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Education Update

Below is the current Education Update.  Click here for a list of other recent updates.

Congratulations to our retiring school leaders! Looking to stay connected?
 
To our Superintendents and school leaders retiring this year - Congratulations! We thank you for your years of dedication and leadership which have had a positive impact on your students, staff, and school community. We wish you the very best as you embark on a new chapter filled with well-deserved rest and new adventures!
 
Retiring, but want to stay involved?  Stay connected to PASA and offer your services as an interim superintendent or as a mentor for our new school leaders!  
  • For more information on PASA’s New Superintendent Induction Program: Mentors for New Leaders and to apply, visit PASA’s website.
  • If you are interested in serving as an interim superintendent, please contact Adam Kulikowski at pasa@pasa-net.org.
 
Save the Date:
Build on the discussion from PASA’s Leadership Forum with Authors Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski!
 
Join authors Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski for a book study on their acclaimed read, “When You Wonder, You’re Learning: Mister Rodgers’ Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative, Curious, Caring Kids”
 
Dates:
Thursday, September 26 from 7-8 p.m.
Thursday, October 3 from 7-8 p.m.
 
Click here to learn more and register for this free learning opportunity!
 
PASA’s New Superintendents’ Academy! (Phase 1)
Are you or will you soon be taking on a new role as chief school administrator? GET READY!
 
The Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) encourages new superintendents to attend the high-value, three-part New Superintendents' Academy that will provide you with an in-depth overview about your new role. Sessions vary in theme and are led by experienced Pennsylvania superintendents and education experts who offer information and practical advice regarding the complicated issues and challenges unique to your new leadership role.  This series is aimed at enhancing your leadership skills and capacities in the key areas of Strategic and Cultural Leadership, Systems Leadership, and Professional and Community Leadership.
 
BONUS! The Academy provides you, as a first-time superintendent, with an excellent opportunity to network with your peers and build a network of colleagues from across the state! Additionally, you will have the opportunity to gain a statewide perspective from participants and session leaders representing the diversity of districts across the Commonwealth.
 
*PIL CREDIT* Each two-day session of the Academy is approved for 25 hours of PIL/Act 48 credit, predicated upon program attendance and completion of the embedded activities.
 
Introduction to the Superintendency – July 30: The First 100 Days (no cost)
 
Part 1 – September 25-26:  Strategic & Cultural Leadership
Part 2 – November 21-22:  Systems Leadership
Part 3 – January 16-17:  Professional & Community Leadership
(Note: Although Academy programs are sequential, new superintendents are urged to attend them as they are able.  Academy programs are repeated annually.)
 
Investment:
Complete Series:
$800 for PASA members | $950 for nonmembers
Single two-day Program:
$280 for PASA members | $330 for nonmembers
 
Registration to open later this week!
 
Note: Stay tuned for more information on New Superintendents’ Academy, Phase 2 coming soon!
 
New Superintendent Induction Program: Mentors for New Leaders
PASA’s New Superintendent Induction Program provides needed support and guidance for beginning Superintendents by providing an experienced superintendent mentor to help with the transition into the Superintendency. This program facilitates a working relationship between the Superintendent and an experienced Mentor that allows for open and private discussions and provides resources to sustain school system leaders.
 
For more information and to apply, visit PASA’s website.
 
What School Leaders Need to Know About Title IX Regulation Changes: 

The U.S. Department of Education recently released revisions to Title IX. The amended Title IX regulations, which will be effective on August 1, 2024, make several important changes to the protections for LGBTQ+ students, employees, and parents and the processes K-12 schools use to address reports of sex-based discrimination, including harassment and retaliation, under Title IX.
 
