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PRINTER'S NO. 804
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
662
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY BROWNE, AUMENT, BARTOLOTTA, FONTANA, SCHWANK,
LEACH, BREWSTER, COSTA, MUTH, ARGALL, BLAKE, KILLION,
SANTARSIERO, K. WARD, TARTAGLIONE, HUGHES AND J. WARD,
MAY 20, 2019
REFERRED TO EDUCATION, MAY 20, 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," in pupils and attendance, providing
for ensuring equal access and timely graduation.
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 a
section to read:
Section 1331.1. Ensuring Equal Access and Timely
Graduation.--(a) Each student experiencing an education
disruption shall be assigned a point of contact at the school
entity which the student attends. The following shall apply:
(1) The following may serve as a point of contact:
(i) A certified school counselor.
(ii) A certified home and school visitor.
(iii) A social worker.
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(iv) A foster care point of contact.
(v) A local education liaison under the McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Act (Public Law 100-77, 42 U.S.C. § 11301 et
seq.).
(vi) A teacher.
(vii) A school administrator.
(viii) Other appropriate school staff.
(2) The name of the person serving as a point of contact
shall be noted in the student's school record.
(3) Notice regarding the student's point of contact shall be
sent to the student's parent, guardian, foster parent or other
education decision maker.
(4) A point of contact shall:
(i) Assist with the student's transition to the new school
entity by determining appropriate class placement and connecting
the student with appropriate services and opportunities,
including participating in extracurricular activities,
remediation or tutoring services for the student if needed,
career and technical training and other programs.
(ii) Work with the student in grades nine through twelve and
the student's parent, guardian, foster parent or other education
decision maker and the county children and youth agency to
create a graduation plan for the student that documents partial
and full credits which the student has earned, and the credits
that are needed to graduate, and details a plan to support the
student in graduating, including remediation or tutoring
services for the student if needed, credit waivers and credit
recovery options. The documentation shall be maintained in the
student's education file.
(iii) Assist the student in identifying and pursuing post-
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secondary goals.
(b) A student experiencing an education disruption shall not
be penalized for a school uniform or dress code violation
related to a delay in obtaining a uniform due to the student's
mobility.
(c) For a student experiencing an education disruption at
any time, the student's current school entity shall ensure that
the student:
(1) has equal access, including transportation if provided,
to participate in school programs, sports, extracurricular
activities and career and technical or other special programs
for which the student qualifies, notwithstanding deadlines for
documentation or other prerequisite requirements normally
required; and
(2) receives all special education services to which the
student is entitled.
(d) A student experiencing an education disruption shall be
eligible to earn credits in the new school entity regardless of
the student's date of enrollment. A school entity shall honor
credits and partial credits previously earned in a prior
educational placement, which is licensed, certified or otherwise
authorized by a State or local educational agency, by a student
experiencing an education disruption.
(e) Wh en a student experiencing an education disruption
transfers to a new school entity, the receiving school entity
shall communicate with the sending school entity within two days
of the student's enrollment. The sending school entity shall
provide the receiving school entity with any requested records
within two days of receipt of the receiving school entity's
communication.
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(f) A student experiencing an education disruption who
transfers to a new school entity shall have:
(1) priority placement in classes that meet State graduation
requirements; and
(2) timely placement in elective classes that are comparable
to those in which the student was enrolled at the student's
previous school entity as soon as the new school entity receives
verification from the student's records.
(g) A school entity shall waive local requirements for
graduation for a student experiencing an education disruption if
similar or alternative coursework has been satisfactorily
completed in another educational placement, which is licensed,
certified or otherwise authorized by a State or local
educational agency. If the student was unable to take a similar
course required for graduation, the school entity shall waive
the local requirement or offer an alternative means for the
student to graduate on time, which may include awarding credit
based on alternative methods, such as testing or written work,
credit for work or internship experiences, summer school, after-
school or online credit recovery programs overseen by a teacher
or other measures. If a student has taken a higher-level course
and is missing credit for a lower-level prerequisite course in
the same subject area, the student shall be granted a waiver,
with credit, for the prerequisite course.
(h) When a student experiencing an education disruption
lacks credits needed to graduate on time, or if education
records are missing, a school entity shall offer options to
allow the student to make up missing credits, such as testing or
written work, summer school, after-school or online credit
recovery programs overseen by a teacher or other assessments.
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(i) If a student experiencing an education disruption
transfers at the beginning of the student's junior year of high
school or later and is ineligible to graduate from the student's
current school entity, a former school entity shall award a
diploma if the student meets the graduation requirements of the
former school entity.
(j) After exhausting all other options under this section, a
student experiencing an education disruption who has completed
at least four (4) years of high school and meets the State
graduation standards under section 1613, but who cannot obtain a
school entity-issued diploma, shall as a last resort be eligible
to obtain a Statewide secondary school diploma, known as the
Keystone Diploma, issued by the student's current school entity.
In this event, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the
current school entity shall issue a Keystone secondary school
diploma to the student. The diploma shall be conferred in the
name of the issuing school entity and shall identify the name of
issuing school entity on its face. The student's current school
entity shall assist the student in obtaining the diploma.
(k) The State Board of Education, in consultation with the
Secretary of Education, shall establish guidance to implement
this section and facilitate the transition between school
entities.
(l) E ach school entity shall develop policies and
procedures, if the school entity does not already have policies
and procedures in place, to ensure that a new school entity:
(1) relies on decisions made by the previous school entity
regarding the placement in courses or educational programs of a
student experiencing an education disruption; and
(2) places a student experiencing an education disruption in
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comparable courses or educational programs at the new school
entity, if those courses or programs are available.
(m) The following words and phrases as used in this section
shall have the meanings given to them in this sub section unless
the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"School entity" means any of the following:
(1) A school district.
(2) A charter school.
(3) A cyber charter school.
(4) A regional charter school.
(5) An intermediate unit.
(6) An area vocational-technical school.
"Student experiencing an education disruption" means a
student in grades kindergarten through twelve who has
experienced or is experiencing one or more changes in school
entity enrollment during a single school year as a result of any
of the following:
(1) Homelessness as defined in the McKinney-Vento Homeless
Assistance Act (Public Law 100-77, 42 U.S.C. § 11301 et seq.)
and as determined by the school entity.
(2) An adjudication:
(i) of dependency under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to child
protective services) and 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile
matters);
(ii) of delinquency under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 and 42 Pa.C.S.
Ch. 63, if the parent or guardian of the student wishes to
disclose the adjudication of delinquency; or
(iii) as part of court-ordered services under a voluntary
placement or custody agreement.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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