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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 11, 2019 10:48 AM
From: Representative Mike Jones
To: All House members
Subject: Repeal of School Code language
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would repeal outdated provisions of the Public School Code of 1949. On the surface many of these may appear substantial but in reality most are antiquated or irrelevant. A similar bill (HB 492) was proposed last session. This one is virtually identical except, based on shareholder input, it retains a handful of provisions that were previously recommended for removal. Major stakeholders have been consulted and at this point no opposition has been voiced to the bill in its current form. This is a common sense first step in much needed education regulatory reform.

As a school board member, I have seen first-hand how Pennsylvania school districts are saddled with a multitude of unfunded mandates, a great number of which are codified in the Public School Code of 1949. This is a source of undo cost and frustration for school leaders and teachers that not only comes at the expense of taxpayers, but also hurts morale and distracts from our schools’ primary mission of educating children. A number of these provisions were enacted into law when the act was originally approved in 1949 and are no longer necessary or relevant. Others, enacted in subsequent amendments to the Public School Code, are likewise antiquated or have been superseded by subsequent changes to the law. This legislation proposes to target and repeal a significant number of these provisions in order to ease the burden of such outdated mandates on our school districts, without drastically altering education policy.

Specifically, the legislation would repeal the following sections, in whole or in part:
•Section 112. Report of Racial and Ethnic Groupings.
•Section 113. Study of Public Schools that Provide Internet Instruction.
•Section 292. Submission of Plans.
•Section 293. Approval of the Plans.
•Section 294. Disapproval of Plans.
•Section 295. Department of Public Instruction to Prepare Plans.
•Section 296. Establishment of Reorganized School Districts.
•Section 297. Advance Establishment.
•Section 510.1. Special School Watchmen-School Districts in Townships of the Second Class.
•Section 519. Copies of School Laws.
•Section 523 (a). Educational Broadcasting.
•Section 705. Residences for Teachers and Janitors.
•Section 736. Heating Stoves to be Shielded.
•Section 737. Ventilation; Thermometer.
•Section 738. Fireproof Construction.
•Section 739. Doors to Open Outward; Fire Escapes; etc.
•Section 760. Completion of Abandoned WPA Projects, Districts Third and Fourth Class.
•Section 772. Condition of Grounds; Shade Trees.
•Section 1208. Summer Schools, etc.
•Section 1317.1. Possession of Telephone Pagers Prohibited.
•Section 1337 (f). Nonprofit School Food Program – Studies, Appraisals and Reports to Governor.
•Section 1338.2. Antitruancy Programs.
•Section 1378. Medical Care for Children Under Six with Defective Hearing.
•Section 1308-A. Report.
•Section 1414. Care and Treatment of Pupils.
•Section 1422.1. Local Wellness Policy.
•Section 1522. Foreign Language Academies.
•Section 1534. Monthly Reports to School Directors; Districts Second, Third and Fourth Class.
•Article XV-B. Read to Succeed Program.
•Section 1503-E (10). Department Duties and Powers.
•Section 1804. Schools or Classes; Supervisors; Principals; Instructors, etc.
•Section 1811. Estimate of Expenses and Reimbursements; Appropriations.
•Section 1923. Teachers of Evening Schools.
•Section 2002-C. Duties of public institutions of higher education. (in part)
• Article XXII-A. Medical Education Loan Assistance.
•Section 2596. Special Study on the Revenue Impact of Out-of-State Tax Credits.

I hope you will join me in making these important updates to the Public School Code.

Introduced as HB1210