AASA developed the resources below to help school leaders understand the regulations that will go into effect next school year.  
In Health, Safety, Equity & Learning News…
Louisiana Pilot Program Tests New Kind of Reading Exam That Could Be A Model Imagine you have a test coming up. Wouldn’t you like to know what might be on it? That may seem like a fair question, but millions of kids are sitting down for reading tests this spring with no idea what they will cover. This approach to reading tests makes the U.S. an international outlier. According to David Steiner, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, most countries test kids on a core body of knowledge that’s widely  communicated in advance. American-style tests do the opposite. Their content is a surprise to everyone, so no one can get a leg up and prepare unfairly. But this effectively treats reading comprehension as a separate, isolated skill apart from background knowledge, and researchers like Hugh Catts have pointed out that this isn’t aligned with the research on how kids learn to read. Read the rest of the story: “Louisiana Pilot Program Tests New Kind of Reading Exam That Could Be a Model” (from, The74, 6/6/24)
 
When Does A School Closure Become Discriminatory? As a growing number of districts consider closing schools to cut costs, civil rights groups want guardrails to ensure students of color don’t bear the brunt of those decisions. They’ve asked the U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights to draw a line in the sand by issuing guidance about when school closures run afoul of federal civil rights laws by placing an unfair burden on students from a racial or ethnic minority group or students with disabilities. Read the rest of the story: “When Does A School Closure Become Discriminatory?” (from, EducationWeek, 6/5/24)
 
Cardona Denies Title IX Athletics Rule Delays Are Due To Election Year — U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona denied claims on Thursday that the long-awaited Title IX athletics final rule is being delayed because of the presidential election. Rather, he said, it’s because the department wanted to release the broader Title IX rule as soon as possible for schools that were awaiting its release, and to protect victims of sexual violence, while officials worked their way through comments on the proposed athletics rule. Read the rest of the story: “Cardona Denies Title IX Athletics Rule Delays Are Due To Election Year” (from K-12 Dive, 6/4/24)
 
In State News…
PA House Takes First Step To Make Fair Education Funding Plan Into Law  Pennsylvania school districts would save more than $500 million a year under a proposal to set a statewide tuition rate for cyber charter schools that’s part of state House Democrats’ education plan. The $8,000-per-student cap is part of an 87-page education funding bill that will go to the state House for consideration. The House Education Committee approved the bill in a 14-11 vote Tuesday along party lines with all Republicans in opposition. Although the bill is not technically part of the budget that the General Assembly must pass by June 30, it incorporates Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal to increase education funding to close gaps between the state’s wealthiest schools and those with fewer resources.  Read the rest of the story: “PA House Takes First Step To Make Fair Education Funding Plan Into Law” (from, Pennsylvania Capital-Star, 6/4/24)
 
Making School Fun The Key For PA Teacher Of The Year Finalist From Berks  —  Bo Shappell doesn’t remember much Latin. He took the course back when he was a student at Exeter High School. But over the years, the vocab and conjugations and grammar have mostly slipped his mind. What he hasn’t forgotten, though, is how he felt in that class. “The teacher made class fun,” he said. That teacher, Michael Kittsock, ended up being a finalist for the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year Award. He also inspired Shappell to want to teach. Now in his 15th year teaching in the Daniel Boone School District, Shappell has not only followed in Kittsock’s footsteps in pursuing a career in education, but also in being honored by the state for his work. Read the rest of the story: “Making School Fun The Key For PA Teacher Of The Year Finalist From Berks” (from Reading Eagle, 6/3/24)
 
Western PA Education Leaders Seek Solutions To Statewide Teacher Shortage Crisis  —  Thousands of teaching positions in Pennsylvania were vacant or filled by someone on an emergency certificate in the past year, leaving education across the state in crisis mode, one industry onlooker said. More than 2,000 teaching positions were vacant in Pennsylvania as of October, according to data released by the state. A December amendment to the school code enabled the Department of Education to collect and release teacher vacancy data for the first time. Six in 10 of those positions were filled with a substitute teacher, while 40% remained vacant, resolved by teachers covering classes during their free periods or students being assigned to other sections of a course. Read the rest of the story: “Western PA Education Leaders Seek Solutions To Statewide Teacher Shortage Crisis” (from Trib Live, 6/9/24)

