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07/21/2024 11:31 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=40839
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 24, 2023 04:30 PM
From: Representative Barbara Gleim and Rep. Robert W. Mercuri
To: All House members
Subject: Abrogation of Chapter 49 Regulations Related to Culturally Relevant and Sustaining Education (“CR-SE”).
 
On April 23, 2022, the final form amendments to Chapter 49 regulations, which provide for certification of teachers and other professional personnel, were approved and became effective.
 
The regulations included a new term not in the Public School Code of 1949, "culturally relevant and sustaining education,” which is defined as:

Education that ensures equity for all students and seeks to eliminate systemic institutional racial and cultural barriers that inhibit the success of all students in this Commonwealth—particularly those who have been historically underrepresented. Culturally relevant and sustaining education encompasses skills for educators including, but not limited to, approaches to mental wellness, trauma-informed approaches to instruction, technological and virtual engagement, cultural awareness and emerging factors that inhibit equitable access for all students in this Commonwealth.
 
In November 2022, the Department of Education released program framework guidelines outside the regulatory process which developed CR-SE into new standards to be integrated into educator training.  For example, guidelines include requirements that require professional educators to:
  • Know and acknowledge that biases exist in the educational system.
  • Recognize schools’ history of inequities and institutional biases and their consequences.
  • Disrupt harmful institutional practices, policies, and norms by advocating and engaging in efforts to rewrite policies, change practices, and raise awareness.
  • Believe and acknowledge that microaggressions are real and take steps to educate themselves about the subtle and obvious ways in they are used to harm and invalidate the existence of others.
These new guidelines for teaching diverse classrooms will indoctrinate our teachers and, by extension, our students about race instead of educating them about its complexities.  These guidelines impose simple answers to our hardest questions.
 
Reasonable people differ about the role structural racism plays in schools—but these guidelines will prevent critical conversations about race.
 
Time is of the essence.  Continuing professional development programs are required to integrate the CR-SE competencies no later than the 2023-24 academic year.  Educator preparation and induction programs must integrate CR-SE competencies no later than the 2024-25 academic year.
 
Please join us in abrogating the Chapter 49 regulations insofar as they relate to CR-SE.
 



Introduced as HB1269