RULES AND REGULATIONS
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
[22 PA. CODE CH. 49]
Certification of Professional Personnel
[52 Pa.B. 2451]
[Saturday, April 23, 2022]
The State Board of Education (Board) amends Chapter 49 (relating to certification of professional personnel) to read as set forth in Annex A. Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 50 Pa.B. 7164 (December 19, 2020).
The Board is acting under the authority of sections 1109, 1141, 2603-B and 2604-B of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. §§ 11-1109, 11-1141, 26-2603-B and 26-2604-B).
Chapter 49 sets forth requirements for educator preparation, certification, induction and ongoing professional education.
In July 2018, the Department of Education (Department) invited interested stakeholders to participate in dialog on issues surrounding educator preparation and certification. Attendees at forums held in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh provided input on potential changes to state policy that could strengthen preparation and certification and strategies to advance the Department's other priorities for the educator workforce, including diversifying Pennsylvania's educator workforce and ensuring all students have equitable access to effective teachers. Stakeholder feedback from these convenings was considered in tandem with a review of research on the impact and effectiveness of policy changes suggested by stakeholders in a report prepared for the Department by the Learning Policy Institute (LPI).
Guided then by input from diverse stakeholders and a review of related academic literature, the Secretary of Education (Secretary) presented a set of recommendations for updating Chapter 49 to the Board in November 2018. The Board accepted the Secretary's recommendations on its agenda for consideration and initiated a major review of Chapter 49 that is to occur at 10-year intervals per 22 Pa. Code § 49.51(b) (relating to review of certification) with the Secretary's recommendations serving as a starting point for that review.
The Board, through its Teacher and School Leader Effectiveness Committee (Committee), held four public hearings on the Secretary's recommended updates to Chapter 49 and invited additional testimony from stakeholders on the Chapter broadly. In advance of the hearings, draft proposed amendments to Chapter 49 prepared by the Secretary were posted on the Board's web site for public review. Hearings were held at the Philadelphia School District administration building on March 4, 2019, at the Department of Education in Harrisburg on March 14, 2019, at Lock Haven University on March 28, 2019, and at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit on April 23, 2019. In addition to providing an opportunity to testify before the Committee, the Board also invited individuals to submit written testimony on draft proposed amendments to Chapter 49.
Individuals affiliated with small businesses were welcome to participate in the public hearings convened by the Committee and to submit written testimony to the Board. In addition, the Board invited comments on the impact of draft proposed amendments on small businesses directly from the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business prior to adopting the proposed rulemaking.
Comments received during this process were taken into consideration by the Board in making further amendments to the Secretary's recommendations. Draft proposed amendments to Chapter 49 were reviewed and approved by the Committee and by the Council of Higher Education before being adopted by the Board as a proposed rulemaking at its public meeting on July 8, 2020.
The Board's proposed rulemaking was published at 50 Pa.B. 7164 for a 30-day public comment period. The Board received and considered comments from faculty in schools of education, educators and parents, as well as comments from the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).
The Board prepared amendments to this final-form rulemaking to address concerns raised by stakeholders and IRRC through public comment. Those amendments clarified the scope of applicability of requirements for training in structured literacy, deleted references to ''cognitive competencies'' that was identified as duplicative, deleted a proposal to permit the Secretary to determine the length of field experiences for prospective educators that more appropriately should be considered through amendments to Chapter 354 (relating to preparation of professional educators), and deleted the proposal for annual data reporting on first-generation students that are admitted, retained and graduated from educator preparation programs that affected stakeholders identified as not reasonable. The additional amendments also established new definitions for ''cultural awareness'' and ''trauma-informed approaches to instruction,'' as suggested by IRRC, to provide greater clarity in this final-form rulemaking. Final amendments also deleted a proposal to permit school psychologists with 5 years of satisfactory experience to be issued a Special Education Supervisory certificate in response to concerns raised by faculty in schools of education and parents over whether school psychologists have the requisite knowledge and skills to support and evaluate special education teachers, whether they have the requisite knowledge to design, implement and assess related instructional programs, and whether the change may exacerbate the shortage of school psychologists. Finally, the Board made other clarifying amendments in this final-form rulemaking as requested by IRRC. Those clarifying amendments are explained in detail in the following section titled ''Summary of the Final Rulemaking.''
A revised final-form rulemaking encompassing the amendments previously described was approved by the Council of Higher Education and by the Board on September 9, 2021.
Need for the rule
This final-form rulemaking has two aims—conforming the chapter to changes in State statute and enhancing educator preparedness by establishing new training requirements related to culturally responsive and sustaining education (CR-SE), structured literacy and professional ethics.
The majority of final amendments reflect technical amendments to align certain provisions of Chapter 49 with statutory changes to the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. §§ 1-101—27-2702), clarify ambiguous language and update language for relevancy.
Substantive changes related to educator training are needed to address concerns surrounding this Commonwealth's supply of effective educators. Chapter 49 directs the Department to report annually to the Board on the status of certification in the Commonwealth (see § 49.51(a)). Data presented in the Department's July 2020 annual human capital report shows that enrollment in traditional educator preparation programs in this Commonwealth has decreased by 67% since 2010, with a slight increase between 2017 and 2018.
This downward trend is consistent with declines in educator preparation program enrollments Nationally that fell by 35% between 2009 and 2014. Data on National educator preparation program enrollments was presented by LPI in a presentation titled ''National Trends in Teacher Preparation and Certification'' that was delivered at a public meeting of the Board in March 2019. The steep decline in the number of individuals preparing for a career in education is a contributing factor to the challenges districts face in hiring fully prepared educators. Issues surrounding educator supply further are compounded by persistent teacher shortages in certain geographic areas and subject areas.
The decline in supply and resulting shortages disproportionately impact inequities in access to qualified teachers for low-income students and students of color. A report prepared by LPI titled ''Examining Educator Certification in Pennsylvania: Research and Recommendations for Chapter 49'' notes that the eight districts that top the State's list for teacher shortages based on unfilled vacancies are all Title I districts. Title I is a Federal program that provides financial assistance to local education agencies and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families. Collectively, in 2016-2017, these districts served over 13% of the State's overall student population and over 30% of students of color in this Commonwealth. According to the LPI report, six of the eight districts with the greatest teacher shortages serve primarily students of color.