In National and International News...
Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Create Federal Guidance For AI In Schools  A bipartisan bill recently introduced in the Senate seeks to authorize the U.S. National Science Foundation to develop guidance on artificial intelligence in pre-K-12 classrooms — particularly for low-income, rural and tribal students. Under the NSF AI Education Act of 2024 introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., the National Science Foundation would establish scholarships for future teachers to study AI in addition to professional development opportunities for current educators. Read the rest of the story: “Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Create Federal Guidance For AI In Schools” (from, K-12 Dive, 6/5/24)

3 Ways Districts Can Prepare For Financial Woes To Come — Districts will weather a slew of financial storms in the coming years—but school finance experts believe those that take time to carefully strategize investments will have an easier time navigating the chaos. That could mean developing employee recognition programs to help improve retention of valued staff members; making detailed budget projections four or five years in advance; and scrutinizing the ongoing impacts of new programs to determine whether they should keep going.  Read the rest of the story: “3 Ways Districts Can Prepare For Financial Woes To Come” (from, EducationWeek, 6/4/24)
 
Good Student-Teacher Relationships Spiked During COVID. How To Get Them Back — Given people’s forced isolation during COVID, the middle of the pandemic seems like the last place to find positive lessons about improving relationships. Yet, new data illuminates a social bright spot from the nation’s schools. The data, from Panorama Education — a company that helps school districts understand the perspectives and experiences of their students, families and teachers — found that students in grades 3 to 12 felt unusually positively toward their teachers in 2020, a year when nearly all indicators of student success were in freefall. Read the rest of the story. “Good Student-Teacher Relationships Spiked During COVID. How To Get Them Back” (from The74, 6/5/24)
 
What Brain Science Says About How To Better Teach Teenagers   Ellen Galinsky has been on a seven-year quest to understand what brain science says about how to better teach and parent adolescent children. The past few years have seen advancements in our understanding of this time — where the brain is going through almost as much change as during the earliest years of a child’s life. In the past, Galinsky says, researchers and educators have focused too much on portraying the emotional turmoil and risky decision-making that is typical in adolescence as negative. “The biggest breakthrough,” she argues, “is that we now understand that what we saw as problematic, what we saw as deviant, what we saw as immature, was in fact a developmental necessity.” Read the rest of the story: “What Brain Science Says About How To Better Teach Teenagers” (from, EdSurge, 5/21/24)
 
Why Schools Need An Incident Response Recovery Plan Today — Incident response plans provide a critical blueprint for how schools can withstand a cybersecurity attack or natural disaster and maintain cyber resilience. However, a 2023 CoSN survey revealed that only 41 percent of K–12 schools had implemented an IR plan. For many technology leaders, time can be a hindrance in forming a plan, explains Neal Richardson, technology director for the Hillsboro-Deering School District, in New Hampshire. Read the rest of the story:  “Why Schools Need An Incident Response Recovery Plan Today’” (from EdTech, 6/4/24)
 
 
Key Legislative Updates:
 
