HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill that changes the way teachers are laid off, prohibits “lunch shaming,” and makes several other changes to the Public School Code.
The Senate voted 35-15 on Wednesday to concur with House amendments to House Bill 178.
The teacher furlough bill, originally introduced by Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) as House Bill 1495, would require districts to end seniority-based layoffs and use teacher performance ratings during budget cuts.
The language to prohibit “lunch shaming” – where children are singled out in an attempt to collect a cafeteria debt from parents – would require districts to serve meals to any student who wants one. Schools could not humiliate children, require them to do chores, or order them to throw a served meal in the trash.
The bill would also delay the implementation of the Keystone Exam as a graduation requirement until the 2019-20 school year, require public schools to conduct annual security drills, include opioid abuse and prevention in the drug and alcohol curriculum, and increase the Educational Improvement Tax Credit by $10 million.