Emergency education bills to pay employees and shorten school year go to Gov. Tom Wolf to sign


HARRISBURG, March 26 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, voted for a school code relief package that would provide financial relief to the Scranton School District and other schools in Pennsylvania because of the COVID-19 crisis.

The legislation passed both the House and Senate and awaits the governor’s signature.

 “This package of bills we passed was critically necessary so the Scranton and Abington school districts and schools in Pennsylvania don’t lose state funding,” Flynn said.

“Teachers are still doing their best to educate students with online learning and staff are still cleaning the buildings and providing emergency lunches during this dangerous situation, so it’s crucial that they get paid.”

The changes would apply to school districts, intermediate units, career and technical schools, charter schools and cyber charter schools.

Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered all K-12 schools to remain closed at least through April 6.

Flynn said the legislation also shortens the school year. The bill waives the 180-day state mandate and provides waivers to shorten the hours required for preschool, career and technical programs and the 12-week requirement for student teachers.

Flynn said the Pennsylvania Department of Education will apply for a waiver from conducting PSSA and Keystone Exam testing in 2020.

“We are in unchartered territory with the COVID-19 outbreak, so we needed to adjust legislation to fit the circumstances,” Flynn said.

More on the package of education bills is available at www.education.pa.gov.