To address these gaps, the State has become increasingly reliant on long-term substitutes serving on emergency permits to staff classrooms as evidenced by a 100% increase in the number of emergency permits issued to districts in this Commonwealth between 2014-2015 and 2016-2017. Data on the increasing reliance on emergency permits was presented to the Board in the Department's 2018 annual certification report and further reported in the aforementioned report prepared by LPI. These circumstances are concerning because research demonstrates that teachers with little or no preparation often lead classrooms with lower student outcomes and experience a higher attrition rate from the field. Nationally, 66% of teacher turnover in 2015-2016 was due to pre-retirement attrition, as reported by LPI in its March 2019 presentation at a public meeting of the Board.
While significant turnover occurs before educators reach retirement age, the Board also gauged this Commonwealth's educator workforce needs by reviewing data on the supply gap as measured by potential retirements. In 2018-2019, 12% of teachers were close to or at the age of retirement (defined as 55 years of age or older) and, in that same year, 5% of teachers were close to retirement based on years of services (defined as 30 or more years of service) as evidenced by data in the Department's July 2020 annual human capital report.
Amendments in this final-form rulemaking are also intended to reinforce the professional integrity expected of both new and experienced educators. The Professional Standards and Practices Commission, the State body charged with adjudicating educator misconduct, has seen its caseload more than triple over the past 5 years according to data from the Commission. The Commission disciplines nearly 300 educators annually, and the Department's Office of Chief Counsel had more than 2,000 educator misconduct complaints pending as of November 2020. Protecting students from educator misconduct is of the utmost imperative. Through these amendments, the Board seeks to ensure that Commonwealth educators are prepared not just in pedagogy and content knowledge, but that they also possess a clear understanding of the ethical practice that is expected of them.
Collectively, these challenging circumstances require attention to ensure that all students in this Commonwealth are served by teachers fully prepared to meet their needs. To address these challenges, the Board is establishing new educator training requirements that would be integrated throughout three points in an educator's career to provide a continuum of professional learning.
First, this final-form rulemaking adds requirements for instruction for preservice educators, which would be delivered as part of undergraduate or alternative post-baccalaureate programs for individuals who are working toward earning a teaching certificate. Under this final-form rulemaking, individuals studying to become teachers would need to receive instruction in professional ethics and CR-SE. CR-SE is inclusive of mental wellness, trauma-informed instruction, cultural awareness, and technological and virtual engagement. Preservice instruction in structured literacy also would be required for individuals seeking to earn the following instructional certificates: Early Childhood; Elementary/Middle; Special Education PreK—12; English as a Second Language; and Reading Specialist.
Second, this final-form rulemaking adds requirements for training as newly-employed teachers enter the profession. When teachers enter the classroom for the first time, they are required to complete an induction program that includes a variety of professional support services, often delivered under the guidance of a mentor teacher, to facilitate entry into the education profession. At present, induction programs typically span an educator's first year in the classroom. This final-form rulemaking extends induction supports to the first 2 years of an educator's career. This final-form rulemaking also requires induction programs for newly-employed educators to include training in CR-SE, as previously described and in professional ethics.
Finally, this final-form rulemaking adds requirements for training as part of continuing professional development for current educators. The act of November 23, 1999 (P.L. 529, No. 48), requires educators in this Commonwealth to complete continuing education requirements every 5 years to maintain an active teaching certificate. Educators must earn either six credits of collegiate study, six credits of Department-approved continuing professional education courses or 180 hours of continuing professional education programs, activities or learning experiences through a Department-approved provider to maintain active certification status.
Further, both section 1205.1 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. § 12-1205.1) and § 49.17 (relating to continuing professional education) require school entities to develop continuing professional education plans every 3 years. The existing requirements of Chapter 49 further require that professional education plans must address training in meeting the needs of diverse learners (defined as students with limited English language proficiency or students with disabilities), improving language and literacy acquisition, and closing the achievement gap among students. This final-form rulemaking requires that continuing professional education for current educators also include training in CR-SE and professional ethics for all educators, as well as training in structured literacy for educators who hold instructional certificates in Early Childhood, Elementary/Middle, Special Education PreK—12, English as a Second Language and Reading Specialist.
The amendments are intended to support efforts to improve educator recruitment, increase the number of classrooms staffed by fully prepared teachers, increase retention in the profession, and improve student outcomes by strengthening the preparation of new educators, creating conditions to provide more support for educators as they enter the classroom and by improving the skill sets of current educators in working with an increasingly diverse student population.
Provisions of this Final-Form Rulemaking
The majority of amendments in this final-form rulemaking make technical amendments to either align provisions of Chapter 49 with statutory changes, clarify language or update language for relevancy. The balance of amendments establish new competencies to be incorporated both in preservice instruction for individuals preparing to enter the education profession and in training delivered through induction programs and professional development for current educators. This final-form rulemaking also strengthens supports for beginning educators by extending the length of induction programs and requires annual reporting of data on students admitted, retained and graduated from educator preparation programs including disaggregated data for students of color and economically disadvantaged students.
§ 49.1. Definitions
Amendments to § 49.1 (relating to definitions) add a new definition for ''alternative program provider.'' The act of June 30, 2011 (P.L. 112, No. 24) (Act 24 of 2011) created new powers and duties for the Secretary through the addition of section 1207.1 to the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. § 12-1207.1). These powers permit the Secretary to evaluate and approve postbaccalaureate certification programs and to evaluate and approve qualified providers of postbaccalaureate certification programs, which may include providers other than institutions of higher education. The definition of ''alternative program provider'' is added as a technical revision to align the regulation with the authorization in statute permitting the Secretary to approve these providers and to acknowledge the current landscape of educator preparation providers that is inclusive of approved alternative programs. References to alternative program providers are also incorporated throughout Chapter 49 as appropriate to recognize the presence of alternative program providers. Final amendments to this definition update the citation to the Public School Code of 1949 referenced within the definition to correctly refer to section 1207.1(a) of the act as requested by IRRC in its comments dated February 17, 2021.
In the Board's proposed rulemaking, the term ''approved teacher certification program'' was updated for relevance to refer to ''approved educator preparation program'' to recognize that preservice education providers offer a breadth of programming that extends beyond preparing individuals to serve only as classroom teachers. The definition was also updated to reflect the presence of alternative program providers, as described in the new definition for ''alternative program provider.'' In its comments to the Board, IRRC correctly noted that the term ''approved educator certification program'' is not used in the regulation. Final amendments to Chapter 49 correct this drafting error by amending the defined term to read ''approved educator preparation program'' for consistency with references to approved preparation programs throughout Annex A.
