Sweeping Reforms Come with Passage of Pennsylvania School Code
November 10, 2017

While many state legislatures have adjourned for the year, there are still a handful of states where advocates are working to achieve their 2017 legislative goals. PIE Network member PennCAN realized one of those victories this week when HB178, more commonly known as the School Code, became law when Governor Wolf choose not to take action on the bill after 10 days on his desk.

“The passage of the School Code (HB178) is a victory for students and a huge step towards achieving an education system that is well resourced, and accountable to taxpayers and families,” said PennCAN Executive Director Jonathan Cetel.

“We are grateful that the House and Senate has continuously made these issues a priority, and we are pleased that Governor Wolf’s actions prove that sometimes good policy can win out over political pressures.”

The School Code addressed many priorities of the education community, but one of the most notable provisions in the new law prevents teachers from being fired solely based on seniority (commonly referred to as Last In; First Out, or LIFO). Under the new provision, in times of economic hardship, school districts have the ability to furlough teachers based on quality and performance, ensuring that students have the best educators working with them in the classroom.

Some of the other notable provisions in the School Code include prohibiting the shaming of students with unpaid lunch debt, the streamlining of charter school operators, and adding an additional $10 million of funding to the tax credit scholarship program.

Interested in learning more about PennCAN and the work they have been doing? Reach out.


Ryan Cantrell

Ryan is PIE Network's Senior Director, Charters, Choice, and Political Engagement


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