March 20, 2024 PMEA Advocacy Day Information

Wednesday, March 20th – You are invited to join PMEA  in Harrisburg on Wednesday, March 20th to meet with policymakers.  We will ask that you make an appointment with your state representative and state senator.

PARTICIPATE IN PERSON

If you are coming to Harrisburg, and have not let PMEA know, please email us at advocacy@pmea.net so we can provide you with all of the details.

PARTICIPATE VIRTUALLY

For those not attending in person. all music education advocates will be able to advocate to their state representatives via an online form PMEA will distribute. This will literally take just a minute and your participation is extremely helpful in our advocacy efforts.

WHAT TO EXPECT IF YOU’RE JOINING US IN HARRISBURG

Since March 20th is a session day in the state legislature, It is possible to schedule a meeting with your representative. However it is possible you will be scheduled for a meeting with a staffer. There is nothing wrong with that and in many cases can be advantageous.

The capitol complex can be a bit confusing. There will be maps on site but you’ll want to make sure to leave at least 10-15 minutes to get to your meeting from the Main Rotunda or the Irvis Office Building.

PMEA will hold a press conference in the Rotunda on Advocacy Day at 11:30 am. There will also be performances in the capitol building from Pennsylvania schools at 11 am, noon, and 1 pm.

Rotunda
11 a.m. Conestoga High School Camerata, Nathan Shughart, Director
12 p.m. Palmyra Area High School Chorus, Alexis Farrell, Director

East Wing
12 p.m. North Penn High School Orchestra, Erica Milbourne, Director

Also, for those attending in person, we will provide you with a document to share with your representatives. Because we want to make sure every member of the General Assembly receives our message about the importance of music education, we will also ask for some assistance in dropping off these documents to offices where no in-person meetings are scheduled.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN A MEETING

When you are in your meetings, explain who PMEA is and then discuss our legislative asks, which you can find below. Do not discuss other issues. You are representing PMEA and the music education profession. It’s important to have a consistent and unified message from all of our members. If you are asked a question and you don’t know the answer, just say that you will find out and get back to them. If you’ve never been in a legislative meeting, there’s nothing to be nervous about. You’ll find that those you meet with are genuinely interested in listening to you. Always take a card of those you are meeting with and follow up with a thank you email.

It’s possible you will receive some pushback on any of our issues. That’s the nature of how the process works. Remember to stay on message with the talking points provided. Your job is to explain the issues and show representatives where issues exist. Their job is to work on a solution.

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

2024 PMEA Policy Playbook (PDF)

2024 PMEA Legislative Leave Behind Document (PDF)

Background Document – Alternative Credit for Marching Band Participation (PDF)

 What to Expect in a Legislative Meeting if You Are Dropping Off An Information Packet – Some quick information about what you might expect in a legislative meeting.

Pennsylvania Public School Funding History – A history of education funding in Pennsylvania put together by the Education Law Center.

Pennsylvania Arts Education in Public Schools – A review of arts education requirements in Pennsylvania put together by David Deitz.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Harrisburg Parking Information – parkharrisburg.com

Harrisburg Weather – Accuweather.com

Harrisburg Dining – visitharrisburghershey.org

2023-2024 Pennsylvania Budget Enacted

The 2023-2024 Pennsylvania budget was enacted after an over month long impasse. Governor Josh Shapiro signed the budget into law, which enables the state to begin making payments to school districts and other entities. Before he signed the bill, the governor used his authority to veto a $100 million line item appropriation for a tuition voucher program for private and religious schools called the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success Scholarship (PASS). The inclusion of the appropriation was a point of contention between Republicans who support the program and Democrats who oppose it, which lead to the stalemate.

Work on the state budget is not complete without enactment of companion legislation, commonly referred to as “code bills” such as the Fiscal Code which provide for the distribution of funds. The state is expected to begin payments to schools for basic and special education subsidies that are due, funds for other education initiatives are still on hold until the code bills are finalized. Those funds will not be distributed without other legislation that creates the program and tells how those funds are to be spent.  Those programs related to education spending include the Level Up supplements, federal ARPA funding for school mental health grants, and funds for a new stipend program for student teachers. The Senate is expected to return to Harrisburg on August 30 and the House is scheduled to reconvene on September 26.

It is important to note that your advocacy helped to increase the amount of funds going to school districts in Pennsylvania.