A definition of ''baccalaureate degree'' is included as a technical amendment in the Board's proposed rulemaking to provide context for individuals qualified to pursue certification through an alternative program provider as defined in statute. Requirements established in section 1207.1 of the Public School Code of 1949 set forth that these programs may be offered at the postbaccalaureate level. Final amendments to the definition of ''baccalaureate degree'' delete the last sentence of the definition because it contained a substantive provision relating to graduate degrees. Per § 2.11(e) (relating to definition section) of the Pennsylvania Code and Bulletin Style Manual, substantive provisions may not be included in a definition. To correct this, the Board created a new paragraph within § 49.12 (relating to eligibility) and moved the language being deleted from the proposed definition of ''baccalaureate degree'' to § 49.12(4).
The existing definition of ''professional certified personnel'' is amended to refer to ''certified personnel'' to clarify professional as certified and to reflect the application of the term as applied in current inter-State reciprocity agreements.
The definition of ''completer'' is deleted from this final-form rulemaking because the term is not used in the regulation.
A definition for ''cultural awareness'' is added to this final-form rulemaking, as requested by IRRC, to improve the clarity of the regulation and the clarity of the definition of ''culturally relevant and sustaining education'' that contains a reference to cultural awareness.
A definition for ''culturally relevant and sustaining education'' (CR-SE) is added to describe new competencies for educators in which instruction and training would be required under this final-form rulemaking. The definition of CR-SE includes the following specific competencies: mental wellness, trauma-informed approaches to instruction, technological and virtual engagement, and cultural awareness. The proposed definition of CR-SE also included reference to ''. . .any factors that inhibit equitable access for all students in this Commonwealth.'' The Board determined that the use of the word ''any'' in the proposed definition was too broad and, in this final-form rulemaking, replaced the word ''any'' with the word ''emerging'' to more accurately express the intent of the Board that educator training in CR-SE is not static and should address factors that may inhibit equitable access for all students as they arise.
The existing definition for the ''Professional Educator Discipline Act'' is updated to the ''Educator Discipline Act'' to appropriately refer to the Act as it was renamed by the act of December 18, 2013 (P.L. 1205, No. 120). References to the ''Professional Educator Discipline Act'' throughout the entirety of the chapter are also updated accordingly to align with the title as changed in statute.
A definition for ''historically underrepresented groups'' provides context for the disaggregated reporting requirements set forth in § 49.14(4)(v) (relating to approval of institutions and alternative program providers). As proposed, educator preparation programs would have been required to annually submit data to the Department on students admitted, retained and graduated, including disaggregated data for students of color, economically disadvantaged students and first-generation college-goers. Final amendments to the definition of ''historically underrepresented groups'' delete the requirement to annually report data on first-generation college-goers in response to concerns from educator preparation programs that colleges and universities do not have reliable data on this student subgroup.
A definition for ''professional ethics'' is added to provide context for instruction and training for educators in ethical practice and professional integrity that is required under this final-form rulemaking. Final amendments to the definition of ''professional ethics'' deleted language that referred to standards of behavior, values and principles as ''accepted and collectively agree[d] upon'' as this language is determined to be too subjective. Further amendments to the definition deleted reference to ''applicable laws and regulations'' generally that was determined not to be specific enough. Finally, the definition is amended to delete reference to the Model Code of Ethics for Education, as published by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education, as a guiding document on standards of behavior, values and principles related to professional ethics for educators to address concerns that referring to a National code could appear as an unlawful delegation of authority. Rather, the final definition is amended to refer to the Pennsylvania Model Code of Ethics for Educators as adopted by the Professional Standards and Practices Commission.
The term ''school entity'' is updated to replace the existing reference to ''area vocational-technical schools'' with ''area career and technical schools.'' This amendment aligns language included in the definition with terminology as it was updated throughout the Public School Code of 1949 under amendments enacted by the act of October 30, 2019 (P.L. 460, No. 76) (Act 76 of 2019).
A definition for ''structured literacy'' is added to provide context for instruction and training for educators in these competencies as required under this final-form rulemaking. Final amendments further refine the definition to clarify the purpose of systematic, explicit instruction in structured literacy as providing a strong core of foundational skills in the language systems of English. The final definition is also amended to add ''spelling'' to the foundational skills cited in the definition in response to stakeholder requests to include this related skill among those already identified.
A definition of ''subject area'' is added to distinguish content instruction from grade spans.
This final-form rulemaking also includes a definition for ''trauma-informed approaches to instruction'' as requested by IRRC to improve the clarity of the regulation and the clarity of the definition of ''culturally relevant and sustaining education'' that contains a reference to trauma-informed approaches to instruction.
§ 49.12. Eligibility
References to providing a physician's certification in § 49.12(2) are deleted as these certificates are no longer required in statute.
Current § 49.12(4) is renumbered as § 49.12(3) to maintain appropriate sequence following the deletion of the current § 49.12(2). Clarifying amendments in this section update terminology to replace references to ''vocational'' with ''career and technical.'' This terminology update is consistent with the same terminology changes made throughout the Public School Code of 1949 under amendments enacted by Act 76 of 2019.
As previously described relative to § 49.1, § 49.12(4) is added to address language previously contained within the proposed definition of ''baccalaureate degree'' that was deleted from the definition because it contained a substantive provision. That language is more appropriately situated within this section.
§ 49.13. Policies
Amendments replacing the term ''teacher education'' with ''educator preparation'' are reflected in subsection (b)(1) and (4) (relating to policies) to update language for relevancy and to reflect updates to the definition of ''approved educator preparation program'' in § 49.1. Parallel amendments to this terminology are reflected throughout the balance of Chapter 49 for greater accuracy and relevancy in identifying the breadth of program offerings by preservice education providers that extend beyond preparing classroom teachers.
Final amendments to subsection (b)(4)(i) contain a technical correction to replace the word ''of'' with the word ''or'' as it pertains to the pathways through which educator preparation programs can demonstrate they are meeting existing requirements for at least nine credits or 270 hours of instruction in accommodations and adaptations for students with disabilities in inclusive settings. This technical correction makes the language consistent with how a reference to this language is presented later in the same paragraph.
Subsection (b)(4)(ii) requires instruction in professional ethics and culturally relevant and sustaining education to be integrated throughout educator preparation programs and directs the Department to determine whether this requirement is being satisfied by educator preparation providers. This instruction must align with competencies and associated standards in professional ethics and culturally relevant and sustaining education developed by the Department as set forth elsewhere in § 49.14(4)(i) of this final-form rulemaking. The Department will evaluate whether educator preparation program providers are meeting these requirements through its existing major review process for approved program providers.
