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A01915
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1533
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY TOPPER, R. BROWN, GILLEN, GLEIM, KAUFFMAN,
MULLINS, PENNYCUICK, ROTHMAN, RYAN, SAYLOR, SCHROEDER,
STEPHENS, STRUZZI, THOMAS, WARNER AND WHITE, JUNE 3, 2021
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, JUNE 3, 2021
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 program of accelerated learning following
COVID-19 pandemic.
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 1507. Program of Accelerated Learning Following
COVID-19 Pandemic.--(a) Each school entity shall offer to all
students enrolled in the school entity a program of accelerated
learning, beginning on June 15, 2021, in the 2021-2022 s chool
year, and pursuant to a school entity's application to the
department for elementary and secondary school emergency relief
funding under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law
117-2, 135 Stat. 4) and continuing through September 1, 2023 , at
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mi nimum, September 30, 2023 . The program of accelerated learning
established under this subsection and approved by the department
as part of the school entit y's application for elementary and
secondary school emergency relief funding under section 2001(d)
of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 shall, at a minimum, be
funded by twenty percent of the Federal funding under consistent
with section 2001(e) (1) 2001 of the American Rescue Plan Act of
2021 (Public Law No. 117- 2, 135 Stat. 4) for learning loss. The
program shall be established according to the guidelines and
res ources provided by the department for accelerated learning.
Other Federal or State money may be used for a program of
accelerated learning in school entities and nothing in this
subsection shall be construed to limit funding for the program
of accelerated learning. The following shall apply:
(1) Students shall be offered the option of an in-person
program of accelerated learning.
(2) The program of accelerated learning shall be offered to
students at no cost.
(3) School entities must shall develop a plan for the
program of accelerated learning in consultation with consistent
with the school entity's application to the department for
funding under section 2001(d) of the American Rescue Plan Act of
2021. A plan shall reflect consultation with students, families,
school and district administrators, including special education
administrators, teachers, principals, school leaders, other
educators, school staff, existing employe organizations and
other appropriate entities, as needed, for the services to be
provided, including local agencies, county health agencies,
mental health agencies and community-based organizations. The
plan for the program of accelerated learning shall be tailored
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to the social, emotional, behavioral and academic needs of
students enrolled in the school entity, utilizing , as
appropriate, formative, diagnostic and benchmark assessments
selected by the school entity. The plan shall be posted on the
school entity's publicly accessible Internet website.
(4) The program of accelerated learning shall be staffed as
follows: If the program of accelerated learning requires
dedicated staffing, assignments shall be made as follows:
(i) Current employes of the school entity shall be given
priority to fill assignments necessitated by the offering of the
program of accelerated learning subject to qualifications for
the assignments . Current employes of the school entity who
accept or are transferred to an assignment in the program of
accelerated learning shall have the right to return to the same
position in the same school or schools upon cessation of the
services provided by that assignment.
(ii) School entities may also hire any of the following
additional school employes to fill assignments necessitated by
the offering of the program of accelerated learning not
otherwise filled by current employes:
(A) Certified professional employes, temporary professional
employes or substitute employes as defined in section 1101,
including, but not limited to, certified school nurses,
certified school psychologists and other certified school staff
who provide students with mental health support as part of the
program of accelerated learning.
(B) Noncertified licensed professionals, including, but not
limited to, behavior analysts, occupational therapists and
social workers.
(C) Education support professionals who provide services to
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school entities and students as part of the program of
accelerated learning.
(iii) School entities may contract with an intermediate unit
to use employes of the intermediate unit to provide services
necessitated by a school entity's program of accelerated
learning .
(5) Upon exhaustion expiration of Federal APR ESSER funding
under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, dedicated to
learning loss, a school entity may suspend individuals hired
under paragraph (4) (4)(ii) based on an alteration or
curtailment of the program under section 1124. Notwithstanding
section 1125.1, suspended employes shall not have realignment or
recall rights. School entities may determine to continue a
program of accelerated learning beyond the exhaustion of Federal
funding, in which case employes assigned to the program of
accelerated learning shall have all rights afforded under this
act, including the rights of professional employes related to
suspension.
(6) If, after a good faith effort, a school entity is unable
to fill accelerated learning assignments arising between two
school years under paragraph (4)(i) or (ii), the school entity
may contract with outside providers to provide tutoring services
or to address the academic, social, behavioral and emotional
needs of students. A school entity may require that an outside
provider utilize appropriately certified staff. All contracts
with outside providers shall expire upon the exhaustion of
Federal funding under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
(b) Each school entity that receives money under subsection
(a) shall report to the department contracts the school entity
enters with an outside provider that will be paid through money
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received by the school entity under subsection (a). The
following shall apply:
(1) The report shall contain, at a minimum, the following
with respect to each contract:
(i) The name of the outside provider.
