29 June 2023- The Pennsylvania House Education Committee today advanced with unanimous, bi-partisan support legislation by Republican Chairman Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Fulton) to change the instructional time requirement to 180 days or 990 secondary and 900 elementary hours.
House Bill 1507 would give all education institutions an increased flexibility in the way in which school districts, intermediate units and career and technical centers schedule instructional time. Doing so allows for increased individualized education, student support and more focused workforce development.
“The bill provides equality across the education spectrum by giving all schools the option for instructional flexibility without needing to request it from the Department of Education,” Topper said.
Topper crafted the legislation after several tours of various schools where administrators indicated the day and hour mandate in current law is creating a barrier to customize schedules to meet the needs of students.
Current law dictates schools provide 180 days of instruction per school year. However, a school board is 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.
House Bill 1507 would set the standard of 180 days or 990 secondary and 900 elementary hours. The bill will now be considered by the full House.