HB 2370 A Thorough and Efficient System of Public Education (Sturla): Recommitted to the House Appropriations Committee (6-5-24):
Includes cyber charter funding and accountability reforms (as was set in HB 1422) –
  • Beginning in the 2024-2025 school year, a cyber charter school shall be paid by a student's school district of residence using the Statewide Cyber Charter School Tuition Rate, or the rate calculated under section 1725-A(a)(2), whichever is lower.
(c)  For the 2024-2025, 2025-2026 and 2026-2027 school years, for non-special education students, a cyber charter school shall receive for each student enrolled eight thousand dollars ($8,000). This amount shall be the Statewide Cyber Charter School Tuition Rate.
(f)  For special education students, a cyber charter school shall receive the Statewide Cyber Charter School Tuition Rate adjusted as follows:
(1)  For each special education student enrolled in the cyber charter school, multiply the Statewide Cyber Charter School Tuition Rate by one and sixty-four hundredths (1.64).
(2)  If the cyber charter school determines that the annual expenditure for providing special education specific services and programs to an enrolled student is likely to meet or exceed the amount specified under section 1372(8) for Category 2, the cyber charter school may apply to the department for an increase in the Statewide Cyber Charter School Tuition Rate for the student.
Plus, many other accountability measures….
This bill also would:
  • Increase the stability and predictability in PA’s current fair funding formula.
  • Determine an adequate spending target for each school district and commits to paying down the adequacy gap over a period of seven years.
    • Statewide, the state is responsible for a $5.1 billion adequacy gap across 371 school districts
    • Closing this gap over a 7-year period requires a $735 million adequacy investment each year
    • School districts are required to spend these funds on programs that are proven to improve student success.
  • Provide tax equity payments for the school districts with the highest tax burdens relative to their local resources.
    • This funding ($1 billion over seven years) will help 169 school districts provide property tax relief or mitigate future increases
Note: This spreadsheet contains the 2024/25 estimates and the 7-year adequacy and equity gaps by school district from the Basic Education Funding Commission’s majority report.
 
PASA has shared one concern with HB 2370:
Not included is the $200 million annual increase in BEF formula.
This concern particularly plays out when reviewing this section of HB 2370 where we prioritize the funding, as this $200 million is missing in the priority listing.  We recommend it is added as top priority - under (i) with the resetting of the base.
 
SB 801 Literacy Achievement for all Pennsylvanians (Aument, A. Williams)
This bill would work to improve literacy through a three-stage approach: First, with evidence-based reading curricula, the bill would bolster literacy instruction, ensuring literacy achievement for children across the Commonwealth. Second, through a universal screening, beginning in the first 30 days of school, a process would be outlined to identify struggling readers. Finally, by looking at the screening data, intervention plans would be developed to prevent children from falling behind.
Updates:
  • We anticipate action on this bill this week in the Senate Appropriations Committee. 
  • Likely to be amended to include a scaffolded approach to implement in schools over several years (K and 1- 1st year, 2nd added year 2, etc.) and include a requirement to use approved Professional Development programs.
 
SB 913 (Langerholc) - Requiring Parental Consent for School Based Web Counseling Services
  • (c)  Obtaining consent.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a school entity providing or coordinating virtual mental health services shall, no later than 14 days after the beginning of the school year, obtain a completed form with the consent of the parent or guardian of a student who is under 18 years of age prior to providing or coordinating virtual mental health services to the student.
  • (d)  Consent required.--A school entity may not provide or coordinate any virtual mental health services for a student whose parent or guardian has not provided consent under this section.
  • Amendment anticipated
 
SB 971 (Coleman) - Weapons in Schools: Providing for the notification of parents and guardians when a weapon is brought onto school grounds or related activities.
  • Amendment–
  • Adds (3) If the school building at which the incident occurs shares a campus with other school buildings, the school entity shall make notification to parents and guardians of students enrolled in or attending, or school employees assigned to, any building situated on the shared campus.
  • Amend Bill, page 2, by inserting between lines 25 and 26 (5) Subject to 20 U.S.C. § 1232g (relating to family educational and privacy rights), a school employee to whom a student in possession of a weapon under subsection (a) is assigned shall be deemed to be a school official with legitimate educational interest in the student, and the school entity shall notify the school employee of the student's identity and portion of the student's records relating to the incident.
 
SB 1171 (Argall) - Volunteer Training for the Administration of Emergency Seizure Treatment in Schools
  • (2)  It is the policy of this Commonwealth to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people by permitting a school district or charter school participation in a program to provide, in the absence of a credentialed school nurse or other licensed nurse onsite at the school or charter school, emergency medical assistance to pupils with epilepsy suffering from seizures.
  • (3)  In order to meet that goal, it is the intent of the General Assembly that licensed health care professionals train and supervise employees of school districts and charter schools to administer an emergency anti-seizure medication to children with epilepsy in public schools.
  • (1)  In the absence of a credentialed school nurse or other licensed nurse onsite at the school or charter school, a school district or charter school may elect to participate in a program to allow nonmedical employees to volunteer to provide emergency medical assistance upon request by a parent or guardian.
 
