Bill Text: PA HB351 | 2009-2010 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Further providing for combination of school districts; providing for referendum on combination of school districts and for assistance for countywide school districts; and further providing for elections or appointments in newly formed districts and for duties of superintendents.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 16-6)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2009-02-10 - Referred to EDUCATION [HB351 Detail]

Download: Pennsylvania-2009-HB351-Introduced.html

  

 

    

PRINTER'S NO.  382

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

HOUSE BILL

 

No.

351

Session of

2009

  

  

INTRODUCED BY MAHONEY, BEYER, CALTAGIRONE, CUTLER, FRANKEL, GALLOWAY, HALUSKA, HORNAMAN, KIRKLAND, LEVDANSKY, LONGIETTI, McILVAINE SMITH, PRESTON, REICHLEY, SCAVELLO, SEIP, SIPTROTH, STURLA, SWANGER AND WHITE, FEBRUARY 10, 2009

  

  

REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, FEBRUARY 10, 2009  

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

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Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An

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act relating to the public school system, including certain

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provisions applicable as well to private and parochial

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schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the

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laws relating thereto," further providing for combination of

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school districts; providing for referendum on combination of

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school districts and for assistance for countywide school

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districts; and further providing for elections or

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appointments in newly formed districts and for duties of

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superintendents.

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The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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hereby enacts as follows:

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Section 1.  Section 224 of the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30,

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No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, added December

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7, 1965 (P.L.1034, No.385), is amended to read:

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Section 224.  Combination of School Districts.--Any two or

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more school districts or administrative units may combine to

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create a larger school district. [The] Except as provided in

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section 224.1, the board of school directors of each school

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district desiring to form such a combination shall, by a

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majority vote, adopt a resolution outlining the areas to be

 


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combined and file an application for approval with the

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[Superintendent of Public Instruction] Department of Education.

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The [Superintendent of Public Instruction] Department of

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Education shall place on the agenda of the State Board of

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Education each such application for its consideration.

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The State Board of Education shall review each application

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upon its agenda and approve such applications as it deems wise

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in the best interest of the educational system of the

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Commonwealth.

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The State Board may continue the application on its agenda

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and may permit any school district or interested party,

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aggrieved by the petition, to file its objection. Such objection

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shall set forth the basis for and facts of aggrievement.

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If an application is not approved it shall be returned to the

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applying districts for resubmission in accordance with such

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recommendations as may be attached thereto.

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When an application receives approval, the State Board of

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Education shall direct the [Superintendent of Public

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Instruction] Department of Education to issue a certificate

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creating the new school district, listing the name, constituting

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components, classification and effective date of operation.

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Section 2.  The act is amended by adding sections to read:

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Section 224.1.  Referendum on Combination of School

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Districts.--(a)  In any county with a school district of the

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second, third or fourth class, the county commissioners may, by

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majority vote, adopt a resolution to place a question on the

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ballot to determine the will of the electors with respect to

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combining all school districts in the county into one countywide

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school district. A copy of the resolution shall be filed with

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the board of elections of the county.

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(b)  The county board of elections shall place on the ballot

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a question fairly representing the content of the resolution

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filed under subsection (a) at the next primary or general

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election at least ninety (90) days after the filing of the

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resolution. The election shall be conducted in accordance with

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the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known as the

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"Pennsylvania Election Code."

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(c)  If two-thirds of the electors voting on the question

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under subsection (b) vote in the affirmative, the Secretary of

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the Commonwealth shall transmit notice of the vote to the county

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commissioners and the affected school districts.

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(d)  Upon receipt of notice under subsection (c), the board

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of directors of the school districts within the county shall

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file an application with the Department of Education for

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approval of the combination under section 224.

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Section 224.2.  Assistance for Countywide School Districts.--

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If two or more school districts combine to create a countywide

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school district and at least one of the school districts is a

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school district of the second, third or fourth class, the

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districts shall be eligible for the following:

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(1)  Services of advisors and legal counsel from the

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Department of Education relating to the combination of the

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school districts.

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(2)  Upon application to the Department of Education, a grant

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of two million dollars ($2,000,000) to the new countywide school

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district for expenses related to the combination of the school

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districts.

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(3)  Participation in the Pennsylvania Employee Benefit Trust

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Fund if participation is approved by all organizations

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representing employes of the new countywide school district and

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is not in violation of any collective bargaining agreement. The

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cost of insurance premiums resulting from participation is the

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responsibility of the school district and the employes. The

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Commonwealth shall not be obligated to pay any of the cost of

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participation.

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(4)  At the discretion of the new countywide school district,

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retention of aspects of the identity of the combining school

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districts including:

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(i)  Names of school buildings and other facilities.

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(ii)  School district nicknames and mascots.

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(iii)  Any other indicia of school district identity.

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Section 3.  Section 308 of the act, amended December 7, 1965

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(P.L.1034, No.385), is amended to read:

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Section 308.  Elections or Appointments in Newly Formed

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Districts.--(a)  At the first municipal election occurring more

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than thirty (30) days subsequent to the formation of such new

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school district, a board of school directors for such district

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shall be elected or appointed, as provided in this act. Such

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school directors shall be elected or appointed for such terms

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that the number and terms of those whose places are to be filled

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at each succeeding municipal election shall be the same as the

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number and terms of those whose places are filled at the

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corresponding election in other school districts of the same

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class.

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[When] (b)  Except as provided under subsection (c), when two

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or more school districts are combined into a single district as

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the result of State Board approval, the directors then in office

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in each component school district shall, until the end of their

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respective terms, be directors of the newly formed school

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district. Vacancies occurring in such incumbent positions shall

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not be filled. At the first municipal election following the

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date of establishment of the new district and at each subsequent

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municipal election, three directors shall be elected at large

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for six year terms. Their term of office shall begin on the

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first Monday of December following their election.

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(c)  A countywide board of school directors shall be formed

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to govern a countywide school district established under section

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224.1. The county shall be divided by the county commissioners

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into seven (7) districts of equal population. Each district

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shall elect a county school director to serve a term of four (4)

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years. The county commissioners shall fill any vacancy in the

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office of school director by appointment.

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(d)  The school directors of the component districts of the

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new district before the date of establishment or the board of

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school directors after establishment, may, if they choose,

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develop a plan to divide the new school district into three or

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nine regions in the same manner as provided in section 303 of

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this act.

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Section 4.  Section 1081 of the act, amended January 14, 1970

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(1969 P.L.468, No.192), is amended to read:

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Section 1081.  Duties of Superintendents.--The duties of

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district superintendents shall be to visit personally as often

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as practicable the several schools under his supervision, to

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note the courses and methods of instruction and branches taught,

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to give such directions in the art and methods of teaching in

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each school as he deems expedient and necessary, [and] to report

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to the board of school directors any insufficiency found, so

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that each school shall be equal to the grade for which it was

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established and that there may be, as far as practicable,

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uniformity in the courses of study in the schools of the several

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grades, to hire professional, temporary professional or

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nonprofessional employes and such other duties as may be

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required by the board of school directors. The district

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superintendent shall have a seat on the board of school

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directors of the district, and the right to speak on all matters

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before the board, but not to vote.

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Section 5.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

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