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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: November 16, 2015 08:23 AM
From: Senator Elder A. Vogel, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Removing the requirement of physical mailings for school districts regarding the use of audio on buses

In the near future I plan on introducing legislation to amend Act 9 of 2014 (Crimes and Offenses). This Act gave school districts the ability to use audio on school buses. It was put into effect to help administrators with discipline issues on the school buses. The use of audio has solved what used to be, “He said, She said,” issues. Having the audio to hear the exact words said, helps administrators during the investigation process and they can defend their decision to discipline.

Act 9 requires school districts to inform parents by a physical mailing each year that audio is being captured along with video. As an example, the cost to send out a physical mailing to each household is approximately $4,000 each year for one of our school districts. Most school districts alert families by email, parent portal, or mass alert notices on the phone regarding other issues. With the ability to contact families electronically, it is not necessary to have school districts spend funds on physical mailings each year. Student handbooks are posted on each school’s web page in our district. Parents have to acknowledge they have read and understand the rules and procedures by an electronic signature. The student handbook contains the information about the use of audio on school buses. Why should the district have to spend money each year on physical mailings when electronic notification will suffice?

I ask you to please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to help our school districts save on expenses. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above information please contact Cheryl Schriner.

Introduced as SB1077