On Oct. 15, 2016, school directors from districts across the state came together at the Delegate Assembly meeting to adopt PSBA’s 2017 Legislative Platform. The Legislative Platform is a series of statements that serves as PSBA’s official record of positions on legislative issues and is the guide for the association’s advocacy efforts. It contains two sections: the Legislative Priorities and the Core Legislative Principles and Supporting Concepts.
Each year, items in the platform are developed by school boards and receive initial consideration by the PSBA Platform Committee. Proposals recommended by the Platform Committee are presented to the Delegate Assembly for final determination. Selection of the Legislative Priority issues is a different process that begins with a survey sent by PSBA to all individual school directors asking them to rank various issues. The Platform Committee reviews the survey results and recommends the highest-getting priority issues to be presented to the Delegate Assembly for final approval. View the survey results here.
Part I: Legislative Priorities for the 2017-18 Session
The first section of the platform identifies issues as PSBA’s legislative priorities. These are the highest-need “asks” identified by school directors that PSBA will present to legislators in specific areas that will improve our system of public education. Legislative priorities are developed and adopted by the membership bi-annually, in even numbered years to coincide with legislative sessions. The priority issues for 2017-18 are:
- Address Pennsylvania’s Pension Crisis
- Enact Meaningful Charter School Reforms
- Provide a Continued, Fair Financial Investment for School Districts
Part II: The Core Legislative Principles and Supporting Concepts for 2017
The main body of the platform identifies the Core Legislative Principles and Supporting Concepts, and they are reviewed and adopted every year. The Core Legislative Principles provide the broad policy framework regarding the mission and success of public education, and the responsibilities of local school boards to ensure that a high quality education is provided to each student. These four Core Legislative Principles are:
- Support an Effective Child-Centered Public Education
- Strengthen the Work of Local School Boards
- Support for Increased Equity and Accountability
- Secure Adequate and Equitable Funding
The Supporting Concepts describe in more detail PSBA’s position on legislative issues that are related to each of the Core Legislative Principles.