Final amendments add subsection (b)(4)(iii) as a new subsection requiring instruction in structured literacy to be included in educator preparation program pathways that prepare candidates to earn an instructional certificate in Early Childhood, Elementary/Middle, Special Education PreK—12, English as a Second Language and Reading Specialist. This section further directs the Department to determine whether this requirement is being satisfied by educator preparation providers. This instruction must align with competencies and associated standards in structured literacy developed by the Department as set forth elsewhere in § 49.14(4)(i) of this final-form rulemaking. The Department will evaluate whether educator preparation program providers are meeting this requirement through its existing major review process for approved program providers.
Current subsection (b)(4)(iii) is renumbered as subsection (b)(4)(iv) to maintain appropriate sequence following the addition of subsection (b)(4)(iii) as previously described.
Subsection (c) is amended for clarity and to reference the new definition of ''alternative program provider'' to recognize the presence of alternative providers in the landscape of educator preparation programs.
Subsection (f) is added to the regulation to address procedures for evaluating applicants for certification who seek certification after their educator preparation program has closed or been discontinued. This addition is intended to ensure there are no gaps in the evaluation of applicants for certification. This section is also amended to comply with § 6.7(c) (relating to use of ''shall,'' ''will,'' ''must'' and ''may'') of the Pennsylvania Code and Bulletin Style Manual, which states that the term ''will'' applies to a pledge of action by the Commonwealth. As drafted, the section inappropriately uses the term ''shall'' in directing action by the Department, which is a Commonwealth entity. Technical amendments in this final-form rulemaking update the term ''shall'' to the correct term ''will.''
§ 49.14. Approval of institutions and alternative program providers
The title of this section is being updated to reference the proposed new definition of ''alternative program provider'' to recognize the inclusion of the providers in section 1207.1 of the Public School Code of 1949 and their presence in the landscape of educator preparation providers. References to ''alternative program provider'' are added throughout the section, and throughout the balance of Chapter 49 as appropriate, to reflect the Secretary's responsibility for approving these providers as established by Act 24 of 2011.
Amendments to § 49.14(4)(i) require educator preparation program providers to deliver instruction that includes competencies, coursework, and field experiences in professional ethics and CR-SE, inclusive of mental wellness, trauma-informed approaches to instruction, cultural awareness, and technological and virtual engagement, for all educators. In response to comments from interested stakeholders, final amendments also clarify the scope of required preservice instruction in structured literacy. Individuals studying to earn an instructional certificate in Early Childhood, Elementary/Middle, Special Education PreK—12, English as a Second Language and Reading Specialist must receive training in structured literacy as part of their preservice preparation. Finally, this section requires the Department to identify competencies and develop associated standards for educator training in professional ethics, structured literacy and CR-SE.
Section 49.14(4)(iv) requires the Secretary to consult with the Board in making determinations related to participation in sequential clinical experiences for candidates studying to earn an educator certification.
Section 49.14(4)(v) establishes annual reporting requirements for educator preparation programs on students admitted, retained and graduated, including students from historically underrepresented groups. In response to concerns raised by educator preparation programs about the availability of reliable data, the definition of ''historically underrepresented groups'' in § 49.1 is amended to remove first generation college-goers from annual reporting requirements included in the Board's proposed rulemaking. As defined in this final-form rulemaking, disaggregated annual reporting would be required for students of color and economically disadvantaged students.
Section 49.14(4)(v) is also updated to comply with § 6.7(a) of the Pennsylvania Code and Bulletin Style Manual, which states that the term ''shall'' expresses a duty or obligation as it applies to a person, committee or other nongovernmental entity. As proposed, § 49.14(4)(v) incorrectly used the term ''will'' to direct action required of institutions and alternative program providers related to annual reporting requirements. This final-form rulemaking includes a technical amendment to replace the term ''will'' with the correct term ''shall.''
Amendments to § 49.14(4)(vii) better clarify the institutional approval process by including reference to designations for at-risk or low performing educator preparation program providers. In its comments to the Board, IRRC asked where the Department defines these terms, requested that the Board revise this paragraph by adding a citation, and asked that the Board explain these standards. As requested by IRRC, final amendments to § 49.14(4)(vii) add a citation to the Federal Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) (20 U.S.C.A. §§ 1001—1161aa-1), from which the Department derives its authority to identify at-risk or low performing programs.
The United States Congress enacted Title II provisions to the HEA authorizing Federal grant programs to improve the recruitment, retention, preparation and support of new teachers. Title II also included accountability measures in the form of reporting requirements for institutions and states on educator preparation and licensing. Section 207 of Title II (20 U.S.C.A. § 1022F(a)) reporting requirements mandate that the United States Secretary of Education collect data on standards for educator certification and licensure, as well as data on the performance of educator preparation programs. The law requires the Secretary to use these data in submitting its annual report on the quality of educator preparation to Congress.
In addition, states were required to develop criteria, procedures or processes to identify institutions that are at-risk of becoming low performing and low-performing institutions. These levels of performance shall be determined solely by the state and may include criteria based upon information collected under Title II. In keeping with the Federal requirements, the Department developed criteria to address the performance standards/criteria. The Department is currently working on updating these standards. The Department's current criteria for identifying at-risk and low performing educator preparation programs can be found on the Department's web site at https://www.education.pa.gov/Teachers%20-%20Administrators/Teacher%20Quality/Pages/default.aspx.
Proposed amendments to § 49.14(4)(viii) that would have granted more discretion over field experiences to the Secretary in consultation with the Board are deleted from this final-form rulemaking. In its comments to the Board, IRRC stated that this proposed amendment circumvented the regulatory process by not adequately revising § 354.25 (relating to preparation program curriculum), which sets standards for the student teaching experience and cooperating teachers. As such, this proposed amendment is deleted.
Section 49.14(4)(x) is amended to clarify the Board's role in consulting with the Secretary to approve achievement targets.
Amendments to § 49.14(6) are added to acknowledge the need of educator preparation programs to comply with Federal requirements. Section 49.14(6) is also updated to comply with § 6.7(a) of the Pennsylvania Code and Bulletin Style Manual, which states that the term ''shall'' expresses a duty or obligation as it applies to a person, committee or other nongovernmental entity. As proposed, the section inappropriately used the term ''will'' as it applied to a requirement for institutions to comply with Federal law. This final-form rulemaking includes a technical amendment to replace the term ''will'' with the correct term ''shall.''
§ 49.15. Approval of experimental programs
As noted in the previous section, the proposed definition for ''alternative program provider'' is added to relevant provisions throughout Chapter 49 to recognize inclusion in the landscape of educator preparation programs.
Section 49.15 (relating to approval of experimental programs) also adds a cross-reference to § 49.13 for clarification to highlight needs for experimental programs to meet requirements established in § 49.13.
