Representative Stephen Bloom
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam
RepBloom.com / Facebook.com/RepBloom/Twitter.com/RepBloom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2015
Senate Committee Approves Bloom Bill to Protect Excellent Teachers
HARRISBURG — The Senate Education Committee today advanced legislation, authored by Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland), which aims to keep Pennsylvania’s best teachers in the classroom and boost student achievement by ending seniority-based layoffs.
Seniority-based layoffs are dismissals conducted in order of inverse seniority. The last teacher hired is the first person fired, regardless of his or her impact on students.
"Excellent educators are the foundation of a quality education system," Bloom said. "Shocking as it may sound, under current Pennsylvania law, quality of teacher performance is not even considered in determining which teachers stay and which teachers go."
The Protecting Excellent Teachers Act (House Bill 805) would strengthen the teaching profession and boost student success by ensuring that school districts use teacher performance to guide furlough and reinstatement decisions. Performance ratings would be based on the comprehensive statewide educator evaluation system adopted in 2012, under which observed educators are assigned a rating of distinguished, proficient, needs improvement or failing.
The legislation also prohibits a school district from using a teacher’s salary amount in determining which teachers to suspend.
"House Bill 805 is about looking beyond the narrow-minded existing approach of mandating layoffs based strictly on seniority. Instead, we can give our students the chance to learn with the very best teachers," Bloom added. "Our kids and our teachers deserve the best teachers in their classrooms."
House Bill 805, which was passed by the House on June 23, now awaits consideration by the full Senate.
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