subsequent compliance period but shall be credited toward only
     4  one compliance period.
     5     (3)  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to delay
     6  or extend the initial or subsequent compliance periods for a
     7  professional educator to whom this subsection applies.
     8     (4)  This subsection shall expire May 1, 2006.
     9     (j.2)  (1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection
    10  (h)(1), the department shall provide a professional educator to
    11  whom subsection (j.1) applies with written notice of the number
    12  of credits or hours needed for the professional educator to
    13  comply with this section as of the date on which such notice is
    14  given. Such notice shall be provided immediately and shall be
    15  mailed to the most recent address on record with the department.
    16     (2)  This subsection shall expire May 1, 2006.
    17     * * *
    18     (o)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
    19  words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
    20  subsection:
    21     "Approved provider" is an institution of higher education,
    22  school entity, individual, corporation, partnership, limited
    23  liability company or association approved by the department to
    24  provide continuing professional education credits or hours under
    25  this section. Provided, a school entity may approve a provider
    26  of continuing professional education credits or hours in
    27  accordance with department guidelines.
    28     "Area of a professional educator's assignment or
    29  certification" shall mean any component of the education
    30  profession as it relates to the current job title or description
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     1  of the professional educator or to any area of certification
     2  listed on the professional employe's Pennsylvania certification
     3  or to the type of certificate or endorsement held by the
     4  professional educator.
     5     "Collegiate studies" shall mean a formal program or course of
     6  study at an institution of higher education leading to the award
     7  of academic credit.
     8     "Compliance period" shall mean the period of time in which a
     9  professional educator must satisfactorily complete continuing
    10  professional education as required under subsection (a) and
    11  which concludes every five years beginning:
    12     (1)  July 1, 2000, for those professional educators who were
    13  issued a State certificate prior to July 1, 2000; or
    14     (2)  on the date on which the professional educator is issued
    15  a State certificate for those professional educators who were
    16  certified after July 1, 2000.
    17     "Continuing professional education courses" shall mean
    18  courses for credit, other than collegiate studies, conducted by
    19  providers approved by the department.
    20     "Professional educator" shall mean an individual who holds a
    21  Pennsylvania teacher, educational specialist or administrative
    22  certification or letter of eligibility.
    23     "School entity" shall mean a school district, an intermediate
    24  unit, a joint school district, an area vocational-technical
    25  school, a charter school, the Scotland School for Veterans'
    26  Children and the Scranton School for the Deaf or any of these
    27  acting jointly.
    28     Section 2.  This act shall take effect immediately.

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