Top Level Highlights of the Enacted Budget

Basic Education Funding (BEF) Subsidy: The BEF subsidy received an overall increase of $567 million for a total of $7.87 billion. (Social Security has been separated out and has its own line item.)

Level-Up Supplement: The budget provides $100 million for supplemental funding to 100 school districts. However, legislation is needed to specifically state how those funds will be disbursed.

Special Education Funding (SEF): The budget boosts funding for special education by $50 million, a 3.7% increase, for a total of $1.38 billion.

Ready to Learn Block Grant: A total of $295.5 million is included for the program.

Career and Technical Education: Funding for career and technical education is increased by $14 million for a total of $119 million. This is a 13.3% increase over last year.  The budget also includes a $9.45 million increase for Career and Technical Education Equipment Grants for a total of $15 million.

School Food Services: The budget includes a $46 million increase in funding to provide universal free breakfast to all public school students regardless of income and free lunch to all students who are eligible for reduced-price lunches through the National School Lunch Program.

Stipends for Student Teachers: $10 million is allocated for a new program to support student teachers. However, legislation is needed to specifically state how those funds will be disbursed.

Early Childhood Education: Early intervention funding receives a $10 million increase for a total of $356.8 million. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts is level funded at $302.28 million. The Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program is also level funded at $88.1 million.

School Safety and Security Fund: The budget provides $150 million, which is a decrease of $50 million. There is $50 million allocated for physical safety grants; this is a decrease from the $100 million that was provided in 2022-23.

Mental Health: The budget includes $100 million is for school-based mental health grants by redirecting federal American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds that were originally designated for comprehensive mental health services across all populations. However, legislation is needed to specifically state how those funds will be disbursed.

Trauma-Informed Education: The budget provides $750 thousand for this program.

Teacher Professional Development: The budget provides level funding at $5.04 million.

School Employees’ Retirement: The budget provides approximately $2.99 billion to cover the state’s share of pension costs.

School Employees’ Social Security: The budget provides $621.7 million for the state’s share of Social Security costs.

Pupil Transportation: Funding for pupil transportation is set at $593.1 million. This line item will continue to be regularly adjusted as data is provided to PDE and the legislature regarding formula inputs that dictate funding levels. Nonpublic and charter school transportation is set at $72.25 million.

State Assessment: Funding for state and federal testing programs, including the Keystone Exams and PSSAs, is set at $48 million

You can view specific amounts for your district on the PDE website.

2023 NAMM Foundation Best Communities for Music Education

Congratulations to the 830 school districts that are among the Best Communities in the nation for music education and the 78 schools that were winners for the 2023 SupportMusic Merit Awards.  The award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education.  Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.

Learn more at www.nammfoundation.org

Here are the Pennsylvania Best Communities and SupportMusic Merit Award designees. Congratulations!

