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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: April 27, 2015 03:00 PM
From: Representative Kristin Hill and Rep. Cris Dush
To: All House members
Subject: Proposed Legislation: Waiver of Public School Mandates
In the near future, together with Rep. Dush, I plan to introduce legislation intended to relieve public schools in this Commonwealth of costly and unnecessary mandates.

Both State and Federal law impose many requirements on our public schools. Although many of these requirements are important in providing a quality education to our children or in ensuring health and safety in our public school buildings, some mandates are unnecessary in certain circumstances or interfere with a public school’s ability to carry out its critical mission of teaching our children and preparing them for a productive future.

This legislation will allow public schools in the Commonwealth--including school districts, charter schools, cyber charter schools, regional charter schools, intermediate units and area vocational-technical schools--to apply to the Department of Education (PDE) for a waiver of many state mandates if the waiver will enable the public school to improve its instructional program or operate in a more effective, efficient, or economical manner. Provisions subject to waiver under the bill include most provisions of the Public School Code of 1949, regulations of the State Board of Education, standards of the Secretary of Education, the Separations Act, the Prevailing Wage Act, and the Steel Products Procurement Act. Five years after a waiver is granted, the public school must submit to PDE an evaluation of the success of the waiver. If the evaluation indicates an improvement in student performance, instructional program or operations, PDE must renew the waiver, unless a public school opts out of continuation of the waiver. In addition to allowing the waiver of many public school mandates, the bill will allow public schools to satisfy many of their legal notice requirements by publishing notices on the public school’s publicly accessible Internet website.

As we begin in earnest the debate over the level and manner of distribution of basic education funding for the coming fiscal year, the General Assembly can also give public schools the flexibility to use their resources more efficiently and in ways that best suit their students and communities by enacting significant mandate relief this session.

Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as HB1119