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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: October 27, 2017 02:45 PM
From: Representative Carol Hill-Evans
To: All House members
Subject: Co-Sponsorship – Pennsylvania Integrated Student Supports Program

In an effort to address the growing number of school drop-outs in Pennsylvania, I will be introducing legislation to create the Pennsylvania Integrated Student Supports Program within the Department of Education.
In the 2014-2015 academic year, Pennsylvania – with a graduation rate of 85 percent – ranked behind 23 other states in terms of how many students graduated high school. During the 2015-2016 school year, 13,506 public school students in grades 7 through 12 dropped out of school in Pennsylvania. High school drop-out rates have a significant negative impact on the Commonwealth’s economy, as individuals without a high school diploma are more likely to be dependent on government aid, are at elevated risk for incarceration, and generate lower income tax revenue. Keeping students in school creates a firm foundation for workforce development and economic growth in Pennsylvania.
The National Center for Developmental Education found that addressing nonacademic barriers to learning can help to increase student success and retention. Although our school districts already provide essential supports to their students, the time and personnel needed to ensure students receive the in-depth services they need to overcome barriers are not always available.
Accordingly, this legislation is aimed at assisting public schools in procuring the services of non-profit organizations which provide evidence-based student support services to help students remove barriers to learning. Utilizing the services of organizations whose sole focus is to provide these supports alleviates strain on public school entities, while enhancing the support given to students both during and after school.
The community-based model for school supports is already used in multiple states, including Virginia, Texas, and Michigan, which have had great success with the evidence-based support model operated by the Communities in Schools organization. Notably, students in the North Carolina Communities in Schools program had a 98 percent graduation rate. It is my hope that, by providing state-level guidance for student supports programs in Pennsylvania, our students will show similar successes.
Please join me in sponsoring this legislation in order to ensure we, as a legislature, are doing everything we can to help the Commonwealth’s students achieve both in and out of school.

Introduced as HB2427