BEST COMMUNITIES FOR MUSIC EDUCATION

Clarks Summit PA 18411-9412
Abington PA 19001-4535
Reading PA 19606-1000
Kittanning PA 16201
West Grove PA 19390-8908
Pittsburgh PA 15237
Wingate PA 16823
Bellefonte PA 16823-8436
Bensalem PA 19020
Bethel Park PA 15102 -1689
Newville PA 17241
Beaver Falls PA 15010-1410
Boyertown PA 19512-9699
Lower Burrell PA 15068-8745
Carrolltown PA 15722-7302
McDonald PA 15057
Carlisle PA 17013-2266
Warminster PA 18974
Doylestown PA 18901
Harrisburg PA 17109
Monaca PA 15061
York PA 17406-1554
Fishertown PA 15539
Clairton PA 15025-0481
Clearfield PA 16830
Plymouth Meeting PA 19462
Lancaster PA 17601
Lebanon PA 17042-7595
Newtown PA 18940-2202
Mechanicsburg PA 17050-1711
Milford PA 18337-9454
Hershey PA 17033-1591
Downingtown PA 19335-3459
Dubois PA 15801
North Versailles PA 15137-2726
Emmaus PA 18062
East Stroudsburg PA 18301-2150
Easton PA 18040-8186
Springville PA 18844
Reading PA 19606
Pittsburgh PA 15238-2406
Murrysville PA 15668
Sarver PA 16055-9202
Glen Mills PA 19342-1751
Flinton PA 16640-8900
Shillington PA 19607
Latrobe PA 15650
Hanover PA 17331
Havertown PA 19083
Greensburg PA 15601-6411
Hollidaysburg PA 16648
Vandergrift PA 15690
Kutztown PA 19530
Factoryville PA 18419-0085
Lewisburg PA 17837-1296
Ardmore PA 19003-3338
Huntingdon Valley PA 19006
Williamsport PA 17701-1938
Lancaster PA 17601-2877
Newtown Square PA 19073
Eagleville PA 19403-1048
Lewistown PA 17044
Montoursville PA 17754-1900
Moon Township PA 15108-4202
Mount Pleasant PA 15666-1060
Pittsburgh PA 15228-1107
Nazareth PA 18064
Langhorne PA 19047-8245
New Hope PA 18938
Norristown PA 19403-2745
Pittsburgh PA 15237-5344
PIttsburgh PA 15229-1233
Lansdale PA 19446
Ashland PA 17921-9300
Manchester PA 17345
Loysburg PA 16659
New Tripoli PA 18066
North Huntingdon PA 15642
Oley PA 19547
Oxford PA 19363-1598
Allentown PA 18104-9643
Perkasie PA 18944-1898
Fallsington PA 19054
Collegeville PA 19426-2042
Phoenixville PA 19460-4475
Pine Grove PA 17963
Plum PA 15239
Swiftwater PA 18370-0191
Port Allegany PA 16743
Pottstown PA 19464
Pottstown PA 19464
Red Lion PA 17356-2403
Lancaster PA 17603-5396
Philadelphia PA 19130-4015
Oreland PA 19075-2418
Glenshaw PA 15116
Shenandoah PA 17976-1401
New Castle PA 16101-6095
Quarryville PA 17566
Somerset PA 15501-2513
McDonald PA 15057-0900
Hookstown PA 15050-1439
Center Valley PA 18034-9711
Spring Grove PA 17362-1200
Springfield PA 19064-2348
Royersford PA 19468
State College PA 16801-7951
Stroudsburg PA 18360
Washington PA 15301-5713
Tunkhannock PA 18657-1497
Kennett Square PA 19348
Upper St. Clair PA 15241-2304
Lititz PA 17543-1814
Imperial PA 15126-0035
Exton PA 19341-2850
New Cumberland PA 17070-0803
York PA 17408-9900
Williamsport PA 17701-4137
West Lawn PA 19609-1324
North Braddock PA 15104-2418
Kingston PA 18704-3630
Wyomissing PA 19610
York PA 17403-3097

SUPPORTMUSIC MERIT AWARD

Philadelphia PA 19144-2801
Lancaster PA 17601-4360
McKeesport PA 15132-7400
Clearfield PA 16830-2116
Tidioute PA 16351-1222
Wilkinsburg PA 15221-1607
Wilmerding PA 15148-1233

March 1, 2023 PMEA Advocacy Day Information

Wednesday, March 1st – You are invited to join PMEA  in Harrisburg on Wednesday, March 1st to meet with policymakers.  We will ask that you make an appointment with your state representative and state senator.

Participate In Person

If you are coming to Harrisburg, and have not let PMEA know, please email us at advocacy@pmea.net so we can provide you with all of the details.

Participate Virtually

For those not attending in person. all music education advocates will be able to advocate to their state representatives via an online form PMEA will distribute. This will literally take just a minute and your participation is extremely helpful in our advocacy efforts.

What To ExPECT If You’re Joining Us In Harrisburg

Since March 1st is a session day in the state legislature, It is possible to schedule a meeting with your representative. However it is possible you will be scheduled for a meeting with a staffer. There is nothing wrong with that and in many cases can be advantageous.

The capitol complex can be a bit confusing. There will be maps on site but you’ll want to make sure to leave at least 10-15 minutes to get to your meeting from the Main Rotunda or the Irvis Office Building.

PMEA will hold a press conference in the Rotunda on Advocacy Day at 10 am. There will also be performances in the capitol building from Pennsylvania schools at 11 am, noon, and 1 pm.

Rotunda
11 a.m. Council Rock North & South Choirs, Corey Axler & Ryan Carlin, Directors
12 p.m. Downingtown Middle School and Downingtown West High School Choirs, Hannah Knauss & Matt McCloskey, Directors

East Wing
12 p.m. Lamberton MS String Ensemble, Sara Schmehl, Director
1 p.m. Williamsport Strolling Strings Matthew Radspinner, Director

Also, for those attending in person, we will provide you with a document to share with your representatives. Because we want to make sure every member of the General Assembly receives our message about the importance of music education, we will also ask for some assistance in dropping off these documents to offices where no in-person meetings are scheduled.

