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PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 569, 1949, 2658,
2696, 3665
PRINTER'S NO. 3696
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
530
Session of
2015
INTRODUCED BY REESE, CAUSER, DIAMOND, GROVE, KRIEGER, MILLARD,
O'NEILL, SAYLOR, DUNBAR, MOUL, CUTLER, BAKER AND GABLER,
FEBRUARY 18, 2015
AMENDMENTS TO SENATE AMENDMENTS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, JUNE
30, 2016
AN ACT
Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
act relating to the public school system, including certain
provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
laws relating thereto," in preliminary provisions, further
providing for criminal history of employees and prospective
employees and conviction of certain offenses and for Keystone
exams; providing for powers and duties of the Secretary of
Education; in duties and powers of boards of school
directors, providing for publication of policies; providing
for school watch, and for State opportunity schools; in
grounds and buildings, providing for posting of information
and further providing for limitations on approval of public
school building projects; and establishing the Public School
Building Construction and Reconstruction Advisory Committee;
in professional employees; further providing for payment of
salaries in cases of sickness, injury or death; in
certification of teachers, further providing for granting
provisional college certificates and providing for
provisional vocational education; in pupils and attendance,
further providing for education and training of exceptional
children; and for cost of tuition and maintenance of certain
exceptional children in approved institutions; in school
health services, further providing for definitions; providing
for education of school employees in diabetes care and
management, for diabetes care in schools, for possession and
use of diabetes medication and monitoring equipment, for
liability, for coordinating, supervising or educating not
considered delegation and for diabetes care in nonpublic
schools; in terms and courses of study, further providing for
agreements with institutions of higher education; in
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education support services and educational assistance
programs, providing for supplemental online mathematics
support; in opportunities for educational excellence, further
providing for definitions, for responsibilities of school
entities and for concurrent enrollment agreements; in charter
schools, extensively revising and adding charter school
provisions; in vocational education, further providing for
vocational education equipment grants; in community colleges,
further providing for election or appointment and term and
organization of board of trustees, financial program and
payment reimbursement; in disruptive student programs,
further providing for applications; in private alternative
education institutions for disruptive students, further
providing for contracts with private alternative education
institutions; providing for rural regional college for
underserved counties; in funding for public libraries,
providing for State aid for fiscal year 2015-2016; in
reimbursements by Commonwealth and between school districts,
providing for student-weighted basic education funding, for
transition to student-weighted basic education funding for
2014-2015 school year and for career and technical education
career preparation; further providing for payments to
intermediate units, for special education payments to school
districts and for extraordinary special education program
expenses; repealing provisions relating to special education
funding for eligible students with disabilities in Cost
Category 3; further providing for assistance to school
districts declared to be in financial recovery status or
identified for financial watch status; providing for
reimbursement for school districts not submitting required
documentation, for public school building lease and debt
service reimbursements for fiscal year 2015-2016 and for
ready-to-learn block grants; providing for school district
debt refinancing bonds; in the State Board of Education,
further providing for powers and duties of the board; and
repealing provisions of The Fiscal Code relating to rural
regional college for underserved counties. IN PRELIMINARY
PROVISIONS, FURTHER PROVIDING FOR KEYSTONE EXAMS; IN
PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES, FURTHER PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT OF
SALARIES IN CASES OF SICKNESS, INJURY OR DEATH; IN
CERTIFICATION OF TEACHERS, FURTHER PROVIDING FOR GRANTING
PROVISIONAL COLLEGE CERTIFICATES AND PROVIDING FOR
PROVISIONAL VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CERTIFICATE; IN TERMS AND
COURSES OF STUDY, FURTHER PROVIDING FOR AGREEMENTS WITH
INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION; IN OPPORTUNITIES FOR
EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE, FURTHER PROVIDING FOR DEFINITIONS,
FOR RESPONSIBILITIES OF SCHOOL ENTITIES AND FOR CONCURRENT
ENROLLMENT AGREEMENTS; IN CHARTER SCHOOLS, EXTENSIVELY
REVISING AND ADDING CHARTER SCHOOL PROVISIONS; IN COMMUNITY
COLLEGES, FURTHER PROVIDING FOR ELECTION OR APPOINTMENT AND
TERM AND ORGANIZATION OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES; PROVIDING FOR
EDUCATIONAL TAX CREDITS; IN THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION,
FURTHER PROVIDING FOR POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD; AND
REPEALING PROVISIONS OF THE TAX REFORM CODE OF 1971 RELATED
TO EDUCATIONAL TAX CREDITS.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
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Section 1. Section 111(b), (c.1) and (j)(2) of the act of
March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code
of 1949, amended or added July 9, 2008 (P.L.846, No.61) and June
30, 2012 (P.L.684, No.82), are amended and the section is
amended by adding subsections to read:
Section 111. Criminal History of Employes and Prospective
Employes; Conviction of Certain Offenses.--
* * *
(b) Administrators of public and private schools,
intermediate units and area vocational-technical schools shall
require prospective employes to submit with their employment
application, pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. Ch.91 (relating to criminal
history record information), a report of criminal history record
information from the Pennsylvania State Police or a statement
from the Pennsylvania State Police that the State Police central
repository contains no such information relating to that person.
