ALLENTOWN – The burden of state mandates on public schools was reviewed in depth during a public hearing of the Senate Education Committee today, according to Sen. Dave Argall (R-29), who chairs the committee.
“We ask our educators to do many things on a daily basis – it’s no surprise this leads to overburdened workers and ever-increasing costs,” said Argall. “As we continue to consider a better way to fund our public schools, making school operations more efficient must be part of the conversation.”
The hearing was requested by Sen. Jarrett Coleman (R-16), who introduced Senate Bill 569 to reinstitute a mandate waiver program that operated from 2000 to 2010. Over 700 applications were approved during the previous program, saving a significant amount of local taxpayer dollars.
The committee heard testimony from representatives of public schools including Dr. Mark Madson, the Superintendent of Parkland School District, and Andy Christ, the Senior Director of Education Policy at the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.
The committee then heard testimony from Dr. Tina Chekan, the CEO and Superintendent of Propel Charter Schools, and Dr. Michael Herrera, the Executive Director of Upper Bucks Technical School about how mandates affect their institutions.
Their testimony focused on many of the most burdensome requirements schools face, citing examples regarding school construction, advertising, and requests for information via the Right-to-Know law.
“Education is the most important item in our entire state budget,” Argall continued. “We need to ensure that these dollars are being spent on what truly matters – preparing our children for the future.”
CONTACT: Jim Brugger, 717-787-2637