|December 18, 2014 09:27 AM
|Representative Will Tallman
|All House members
|Amending School Code
|In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that amends the Public School Code to change the makeup of the State Board of Education to increase the General Assembly’s representation on the Board, to provide that the members of the Board shall elect the chairman of the Board and the chairmen of each Council within the Board, and to ensure that when the Board establishes policies, principles, standards, rules, and regulations the Board shall consider the economic impact of those actions.
As you may be aware, the State Board of Education is the body to which the General Assembly has granted broad powers to establish policies, principles, standards, rules, and regulations relating to education in the Commonwealth. The Board is composed of 21 members, 17 of which are appointed by the Governor, and only 4 of which represent the interests of the General Assembly (the majority and minority chairmen of the Senate and House Education Committees). In addition to appointing 17 of the 21 members of the Board, the Governor also designates the chairman of the Board and the chairmen of the Councils of Basic Education and Higher Education.
As you may also be aware, in recent years the State Board of Education has come under a good deal of scrutiny and criticism for dramatic shifts in education policy, such as the creation of Keystone Exam graduation requirements, as well as the adoption of the controversial Common Core State Standards in 2010. While such actions were within the purview of the Board, these actions were made with little cognizance by, and little input from, the General Assembly. Additionally, concerns have been raised in recent years regarding the importance of considering the economic impact the Board’s actions have on the Commonwealth and on school districts.
My legislation will specifically accomplish the following:
I believe that these are positive changes which will provide the General Assembly with more influence in the direction of education policy in the Commonwealth, and which will provide more accountability within the State Board of Education.
If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Carol Hoffman at (717) 783-8875 or by e-mail at email@example.com .
Introduced as HB128