Such report of criminal history record information shall be no
more than [one (1) year] five (5) years old. An applicant may
submit a copy of the required information with the application
for employment. Administrators shall maintain a copy of the
required information. Administrators shall require contractors
to produce a report of criminal history record information for
each prospective employe of such contractor prior to employment.
A copy of the report of criminal history record information from
the Pennsylvania State Police shall be made available to the
applicant in a manner prescribed by the Department of Education.
(c.1) Beginning April 1, 2007, administrators shall maintain
on file with the application for employment a copy of the
Federal criminal history record in a manner prescribed by the
Department of Education. At a minimum, the Department of
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Education shall prescribe a method for applicants to submit a
set of fingerprints to be transmitted to the Federal Bureau of
Investigation for Federal criminal history record information
pursuant to the applicable Federal law. The Federal criminal
history record information report shall be no more than [one (1)
year] five (5) years old. Administrators shall maintain a copy
of the required information and shall require each applicant to
secure a Federal criminal history record information report that
may not be more than [one (1) year] five (5) years old at the
time of employment. A copy of the Federal criminal history
record information report shall be made available to the
applicant in a manner prescribed by the Department of Education.
* * *
(c.3) In accordance with 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.4 (relating to
certification compliance), administrators shall require the
persons subject to this section to obtain the reports described
in subsections (b) and (c.1) and under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344(b)(2)
(relating to employees having contact with children; adoptive
and foster parents) on a renewed basis every sixty (60) months.
Any person subject to this section who has previously not been
required to obtain the reports required by subsections (b) and
(c.1) and under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344(b)(2) on account of service
prior to April 1, 2007, shall be required to obtain such reports
no later than December 31, 2015. The administrator shall review
the reports and determine if the reports disclose information
that may require further action. The administrator shall
maintain a copy of the required reports.
(c.4) To the extent permitted by 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.3(f)
(relating to continued employment or participation in program,
activity or service), an administrator may accept the reports
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identified in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344(b)(1) and (3) obtained for
employment or volunteer requirements pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. §
6344 in satisfaction of the requirements of subsections (b) and
(c.1), provided the reports are not more than sixty (60) months
old and the applicant provides the administrator with the report
described in subsection (j)(1) indicating that the individual
has not been disqualified from employment pursuant to subsection
(e) or (f.1). The applicant shall also provide an attestation
that the applicant has not been disqualified for employment
under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344(c)(1). The administrator shall review
the reports and determine if the reports disclose information
that may require further action and shall maintain a copy of the
required reports.
* * *
(j) * * *
(2) All current and prospective employes of a public or
private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical
school shall complete the form described in clause (1),
indicating whether or not they have been arrested for or
convicted of an offense enumerated under subsections (e) and
(f.1), provided that any current employe who completed the form
on or before December 27, 2011, in compliance with clauses (1)
and (2) on that date and who has not been arrested for or
convicted of an offense enumerated under subsections (e) and
(f.1) shall not be required to complete an additional form under
this subsection every sixty (60) months as required in
subsection (c.3).
