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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: May 31, 2023 04:09 PM
From: Senator Michele Brooks
To: All Senate members
Subject: Abrogation of Chapter 49 Regulations Related to Culturally Relevant and Sustaining Education (CR-SE)
I soon plan to introduce legislation to abrogate Chapter 49 Regulations related to Culturally Relevant and Sustaining Education (CR-SE).  These final form amendments to the Regulations, which provide for certification of teachers and other professional personnel, were approved in April 2022, and include a new term not in the Public School Code of 1949.
In November 2022, the PA Department of Education released program framework guidelines outside the regulatory process which developed CR-SE into new standards to be integrated into educator training.  These 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.
This new term, “Culturally Relevant and Sustaining Education”, 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.
This matter needs to be addressed in a timely manner, as continuing professional development programs are required to integrate the CR-SE competencies no later than the 2023-2024 academic year.  Educator preparation and induction programs must integrate CR-SE competencies no later than the 2024-2025 academic year.
At a time when we should be striving to build unity in our schools, these new guidelines will create unnecessary division. We should be working together to develop beneficial approaches for teachers and other personnel to relate to student’s educational needs rather than insisting on divisive frameworks.

I hope you will join me in this important legislation to abrogate these Chapter 49 regulations as they relate to CR-SE.

Introduced as SB853