What To Expect In A Meeting

When you are in your meetings, explain who PMEA is and then discuss our legislative asks, which you can find below. Do not discuss other issues. You are representing PMEA and the music education profession. It’s important to have a consistent and unified message from all of our members. If you are asked a question and you don’t know the answer, just say that you will find out and get back to them. If you’ve never been in a legislative meeting, there’s nothing to be nervous about. You’ll find that those you meet with are genuinely interested in listening to you. Always take a card of those you are meeting with and follow up with a thank you email.

It’s possible you will receive some pushback on any of our issues. That’s the nature of how the process works. Remember to stay on message with the talking points provided. Your job is to explain the issues and show representatives where issues exist. Their job is to work on a solution.

Important Documents

2023 PMEA Policy Playbook – All of PMEA’s policy asks and the context behind them

2023 PMEA Legislative Leave Behind Document

Background Document – Alternative Credit for Marching Band Participation

 What to Expect in a Legislative Meeting if You Are Dropping Off An Information Packet – Some quick information about what you might expect in a legislative meeting.

Pennsylvania Public School Funding History – A history of education funding in Pennsylvania put together by the Education Law Center.

Pennsylvania Arts Education in Public Schools – A review of arts education requirements in Pennsylvania put together by David Deitz.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Harrisburg Parking Information – parkharrisburg.com

Harrisburg Weather – Accuweather.com

Harrisburg Dining – visitharrisburghershey.org

Pennsylvania Budget Includes More Money For Education

Pennsylvania Budget Includes More Money For Education
Your advocacy has helped to ensure significant increases in education funding for the 2022-23 school year in Pennsylvania. The $45.3 billion budget signed last week represents an increase of $1.3 billion, or 3%, from last year’s budget when supplemental spending and federal stimulus spending are included.

Top Level Highlights

·         A $525 million increase in the Basic Education (BEF) subsidy to be run through the BEF formula.

·         A $225 million Level-Up Supplement for 100 school districts.

·         A $100 million increase in the Special Education (SEF) subsidy.

·         A $6.1 million increase for career and technical education, the first boost for CTE since the 2019-20 budget.

·         $200 million of additional funding for school safety and security and mental health initiatives.

·         The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) received more than a 15% increase, or a $75 million boost, in basic funding, the largest one-time increase since the system was founded in 1983.

·         PASSHE will also receive $125 million in one-time stimulus funds to help it continue to a system redesign.

·         PA Community Colleges will receive an $11 million increase, about 4%.

It is possible that many districts across Pennsylvania did not anticipate this level of funding from the state. Using the links below, you can see how much funding your district will receive. Pay particular attention if your district is receiving any Level Up funding. Now is the time to have conversations with administrators to see if they have unanticipated funding that can be used for music education.

Click HERE for estimated basic and special education distributions for each school district.

Click HERE for the estimated distribution of school safety and mental health grants for each school district.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at advocacy@pmea.net

2022 NAMM Foundation Best Communities for Music Education

Congratulations to the 738 school districts that are among the Best Communities in the nation for music education and the 80 schools that received the SupportMusic Merit Award (SMMA) from The NAMM Foundation! The award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education.  Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.

Learn more at www.nammfoundation.org

Here are the Pennsylvania Best Communities and SupportMusic Merit Award designees. Congratulations!

