House Education Committee advances bills supporting students & strengthening schoolteachers

HARRISBURG, June 12 – The PA House Education Committee, chaired by state Rep. Peter Schweyer, today advanced three bills which provide support for Pennsylvania students and educators.

“Many students in Pennsylvania begin their higher education studies at area community colleges before transferring to a traditional four-year college or university,” said Schweyer, D-Lehigh. “This legislation would ensure students who earn their associate degree are able to transfer to four-year schools as a Junior.”

According to Schweyer, the House Education Committee approved the following bills at today’s meeting:

  • HB 897 – would make it easier for PA students to transfer credits from an accredited community college to a four-year PASSHE school.
  • HB 1331 – would provide PA student teachers a cost-of-living stipend helps them learn and earn as they prepare to build the next generation.
  • SB 84 – would protect teachers’ right to Freedom of Religious Expression.

Added Schweyer, “We’re also continuing to address the teacher shortage crisis which continues to impact Pennsylvania students. Recruiting and retaining quality teachers is a high priority. We shouldn’t be asking student teachers to have to dig into their own pockets to pay to learn to teach.

“Right now, a teacher who wears a cross, Star of David, crescent, or any symbol or garb which professes their faith are subjected to year-long suspensions for the first offense and a firing for a second offense. For a state founded for religious freedom, this is unfair to teachers and we need to fix it.”

All three bills will now be brought to the full House for consideration.