SB 1175 (Phillips-Hill) – Providing for State convention or association, delegates, expenses, and membership.
  • The Pennsylvania School Boards Association shall be considered a State-affiliated entity under the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the "Right-to-Know Law."
 
SB1252 (Argall) – Requiring Reporting of School Building Conditions
  • c)  Duty of the Department.--By October 1, 2024, the Department shall develop a facilities condition assessment form for a school entity to use in filing assessments under subsection (d). The form shall require the following information to be reported:
  • (1)  School entity enrollment.
  • (2)  A list of the names, addresses, building age, including dates and descriptions of major renovations, owned or leased status, including who is responsible for maintenance, of all school entity buildings.
  • (d)  Duty of school entities.--By October 1, 2025, and every seven years thereafter, a school entity shall submit a facilities condition assessment to the department. The assessment may be conducted by an individual with professional qualifications and experience in architecture, engineering, construction or facilities management.
 
HB 2386 PN3248 (Topper)- expand the scope of grants available for administrative partnerships.
Referred to the House Education Committee (6-5-24)
  • Legislation that will expand the scope of grants available for administrative partnerships, ensuring that they encompass instructional programming partnerships and consolidation feasibility studies. By providing financial incentives, this legislation aims to empower school entities to explore and embrace innovative models of collaboration that will yield lasting benefits for our educational system and the students it serves.
 
 
Other Legislative Updates from Last Week:
 
HB 755: First consideration in House Education Committee (6-3-24)—Requires public and private school districts to have available a device that has proven successful in removing airway obstructions. (Bonner)
  • Section 1426. Portable Airway Clearance Devices.--(a) Each school entity shall provide at least one portable airway clearance device in each of the school entity's cafeterias and in or outside of the office of the school nurse. Each device shall be placed in an unlocked and easily accessible location during the school day. The location of each device shall have an appropriate identifying sign.
  • (b) Each school entity shall develop guidelines for the use of a portable airway clearance device….  Etc.
 
HB 851: Third consideration and final passage by a 117-85 vote in the House (6-4-24)—This bill amends Public School Code, in school health services, establishing and providing for Menstrual Hygiene Products Accessibility Grant Program; and making an appropriation. The appropriation was amended on May 7 from $100,000 to $3 million and also lowered the eligibility threshold grants to schools that have just 25 percent free or reduced lunch.
 
HB 1084: First consideration in House Education Committee (6-3-24)— Ensuring Lifesaving Asthma Medication is Available for Students -Amends the Public-School Code to authorize a school entity through a school nurse or trained school employee to provide, administer, and store in supply, bronchodilators prescribed to students.
  • (d)  A school entity may, with a valid prescription under subsection (b), accept a donated bronchodilator, including a device or device component necessary to appropriately administer the bronchodilator. The school entity may seek and apply for funding, including Federal, State, local or private grants, to purchase a bronchodilator, including a device or device component necessary to properly administer the bronchodilator.
  • (e)  A physician or certified registered nurse practitioner may refill any used or expired prescription for a bronchodilator in the name of a school entity. The school entity shall maintain the prescription for the bronchodilator as deemed necessary by the school entity for the purposes specified under this section.
Amended by Rep. Pete Schweyer to clarify conflicting language and allow the school entity to implement a reporting system.
 
HB 1097: Passed in the Senate by a 50-0 vote (6-5-24)—This bill would require schools to conduct a 9/11 moment of silence and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to identify a model 9/11 curriculum.
 
HB 1367: Third consideration and final passage in the House by a vote of 102-100 (6-4-24)— This bill provides for mental health awareness for student athletes, parents, guardians and coaches. It also requires the Department of Health and Department of Education to develop materials to inform and educate students about athletic activity about the nature and warning signs of mental health distress, mental health illness and related issues.
-Reported as amended.
 