Best Communities for Music Education

Clarks Summit PA 18411-1737
Abington PA 19001-4535
Reading PA 19606-1000
Kittanning PA 16201-7025
West Grove PA 19390-8908
Pittsburgh PA 15237-1223
Wingate PA 16823-4740
Pittsburgh PA 15236-1817
Bellefonte PA 16823-1613
Bensalem PA 19020-1829
Bethel Park PA 15102-1689
Newville PA 17241-9412
Boyertown PA 19512-9699
Lower Burrell PA 15068-8745
Patton PA 16668-6803
Canonsburg PA 15317-1305
Warminster PA 18974-4866
Doylestown PA 18901-2359
York PA 17406-1554
Clairton PA 15025-1559
Plymouth Meeting PA 19462-1252
Lancaster PA 17601-6006
Lebanon PA 17042-7505
Newtown PA 18940-2202
Mechanicsburg PA 17050-1711
Milford PA 18337-9347
Hershey PA 17033-1591
Dover PA 17315-1306
Downingtown PA 19335-3459
DuBois PA 15801-2408
North Versailles PA 15137-2726
East Stroudsburg PA 18301-2150
Easton PA 18040-8186
Reading PA 19606-2839
Murrysville PA 15668-1551
Sarver PA 16055-9202
Glen Mills PA 19342-1751
Shillington PA 19607-2642
Latrobe PA 15650-3038
Hanover PA 17331-1588
Havertown PA 19083-1532
Greensburg PA 15601-6411
Hollidaysburg PA 16648-2100
Vandergrift PA 15690-1466
Kutztown PA 19530-9693
Lewisburg PA 17837-1296
Ardmore PA 19003-3338
Huntingdon Valley PA 19006
Williamsport PA 17701-1938
Lancaster PA 17601-2877
Newtown Square PA 19073-4647
Eagleville PA 19403-1048
Lewistown PA 17044-1157
Montoursville PA 17754-1902
Moon Township PA 15108-4202
Pittsburgh PA 15228-1128
Nazareth PA 18064-2332
Langhorne PA 19047-8245
Norristown PA 19403-2745
Pittsburgh PA 15237-5344
PIttsburgh PA 15229-1233
Lansdale PA 19446-3961
Ashland PA 17921-9300
Manchester PA 17345-1119
Loysburg PA 16659-9549
Dillsburg PA 17019-9636
New Tripoli PA 18066-2038
North Huntingdon PA 15642-2403
New Hope PA 18938-1392
Oley PA 19547-8774
Allentown PA 18104-2119
Perkasie PA 18944-1898
Fallsington PA 19054-1119
Collegeville PA 19426-2042
Philipsburg PA 16866-2640
Phoenixville PA 19460-4457
Pine Grove PA 17963-1698
Plum PA 15239-1026
Swiftwater PA 18370-0200
Port Allegany PA 16743-1514
Pottstown PA 19464-2303
Pottstown PA 19464-5502
Red Lion PA 17356-9185
Lancaster PA 17603-5396
Philadelphia PA 19130-4015
Oreland PA 19075-2418
Glenshaw PA 15116-2117
Shenandoah PA 17976-1441
New Castle PA 16101-6095
Quarryville PA 17566-1225
Somerset PA 15501-2513
Hookstown PA 15050
Center Valley PA 18034-8439
Scottdale PA 15683-1066
Spring Grove PA 17362-1200
Springfield PA 19064-2348
Royersford PA 19468-2711
State College PA 16801-7951
Stroudsburg PA 18360-1315
Wayne PA 19087-1856
Washington PA 15301-5713
Tunkhannock PA 18657-1200
Kennett Square PA 19348-1531
Maple Glen PA 19002-3315
Upper St. Clair PA 15241-2304
Wallingford PA 19086-6334
Lititz PA 17543-1814
Imperial PA 15126-2161
Exton PA 19341-2850
New Cumberland PA 17070-3099
York PA 17408-9900
Whitehall PA 18052-3408
Williamsport PA 17701-4137
West Lawn PA 19609-1324
Braddock PA 15104-2418
Wyomissing PA 19610-2636
York PA 17403-4256
Herminie PA 15637-1226

SupportMusic Merit Award

PA 17236-9692
PA 17601-4360
PA 19010-2101
PA 15132-7423
PA 16830-2206
PA 16351-1222
PA 15221-1607

View PMEA’s Music Education Advocacy Day Live Stream

To kick off PMEA’s 2022 Advocacy Day, we hosted a special livestream.

The livestream event was hosted by PMEA’s Director of Public and Government Affairs, Mark Despotakis and guests included:

Phil Stattel, PMEA President
Emily Brumbaugh, PMEA Advocacy Council Chair
Miranda Moore, Miss Pennsylvania Candidate
State Senator Carolyn Comitta
SPECIAL GUEST – Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, Noe Ortega

March 29, 2022 PMEA Advocacy Day Information

Due to ongoing COVID and security concerns, PMEA’s 2022 Advocacy Day will be a hybrid event.

Monday, March 28th at 7 pm – Join us at PMEA.net, on Facebook, and on YouTube for a special livestream to celebrate music education in Pennsylvania. We’ll have special guests, explain our 2022 policy issues, and tell you how you can EASILY advocate for music education.

Tuesday, March 29th – All music education advocates will be able to advocate to their state representatives via an online form PMEA will distribute. This will literally take just a minute and your participation is extremely helpful in our advocacy efforts.

