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PRINTER'S NO. 2324
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1732
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY GROVE, MILLARD, ROTHMAN, RYAN, BERNSTINE, LEWIS,
DeLUCA, MOUL AND ZIMMERMAN, JULY 24, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, JULY 24, 2019
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," providing for innovation schools.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known
as the Public School Code of 1949, is amended by adding an
article to read:
ARTICLE XV-J
INNOVATION SCHOOLS
Section 1501-J. 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:
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Education management service provider." A for-profit or
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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 shall not include a
charter school foundation.
"Innovation school." A school that:
(1) is part of a school district;
(2) ranks in the lowest 15% of the school's
classification as an elementary or secondary school according
to the SPP; and
(3) has an SPP score that does not exceed 60.
"Innovation School Board." The board created under section
1509-J.
"Local governing body." A board of school directors, school
reform commission or other governing authority of a school
district.
"School Performance Profile" or "SPP." A comprehensive
overview of student academic performance in a public school
developed and compiled annually by the department under section
1123.
"Secretary." The Secretary of Education of the Commonwealth.
Section 1502-J. Identification of intervention schools.
(a) General rule.-- By October 1, 2019, and by October 1 of
each year thereafter, the department shall publish on its
publicly accessible Internet website a list of innovation
schools and transmit notice to the Legislative Reference Bureau
for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
(b) Designation.--Within 20 days of the publication under
subsection (a), the Innovation School Board shall designate as
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innovation schools all schools that meet the criteria of an
innovation school.
Section 1503-J. Powers of local governing body.
A local governing body shall have all the following powers
with respect to an innovation school within its jurisdiction:
(1) authority to enter into agreements with education
management service providers to operate the school;
(2) authority to employ professional and senior
management employees who do not hold State certification in
the innovation school, if the local governing body has
approved the employee's qualifications, at a salary
established by the local governing body;
(3) authority to enter into agreements with persons or
education management service providers providing educational
or other services to the school;
(4) authority to close or reconstitute the school,
including the reassignment, suspension or dismissal of
professional employees;
(5) authority to suspend professional employees without
regard to the provisions of seniority and according to a
professional employee's performance;
(6) authority to appoint managers, administrators or
education management service providers to oversee the
operations of the school;
(7) authority to convert the school to a charter school;
and
(8) authority to apply to the Innovation School Board
for a waiver of any provision of this act, regulation of the
State Board of Education or standard of the secretary that
inhibits the ability of the school to increase student
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achievement.
Section 1504-J. Advisory teams.
(a) Local governing body assembly.--Within 30 days of a
school's initial designation as an innovation school, the local
governing body shall convene the following for the innovation
school:
(1) An academic advisory team, comprised of the
following members:
(i) A school administrator appointed by the local
governing body.
(ii) A school business manager or individual
responsible for the fiscal management of the district
appointed by the local governing body.
(iii) A teacher appointed by the local governing
body.
(iv) Three experts, appointed by the local governing
body in consultation with the department, who possess
knowledge and experience in such areas as school or
business administration, staff development, early
childhood education, curriculum development, budget
development or fiscal management, labor relations or
special education.
(2) A community advisory team comprised of the following
members appointed by the local governing body:
(i) Three parents of students attending the
innovation school.
(ii) Three residents of the area served by the
innovation school who are not parents of students
attending the innovation school.
(b) Termination of academic advisory team and community
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advisory team.--The academic advisory team and the community
advisory team may terminate when the school is no longer
designated as an innovation school.
Section 1505-J. Diagnostic evaluation.
(a) Districtwide review.--Within three months of a school's
initial designation as an innovation school, each local
governing body of a school district in which at least one school
has been designated as an innovation school shall conduct a
districtwide review of academic programs, management and
operations, including whether school facilities are being used
to maximize student academic opportunities, using a standard
evaluation and diagnostic tool and submit its findings to the
Innovation School Board.
(b) Period for evaluation.--A local governing body which has
completed a diagnostic evaluation within the past five years
under subsection (a) shall not be required to complete a
districtwide diagnostic evaluation developed by the department
subsequent to the initial designation of a new innovation school
within its jurisdiction, provided that the local governing body
shall complete, within two months of the designation of a new
innovation school, a supplemental study of the school to the
extent that the needs of the school are different from those of
the district.
Section 1506-J. School improvement plan.
(a) School improvement plan.--Using the results of the
diagnostic evaluation under section 1505-J(a), the local
governing body, with input from the academic advisory team and
the community advisory team, shall develop for each innovation
school a school improvement plan that shall include all of the
following:
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(1) Performance goals consistent with School Performance
Profile benchmarks and timetables to improve academic
performance.
(2) Revisions to curriculum or instructional practices.
(3) A system of academic accountability for students and
administrators.
(4) Procedures to increase parent and community
involvement.
(5) Policies to provide individual schools greater
authority over personnel, budget and educational programming.
(6) A multiyear strategic plan with annual goals and
measurable objectives based on identified needs, projected
enrollment and revenue.
(7) Clear delineation of the responsibilities of the
local governing body and superintendents.
(8) A plan to formally evaluate the performance and cost
of major educational and operational programs.
(9) A plan for professional development to assist
teachers and administrators with ensuring that students reach
academic standards.
(10) A plan for the allocation of any resources targeted
to the innovation school.
(11) A plan for the implementation of at least two
interventions allowable under section 1503-J.
(b) Application for waiver permitted.--The local governing
body may include in a school improvement plan an application to
the Innovation School Board for a waiver of any provision of
this act, regulation of the State Board of Education or standard
of the secretary if the Innovation School Board determines that
the proposed waiver will help the innovation school to increase
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academic achievement. The Innovation School Board may not waive
either:
(1) Federal statutes or regulations; or
(2) State statutes or regulations or standards of the
secretary related to the following:
(i) Civil rights.
