s part of the 2012-13 state budget, Governor Tom Corbett signed into law several bills that affect the Public School Code of 1949. These bills were passed in addition to Act 82 of 2012. Please note that this is a summary and further guidance on the implementation of these provisions will be forthcoming.
Act 31 of 2012 exempts a person who holds the qualifications of a teacher under Section 4(2) of the Private Driver Education or Training School Act from an Article 12 certification provided that the employing school district has posted the vacant position for a minimum of 10 days on the district’ss web site and no qualified candidate certified by the Department of Education to teach driver and safety education is available. For additional information, contact Terry Barnaby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Act 126 of 2012 requires school entities and independent contractors to provide their employees, who will have direct contact with children, with mandatory child abuse recognition and reporting training. Employees shall complete three hours of training every five years. Employees required to undergo continuing professional development under Section 1205.2 shall receive credit for the training provided that the program is approved by the department. For more information, contact Mike Kozup at email@example.com.
Act 59 of 2012 requires information about the signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest to be handed out to parents of children wishing to participate in interscholastic athletics. An informational meeting on this subject is required. A student-athlete displaying the signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest must be removed from play and coaches must participate in annual training on the subject. For more details, contact Mike Kozup at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Act 101 of 2012 requires information about the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries to be handed out to parents of children wishing to participate in interscholastic athletics. An informational meeting on this subject is required. A student-athlete displaying the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries must be removed from play and coaches must participate in training on the subject. For more information, contact Mike Kozup at email@example.com.
Act 141 of 2012 requires PDE to develop and implement an early warning system to identify school districts experiencing mild financial difficulties. Districts that meet the criteria established by PDE would be declared in Financial Watch Status based on data provided to the Department by the districts. PDE will notify districts that they have been designated in Financial Watch Status and provide these districts with technical assistance. The act also provides for the Secretary to declare a school district in Moderate Financial Recovery Status or Severe Financial Recovery Status. School districts in financial recovery status may apply for an interest-free loan through PDE’ss financial recovery transitional loan program to implement components of their financial recovery plan. School districts may only receive one loan from this account per fiscal year. For additional information, contact Amy Morton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Act 69 of 2012 allows a private, nonprofit college or university to offer an additional degree or to institute an additional major or program as long as the college or university is accredited and has operated continuously in the commonwealth for 10 years, or the department approves the additional degree, major, or program. Contact Jill Hans at email@example.com for additional information.
Act 132 of 2012 authorizes state-owned universities and system employees to enter into economic development agreements that benefit the State-owned universities and system employees. “Economic development agreement” is defined as an agreement that allows a State-owned university to develop and market intellectual property owned or created by a State System of Higher Education employee. For more information, contact Jill Hans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Act 134 of 2012 authorizes the State System of Higher Education to enter into an agreement with any entity for the cooperative use of supplies or services. All purchases and agreements made pursuant to this subsection must be the result of a system of competitive bidding and in accordance with Pennsylvania law. For more information, contact Jill Hans at email@example.com.
Act 85 of 2012 established the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program to provide low- and moderate-income students in low-achieving schools the option to apply for a scholarship to attend a participating public or nonpublic school. PDE will notify districts that have one or more low-achieving schools by Aug. 1, 2012, and by Feb. 1 of each year thereafter. For additional information, contact Steve Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org.