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A01235
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
440
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY PHILLIPS-HILL, FOLMER, MARTIN, BARTOLOTTA, AUMENT,
HUTCHINSON AND REGAN, MARCH 15, 2019
REFERRED TO EDUCATION, MARCH 15, 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 terms and courses of study,
providing for flexible instructional days.
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 1506. Flexible Instructional Days.--(a) Within
thirty (30) days of the effective date of this section, the
department shall issue guidance and establish a standard
application form for a public school entity seeking to establish
or renew a program. The guidance and form shall be published on
the department's publicly accessible Internet website.
(b) The form under subsection (a) shall require the
following information:
(1) The procedure for a public school entity to notify
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students, parents and professional employes that a flexible
instructional day is instituted.
(2) The procedure for instituting a flexible instructional
day, including whether the public school entity will use
technology. If technology will be used by the school entity, the
procedure shall include information regarding accommodations for
students without Internet access at home and for digital device
access at home and for digital access for families without
technology or an insufficient amount of technology for the
number of children in the household.
(3) The responsibilities of professional employes and
students during a flexible instructional day.
(4) The procedure for identifying student participation
during a flexible instructional day for the purpose of enforcing
attendance under Article XIII.
(5) Instruction exemplary of a flexible instruction day in
each of the following:
(i) English language arts in any grade from grades nine
through twelve.
(ii) Mathematics in any grade from grades nine through
twelve.
(iii) Science in any grade from grades nine through twelve.
(iv) Social Studies in any grade from grades nine through
twelve.
(v) English language arts in kindergarten or in any grade
from grades one through eight.
(vi) Mathematics in kindergarten or in any grade from grades
one through eight.
(6) Assurance of compliance with the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (Public Law 91-230, 20 U.S.C. ยง 1400
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et seq.) during a flexible instructional day.
(7) Any additional information that the department deems
necessary to determine whether to accept or deny an application
to establish or renew a program.
(c) (1) For the first two years for application under this
section, a public school entity's application to establish a
program shall be submitted to the department on or before
September 1 and the department shall notify the public school
entity if its application is accepted or denied by November 1.
(2) For each year thereafter, a public school entity's
application to establish or renew a program shall be submitted
to the department on or before June 1 and the department shall
notify the public school entity if its application or renewal is
accepted or denied by August 1.
(d) An application accepted under this section shall remain
valid for a period of three (3) years.
(e) The department shall issue an annual survey related to
the efficacy of flexible instructional days on or before April
30 of each year to each public school entity with an accepted
application. Each public school entity shall return the survey
to the department by June 30 of the same year.
(f) A nonpublic school may use technology or other
appropriate means to provide instruction to students on days
when a school building is prevented from opening. In order to
provide the instruction, a nonpublic school must have procedures
in place to ensure the following:
(1) The enforcement of student attendance under Article
XIII.
(2) The fulfillment of the minimum hours of instruction per
year under section 1327.
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(f) (g) As used in this section, the following words and
phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection:
"Department" shall mean the Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Flexible instructional day" shall mean a day that satisfies
all of the following:
(1) Fulfills one of the minimum required days of instruction
under section 1501.
(2) Prevents a school building from opening due to any of
the following:
(i) A disease epidemic.
(ii) A hazardous weather condition.
(iii) A law enforcement emergency.
(iv) The inoperability of school buses or other equipment
necessary to the public school entity's operation.
(v) Damage to a school building.
(vi) Another temporary circumstance rendering any portion of
a school building unfit or unsafe for use.
(3) Provides instruction to students.
"Program" shall mean a program that allows for a number of
flexible instructional days not to exceed five (5) days during a
school year.
"Public school entity" shall mean any of the following:
(1) A school district.
(2) An intermediate unit.
(3) An area vocational-technical school.
(4) A charter school or regional charter school, as defined
in section 1703-A.
"School building" shall mean a building owned by or under the
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control of a public school entity or nonpublic school where
classes are taught or extracurricular activities are conducted
on a regular basis.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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