Webster introduces legislation aimed at strengthening school boards

HARRISBURG, Sept. 22 – State Rep. Joe Webster, D-Montgomery, is introducing a package of legislation that would ensure school board members continue to expand their capacity to meet the needs of students across Pennsylvania.

Webster’s first bill would increase the number of required training hours for new school board members, from five to 14. Training for reelected school board members, moreover, would be increased from three hours per term to four. The training would include topics such as instruction, fiscal management and operations.

“The better informed our school board members are in their decision making,” Webster said, “the more they can ensure our schools are providing the best education possible – while being fiscally sound.”

Webster also is introducing a bill that would allow school board members to enroll tuition-free at any institution within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in specified courses that have a connection to their role and responsibilities as school board members.

“It is important that we give school board members the ability to learn and refine the required skills of their role,” Webster said. 

The final bill among the three-bill package would allow school board members to be compensated for their work, subject to the approval of the board itself.

Per the bill, any salary approved by the school board would be equal to the compensation limits for an individual locally elected to serve in a municipality where the school district is located.

Webster cited the importance of the work of school board members, stating that "school board members oversee a vital public institution with dozens of hours of their personal time each week devoted to this duty. We should compensate them for the often thankless work they do for our schools and our kids."