Press Releases

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 8:48 AM

An organization created by state law to offer medical malpractice insurance is threatening to sue if Pennsylvania state government tries to take $200 million from it.
Associated Press, July 31, 2017
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Monday, July 31, 2017 8:56 AM

Act 126 of 2012 (“Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Training”) amended the Public School Code of 1949 to mandate that all school entities and independent contractors of school entities provide their employees who have direct contact with children with a minimum of three hours of training every five years on child abuse recognition and reporting.  The law went into effect on January 2, 2013. 

Training must address, but not be limited to, the following topics:

  • Recognition of the signs of abuse and sexual misconduct and reporting requirements for suspected abuse and sexual misconduct in this commonwealth.
  • Provisions of the Act of December 12, 1973 (P.L.397, No.141), known as the "Educator Discipline Act," including mandatory reporting requirements.
  • The school entity's policies related to reporting of suspected abuse and sexual misconduct.
  • Maintenance of professional and appropriate relationships with students. 

The Professional Standards and Practices Commission (“PSPC”) has worked with PLS 3rd Learning to develop an online training that will satisfy, in part, the mandatory training requirements set forth in Act 126.  The three-hour online course entitled, “Professional Ethics and the Educator Discipline Act”, consists of four modules which are designed respectively to: (1) provide an overview of the laws and regulations that govern the standards of conduct for educators in Pennsylvania and the legal processes for addressing misconduct by educators, including the types of conduct that can trigger discipline under the Educator Discipline Act and the consequences for engaging in misconduct; (2) discuss the student-teacher relationship, including strategies for setting and maintaining appropriate boundaries and the educator’s responsibilities as a role model; (3) examine the concept of educator sexual misconduct, including the legal definition of sexual misconduct, the warning signs of sexual misconduct, offender and victim profiles, the reasons sexual misconduct occurs and prevention strategies; and (4) address the legal and ethical responsibilities to report educator misconduct, including an overview of mandatory reporting requirements under the Educator Discipline Act, how to make a report, protections for those who report and the consequences for failing to report.   

The course is available on the Department of Education’s SAS Portal.  There is no charge for the course.  Participants who do not have a SAS account must first register for one by visiting http://pdesas.org/.  To register for the course, participants must log into the SAS PD center http://pdc.pdesas.org/ and then click on “Course Catalog/Registration” under the menu button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.  The course is listed under the “Non-Facilitated” tab.  When registering for the course, participants will choose a track specific to their role (i.e. teacher, chief school administrator or staff member).  All participants will receive a certificate of completion.  Educators holding Pennsylvania certification will receive Act 48 credit.  A brief assessment will be given at the end of the course.  All content must be viewed prior to taking the assessment and receiving a certificate. 

Additional materials and resources related to professional ethics and professional discipline are available on the PSPC’s website: www.pspc.education.pa.gov.  PSPC staff is also available to provide free workshops for teachers, administrators and staff, as well as students enrolled in teacher preparation programs. 

For questions or to schedule a free workshop, please contact: Shane F. Crosby, Executive Director and Legal Counsel, Office of General Counsel, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Professional Standards and Practices Commission, Phone: 717.787.6576; Email: shcrosby@pa.gov.

 

 
Monday, July 31, 2017 8:39 AM

The substitute teacher shortage is one of the ripple effects from the wider teacher shortage afflicting Pennsylvania. With fewer people seeking teacher certification, the pool of substitutes has shrunk considerably as well.
Allentown Morning Call, July 31, 2017
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Monday, July 31, 2017 8:38 AM

More families are opting out of the traditional school system and sending their kids online. Last school year, 35 students from Union City Area SD (Erie) were enrolled in cyber charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run. That’s out of almost 11,000 students. Each child who leaves takes about $10,000 in school funding with them — $20,000 if they have special needs.
WESA 90.5, July 28, 2017
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Monday, July 31, 2017 8:36 AM

This is a strange state budget cycle. The $32 billion spending bill for 2017-18 is now law, but out of balance. The state Senate on Thursday voted on and passed $530 million in new taxes with no pre-vote buy-in from the House of Representatives -- something that no one working in the Capitol now remembers happening before.
PennLive.com, July 29, 2017
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Friday, July 28, 2017 9:50 AM

The time to go back to school is coming soon, and that may require a trip to the doctor’s office for some kids. This spring, the Pennsylvania Department of Health put forth a new rule requiring students be up to date on all vaccinations by day five of the school year. Otherwise, they may not be allowed at school.
ABC27, July 27, 2017
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Friday, July 28, 2017 9:49 AM

Tucked into a piece of budget legislation outlining how Pennsylvania education money is to be spent is a controversial new measure that would allow school districts to furlough staff for economic reasons.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 27, 2017
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Friday, July 28, 2017 9:48 AM

Whenever legislative leaders can successfully push difficult legislation through their chamber it is, to them and their staffs, a victory. But Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) was not exactly celebrating moments after a tax-filled revenue package narrowly passed, 26-24, Thursday morning.
ABC27, July 27, 2017
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Thursday, July 27, 2017 12:29 PM

The federal government funded about 30.6% of Pennsylvania's budget in 2015, according to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The organization's website includes an interactive graphic to compare state's federal funding.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 26, 2017
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Thursday, July 27, 2017 12:27 PM

Pennsylvania is ranked 45th nationally in the amount of state support for schools. In 1971, according to Temple University's Center for Regional Politics, it provided districts with 54% of their money. That number is down to 35%. In the suburbs of Bucks and Montgomery counties, many districts are funded below 20%, relying heavily on local funding.
Bucks County Courier Times, July 27, 2017
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P.O. Box 39, 122 Valley Road, Summerdale, PA 17093 Phone: (717) 732-4999 Fax: (717) 732-4890
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