1Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
2act relating to the public school system, including certain
3provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
4schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
5laws relating thereto," in professional employees, further
6providing for contracts, execution and form, for causes for
7suspension and for persons to be suspended and to receive
8tenure, for collective bargaining agreements and for timing
9of appeal of suspension; and making editorial changes.

10The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
11hereby enacts as follows:

12Section 1. Section 1121(b) of the act of March 10, 1949
13(P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949,
14amended March 29, 1996 (P.L.47, No.16), is amended to read:

15Section 1121. Contracts; Execution; Form.--* * *

16(b) (1) Each board of school directors in all school
17districts shall hereafter enter into contracts, in writing, with
18each professional employe initially employed by a school
19district prior to June 30, 1996, who has satisfactorily
20completed two (2) years of service in any school district of

1this Commonwealth.

2(2) Each board of school directors in all school districts
3shall hereafter enter into contracts, in writing, with each
4professional employe initially employed by a school district, on
5or after June 30, 1996, who has satisfactorily completed [three
6(3)] five (5) years of service in any school district of this

8* * *

9Section 2. Section 1124(a) of the act, amended June 30, 2012
10(P.L.684, No.82), is amended to read:

11Section 1124. Causes for Suspension.--(a) Any board of
12school directors may suspend the necessary number of
13professional employes, for any of the causes hereinafter

15(1) substantial decrease in pupil enrollment in the school

17(2) curtailment or alteration of the educational program on
18recommendation of the superintendent and on concurrence by the
19board of school directors, as a result of substantial decline in
20class or course enrollments or to conform with standards of
21organization or educational activities required by law or
22recommended by the Department of [Public Instruction] Education;

23(3) consolidation of schools, whether within a single
24district, through a merger of districts, or as a result of joint
25board agreements, when such consolidation makes it unnecessary
26to retain the full staff of professional employes; [or]

27(4) when new school districts are established as the result
28of reorganization of school districts pursuant to Article II.,
29subdivision (i) of this act, and when such reorganization makes
30it unnecessary to retain the full staff of professional

1employes[.]; or

2(5) economic reasons that require a reduction in
3professional employes.

4* * *

5Section 3. Section 1125.1 of the act, amended or added
6November 20, 1979 (P.L.465, No.97) and July 10, 1986 (P.L.1270,
7No.117), is amended to read:

8Section 1125.1. Persons to be Suspended.--(a) Professional
9employes shall be suspended under section 1124 [(relating to
10causes for suspension) in inverse order of seniority within the
11school entity of current employment. Approved leaves of absence
12shall not constitute a break in service for purposes of
13computing seniority for suspension purposes.] based upon the 
14professional employe's performance evaluations pursuant to 
15section 1123 within the professional employe's areas of 
16certification. Seniority shall continue to accrue during
17suspension and all approved leaves of absence.

18(b) Where there is or has been a consolidation of schools,
19departments or programs, all professional employes shall retain
20the seniority rights they had prior to the reorganization or

22[(c) A school entity shall realign its professional staff so
23as to insure that more senior employes are provided with the
24opportunity to fill positions for which they are certificated
25and which are being filled by less senior employes.]

26(d) (1) No suspended employe shall be prevented from
27engaging in another occupation during the period of suspension.

28(2) Suspended professional employes or professional employes
29demoted for the reasons set forth in section 1124 shall be
30reinstated on the basis of their [seniority] performance

1evaluation within their areas of certification, followed next by 
2seniority within the school entity. No new appointment shall be
3made while there is such a suspended or demoted professional
4employe available who is properly certificated to fill such
5vacancy. For the purpose of this subsection, positions from
6which professional employes are on approved leaves of absence
7shall also be considered temporary vacancies.

8(3) To be considered available a suspended professional
9employe must annually report to the governing board in writing
10his current address and his intent to accept the same or similar
11position when offered.

12(4) A suspended employe enrolled in a college program during
13a period of suspension and who is recalled shall be given the
14option of delaying his return to service until the end of the
15current semester.

16(e) Nothing contained in [section 1125.1(a) through (d)]
17this section shall be construed to:

18(1) limit the cause for which a temporary professional
19employe may be suspended; or

20(2) supersede or preempt any provisions of a collective
21bargaining agreement negotiated by a school entity and an
22exclusive representative of the employes in accordance with the
23act of July 23, 1970 (P.L.563, No.195), known as the "Public
24Employe Relations Act"; however, no agreement shall prohibit the
25right of a professional employe who is not a member of a
26bargaining unit from retaining seniority rights under the
27provisions of this act.

28[(f) A decision to suspend in accordance with this section
29shall be considered an adjudication within the meaning of the
30"Local Agency Law."]

1(g) A collective bargaining agreement for professional
2employes which is entered into after the effective date of this
3subsection shall not include provisions prohibiting suspension
4of professional employes for economic reasons pursuant to
5section 1124(a)(5).

6Section 4. Section 1131 of the act is amended to read:

7Section 1131. Appeals to [Superintendent of Public
8Instruction] Secretary of Education.--In case the professional
9employe concerned considers himself or herself aggrieved by the
10action of the board of school directors, an appeal by petition,
11setting forth the grounds for such appeal, may be taken to the
12[Superintendent of Public Instruction] Secretary of Education at
13Harrisburg. Such appeal shall be filed within [thirty (30)]
14fifteen (15) days after receipt by registered mail of the
15written notice of the decision of the board. A copy of such
16appeal shall be served by registered mail on the secretary of
17the school board.

18The [Superintendent of Public Instruction] Secretary of 
19Education shall fix a day and time for hearing, which shall be
20not sooner than ten (10) days nor more than thirty (30) days
21after presentation of such petition, and shall give written
22notice to all parties interested.

23The [Superintendent of Public Instruction] Secretary of 
24Education shall review the official transcript of the record of
25the hearing before the board, and may hear and consider such
26additional testimony as he may deem advisable to enable him to
27make a proper order. At said hearing the litigants shall have
28the right to be heard in person or by counsel or both.

29After hearing and argument and reviewing all the testimony
30filed or taken before him, the [Superintendent of Public

1Instruction] Secretary of Education shall enter such order,
2either affirming or reversing the action of the board of school
3directors, as to him appears just and proper.

4Section 5. This act shall take effect immediately.