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Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20170&cosponId=22992
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 21, 2017 11:41 AM
From: Senator Patrick J. Stefano
To: All Senate members
Subject: Increasing Transparency of School Board Hiring Process
 
I am reintroducing last session’s Senate Bill 1178, legislation that adds a new section to Article V (Duties and Powers of Boards of School Directors) of Act 14 of 1949, the Public School Code.

Under this new section, when a school board extends an offer of employment to a district superintendent, assistant district superintendent, associate superintendent, or any principal, it must first post the terms of employment on the school district’s public website. The posting must include the details of the final offer, including salary and the length of the employment contract. The information must be posted after the offer of employment is made, and at least two weeks prior to the school board formally approving the accepted offer.

Last year, Auditor General DePasquale released a disturbing audit of the Connellsville School District where I reside. Among his many criticisms, he cited a shocking lack of transparency in the hiring of the current superintendent, which came days after his auditors were assured a nationwide search would be undertaken to fill the position. Instead, a last-minute addition to the agenda was made to hire the present superintendent without public notice. As the Auditor General stated in his press release: “This is outrageous, especially since the public was not notified before the board voted on the superintendent’s hiring.”

This legislation will give taxpayers an opportunity to examine the terms of employment contracts that the local school board extends to key district employees and provide their feedback, concerns or support to their elected officials. In a time of tight budgets, and taxpayer concern over rising property taxes, it’s imperative that the hiring process be as open as possible.

Previous co-sponsors of this legislation include: SCARNATI, EICHELBERGER, FOLMER, RAFFERTY, BROWNE, WHITE, DINNIMAN, ALLOWAY, SMUCKER, WAGNER AND AUMENT

I ask you to please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Mark Fetzko (mfetzko@pasen.gov) of my office.



Introduced as SB592