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12/15/2019 03:23 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=27745
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 15, 2019 11:55 AM
From: Representative Garth D. Everett and Rep. William C. Kortz, II
To: All House members
Subject: Amending the Public School Code Relating to Personnel Matters (former HB 1795 of 2017-18)
 
In the near future, we will be introducing legislation amending the act of March 10, 1949, (P.L. 30, No. 14), also known as the Public School Code of 1949, to better ensure that school boards are able to make impartial decisions regarding personnel matters.

Recently in one of the school districts, a situation occurred wherein the district superintendent and assistant superintendent were pushing to terminate or, at a minimum, discipline a school employee. Following the Loudermill due process hearing where both sides presented their cases, the superintendent – who is considered a non-voting member of the school board – and his assistant remained and participated during the school board’s executive session deliberations to discuss the potential termination, after the employee and his attorney left the room. Concerns have been raised that a school board’s ability to make fair and impartial personnel decisions is impaired and tainted when a person representing one side of the personnel issue (the accuser) is permitted to remain in the room, and continue advocating, while the school board privately discusses the matter. This is a biased, unfair, and an absolutely unacceptable practice that must cease.

Our legislation would bar a superintendent, assistant superintendent, or any other school administrator (including the solicitor, if the board so desires) from attending or participating in school board executive session deliberations relating to personnel matters after both sides have presented their case. In this way, only the voting members of the school boards will be better able to make a full, impartial and unbiased decision when considering dismissal or discipline of an employee, as required under Section 1129 of the Public School Code.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation. Contact Chanin Zwing with any questions at 787-5270 or via e-mail at czwing@pahousegop.com.

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Introduced as HB928