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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 22, 2020 10:13 AM
From: Senator Patrick J. Stefano
To: All Senate members
Subject: Increasing Transparency of School Board Hiring Process
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce 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.
In 2016, Auditor General DePasquale released a disturbing audit of the Connellsville School District.  Among his many criticism, he cited a shocking lack of transparency in the hiring of the superintended, who was hired days after the Auditor General’s office was assured a nationwide search would be undertaken to fill the position.  Instead, a last-minute addition to the school board agenda was made to hire the superintended 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.
This legislation was formerly Senate Bill 499 from last session, and was co-sponsored by Senators Scarnati, Browne, Mensch, DiSanto, Dinniman, Phillips-Hill, and Aument.
I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.  If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Jake Gery in my office at jgery@pasen.gov

Introduced as SB798