Changes to Public School Code Now Law

Changes to Public School Code Now Law

Updating a blog from October that covered proposed legislation to amend the state’s Public School Code in regards to teacher layoffs, which is contained in Section 1124: Causes for Suspension.  The Section currently allows for ” board of school directors [to] suspend the necessary number of professional employes” if there is a decrease in enrollment, curtailment of programs, consolidation of schools or creation of a new school district.

Now the law, which takes effect immediately, will add a fifth reason for suspension, economic reasons.  There are a list of conditions that apply, which are laid out in the statute (see this document, beginning on page 16). In addition to these conditions, a study of the effectiveness of the changes allowing economic reasons for layoffs will have to be completed following the 2012-22 school year.  Time will only tell how many school districts go through the process of, one, laying off teachers, and two, citing the economic reason language as opposed to one of the existing conditions as the reason for the suspensions.

There are other changes that will take place due to the Act, which are described in the fiscal note on the legislation.