Promoting fiscally responsible funding and 21st century academic standards.



  • Act 1A of 2016 (2015-16 Budget) provides a $200 million increase in Basic Education funding.
  • Act 16A of 2016 (2016-17 Budget) increases the state’s share of PreK-12 funding by $665 million to a historic high of $11.7 billion.
  • Act 33 of 2015(Ward) continues the Ready to Succeed Scholarship Program, a new scholarship program administered by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.
  • Act 1 of 2016 (Smucker) delays the Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement for two years.
  • Act 4 of 2016 gives schools greater flexibility to meet the state’s 180-day requirements for classroom instruction after emergency and weather-related closings.
  • Act 10 of 2016 allows municipalities, school districts and municipal authorities to generate non-tax revenue by expanding the financial products in which they may invest their general funds.
  • Act 26 of 2016 establishes the “Work Experience for High School Students with Disabilities Act.”
  • Act 31 of 2016 expands the requirement for written anti-hazing policies to any public or private secondary school providing instruction in grades 7 through 12.
  • Act 41 of 2016 (Tomlinson) ensures that the intellectual property rights of faculty members of state-owned universities are protected at the same level as at private universities.
  • Act 56 of 2016 (Vogel) eliminates the mandate that school districts annually inform parents by physical mailing when the district uses school bus audio and video.
  • Act 86 of 2016 (School Code) permits administrative partnerships so that two or more school entities may share personnel and administrative services to reduce costs. Act 86 of 2016 (School Code) permits administrative partnerships so that two or more school entities may share personnel and administrative services to reduce costs. Provision from Senate Bill 1332 (Aument).
  • Act 86 of 2016 (School Code) reenacts the Education Improvement Tax Credit and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit and increases the EITC tax credit from $100 million to $125 million.
  • Act 86 of 2016 (School Code) requires in statute that the Department of Education post annual financial information related to public schools on its website as part of the SchoolWATCH initiative to promote accountability and transparency.
  • Act 86 of 2016 (School Code) helps alleviate the substitute teacher shortage by allowing college students who have completed 60 credit hours and are enrolled in a teacher preparation program to substitute for a limited number of days in any school district in the Commonwealth. Provision introduced as Senate Bill 1312 (Smucker).
  • Act 86 of 2016 (School Code) boosts the availability of vocational education teachers by authorizing the Department of Education to grant provisional education certificates to individuals who have completed required vocational education work.
  • Act 86 of 2016 (School Code) establishes the Drug and Alcohol Recovery High School Pilot Program to provide instruction meeting State academic standards for students in grades 9 through 12 who are in recovery from drug or alcohol abuse or addiction.
  • Act 86 of 2016 (School Code) establishes the E-chievement Program to award grants on a competitive basis to school entities that wish to establish hybrid learning programs that blend digital resources with traditional classroom teaching. Provision introduced as Senate Bill 924 (Aument)
  • Senate Bill 6 (Smucker) allows districts to plan and adopt turnaround models for school improvement or contract with outside educational providers to deliver services.
  • House Bill 147 proposes amending the state Constitution to allow for the complete elimination of residential school property taxes through the homestead exclusion. (Approved by Senate and House.) 
  • Senate Bill 359 (Greenleaf) revises Pennsylvania’s truancy laws by providing new procedures to be followed when a child becomes truant and additional procedures if a child becomes habitually truant.
  • House Bill 805 keeps the best teachers in Pennsylvania’s classrooms and boost student achievement by ending the practice of seniority-based layoffs. (Vetoed)
  • Senate Bill 862 (Smucker) amends the School Code to align with stricter child abuse clearance changes made in the Child Protective Services Law.

Senate Education Committee
Basic Education Funding Commission
PA School Performance Profile
Safe Schools Report