* * *
Section 2. Section 121 of the act, added June 30, 2012
(P.L.684, No.82), is amended to read:
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Section 121. Keystone Exams.--(a) Subject to annual
appropriation, not later than the 2020-2021 school year, the
Department of Education shall develop and implement Keystone
Exams in the following subjects: algebra I, literature, biology,
English composition, algebra II, geometry, United States
history, chemistry, civics and government and world history. The
State Board of Education shall promulgate regulations, subject
to the act of June 25, 1982 (P.L.633, No.181), known as the
"Regulatory Review Act," necessary to implement this section.
(b) In addition to any requirements on the State Board of
Education under the "Regulatory Review Act", on the same date
that pursuant to the "Regulatory Review Act" the State Board of
Education submits a proposed regulation for or related to the
implementation of Keystone Exams under this section to the
Legislative Reference Bureau for publication of notice of
proposed rulemaking in the Pennsylvania Bulletin as required by
the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.769, No.240), referred to as the
Commonwealth Documents Law, and thereafter on the same date it
submits the text of the final-form regulation to the Independent
Regulatory Review Commission, it shall submit to the chairman
and minority chairman of the Education Committee of the Senate
and the chairman and minority chairman of the Education
Committee of the House of Representatives a detailed fiscal
impact statement that the proposed or final-form regulation will
have on the Commonwealth, the communities, the school districts
and, if applicable, private and private religious schools. The
detailed fiscal impact statement shall include a comprehensive
fiscal note of all direct and indirect costs whether incurred in
preparation of the proposed or final-form regulation or which
will be required as a result of the promulgation of the
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regulation to its best dollar estimate. The State Board of
Education may include narrative statements to accompany its best
dollar estimate, but may not do so in lieu of detailed best
estimated dollar amounts.
(c) The following shall apply:
(1) Notwithstanding section 2604-B(b)(2)(v), 22 Pa. Code §
4.24 (relating to high school graduation requirements), 4.51
(relating to State assessment system) or 4.51c (relating to
project-based assessment) or any statute or regulation to the
contrary, the use of the Keystone Exam as a graduation
requirement or as a benchmark for the need for participation in
a project-based assessment shall be delayed until the 2018-2019
school year.
(2) The Department of Education shall investigate and
develop alternatives in addition to the use of the Keystone
Exams as a requirement for graduation and shall, within six (6)
months of the effective date of this paragraph, issue a report
of the Department of Education's findings and recommendations,
including proposed legislation, to the chairman and minority
chairman of the Education Committee of the Senate and the
chairman and minority chairman of the Education Committee of the
House of Representatives. The report shall, at a minimum,
contain a detailed plan and timeline within which the Department
of Education shall accomplish all of the following:
(i) Implement alternative methods for students to
demonstrate proficiency for graduation in addition to the
Keystone Exams, project-based assessment and other alternative
assessments provided for in 22 Pa. Code § 4.24.
(ii) Improve and expedite the evaluation of project-based
assessments.
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(iii) Ensure that no student is prohibited from
participation in vocational-technical education or elective
courses or programs as a result of supplemental instruction
required in 22 Pa. Code §§ 4.24(k) and 4.51b(f) (relating to
Keystone Exams).
Section 3. The act is amended by adding sections to read:
Section 124. Powers and Duties of the Secretary of
Education.--(a) On behalf of the Commonwealth, the Secretary of
Education shall have the authority and duty to enter into and
administer membership in a regional compact and an interstate
reciprocity agreement for the provision of postsecondary
distance education by the following:
(1) Institutions of higher education to students in other
states, territories and districts party to such agreement.
(2) Postsecondary institutions in other states, territories
or districts that are a party to such agreement to students in
this Commonwealth.
(b) The Department of Education may charge administrative
fees to institutions of higher education that choose to
participate in the agreement, not to exceed the department's
costs to implement and administer the agreement. The department
may promulgate final-omitted regulations pursuant to the act of
June 25, 1982 (P.L.633, No.181), known as the "Regulatory Review
Act," necessary to implement this subsection, provided that such
final-omitted regulations shall expire on June 30, 2018. After
June 30, 2018, any revisions to the administrative fees charged
under this subsection shall be made through regulations
promulgated under the Regulatory Review Act.
(c) The Postsecondary Distance Education Interstate
Reciprocity Agreement Restricted Receipts Account is established
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as a special restricted receipts account within the General Fund
of the State Treasury, from which the department may draw moneys
for the purpose of agreement expenses, the costs of
administering and implementing the agreement and all other costs
associated with the activities of the department related to
implementation of this section. This account shall consist of
all administrative fees deposited under subsection (b) and State
funds appropriated for use under this section. The restricted
receipts account shall be subject to audit by the Auditor
General.
