HARRISBURG – Senator Ryan Aument (R-Landisville) today voted to finally pass House Bill 805, legislation designed to protect excellent teachers by ending the current practice of seniority-only based layoffs in Pennsylvania’s schools. Sen. Aument had introduced Senate Bill 5, legislation identical to House Bill 805.
“Today’s vote is an important and necessary step forward for all those that want our public education system to be the very best it can be,” said Sen. Aument. “Research supports and commonsense tells us that the most effective way to improve student outcomes is to have a highly effective teacher in the classroom.”
Under current Pennsylvania law, in the event public school employees are furloughed, they must be dismissed based on their seniority, or longevity serving in the public school government system. House Bill 805 would eliminate that practice, and instead require that educators who are ranked as “failing” or “needs improvement” under the state’s new teacher evaluation system would be the first to be furloughed.
“In the unfortunate event that a school district must furlough a teacher, we need to make sure that the very best remain,” said Sen. Aument. “If we want high performing schools where every child has an opportunity to experience earned success, we cannot allow the vestiges of a system that protects low-performing educators to remain.”
Sen. Aument noted that reforming and improving public education is not an education issue, but an economic and social justice issue as well.
“Government systems, including public schools, should never seek to protect themselves at the expense of those that they are intended to serve,” said Sen. Aument. “For many students in Pennsylvania, they are waiting for policy makers and lawmakers to finally step forward and offer changes that will give remove barriers to their success and promote best management practices that can transform a student’s learning experience.”
House Bill 805 passed the Senate by a vote of 26-22 and now goes to Governor Wolf for his consideration.
“I encourage Governor Wolf to sign this important bill into law and I applaud all those that are willing to do the hard work of education reform and put excellent teachers, parents and students first,” said Sen. Aument.
“For parents and students that have been waiting to have a conversation about schools that doesn’t just focus on giving school government more money, today was an important step forward to make substantive, positive changes.”
Sen. Aument noted that reforming and improving public education is not an JUST education issue, but an economic and social justice issue as well.
CONTACT: Jake Smeltz, (717) 787-4420