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PRINTER'S NO. 502
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
539
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY BOBACK, HILL-EVANS, IRVIN, CIRESI, PISCIOTTANO,
HELM, R. MACKENZIE, LONGIETTI, NEILSON, A. DAVIS, WHEELAND
AND M. MACKENZIE, FEBRUARY 16, 2021
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, FEBRUARY 16, 2021
AN ACT
Establishing the Governor's Schools of Excellence.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Governor's
Schools of Excellence Act.
Section 2. Legislative intent.
It is the intent of the General Assembly to establish the
permanent operation of the Governor's Schools of Excellence in
order to afford students of all socioeconomic backgrounds the
opportunity to pursue in-depth and advanced studies in fields
that may include agricultural sciences, engineering and
technology, sciences or arts.
Section 3. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
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"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Governor's School of Excellence." A school established by
the department under section 5.
"Host site." A college or university within this
Commonwealth where a Governor's School of Excellence is located.
"Program." The Governor's Schools of Excellence Program
established under section 4.
Section 4. Governor's Schools of Excellence Program.
The Governor's Schools of Excellence Program is established
within the department.
Section 5. Duties of department.
(a) Disciplines.--The department shall establish at least
five Governor's Schools of Excellence at host sites throughout
this Commonwealth in disciplines that may include any of the
following:
(1) Agricultural sciences.
(2) Engineering and technology.
(3) Sciences.
(4) Arts.
(5) Other disciplines determined by the department.
(b) Locations.--
(1) Governor's Schools of Excellence may be sponsored by
and located at host sites designated by the department.
(2) The department shall designate host sites on a
competitive basis, based upon criteria to be determined by
the department and published on the department's publicly
accessible Internet website.
(3) In order to be designated by the department, the
host site shall provide at least 50% of the cost to operate
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the Governor's School of Excellence.
(4) Host sites designated by the department shall be
geographically dispersed throughout this Commonwealth.
(c) Administration.--In administering the program, the
department shall do all of the following:
(1) Make student applications available to every public
school and nonpublic school in this Commonwealth and include
the application on the department's publicly accessible
Internet website.
(2) Ensure that each Governor's School of Excellence is
utilizing a process in which students are selected on the
basis of student performance and achievement through a
competitive selection process and seek to ensure an
economically, socially and geographically diverse student
population.
(3) Ensure that the Governor's School of Excellence
complies with subsection (e), enabling all qualified students
the opportunity to enroll in the program regardless of the
student's economic circumstances.
(d) Scheduling.--Governor's Schools of Excellence shall be
held, to the extent possible, during the summer months between
the end and the beginning of the school year. The department may
grant permission for a school to be held at other times during
the school year when circumstances and programming options
warrant that change.
(e) Costs.--Students attending a Governor's School of
Excellence may not be required to pay any tuition or fees to
attend and participate in a Governor's School of Excellence.
Students shall be responsible for their own costs relating to
transportation to and from the Governor's School of Excellence.
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Section 6. Effective date.
This act shall take effect immediately.
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