(d) For purposes of this section, "institution of higher
education" shall have the meaning given in section 118 and
Article XIX-B.
Section 510.2. Publication of Policies.--Beginning with the
2016-2017 school year, the board of school directors of a school
district shall post on its publicly accessible Internet website
the following policies to the extent such policies are required
to be adopted by the school district under Federal or State law:
(1) The following relating to students:
(i) Admission of beginners.
(ii) Attendance, excusals and truancy.
(iii) Withdrawal from school.
(iv) Student discipline.
(v) Suspension and expulsion of students.
(vi) Searches.
(vii) Audio interception on school buses or school vehicles
for disciplinary or security purposes.
(viii) Retention, maintenance and access to student records.
(ix) Use of personal electronic devices.
(x) Dress and grooming.
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(xi) Student complaint process.
(xii) Parent appeal of a school district's placement of
twins or multiple birth siblings.
(xiii) Participation by home school students in school
district extracurricular activities.
(2) The following relating to educational programs:
(i) Curriculum review by parents and students.
(ii) Promotion and retention.
(iii) Graduation requirements.
(3) The following relating to student health:
(i) Communicable diseases and immunization.
(ii) Health examinations and screenings.
(iii) Student use of medications.
(iv) The school district's wellness policy.
(4) The following relating to school property:
(i) Use of school property and facilities.
(ii) School visitation policies.
(iii) Integrated pest management plan.
(5) The following relating to community:
(i) Public participation in school board meetings.
(ii) Public attendance at school events.
(iii) Parental involvement policy for parents and guardians
of students participating pursuant to section 1118 of the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-
10, 20 U.S.C § 6318).
(iv) Public access to and use of school district buildings,
facilities and grounds.
(v) Public complaint process.
Section 4. The act is amended by adding articles to read:
ARTICLE VI-B
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SCHOOL WATCH
Section 601-B. Scope.
This article relates to Public School Web Accountability and
Transparency (SchoolWATCH).
Section 602-B. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this article
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Administrative staff." Employees of a public school entity
that include, but are not limited to, superintendents, assistant
superintendents, deputy superintendents, principals, assistant
principals, supervisors, managers, directors and coordinators.
"Area vocational-technical school." As defined in section
1841.
"Average daily membership." As defined in section 2501.
"Charter school." As defined in section 1703-A.
"Charter school entity." A charter school, cyber charter
school or regional charter school as defined in section 1703-A.
"Cyber charter school." As defined in section 1703-A.
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Facilities acquisition and construction expenditures."
Expenditures related to the purchase or improvement of land,
buildings, service systems and built-in equipment.
"General fund balance." The balance in a public school
entity's general fund, which shall not include nonspendable and
restricted fund balances.
"Instructional expenditures." Expenditures related to all
those activities dealing directly with the interaction between
teachers and students and related costs, which can be directly
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attributed to a program of instruction.
"Market value/personal income aid ratio." As defined in
sections 1703-A and 2501.
"Noninstructional expenditures." Expenditures related to
activities concerned with providing noninstructional services to
students, staff or the community.
"Other financing uses." Current debt service expenditures
and other expenses such as the refunding of debt and transfers
of money from one fund to another.
"Public school entity." Any of the following:
(1) An area vocational-technical school.
(2) A school district.
(3) A charter school entity.
"Regional charter school." As defined in section 1703-A.
"School district." As defined in section 102.
"School performance profile." A comprehensive overview of
student academic performance in a public school entity compiled
annually by the department.
"Support services expenditures." Expenditures related to
those services that provide administrative support, technical
support, including, but not limited to, guidance and health, and
logistical support to facilitate and enhance instruction.
Section 603-B. Financial information to be posted.
(a) Information.--Beginning May 31, 2016, and by May 31 each
year thereafter, the department shall post all of the following
for each public school entity on its publicly accessible
Internet website, to the extent the information is available to
the department:
(1) The following financial information for the public
school entity for the most recent fiscal year for which the
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public school entity reported such information to the
department:
(i) Total expenditures in the following categories:
(A) Instructional.
(B) Support services.