A few PMEA representatives will be in Harrisburg on Tuesday, March 29th to meet with policymakers. Any PMEA member is welcome and encouraged to participate as well. We would ask that you make an appointment with your state representative and state senator.

If you are coming to Harrisburg for in-person meetings, please let us know at advocacy@pmea.net We will be able to provide you with further information and answer any questions you might have.

If you plan to attend in person, we encourage you to reach out by phone or email to schedule an appointment with your representatives for March 29th. You can find contact information for your
member of the PA House and your member of the PA Senate when you use the search box to find your representative. If you know of other PMEA members from your area trying to visit the same representative, it’s best to coordinate your meeting time and meet together.

Since March 29th is a session day in the state legislature, It is possible to schedule a meeting with your representative. However it is possible you will be scheduled for a meeting with a staffer. There is nothing wrong with that and in many cases can be advantageous.

The capitol complex can be a bit confusing. There will be maps on site but you’ll want to make sure to leave at least 10-15 minutes to get to your meeting from the Main Rotunda or the Irvis Office Building.

When you are in your meetings, explain who PMEA is and then discuss our legislative asks, which you can find below. Do not discuss other issues. You are representing PMEA and the music education profession. It’s important to have a consistent and unified message from all of our members. If you are asked a question and you don’t know the answer, just say that you will find out and get back to them. If you’ve never been in a legislative meeting, there’s nothing to be nervous about. You’ll find that those you meet with are genuinely interested in listening to you. Always take a card of those you are meeting with and follow up with a thank you email.

It’s possible you will receive some pushback because the budget is a very hot topic in Harrisburg.
Remember to stay on message with the talking points provided. Your job is to explain the issues and show representatives where issues exist. Their job is to work on a solution.

Unlike other years, PMEA will not hold a press conference in the Rotunda on Advocacy Day. However, at noon in the Capitol Rotunda in March 29th, Senator Carolyn Comitta will offer some remarks and the Great Valley Middle School Orchestra will perform. You are welcome to attend that event.

Also, for those attending in person, we will provide you with a document to share with your representatives. Because we want to make sure every member of the General Assembly receives our message about the importance of music education, we will also ask for some assistance in dropping off these documents to offices where no in-person meetings are scheduled.

2022 PMEA Policy Playbook – All of PMEA’s legislative asks and the context behind them

2022 PMEA Legislative Leave Behind Document

Background Document – Physical Education Credit for Marching Band Participation

 What to Expect in a Legislative Meeting if You Are Dropping Off An Information Packet – Some quick information about what you might expect in a legislative meeting.

Pennsylvania Public School Funding History – A history of education funding in Pennsylvania put together by the Education Law Center.

Pennsylvania Arts Education in Public Schools – A review of arts education requirements in Pennsylvania put together by David Deitz.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Harrisburg Parking Information – parkharrisburg.com

Harrisburg Weather – Accuweather.com

Harrisburg Dining – visitharrisburghershey.org

Substitute Teacher Legislation Signed Into Law

On Friday, Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 91 of 2021 into law. Act 91 is intended to assist with the current substitute teacher shortage. Highlights of the bill include:
  • For the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years, allows a school employer to hire a retiree if there is an emergency or shortage of day-to-day substitute teachers.
  • Allows individuals holding day-to-day substitute permits to serve as a substitute in any certificate area for up to 20 days substituting for the same teacher. If the service exceeds 20 days, a long-term substitute permit is required. An individual may serve as a day-to-day substitute for more than one educator as long as each assignment does not last more than 20 days.
  • Allows individuals holding a valid and active Pennsylvania certificate or comparable out-of-state certificate to serve as a day-to-day substitute in the individual’s certificate area for up to 20 days. If the service exceeds 20 days or if a certified individual is substituting outside of their certificate area, an emergency permit is required.
  • Expands the substitute teacher program for prospective teachers for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years by removing the 10-day limit to substitute for the same teacher and 20-day limit to serve as a substitute for multiple teachers.
  • Extends the time limit for an individual with an inactive certification to be employed as a substitute from 90 days to 180 days.
  • Allows individuals who have completed a teacher preparation program and are in the process of scheduling the required testing to be issued a temporary substitute certificate. For the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years, the certificate may be used for assignments of more than 20 consecutive days.
  • Creates a new permit for a classroom monitor to deliver assignments that are pre-planned by a teacher. The monitor may not plan lessons, create or grade student work. The monitor must meet certain education requirements and/or be currently employed as a paraprofessional.