York County House Republicans Back Legislation to Give Schools Scheduling Flexibility
HARRISBURG – York County’s three Republican representatives on the House Education Committee are urging Gov. Tom Wolf to sign into law legislation that would give school districts options when it comes to atoning for school schedules impacted by bad weather. Majority Chairman Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion), Seth Grove (R-Dover) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York Township) issued their call following passage of House Bill 158, which also expands background checks for prospective school employees.

“The recent snowstorm brought back memories of the 2014-15 school year, which stretched into early summer because of the harsh winter that preceded it,” said Saylor. “House Bill 158 would give school superintendents some flexibility as they try to avoid adding an inordinate number of days to the end of the school calendar.”

Pennsylvania’s Public School Code requires districts to provide 180 days of instruction. House Bill 158 would allow the secretary of education to declare emergency situations for individual districts, and in turn give those districts some alternative scheduling choices.

“School boards of those districts could vote to essentially redefine the individual requirement of their school year and set the goal of 900 hours of instruction at the elementary level and 990 hours of instruction at the secondary level in lieu of 180 days,” Grove added. “School districts would also have the option of adding no more than one Saturday of classes per month, with the understanding that no tests could be scheduled on that Saturday.”

House Bill 158 also expands a district’s ability to research a prospective employee during the hiring process.

“Anyone being evaluated for employment would be subject to a criminal background check of going back no more than five years. Current law allows only a one-year look back,” Phillips-Hill said. “School employees and independent contractors would also be required to provide school administrators with updated criminal history records every five years.”

York County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Scott Little