Public Education Legislation Discussed with Senator and Representatives

More than 110 community members attended the DF meeting with Senator Randy Vulakovich, Representative Dom Costa, Representative Tony DeLuca and Representative Hal English. The discussion spanned property tax reform, charter school funding and accountability, state mandated tests and pension obligations. Senator Vulakovich told attendees that SB76, a property tax reform bill, was “dead.”  Recently introduced legislation was also discussed. Senator Vulakovich touched on SB 383  and Representative English spoke about HB 97

See the Post Gazette’s article on the event http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2017/04/28/Pa-lawmakers-discuss-education-issues-with-parents/stories/201704280018?pgpageversion=pgevoke

Follow Up from Hal English

Representative English sent the following letter for distribution to the DF community. Please read below. At the event and in the letter he references HB 564.

Dear District Forum,

I enjoyed participating in last evening’s Fox Chapel Area District Forum meeting. I believe important topics were discussed and it was good to have input from both Senate and House members.

I mentioned my support of having a civics exam as a high school graduation requirement in Pennsylvania. HB 564 has been introduced as the Civics Education Graduation Requirement and I have co-sponsored it. I support civics testing because it is becoming increasingly apparent that students are graduating from high school without a basic knowledge of U.S. Government structure, history, and geography. This bill ensures that students graduate with the same knowledge as we expect from those being naturalized to become U.S. citizens. Unlike the Keystone exams, the requirements for taking and passing this civics exam are not, in my opinion, onerous for Pennsylvania school districts and students.  The proposed bill requires that to graduate, students must pass a test identical to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service exam. To pass one 100 question test, students must correctly answer only 60% of the questions, equivalent to a low “D” grade. Last night, I invited the audience to take or have their students take the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service exam. For your distribution, more information about the civics exam is available at this link: https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/study-test or a practice test at this link https://my.uscis.gov/en/prep/test/civics/view

I thank you and the parents, teachers, school board members and Dr. Freeman for hosting the forum. It was good to discuss education topics and also to have opportunity to speak with persons individually on a variety of topics after the joint discussion.

Sincerely,

Hal English

State Representative

30th Legislative District

Castletown Square North

4290 William Flinn Highway

Allison Park, PA 15101

Phone: 412-487-6605

 

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