Senate Education Committee Votes to Repair Schools, Protect Parental Rights

HARRISBURG – Legislation to gather information about the conditions of schools to determine how much funding is needed for repairs was approved by the Senate Education Committee today. Senate Bill 1252, sponsored by Sen. Dave Argall (R-29), would require school districts to report the condition of all school buildings to the Department of Education every seven years.

“Too many of our older schools are delaying needed repairs and use dark, hot, windowless, uncomfortable classrooms,” said Argall. “No student should ever be expected to learn properly in these sorts of conditions. I introduced this legislation, as the chair of the Senate Education Committee, after visiting schools like Panther Valley Elementary School and seeing how serious the need is for major repairs and upgrades.”

The committee also approved legislation to strengthen parental rights in Pennsylvania schools. Senate Bill 913, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Langerholc (R-35), requires parental consent for students under 18 years of age to receive virtual mental health services while at school.

Argall said that he’s heard many parents express serious concerns about the materials their children can freely access in public schools without their knowledge.

“The mental health crisis our children are grappling with is unprecedented. It’s important to continue providing resources so everyone can get the help they need, but parents need to be involved every step of the way,” said Argall.

The committee voted to advance three additional bills.

Senate Bill 971, sponsored by Sen. Jarrett Coleman (R-16), would require schools to notify parents and school employees of an incident involving the possession of a weapon on school property.

Senate Bill 1171, sponsored by Argall, would allow teachers and other school staff to volunteer to administer emergency seizure treatment after completing training conducted by a licensed health care professional.

Senate Bill 1175, sponsored by Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28), would require the Pennsylvania School Boards Association to comply with the requirements of Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law, which outlines transparency requirements for state agencies and other affiliated entities.

All legislation approved by the committee now advances to the full Senate for consideration.

CONTACT: Jim Brugger

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