June 12, 2017
Pennsylvania House, State Government Committee
RE – House Bill 1479
On behalf of the 4,500 elected officials who govern the commonwealth’s public school districts, we are writing to request your support of House Bill 1479, sponsored by Representative Brad Roae. This legislation would amend the Prevailing Wage Law by exempting school districts from prevailing wage if they are in “financial watch” or “financial recovery status” as designated by the PA Department of Education.
House Bill 1479 would provide much needed flexibility and cost savings for financially struggling districts. Currently, the Prevailing Wage Act places costly mandate on our school districts that diverts money from the classroom. School districts need the ability to focus their limited resources on the educational programs that will ensure their students’ future success instead of spending taxpayer resources on items with no educational return on investment.
While PSBA supports the real of prevailing wage for school construction and maintenance. We believe that House Bill 1479 is a good first step and could serve as a pilot program to show the savings and benefits of allowing school districts to invest money in the classroom instead of toward inflated construction costs.
I appreciate your time and attention to these matters. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at (717) 506-2450 x3337.
John M Callahan, Assistant Executive Director