HARRISBURG – Nobody wants to see school districts cut teachers and staff, but when the decision must be made, Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) believes the best teachers must be protected from cuts. Grove’s House Bill 779 would modify the public school code to allow for furloughing teachers for economic reasons.
“With personnel costs comprising a majority of a school district’s budget, districts need the ability to exercise maximum flexibility and discretion to more freely manage their personnel costs,” Grove said. “My legislation will provide districts with the utmost flexibility in hiring, maintaining and managing personnel, giving districts another cost-cutting option to consider in difficult economic times instead of forcing them to eliminate or reduce programs or increase property taxes.”
At a public hearing on Tuesday, the House Education Committee heard from a number of education professionals who supported the legislation, including the former heads of teacher unions.
Additionally, in making decisions regarding the furloughing of professional employees, school districts should not be limited to making those decisions solely on the basis of seniority. House Bill 779 also modifies the Public School Code to give districts the ability to retain employees based upon program needs, employee qualification and employee performance instead of seniority, ensuring the best overall teachers are retained, and not just those who have been there the longest.
The legislation will be voted on by the education committee in an upcoming meeting.
News Release via Representative Seth Grove
196th District – Pennsylvania House of Representatives