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A03230
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
434
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY SOLOMON, GROVE, T. DAVIS, HILL-EVANS, MURT,
SCHLOSSBERG, CALTAGIRONE, MEHAFFIE, RABB, ULLMAN, JAMES,
YOUNGBLOOD, DRISCOLL, SAYLOR, FREEMAN, ISAACSON AND NEILSON,
FEBRUARY 11, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, FEBRUARY 11, 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 certification of teachers,
providing for a cultural awareness competence continuing
professional development course.
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 1218. Cultural Awareness Competence Continuing
Professional Development Course.--(a) The Department of
Education department shall develop and implement a continuing
professional education course on cultural awareness competence
that may be used by professional educators to satisfy the
requirements of section 1205.2. :
(1) Professional educators to satisfy the requirements of
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section 1205.2.
(2) School or system leaders to satisfy the requirements of
section 1205.5.
(3) Paraprofessionals to satisfy staff development
requirements under 22 Pa. Code § 14.105 (relating to personnel).
(b) The Department of Education department shall develop the
continuing professional education course in a manner which
provides professional educators with information and strategies
which can be incorporated into instruction and general
interactions with students in order to encourage students to
become more culturally aware competent .
(c) The continuing professional education course shall be
research-based and include training on the following:
(1) Information and strategies to encourage students to
become more culturally aware competent , and to reject ethnic,
cultural and religious biases.
(2) Resolving disputes between students that result from
ethnic and cultural disputes.
(3) Resolving disputes between students that result from
religious biases.
(4) The dynamics of prejudice and discrimination that impede
effective learning.
(5) Civil rights awareness.
(6) Intellectual, physical and behavioral disability
awareness.
(d) Continuing professional education course materials may
include the following:
(1) Materials that educate students in cultural sensitivity
by introducing the students to various cultures.
(2) Teaching aids that allow students to explore cultures
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through food, art, books, movies, dance, traditions and cross-
cultural experiences.
(3) Resources that allow students to explore the cultural
experience of other people, their history, present-day
experiences and connection to the American culture and fabric of
our land.
(4) Educational aids that provide students with information
on the cultural experiences of the inhabitants of this
Commonwealth, the inhabitants' experiences arriving in this
Commonwealth and development over the years.
(e) By July 31, 2020, and each July 31 thereafter, the
Department of Education department shall submit to the
chairperson and minority chairperson of the Education Committee
of the Senate and the chairperson and minority chairperson of
the Education Committee of the House of Representatives a report
which shall include:
(1) The number of professional educators that have enrolled
in the continuing professional education course.
(2) The number of professional educators that have completed
the continuing education course.
(3) The number of schools school entities that have
implemented classroom instruction in cultural awareness.
(4) Any issues that professional educators, administrators,
students or the Department of Education department have
identified and need to be addressed.
(f) The course established under subsection (a) shall be
voluntary, offered online and at no cost to professional
educators.
(g) For the purpose of this section, the term "professional
educator" shall mean an individual who holds a Pennsylvania
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teacher, educational specialist or administrative certification
or letter of eligibility.
(g) The department shall review the training materials every
five (5) years and issue revisions if necessary to ensure best
practice in the field.
(h) The department may approve other providers of continuing
education and staff development that meets the criteria of this
section.
(i) For purposes of this subsection:
"Cultural competence" shall mean the ability to interact
effectively with people of different cultures, including the
following:
(1) Awareness of a person's own cultural worldview.
(2) Attitude towards cultural differences.
(3) Knowledge of different cultural practices and
worldviews.
(4) Cross-cultural skills.
"Culture" shall mean an individual's understanding and
observance of similarities and differences among and between
cultural groups. The term includes the integrated patterns of
human behavior such as thoughts, communications, actions,
customs, beliefs, values and institutions of racial, ethnic,
religious or social groups.
"Department" shall refer to the Department of Education of
the Commonwealth.
"Paraprofessional" shall mean an instructional
paraprofessional within the meaning of 22 Pa. Code § 14.105
(relating to personnel).
"Professional educator" shall have the same meaning as
provided under section 1205.2.
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"School entity" shall have the same meaning as provided under
section 1205.2.
"School or system leaders" shall have the same meaning as
provided under section 1205.5.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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