(ii) Health and safety.
(iii) Public records.
(iv) Possession of weapons on school grounds.
(v) Employment history reviews, criminal background
checks and child abuse clearances for school personnel
and volunteers.
(vi) Special education requirements.
(vii) Student due process.
(viii) Parental rights.
(ix) Student assessment and accountability.
(x) Open meetings.
(c) Plan submission to Innovation School Board.--Within 60
days of the completion of the diagnostic evaluation, the local
governing body shall submit the school improvement plan for
approval to the Innovation School Board.
(d) Board approval of Plan.--Within 30 days of receipt of
the school improvement plan, the Innovation School Board shall
approve the school improvement plan or request further
modifications to the plan. Within 30 days of the request for
modifications to the plan, the local governing body of the
innovation school shall resubmit the school improvement plan to
the Innovation School Board. The Innovation School Board shall
have 30 days from the receipt of the modified plan to take
action.
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(e) Local government reports on implementation and
progress.--Following the approval of the school improvement plan
by the Innovation School Board, the local governing body of an
innovation school shall, with input from the academic advisory
team and the community advisory team, submit reports to the
Innovation School Board detailing the implementation and
progress of the school improvement plan every six months. The
local governing body of an innovation school shall post these
reports on its publicly accessible Internet website.
Section 1507-J. Funding for innovation schools.
The department shall use funds provided for under section
2510.3 to assist innovation schools. Innovation schools may use
funds appropriated by the General Assembly for the purposes of
this article and may accept donations from all public and
private sources, including the Federal Government, to pay for
the implementation of the school improvement plan.
Section 1508-J. Duration of innovation school designation .
(a) School designation duration.--A school designated as an
innovation school shall remain an innovation school for a
minimum of five years following the school's initial
designation.
(b) Retention of school designation.--After five years, a
school designated as an innovation school shall remain an
innovation school if:
(1) the innovation school does not have a School
Performance Profile score of at least 70 for the previous
year;
(2) the parents or guardians of 51% of the students
enrolled in the innovation school sign a petition requesting
that the school remain an innovation school; or
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(3) the local governing body adopts, at a public meeting
at which an opportunity for public comment has been provided,
a resolution requesting that the school remain an innovation
school.
Section 1509-J. Innovation School Board.
(a) Establishment and membership.--The Innovation School
Board is established. Within 30 days of the effective date of
this section, the Innovation School Board shall be appointed as
follows:
(1) The secretary shall appoint one member.
(2) The President pro tempore of the Senate, in
consultation with the Majority Leader of the Senate, shall
appoint two members.
(3) The Speaker of the House of Representatives, in
consultation with the Majority Leader of the House of
Representatives, shall appoint two members.
(4) The chairperson and minority chairperson of the
Education Committee of the Senate shall each appoint one
member.
(5) The chairperson and minority chairperson of the
Education Committee of the House of Representatives shall
each appoint one member.
(b) Qualifications.--Each member of the board must satisfy
at least one of the following:
(1) Possess at least five years' experience in school
administration or academic assessment.
(2) Satisfy the requirements of section 1003(a) or (b).
(c) Term.--Members of the board shall be appointed for terms
of five years each, except that those persons initially
appointed shall draw lots to determine which members shall serve
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for a term of five years, which members shall serve for a term
of four years and which members shall serve for a term of three
years. To the extent practicable, from those members initially
appointed, an equal number shall draw lots to serve for a term
of five years, for a term of four years and for a term of three
years. Thereafter, all members shall be appointed for terms of
five years each.
(d) Chairperson.--The board shall select a chairperson from
its membership by a majority vote.
(e) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the board shall
constitute a quorum.
(f) Meetings.--The board shall meet at least quarterly at
the call of the chairperson.
(g) Vacancy.--Upon expiration of a member's term or in the
occurrence of a vacancy in the office of a member, the original
appointing authority shall appoint a successor member. An
appointment to fill a vacancy shall be for the balance of a
term.
(h) Removal.--No board member shall be removed from office
during the member's term of office except in accordance with the
Constitution of Pennsylvania and as authorized in this section.
The appointing authority of a member may, upon proof by clear
and convincing evidence of malfeasance or misfeasance in office,
remove a board member prior to the expiration of the term.
Before a board member is removed, the member shall be provided
with a written statement of the reasons for removal and an
opportunity for a hearing.
(i) Prohibition.--No member, while in service of the
Innovation School Board, may seek or hold a position as any
other public official or as an officer of a political party.
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(j) Compensation.--Members of the Innovation School Board
shall receive no compensation but shall be reimbursed for
reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of
their official duties from the funds of the department.
(k) Duty of department.--The department shall provide
administrative support, meeting space and any other assistance
required by the board to carry out its duties under this section
and shall provide the board with data, research and other
information upon request by the board.
(l) Appeals.--An objecting party may appeal a determination
of the Innovation School Board to Commonwealth Court.
(m) Report.--Beginning October 31, 2021, and by October 31
of each year thereafter, the Innovation School Board shall
submit a written report to the secretary, the President pro
tempore of the Senate, the Majority Leader of the Senate, the
Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, the Majority Leader of the House of
Representatives and the Minority Leader of the House of
Representatives, which shall include all of the following:
(1) A list and a description of status, including
academic performance, of each innovation school.
(2) A list of all schools eligible for designation as an
innovation school.
Section 1510-J. State Board of Education.
The State Board of Education shall adopt regulations
necessary for the implementation of this article, including any
changes proposed after the effective date of this article to the
calculation of the School Performance Profile building-level
score created by the department under section 1123.
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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