|Posted:||December 14, 2015 04:24 PM|
|From:||Representative Kathy L. Rapp and Rep. Dan L. Miller|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Secondary Transition Services Legislation|
|In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation to ensure that professional educators who provide secondary transition services are highly qualified and well trained.
Secondary transition is the process of preparing special education students for life after they leave high school, including participation in post-secondary education or training, employment, and community living. Federal law specifically defines transition services as a “coordinated set of activities” and a “results-oriented process” that focus on improving the academic and functional achievement of a student with a disability, based upon the individual student’s needs. These services must be included in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP); and, in Pennsylvania, a student’s IEP must address transition services and planning beginning at age fourteen.
It is imperative that our school personnel have the skills and knowledge necessary to implement these services that will prepare and shape students for their postsecondary lives, and we believe that educators tasked with the important responsibility of imparting this instruction to students should receive, and continue to receive, specialized and detailed training in this particular area. With this in mind, our legislation will require professional educators providing secondary transition services to students who are in grades eight through twelve or are at least fourteen years old to complete training within two months of assuming their duties. They will also be required to complete this training again every five years.
Our legislation further requires the PA Department of Education (PDE) to create this training program, which must be available online and free of charge, and enumerate what must be included in the program. Finally, the bill provides that completion of this program will be credited toward any professional educator or school leader’s continuing professional education requirement under law.
This legislation will provide a reasonable protection for our special education students. We hope that you will join us in supporting this legislation.
Introduced as HB1834