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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 30, 2020 10:45 AM
From: Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: School Mandate Waiver Program
In response to appeals from public school leaders across Pennsylvania, I plan to introduce legislation to provide public schools flexibility and relief from costly and unnecessary mandates.  The legislation will reinstitute the mandate waiver program similar to the program which operated from 2000 to 2010.
Currently, school districts are required to comply with mandates imposed by state law and regulations.  Considered separately, many mandates can be defended as implementing important policy objectives to enhance the quality of education.  However, the combined impact can become costly and time-consuming. 
Public school leaders fully supported including the temporary mandate waiver program as part of the emergency COVID-19 legislation in Act 13 of 2020.  However, the waiver provisions in Act 13 are only available for the 2019-2020 academic year.  Public school leaders need a permanent solution that will continue in future years.
My legislation will allow public schools in the Commonwealth to apply to the Department of Education for a waiver of many state-imposed mandates.  PDE can approve a waiver, if the public school can prove that its instructional program will improve or the school will operate in a more effective, efficient, or economical manner.  The application will require supporting data showing the benefits to the waiver. 
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to give public schools the flexibility during these uncertain times. 

Introduced as SB1286