§ 49.16. Approval of induction plans
Amendments to § 49.16(a) (relating to approval of induction plans) strengthen the supports available to beginning educators by extending the length of induction programs to 2 years. Existing requirements for induction direct school entities to include long-term substitutes who are hired in a position for 45 days or more in their induction plans. In its comments to the Board, IRRC asked the Board to explain the rationale for requiring long-term substitutes to participate in a 2-year induction program. As drafted in the proposed rulemaking, the amendment to subsection (a) could require long-term substitutes to participate in induction for a period that exceeds the duration of their service as a long-term substitute. The Board concurred that this requirement is not reasonable and, in response, reconsidered the proposed amendment to subsection (a). The Board adopted final amendments to subsection (a) to clarify that long-term substitutes hired for a position for 45 days or more must participate in an induction program only for the period of time in which they serve in that capacity, which may be less than 2 years.
Subsection (c) was added as a new subsection in the Board's proposed rulemaking. This new subsection requires school entities to include competencies related to professional ethics and CR-SE in induction program plans for new educators. Consistent with changes made elsewhere in this final-form rulemaking, a proposed requirement to include ''cognitive competencies'' as part of induction plans is deleted in the final amendments adopted by the Board due to concerns expressed by stakeholders that the term was too vague and redundant with existing competencies and, therefore, did not add value to current programs.
Existing subsections (c) and (d) are being renumbered as subsections (d) and (e), respectively. These technical amendments are being made to maintain proper sequencing following the addition of the new subsection (c) as previously described.
§ 49.17. Continuing professional education
Amendments to subsection (a)(6) require school entities to address delivery of training in professional ethics and in CR-SE for all educators as part of existing continuing professional education plans.
As defined in § 49.1, CR-SE encompasses a number of competencies, including trauma-informed approaches to instruction. Addressing trauma-informed approaches to instruction as a component of professional development for current educators, which would be required by the inclusion of CR-SE in subsection (a)(6), is consistent with the recent additions of section 1205.1 and section 1205.7 to the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. § 12-1205.7) that require school entities' professional education plans to include trauma-informed approaches.
Final amendments to subsection (a)(6) also clarify new requirements related to training for current educators in structured literacy. The amendments delete the proposal for school entities to provide training in structured literacy to elementary-level educators generally and, instead, refine the scope of required professional development in structured literacy to include educators who hold an instructional certificate in Early Childhood, Elementary/Middle, Special Education PreK—12, English as a Second Language and Reading Specialist. This amendment is consistent with the scope of required instruction in structured literacy for individuals studying to earn a teaching certification set forth in amendments to § 49.14(4)(i) of this final-form rulemaking.
Subsections (b) and (c) reflect technical amendments to align the regulation with section 1205.5 and section 1217 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. § 12-1217) that sets forth requirements for continuing professional education for school and system leaders. Final amendments to subsection (c) also reflect a technical amendment requested by IRRC in its comments to the Board by adding the phrase ''of the Act'' for context following the citation to section 1205.5(g) of the Public School Code of 1949.
Amendments to subsection (d) align terminology in this section with amendments to the definition of ''certified personnel'' in § 49.1.
§ 49.18. Assessment
Amendments to § 49.18(a) (relating to assessment) and its subdivisions provide clarification that assessments used to demonstrate the knowledge and skills delineated in this section may be stand-alone measures. These clarifications reflect existing practice in preservice assessment.
Subsection (b) is amended for grammatical consistency with the amendments to subsection (a) and its subdivisions.
Subsection (c) is amended for clarification and for cross-reference to changes enacted by the act of October 22, 2014 (P.L. 2624, No. 168) (Act 168 of 2014). Act 168 of 2014 established satisfactory achievement of the basic skills assessment as a requirement to be reached prior to formal entry into an educator certification preparation program and further established that candidates enrolled in a postbaccalaureate certification program are not required to take and pass a basic skills assessment.
In subsection (d), the Board is establishing a more feasible timeframe for conducting periodic reviews of assessments required for certification by changing the timeframe from every 3 years to every 5 years.
Subsection (e) is amended to clarify that certifications added-on through testing by individuals with an Instructional I or Intern Certificate may be issued in related subject areas and retains the exclusion for all Special Education certificates to be added-on through testing. Amendments to this section also clarify the Board's role in consulting with the Secretary in identifying other certification areas that may be excluded from being added-on by passing related subject matter tests.
§ 49.31. Criteria for eligibility
Section 49.31 (relating to criteria for eligibility) adds language to include eligible providers for the PA Pre-K Counts program, as defined in Chapter 405 (relating to PA Pre-K Counts) and in section 1511-D of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. § 15-1511-D), as entities to which the Department may issue an emergency, long-term or day-to-day substitute permit. These eligible providers should have the ability to request these permits from the Department to address staffing needs as requirements for their program staffing set forth in § 405.44(a)(4) (relating to staffing and professional development) require all teachers in program classrooms to possess an early childhood education certification.
Proposed language that also extended this provision to an approved private school is deleted in this final-form rulemaking. In its comments to the Board, IRRC noted that Chapter 49 establishes requirements for certification and permitting of individuals in public school entities. IRRC further questioned whether the Board holds the statutory authority to include approved private schools in the rulemaking and whether there is a need to do so in Chapter 49.
Section 1377.2 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. § 13-1377.2) permits approved private schools to apply for emergency permits under § 49.31 as if the teachers were employed by a public school entity, provided all other conditions for obtaining an emergency permit are met. The Board included references to approved private schools in its proposed rulemaking to provide context in Chapter 49 for the breadth of certification changes enacted to the Public School Code of 1949 over the past decade. However, approved private schools are not included in the definition of school entity in § 49.1 that defines the scope of the regulated community subject to Chapter 49. Therefore, for clarity and consistency with the regulated community to which Chapter 49 applies, the Board deletes the reference to approved private schools in this final-form rulemaking. Deleting this reference from Chapter 49 will not affect the Department's authority to issue emergency permits for service in an approved private school because that authority is derived from the Public School Code of 1949.
§ 49.65. Out-of-State and Nationally-certified applicants
Section 49.65(a)(3) (relating to out-of-State and Nationally-certified applicants) is amended to make clear that the section refers to subjects on out-of-State certificates, rather than to subjects that the candidate desires to teach.
Subsection (d) is added to permit school psychologists certified by the National Association of School Psychologists to be granted the highest-level certificate available for certification as a school psychologist. This revision parallels existing policy for classroom teachers in subsection (c) that permits educators certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to be granted the highest-level certificate applicable.
