Rep Topper’s school instructional time flexibility bill signed into law

18 December 2023- A new law on the books gives Pennsylvania schools more flexibility when it comes to providing educational opportunities to students, said Republican Chairman of the House Education Committee, Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Fulton), who sponsored the bill. 

Act 56 of 2023, formerly House Bill 1507 changes the instructional time requirement from just 180 days to either 180 days or 990 secondary and 900 elementary hours. 

“Giving schools more options to tabulate instructional time provides educators and administrators a better opportunity to meet the needs of students,” Topper said. “This legislation was developed in consultation with the Superintendent’s Association and will lead to more participation in internships and extended career and technology hours, allowing for increased individualized educational opportunities, student support and more focused workforce development.”

The previous law required schools to provide 180 days of instruction per school year. However, a school board was permitted to request a school week be comprised of 27.5 hours as the equivalent for five school days. Additionally, the secretary of Education can approve, upon request, a school term containing a minimum of 990 secondary or 900 elementary hours of instruction as the equivalent of 180 school days.

Act 56 removes the approval process and automatically sets the standard of 180 days or 990 secondary and 900 elementary hours per year.