(ii) The term of the contract, including beginning and
ending dates.
(iii) A description of the services to be provided by the
provider under the contract, including performance measures by
which the school entity will determine whether the outside
provider has satisfactorily performed under the contract.
(iv) A description of the selection process used in
selecting the outside provider.
(v) The amounts paid to the outside provider under the
contract, including an itemized description of the funding
allocated to each service being provided under the contract and
the dates of payment.
(2) The school entity shall submit its report to the
department within ten (10) business days of entering into the
contract. The report shall be submitted electronically using a
form and reporting instructions developed by the department and
shall be posted on the school entity's publicly accessible
Internet website.
(3) The department shall publish the form and reporting
instructions on its publicly accessible Internet website within
thirty (30) days of the effective date of this paragraph.
(4) The department shall compile the information required to
be reported under paragraph (1) and publish the information on
the department's publicly accessible Internet website on a
searchable database. The department shall update the information
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in the database at least monthly. The department shall submit
the compiled and updated information to the Education Committee
of the Senate and the Education Committee of the House of
Representatives.
(5) Each school entity shall provide the department, upon
request, additional reports and information concerning the
contract and the provider as the department may require.
(6) Within sixty (60) days of the end of the contract term,
the school entity shall supplement the report required under
this subsection with an assessment of the benefits derived by
the school entity under the contract.
(b) (1) A ll contracts and expenditures of funds shall
comply with the requirements of Federal and State law,
including, but not limited to, uniform grants guidance at 2
C.F.R. Pt. 200 (relating to uniform administrative requirements,
cost princip les, and audit requirements for Federal awards).
(2) School entity reporting to the department on the program
of accelerated learning shall be pursuant to Federal law, ARP
ESSER guidance and data elements encompassed in a school
entity's application to the department for ARP ESSER funding.
(3) The department shall compile the information required to
be reported under paragraph (2) and publish the information on
the department's publicl y accessible Internet website on a
searchable format. The department shall update the information
in the database at least quarterly. The department shall submit
the compiled and updated information to the Education Committee
of the Senate and the Education Committ ee of the House of
Representatives.
(c) Nothing in this section shall supersede or preempt any
provision of a collective bargaining agreement between a school
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entity and an employe organization . All , or any rights of an
employe organization under the provisions of the act of July 23,
1970 (P.L.563, No.195), known as the Public Employe Relations
Act , including, but not limited to, the right of an employe
organization to exclusive representation of employes hired to
provide accelerated learning . Employe organizations shall not
lose the exclusive right to bargaining unit work by virtue of a
school entity's operation of a program of accelerated learning
under this section.
(d) As used in this section, the following words and phrases
shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless
the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"ARP ESSER ." Section 2001 of the American Rescue Plan Act of
2021 (Public Law 117-2, 135 Stat. 4).
"COVID-19 pandemic." The global pandemic declared by the
World Health Organization on March 11, 2020.
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Employe organization." A public school employe organization
or an agency or employe representation committee or plan in
which membership is limited to public school employes, and which
exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with
public school employers concerning grievances, public school
employe-public school employer disputes, wages, rates of pay,
hours of employment or conditions of work. The term shall not
include an organization which practices discrimination in
membership because of race, color, creed, national origin or
political affiliation.
"Program of accelerated learning." A student-centered
program designed by a school entity based in part on data-driven
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assessments, including formative, diagnostic and benchmark
assessments, as well as direct input from educators, that is
evidence-based and may include evidence-based supports
recognized by the department within its Consolidated State Plan
required under section 1111 of the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-110, 20 U.S.C. § 6311 et
seq.), for the social, emotional, behavioral and academic needs
of students and that addresses the disproportionate impact of
the COVID-19 pandemic on the student subgroups described in
section 1111(b)(2)(B)(xi) of the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act of 1965 or in section 1111(c)(2) of the Every
Student Succeeds Act, (Public Law 114-95, 129 Stat. 1802),
students experiencing homelessness and children and youth in
foster care. Activities that address learning loss through the
implementation of evidence-based interventions , including summer
learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive
afterschool programs, extended school year programs or other
evidence-based interventions, and ensure that the interventions
respond to students' academic, social and emotional needs and
address the disproportionate impact of the cor onavirus on the
student subgroups described in section 1111(b)(2)(B)(xi) of the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-
10, 20 U.S.C. § 6301 et seq.), students experiencing
homelessness and youth in foster care.
"School entity." A school district, area career and
technical school, intermediate unit, charter school, regional
charter school or cyber charter school. A local educational
agency receiving a subgrant under section 2001(d) of the
American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
"School year." The period of time elapsing between the
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opening of the public schools in the fall of one calendar year
and the closing of the public schools in the spring of the
following calendar year.
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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