Existing subsection (d) is being renumbered as subsection (e) to maintain appropriate sequencing due to the addition of new subsection (d) as previously described. New subsection (e) is revised to reflect more accurate terminology and to make clear that a candidate must demonstrate mastery of the ''certification'' area, not the ''subject'' area. Also in this section, the existing reference to ''bachelor's'' is replaced with ''baccalaureate'' to align with the terminology used in the new definition of ''baccalaureate degree'' in § 49.1.
Existing subsection (e) is renumbered as subsection (f) to maintain appropriate sequencing due to renumbering of the immediately preceding section. Multiple provisions of Chapter 49 are updated to reflect changes made to statute by Act 24 of 2011, including amendments to subsection (f), as renumbered. Act 24 of 2011 modified eligibility requirements, set forth in section 1206(a) of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. § 12-1206(a)), for issuing instructional certificates to candidates who hold a valid certificate from another state. Technical amendments presented in subsection (f) bring the regulation in line with eligibility requirements as now defined in statute regarding the experience that must be demonstrated by out-of-State candidates certified in another state who are seeking certification in this Commonwealth. Amendments to this section also add references to educational specialist, supervisory and administrative certificates to clarify the types of certificates to which these requirements apply.
§ 49.72. Categories of certificates and letters of eligibility
Section 49.72(a)(10) (relating to categories of certificates and letters of eligibility) renames the category of ''Vocational Education Certificates'' as ''Career and Technical Education Certificates.'' This terminology update is consistent with global terminology changes enacted throughout the Public School Code of 1949 by Act 76 of 2019 that replaced references to ''vocational'' with ''career and technical.''
§ 49.82. Instructional I
Section 49.82(a) (relating to Instructional I) adds language for consistency with Chapter 405 regarding eligible providers and in acknowledgement of additional providers for qualified service leading to conversion of Instructional Level I to Instructional Level II certification.
§ 49.83. Instructional II
The final amendment to § 49.83(1) (relating to Instructional II) establishes completion of a 2-year induction program as a requirement to earn an Instructional II certification. This revision is included for consistency with amendments to § 49.16(a) that strengthen the supports available to beginning educators by extending the length of induction programs to 2 years.
§ 49.84. Collegiate credit acceptable for conversion of the Instructional I Certificate
Section 49.84(a) (relating to collegiate credit acceptable for conversion of the Instructional I Certificate) adds reference to ''State-approved associate degree-granting institutions'' to permit credits earned at a community college to be accepted toward credits required to convert an Instructional Level I Certificate to an Instructional Level II Certificate.
Subsection (c) adds language to permit graduate credits earned before an individual becomes certified to count toward the credits required for conversion of a Level I Certificate.
§ 49.85. Limitations
Final amendments to § 49.85(c) (relating to limitations) and the addition of subsection (d) reflect technical amendments to align the regulation with changes to Special Education certificates enacted by the act of October 19, 2018 (Act 82 of 2018). These statutory changes modified the scope of grade spans and ages for Special Education certificates and decoupled the requirement for Special Education certificates to be issued in tandem with an additional content area certificate. As set forth in statute, Special Education certificates will be issued to educators to work with students in prekindergarten through grade 12 or under 21 years of age on or after January 1, 2022. These technical amendments are reflected in subsection (d)(5) and (6).
In its comments to the Board, IRRC requested that the Board reorganize proposed amendments to subsection (c) to provide greater clarity about the dates of validity for current certifications and Special Education certification as amended in the Public School Code of 1949. To be more clear about the dates of validity, the Board deleted language in its proposed amendments to subsection (c) that addressed the January 1, 2022, effective date for issuing new Special Education certifications. Alternatively, the Board adds subsection (d) to this final-form rulemaking that comprehensively reflects the grade level limitations for instructional certificates that will be issued on or after January 1, 2022. This new subsection is added for clarity and does not make any substantive changes to the grade level limitations for existing certificates, save for updating the grade level and age limitations for Special Education certificates to reflect changes to these certificates previously enacted by Act 82 of 2018.
The remaining provisions of § 49.85 are renumbered to maintain appropriate sequencing following the addition of subsection (d) as previously described. Further, language in renumbered subsection (g)(2) is being updated for clarity.
Subsection (h), as renumbered, updates existing language that permits the Secretary to grant exceptions in response to shortages of certified personnel to include an effective date of January 1, 2022. This revision aligns the date of applicability with Act 82 of 2018.
§ 49.86. Accelerated program for Early Childhood and Elementary/Middle level certificate holders
The amendments to § 49.86 (relating to accelerated program for Early Childhood and Elementary/Middle Level certificate holders) separate the words ''certificate'' and ''holders'' to correct typographical errors in the existing text of the regulation.
§ 49.90. Criteria for eligibility
Language in § 49.90(a)(1) (relating to criteria for eligibility) regarding eligibility criteria for a Temporary Teaching Certificate is deleted as the criteria are no longer used due to changes in statute.
§ 49.91. Criteria for eligibility
Consistent with amendments elsewhere in the regulation, § 49.91(c) (relating to criteria for eligibility) is amended for clarity to refer to ''certification'' area rather than ''subject'' area.
Subsection (d) reflects amendments both for clarity and to align with practice that an Intern Certificate is valid for 3 years of service, rather than 3 calendar years.
§ 49.92. Term of validity
Like the amendment to § 49.91(d), the revision to § 49.92 (relating to term of validity) reflects both clarity and alignment with practice that an Intern Certificate is valid for 3 years of service, rather than 3 calendar years.
§ 49.104. College credit acceptable for conversion of Educational Specialist I Certificate
Section 49.104(c) (relating to college credit acceptable for conversion of Educational Specialist I Certificate) permits graduate credits earned before certification as an Educational Specialist to count toward conversion of the certificate from Level I to Level II.
§ 49.111. Supervisory Certificate
Final amendments to § 49.111(a)(2) and (d)(2) (relating to Supervisory Certificate) add reference to approved alternative program providers. As previously described, this final-form rulemaking adds a definition for ''alternative program provider'' in § 49.1 as a technical revision to align the regulation with new powers and duties delegated to the Secretary by Act 24 of 2011. Act 24 of 2011 added section 1207.1 to the Public School Code of 1949, which permits the Secretary to evaluate and approve postbaccalaureate certification programs and to evaluate and approve qualified providers of postbaccalaureate certification programs, including providers other than higher education institutions. References to alternative program providers were incorporated throughout the chapter in the Board's proposed rulemaking to recognize the presence of alternative program providers in the current landscape of educator preparation programs, but inclusion of these technical amendments in subsections (a)(2) and (d)(2) was overlooked. The Board is adding reference to alternative program providers to this section as appropriate in this final-form rulemaking.
