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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 24, 2017 01:11 PM
From: Representative David S. Hickernell
To: All House members
Subject: Theology Courses
I am writing to invite you to cosponsor legislation I will be introducing in the near future that will require the Department of Education (PDE) to allow individuals certified in social studies to apply course credits earned in the subject of theology for the purpose of receiving additional salary increments and meeting continuing professional education requirements.

This is similar to legislation I introduced in 2015 (House Bill 335) and in 2013 (House Bill 570).

I introduced my original legislation on this subject after it came to my attention that PDE has denied teachers who have taken theology classes the opportunity to have those credits count for certain purposes. This is particularly troubling, given that individuals who hold a teaching certificate in social studies are required under the current state education standards to teach about world religions. As such, my legislation will allow an individual who holds a teaching certificate in social studies and who takes a theology course to have the related course credits count toward the receipt of additional salary increments and toward continuing professional education requirements.

I do not believe that theology courses should be automatically discounted by PDE, particularly for social studies teachers who may take these courses for the purpose of enriching their curriculum in order to meet the state standards.

Previous cosponsors on my similar 2015 legislation included: Hickernell, Baker, Benninghoff, Bloom, V. Brown, James, Kauffman, Pickett, Readshaw, Tallman, Watson, Zimmerman and Murt.

Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as HB1002