  • HB 1367 was amended on May 7 to require PDE & DOH to jointly develop or identify model curriculum & educational materials that a school entity or NPS may use in providing mental health awareness education to students.
 
HB 1685: First consideration in House Education Committee (6-3-24)— This bill would require the presence of an AED at all interscholastic events. (Brennan)
  • Each school entity and nonpublic school shall have an automated external defibrillator present at all interscholastic athletic events, including practices, sponsored by the school entity or nonpublic school. (2) The automated external defibrillator required under this subsection may either be property of the school entity or nonpublic school or on the premises with emergency medical personnel.
Amended by Rep. Prokopiak to repeal sections of the school code that currently cover CPR and AED's and consolidates them into a new section with improved requirements.
 
HB 1990: First consideration in House Education Committee (6-3-24)— Requires all school nurses and school professional employees who have direct contact with students complete training that is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and addresses the signs and symptoms of a seizure as well as how to provide first aid treatment if a student has a seizure.
  • (1) A school nurse [may] shall complete a Department of Health-approved online course of instruction or in-person training for school nurses regarding management of a student with seizures that includes information about seizure recognition, a seizure action plan and related first aid.
  • (2) A professional employee of a school entity, other than a school nurse, whose duties at the school entity include direct contact with students [may] shall complete a Department of Health-approved online course of instruction or in-person training regarding awareness of a student with seizures that includes information about seizure recognition and related first aid.
Amended by Rep. Kazeem to add a clause to eliminate liability for those without medical background/experience.  It also changes the school year to 2024/25.
 
HB 2185: First consideration in House Education Committee (6-3-24)— Directs the Department of Education to develop and distribute a fact sheet to parents and guardians of students educating them about the warning signs of Type-1 Diabetes.
  • Section 1414.12.  Type 1 Diabetes Education Parental Notification.--(a)  The department, in coordination with other entities deemed appropriate by the department, shall develop type 1 diabetes informational materials for parents and guardians.
  • (Beginning January 1, 2025, each school entity shall make the informational materials developed under subsection (a) available in writing to the parent or guardian of a student when a student is first enrolled in elementary school and again upon a student's entry into grade six.
Amended by Rep. Isaacson to change department to the Department of Health and add that the materials be available electronically and posted to the school entity’s website.
 
HB 2371: Referred to the House Education Committee (6-3-24): This legislation would require the State Board of Education to conduct a thorough study every five years, beginning in the 2024-25 school year, on how school entities are offering Holocaust, genocide, and human rights instruction. 
 
SB 1104: Referred to the House Education Committee (6-4-24) Passed in the Senate by a 29-21 vote (6-3-24)— This bill would allow high school juniors and seniors to earn up to two credits toward their graduation requirement for employment in a congregate health care setting (nursing facility, personal care home, assisted living residence, or hospital).
 
Upcoming Legislative Schedule – (Subject to change)
 
House of Representatives:
Next Session: June 10 at Noon
 
Senate:
Next session: June 10 at 1 p.m.
 
Senate Scheduled Session Days:
June:10, 11, 12, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30  
 
 
House Scheduled Session Days:
June:10, 11, 12, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
 
 
On the PASA Calendar…
 
July 30:                     New Superintendents’ Academy: Introduction to the Superintendency Webinar
August 4-6:                PA Educational Leadership Summit (PA Principals Conference)
September 12-13:      PASA Board of Governors Meeting
September 25-26:      New Superintendents Academy (Phase 1): Strategic & Cultural Leadership
October 6-8:              PASA/PSBA Fall Conference
October 23-24:           AASA/PASA National Certification Program
October 30-31:          Assistant Superintendent/Supervisors Summit
November 5:             Women’s Caucus Fall Dinner (Southeastern)
November 14:            PASA Awards of Achievement and Annual Meeting
November 15:            PASA Board of Governors Meeting
November 21-22:       New Superintendents Academy (Phase 1): Systems Leadership
 
Click here to view the full calendar of events.
 
(PDF for Printing)