Amendments to subsection (a) also reflect a technical edit to clarify that criteria for being issued a Supervisory Certificate includes 5 years of satisfactory ''certified'' experience, rather than ''professional'' experience.
Subsections (b) and (c) permit individuals certified in one area of supervision to add-on another area by demonstrating expertise in the content of that area. Special Education Supervisory Certificates would be excluded from this add-on pathway.
In the proposed rulemaking, the Board added subsection (e) to permit school psychologists who have completed 5 years of satisfactory certified experience as a school psychologist to be issued a Special Education Supervisory Certificate. This subsection is deleted from this final-form rulemaking in response to opposition from multiple stakeholder groups. In reconsidering its proposed amendment, the Board reviewed concerns expressed by stakeholders about creating a pathway to a supervisory position that bypasses teacher certification, whether school psychologists have requisite classroom teaching experience to be aware of the variables involved in creating quality instructional opportunities and best practices for classroom management in a manner that would allow them to effectively serve as evaluators or to support teachers in revision of practice, whether school psychologists have adequate experience in writing and implementing Individualized Education Plans, and whether allowing school psychologists to move into Special Education supervisory positions would simply increase one area of educator shortage to address another by exacerbating the shortage of school psychologists. Given these concerns, the proposed amendment is deleted from this final-form rulemaking.
§ 49.121. Administrative Certificate
Section 49.121(a) (relating to Administrative Certificate) aligns the regulation with requirements of the act of July 20, 2007 (P.L. 278, No. 45), that established school leadership standards that must be addressed in principal and superintendent leadership programs.
Subchapter C. Career and Technical Education Certification
Throughout the entirety of Subchapter C (relating to career and technical education certification), and the balance of Chapter 49, references to ''vocational-technical education'' are updated to refer to the more current term ''career and technical education.'' These amendments are included for consistency with the same terminology updates that were reflected globally in the Public School Code of 1949 under amendments enacted by Act 76 of 2019.
§ 49.131. Basic requirements for baccalaureate and nonbaccalaureate programs.
Amendments to § 49.131(a) (relating to basic requirements for baccalaureate and nonbaccalaureate programs) replace ''teacher education'' with a more current and more accurate reference to ''educator preparation,'' as reflected throughout the chapter and in the updated definition for ''approved education preparation program'' in § 49.1. Amendments to this section also add a reference to the definition for ''alternative program provider'' in § 49.1 to recognize the presence of these providers in the landscape of educator preparation.
§ 49.142. Career and Technical Instructional I
Amendments to § 49.142(a)(1) and (b) (relating to Career and Technical Instructional I) align these provisions with statutory changes enacted by the act of June 22, 2018 (P.L. 241, No. 39) (Act 39 of 2018) that address requirements for issuing Career and Technical Instructional I, Career and Technical Instructional II, and Career and Technical Intern certification.
§ 49.143. Career and Technical Instructional II
Amendments to § 49.143(2) (relating to Career and Technical Instructional II) align this provision with statutory changes enacted by Act 39 of 2018 that address requirements for issuing Career and Technical Instructional I, Career and Technical Instructional II, and Career and Technical Intern certification.
Paragraph (3) is updated for clarity to bring the conversion of Career and Technical I certification to Career and Technical II certification into alignment with conversion from Instructional I to Instructional II under § 49.18(a).
Paragraph (4) establishes completion of a 2-year induction program as a requirement to earn a Career and Technical Instructional II certification. This revision is included for consistency with amendments to § 46.16(a) that would strengthen the supports available to beginning educators by extending the length of induction programs to 2 years.
§ 49.151. Eligibility and criteria
Section 49.151(a)(1) (relating to eligibility and criteria) includes a technical amendment to update the cross-reference to § 49.12(4) for accuracy as that section was renumbered due to updates in § 49.12. A corrected reference to the renumbered § 49.12(3) is included in this final-form rulemaking.
Amendments to subsection (b) align this provision with statutory changes enacted by Act 39 of 2018 that address requirements for issuing Career and Technical Instructional I, Career and Technical Instructional II, and Career and Technical Intern certification.
Subsection (c) is added to clarify that continuing enrollment in a State-approved teacher intern program is a condition for maintaining the validity of a Career and Technical Education Intern Certificate from one year to the next. This clarification aligns with language regarding eligibility for Intern Certificates as set forth in § 49.91(d).
§ 49.153. Career and Technical Day-to-Day Substitute Permit
Section 49.153(b) (relating to Career and Technical Day-to-Day Substitute Permit) deletes a cross-reference to § 49.32 (relating to exceptional case permits).
§ 49.163. Career and Technical Administrative Director
Amendments to § 49.163(1) (relating to Career and Technical Administrative Director) modify requirements for issuing a Career and Technical Administrative Director Certificate by reducing the minimum number of years of relevant professional experience in a Career and Technical Education school required from 5 years to 3 years. This technical amendment aligns with statutory changes to the issuance of this administrative certificate set forth in section 1207.1(d)(1)(ii) of the Public School Code of 1949. Further amendments to this section provide clarity and relevancy by amending the phrase ''successful teaching in vocational education'' with the phrase ''relevant professional experience in a Career and Technical Education School.''
Paragraph (2) adds a cross-reference to § 49.111(a) and adds a reference to an ''approved alternative program'' as established in section 1207.1 of the Public School Code of 1949 and defined in § 49.1.
§ 49.172. Letter of eligibility
Section 49.172(a)(3) (relating to letter of eligibility) reflects technical amendments to align eligibility requirements for receiving a Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility with changes to section 1000.3 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. § 10-1000.3) enacted by Act 82 of 2012. These changes permit individuals to earn a Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility based on prior experience in higher education.
§ 49.182. Letter of eligibility
Section 49.182(d) (relating to letter of eligibility) permits Intermediate Unit (I.U.) Boards of Directors to address vacancies in Executive Director positions by appointing an Acting Director to serve in that capacity for not more than 1 year if the I.U. Board finds it impossible or impractical to fill the vacancy.
§ 49.191. Letters of equivalency
Section 49.191(1) (relating to letters of equivalency) clarifies procedures for earning a letter of equivalency for a baccalaureate degree by removing the requirement that the minimum number of credits toward the equivalency that must be earned at a State-approved baccalaureate degree granting institution, currently set at 18 of the 90 total credits required, must be completed during the final 30 credits. Existing provision of paragraph (1) permit these letters of equivalency to be issued to individuals who hold certificates in Career and Technical Instructional I, Career and Technical Instructional II or the equivalents for salary purposes only.
