Feb. 25, 2015

HARRISBURG – Charter school reform, reducing the cost of college and support for technical career training are among the subjects of a four-bill package of legislation passed Wednesday by state Rep. Will Tallman (R-Adams/Cumberland) and majority members of the House Education Committee. The bills may now be considered by the full House. 
“I applaud my chairman and York County neighbor, state Rep. Stan Saylor from Red Lion, for bringing up these bills and helping to move them out of committee,” Tallman said. “These are investments on a number of education fronts that will improve the quality of student we as a Commonwealth produce.”
Headlining the package of bills is House Bill 530, which would bring about major reforms to Pennsylvania’s 18-year-old Charter School Law. The legislation would create a Charter School Funding Advisory Commission to examine actual costs involved in educating a charter student, as well as compare the academic performance of a charter school’s students with that of their school district of residence.
“House Bill 530 merges into charter school law aspects of Pennsylvania’s Public School Code, such as the method by which teachers are evaluated,” added Tallman. “The legislation also includes savings for taxpayers and school districts, in addition to increasing accountability for charter schools, leveling the playing field in education and allowing parents to comparison products.”
The committee also passed House Resolution 102, sponsored by Saylor and Minority Chairman James Roebuck (D-Philadelphia), which would create a subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness. Its purpose would be to investigate, review and make recommendations concerning career training programs to ensure that every student has the opportunity to pursue a meaningful career.
“The average starting salary of technical school graduates locally is $50,000, yet we are having problems filling the estimated 300 vacancies that exist in trades such as welding and machinists,” said Tallman. “We do a disservice if we try to point every student toward college and this subcommittee will better align talent with career opportunities.”
In addition to House Resolution 102, the following bills were passed unanimously by the committee: