House Committee OKs Bloom Bill to Protect Excellent Teachers
6/19/2017
HARRISBURG – The House Education Committee today took an important step toward keeping Pennsylvania’s best teachers in the classroom and boosting student achievement by voting to end the practice of seniority-based layoffs, said Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland), prime sponsor of the Protecting Excellent Teachers Act.

“Current law requires the elimination of entire education programs when schools face economic challenges, along with many excellent teachers,” Bloom said. “This bill would end the misguided mandate that forces our local school boards to make those decisions, ensuring the best teachers can be kept in the classroom and valuable programs can be saved.”

Known as the Protecting Excellent Teachers Act, House Bill 1495 would instead require teacher performance to guide furlough and reinstatement decisions.
Teacher performance ratings are already assigned under a comprehensive statewide educator evaluation system, which is based on a balanced matrix of classroom observation and student academic growth. Observed educators earn a rating of distinguished, proficient, needs improvement or failing.

“Pennsylvania spends billions on public education every year,” Bloom explained. “This bill would make sure that we’re investing wisely by keeping our most effective teachers in our classrooms, rather than elevating teacher seniority over teacher success.”
Bloom added that Pennsylvania is one of only six remaining states that require seniority to be the sole factor in determining layoffs.

“The Protecting Excellent Teachers Act is about looking beyond the narrow-minded approach of mandating layoffs based strictly on seniority. Instead, we can give our students the chance to learn with the very best teachers,” Bloom added.

House Bill 1495 now awaits consideration by the full House.

Representative Stephen Bloom
199th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Abbey Haslam
717.260.6222
ahaslam@pahousegop.com
RepBloom.com / Facebook.com/RepBloom / Twitter.com/RepBloom

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