– Rep. Mike Peifer (R-Pike/Wayne) announced today that his legislation to help school entities make up instructional time following a weather-, health- or safety-related emergency passed the House unanimously, and is now on its way to the Senate for consideration.
After extended closings became the reality for many Pocono area schools during the Eric Frein manhunt last year, Peifer introduced House Bill 158 to give the secretary of the Department of Education the discretion and authority to issue school emergencies.
“This legislation provides the necessary flexibility for school entities facing the unpredictable loss of instructional days, and further eliminates the need for the General Assembly to address emergencies on a case-by-case and year-by-year basis,” Peifer said.
Under Peifer’s bill, if and when a school emergency is issued by the secretary of Education, entities would be provided instructional flexibility in order to meet the state’s 180-day requirements for classroom instruction. Potential scheduling options for school entities facing extended closings would include approving a school year with a minimum number of hours of instruction, in lieu of the state’s 180-day requirement, and approving additional instruction days on not more than one Saturday a month.
“Schools need to be given the tools to respond to the challenging events that unfortunately occur in our society today,” Peifer said. “This legislation will give them the ability to provide high-quality instruction to their students, while recovering from lost time in a manner that is best for their communities.”
Representative Mike Peifer
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Morgan Wagner