(C) Noninstructional.
(D) Facilities acquisition and construction.
(E) Other financing uses.
(ii) The public school entity's per-student
expenditures, on each of the following bases:
(A) Based on the public school entity's
instructional expenditures.
(B) Based on the public school entity's total
expenditures.
(iii) The public school entity's per-student charter
school tuition rates in each of the following categories:
(A) For regular education students.
(B) For special education students.
(iv) The public school entity's average daily
membership.
(v) The public school entity's market value/personal
income aid ratio.
(vi) The average teacher salary in the public school
entity.
(vii) Total revenues from the following sources:
(A) Federal.
(B) State.
(C) Local.
(D) Other.
(viii) The public school entity's general fund
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balance.
(2) A link to the most recent of each of the following
reports filed by the public school entity with the
department:
(i) Summaries of financial report data.
(ii) Nonadministrative staff compensation report.
(iii) Administrative staff compensation report.
(3) A link to the public school entity's publicly
accessible Internet website, where available.
(4) A statement instructing the public to contact the
public school entity for access to any union contract.
(b) Posting.--In posting financial information as required
under this section, the department shall:
(1) Post and compile annually all information as a "View
Fiscal Information" icon located on a School Performance
Profile for each public school entity.
(2) Post all information in a location and manner that
is easily accessible to the public.
(3) Include all definitions and other explanatory
references that may be necessary to assist Internet website
users in understanding the posted information.
(4) Use existing databases and electronic reporting
systems to the extent possible.
(5) Provide for an electronic feature that will allow
the public to compare financial information for a minimum of
four public school entities.
(6) Beginning with information pertaining to the 2012-
2013 fiscal year, post the information required under
subsection (a)(1) for at least the most recent three fiscal
years for which such information is available to the
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department, including a trend graph displaying the change in
the amount reported each year from the amount reported in the
previous year.
(c) Limitation.--The department's posting of financial
information under this section shall not be construed to:
(1) Require a public school entity to provide the
department with any additional information, data or reports
that the public school entity is not already required to
provide to the department as of the effective date of this
act.
(2) Require any public school entity to provide the
department with additional information beyond the information
required to be provided to the department by any other public
school entity.
ARTICLE VI-C
STATE OPPORTUNITY SCHOOLS
Section 601-C. Scope.
This article relates to the transfer of underperforming
schools to the Department of Education.
Section 602-C. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this article
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Commission." The School Reform Commission established under
section 696.
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Diagnostic audit." A comprehensive review of a school's
organizational structure, school management, operations,
academics, use of data and climate completed to identify the
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weaknesses and strengths of the school and areas for growth and
improvement within the school.
"Education management service provider." A for-profit or
nonprofit management organization, nonprofit charter management
organization, school design provider, business manager or any
other partner entity with which a school district contracts to
provide educational design, business services, comprehensive
management or personnel functions. The term does not include a
charter school foundation.
"Eligible school." A school within a school district
designated by the school district under its performance metric
as an intervention school.
"Intervention school." A school designated in the lowest
performance tier of a school district's performance metric.
"Performance metric." The system created and utilized by a
school district to measure a school's academic performance.
"Persistently low-achieving school." An eligible school
designated by the secretary under section 603-C.
"School district." A school district of the first class.
"School improvement process." A school improvement plan
developed and implemented by the secretary.
"Secretary." The Secretary of Education of the Commonwealth.
Section 603-C. Persistently low-achieving schools.
(a) Designation.--
(1) Within 30 days of the effective date of this section
and by September 30 of each succeeding year, the secretary
shall identify eligible schools and designate persistently
low-achieving schools.
(2) The secretary shall have discretion to designate
persistently low-achieving schools from the list of eligible
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schools created by the performance metrics.
(3) The secretary shall notify persistently low-
achieving schools and the school district of their
designation in writing within 30 days of their designation.
(4) The secretary shall designate five schools per year
as persistently low achieving.
(b) Limitations.--The secretary shall not identify a school
as persistently low achieving if the school:
(1) Has been converted to a charter school or
renaissance model within the past three years.
(2) Initially opened within the past three years.
(3) Exclusively serves a historically underserved
population, including, but not limited to, returning truants,
homeless students, students with disabilities or adjudicated
minors.
(4) Has a college matriculation rate that meets or
exceeds the local school district average.
(5) Is a charter school whose academic performance as
measured by the most recent Pennsylvania School Performance
Profile exceeds the average Pennsylvania School Performance
Profile for schools in the authorizing school district.
(c) Designation.--Once designated, a persistently low-
achieving school shall enter the school improvement process as
set forth in section 604-C.
Section 604-C. School improvement process.
(a) Diagnostic audit.--During the first academic year in
which a school has been designated a persistently low-achieving
school, a diagnostic audit of the school shall be completed no
later than June 30. The audit shall be provided by the
department.
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(b) Department action.--Upon completion of the diagnostic
audit, the department shall take one or more of the following
actions:
(1) Contract with an education management service
provider to operate the persistently low-achieving school and
guarantee admission to students who were enrolled in the
school in the prior school year.
(2) Convert the persistently low-achieving school to a
charter school and guarantee admission to students who were
enrolled in the school in the prior school year.
(3) Close the persistently low-achieving school and
facilitate the transfer of students to higher performing
schools.
(4) Authorize a new charter school and, notwithstanding
the provisions of Article XVII-A, guarantee admission
preference to any students who reside in the area being
served by the persistently low-achieving school. The
department shall adopt criteria for the authorization of
charter schools that is consistent with the criteria set
forth by the National Association of Charter School
Authorizers.
(5) Replace the principal and at least 50% of the
professional staff at the persistently low-achieving school.
(6) Operate under one of the powers enumerated under
section 606-C.
Section 605-C. Powers and duties of department.
(a) General rule.--Except as otherwise specifically provided
in this article, the department shall have the powers and duties
of a school district under this act.
(b) Charter schools.--The authority of the department to
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authorize the grant of a charter to an applicant for a charter
school and the authority to convert a charter school shall be
limited as set forth in this section.
(c) Criteria for conversion.--Notwithstanding the provisions
of Article XVII-A, the department may convert a school under its
jurisdiction to a charter school.
(d) Limitations.--For the school year 2017-2018, and each
school year thereafter, the department shall take one or more of
the actions under section 604-C(b) in persistently low-achieving
schools. For the school year 2017-2018, and each school year
thereafter, the department shall take action under section 604-
C(b)(2) or (4) in at least two of the persistently low-achieving
schools. Notwithstanding section 604-C(b), the number of schools
under the jurisdiction of the department may not exceed 15 at
any one time.
(e) Charter schools.--Notwithstanding any provision of law
to the contrary, in accordance with section 1720-A, the
department may revoke or opt not to renew a charter school
within its jurisdiction provided the department continues to
meet the requirements of section 605-C(d). The nonrenewal or
revocation may not be appealed to the State Charter School
Appeal Board. Any appeal of the nonrenewal or revocation shall
be to Commonwealth Court.
(f) Authority to operate.--The department may directly
operate a school or contract with individuals or education
management service providers to manage the day-to-day operations
of a persistently low-achieving school, including, but not
limited to, providing direct services to students.
(g) Intermediate unit services.--The department may require
an intermediate unit to provide school support or student
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support services for a school transferred from the intermediate
unit's jurisdiction, including, but not limited to, student
transportation, school food service, alternative schools and
special education services, in compliance with laws and
regulations governing such services. The department shall
reimburse actual costs incurred by the intermediate unit in
providing the services from funds received under section 610-C.
(h) Procurement.--Notwithstanding any law to the contrary,
the department has the same authority and autonomy afforded to a
school district under State law regarding the procurement of
property, goods and services, including, but not limited to,
personal, professional, consulting and social services.
(i) Waiver.--Any entity the department contracts with to
operate or manage a school under the jurisdiction of the
department may apply to the secretary for a waiver of any
regulation or statutory provision that inhibits the ability of
the school to increase student achievement. The secretary may
waive any regulation or statutory provision that inhibits the
ability of the school to increase student achievement.
Notwithstanding this subsection, the secretary may not waive
rules related to the following:
(1) Federal and State civil rights.
(2) Federal, State and local health and safety.
(3) Federal and State public records.
(4) Possession of weapons on school grounds.
(5) Background checks and fingerprints of personnel.
(6) Federal and State special education requirements.
(7) Student due process.
(8) Parental rights.
(9) Federal and State student assessment and
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