June 16, 2018
House Education Committee Members
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Re: Safe2Say, Senate Bill 1142;
House Bill 2432 dealing with textbooks;
House Bill 1097 CPR
On behalf of our 4,500 publicly elected members, The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) is providing comments on several of the bills being considered by the House Education Committee on Monday June 19, 2018.
Senate Bill 1142: The shock and fear generated by the recent succession of school shootings in our Nation, and other violent acts in schools have led to increased concern about the danger of school emergencies. Public Schools in the Commonwealth take the safety of students entrusted to our care as the top priority and have had school security at the center of our mission for many years. Common sense legislative reforms that assist our schools in protection students are always welcome. That is why the PSBA supports Senate Bill 1142, sponsored by Senators Pat Browne and Vincent Hughes, as it would provide a usable anonymous reporting system to inform schools of potential threats.
School officials are intensifying their efforts and abilities to identify and prevent potential threats, and to respond to all threats swiftly and safely. Preventing injury of our students is not only an ethical responsibility, it is also a legal obligation. Without question, children need to feel safe in order to be attentive in school and to achieve academically. It is our responsibility to ensure that our schools remain safe and that children may learn without fear of danger. A simple anonymous tip line is utilized in some of our schools, but not in all.
House Bill 2432: Legislation that provides greater flexibility for school boards to determine when to adopt textbooks is welcome. PSBA supports Representative Tom Quigley’s House Bill 2432.
House Bill 1097: PSBA is concerned with legislation that mandates CPR training courses because of increased cost; compliance, and the impact on locally developed curriculum. Local control and creativity should be maintained and encouraged, and the implementation of additional unfunded mandates should be avoided.
As a membership-driven organization that is pledged to the highest ideals of local lay leadership for public schools PSBA works to support reforms for the betterment of public education and to promote the achievements of public schools, students and local school boards. We want to thank you for your attention to these important issues and the dedication you have shown to the students of this great Commonwealth.
John M. Callahan, Chief Advocacy Officer