Oct. 05, 2020 / Newspaper Columns

By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne)

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives gave unanimous, bipartisan approval to a bill this week to help address several education-related issues brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With the normal teacher certification processes disrupted, Senate Bill 1216 would authorize the Department of Education to issue temporary certificates in certain circumstances, such as when individuals have completed all of their teacher preparation requirements except their final assessment. It would also make changes to help undergraduate students and paraprofessionals.

The bill would require the Department of Health or local health department to report to a school entity any positive or presumptive cases of COVID-19 in a student, employee or contractor of a school entity. The school entity would then be required to notify students, parents and employees. It also would postpone implementation of the Keystone Exam graduation requirements until the 2022-23 school year.

Finally, the bill would ensure school districts continue to provide transportation services for nonpublic school students this school year. The measure would apply if the school district provided transportation services for nonpublic school students last school year, even if transportation is currently not being provided to school district students.

The measure now returns to the Senate for its consideration.

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
RepToohil.com / Facebook.com/RepToohil