Paragraph (2) updates language for clarity to refer to certification area as opposed to primary teaching assignment. Based on this clarification, the Department will recognize college-level credits earned in pursuit of a Letter of Equivalency for a master's degree in the candidate's certification area(s) rather than in the primary teaching assignment. This amendment improves the alignment of the credits with the candidate's formal education and area(s) of expertise if these are different from the primary teaching assignment. In addition, this amendment streamlines application reviews by the Department as staff examining applications have ready access to the candidate's certification area(s) but not the primary teaching assignment.
This final-form rulemaking affects educator preparation program providers and the students enrolled in their programs, public school entities and educators.
Cost and Paperwork Estimates
Extending induction programs to 2 years may result in a cost for school entities that do not currently offer that length of support for beginning educators. Currently, 58 school entities offer a 2-year induction program and another 68 school entities offer a 3-year induction program. There are 551 school entities that offer a 1-year induction program. This final-form rulemaking impacts those 551 school entities that will need to extend induction programs for another year. Costs to districts could range from $1,000 to $5,000 per second-year teacher to support mentor stipends and additional professional development days. The estimated cost to school entities for scaling up to 2-year induction programs Statewide is $9,643,000 (based on the 551 school entities that will need to convert from a 1-year to a 2-year induction model and an assumption that each of those school entities would support seven second-year teachers annually at a cost of $2,500 per second-year teacher).
The Department would incur costs to support the delivery of training in new competencies for educators as part of both induction programs and professional education for current classroom educators, as well as to extend offerings to participate in these trainings to faculty in educator preparation programs. Some training opportunities focused on the new competencies identified in this final-form rulemaking are already available through the State's existing network of I.U.s and other professional development educational entities within this Commonwealth. Work to develop additional trainings in mental wellness, trauma-informed instruction, cultural awareness and virtual and technological engagement, and to provide professional development to I.U. staff to serve as trainers, is estimated at a one-time cost of $26,700. This estimate is based on engaging 10 stakeholders over a 2-day period to develop new topics and trainings at a cost of $3,000 for facilitators and $2,000 to support expenses related to this work, and an additional cost of $21,700 to train one staff person in each of the State's 29 I.U.s at a cost of $750 per I.U.
Support for providing training in structured literacy to educator preparation program faculty and educators who hold designated instructional certificates (Early Childhood, Elementary/Middle, Special Education PreK—12, English as a Second Language and Reading Specialist) is estimated at $350,000 annually. Professional development training and technical assistance in structure literacy currently is available at no cost to school entities through the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network. To support the amendments to Chapter 49 that would require this training for educators with designated instructional certificates, the Department intends to enhance and scale up the current offerings by hiring a Statewide lead for structured literacy efforts and establishing a Statewide system of supports in structured literacy through the existing network of I.U.s. The estimated annual cost to support this work is based on a cost of $203,000 to support trainings to be offered by 29 I.U.s (estimated at $700/day for 10 days annually) and to support the salary and benefits of hiring a Statewide lead. Support for the first 2 years of this work has been budgeted through Federal funds available through the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (P.L. No. 116-136), referred to as the CARES Act, to set aside funds.
Additional support for training in structured literacy, mental wellness and trauma-informed approaches to instruction is available through the Commonwealth's allocation of Federal funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary Schools Relief Fund (ESSER). The act of June 30, 2021 (P.L. 62, No. 24) appropriated approximately $250 million of ARP ESSER State reserve funds to local education agencies (LEAs) to address gaps in students' learning and social and emotional wellness through evidence-based interventions. Eight percent of each LEAs allocation must be used to address student learning gaps in reading, and 30% of each LEAs allocation must be used to address the social, emotional and mental health needs of students. Professional development for educators in structured literacy, mental health and trauma-informed instruction is among the allowable uses of these Federal funds.
This final-form rulemaking will be effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
The Board will review the effectiveness of Chapter 49 every 10 years in accordance with § 49.51(b) that directs the Board to conduct a major review of certification regulations at 10-year intervals. Thus, no sunset date is necessary.
Under section 5(a) and (f) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P.S. § 745.5(a) and (f)), on December 8, 2020, the Board submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 50 Pa.B. 7164, and a copy of the Regulatory Analysis Form to IRRC for review and comment. Under section 5(f) of the Regulatory Review Act, the Board submitted the notice of proposed rulemaking and a copy of the Regulatory Analysis Form to the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Education Committees for review and comment on February 16, 2021, following formation of the Committees at the start of the 2021-2022 legislative session.
Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, the Board is required to submit to IRRC and the House and Senate Education Committees copies of the comments received during the public comment period. In preparing this final-form rulemaking, the Board considered comments from IRRC and the public. No comments were received from the House or Senate Education Committees.
Under section 5.1(j.2) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P.S. § 745.5a(j.2)), the final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by the House and Senate Education Committees on March 9, 2022. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC met on March 10, 2022, and approved this final-form rulemaking.
Persons who require additional information about this final-form rulemaking may submit inquiries to Karen Molchanow, Executive Director, State Board of Education, 333 Market Street, 1st Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17126, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board finds that:
(1) Public notice of the intention to adopt this final-form rulemaking was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L. 769, No. 240) (45 P.S. §§ 1201 and 1202), referred to as the Commonwealth Documents Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2 (relating to notice of proposed rulemaking required; and adoption of regulations).
(2) A public comment period was provided as required by law and all comments were considered.
(3) This final-form rulemaking does not enlarge the purpose of the proposed rulemaking published at 50 Pa.B. 7164.
(4) This final-form rulemaking is necessary and appropriate for the administration of the Public School Code of 1949.
The Board, acting under authorizing statute, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Board, 22 Pa. Code Chapter 49 are amended, by amending §§ 49.1, 49.12—49.18, 49.31, 49.64a, 49.65, 49.68, 49.71, 49.72, 49.82—49.86, 49.90—49.92, 49.104, 49.111, 49.121, 49.131—49.133, 49.141—49.143, 49.151—49.153, 49.161, 49.163, 49.172, 49.182 and 49.191 to read as set forth in Annex A, with ellipses referring to the existing text of the regulations.
(b) The Board shall submit this final-form rulemaking to the Office of General Counsel and Office of Attorney General (OAG) for review and approval as required by law. The OAG approved this final-form rulemaking as to form and legality on April 11, 2022.
(c) The Board shall submit this final-form rulemaking to IRRC and the Legislative Standing Committees as required by law.
(d) The Board shall certify this final-form rulemaking, as approved for legality and form, and shall deposit it with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(e) The final-form rulemaking shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
(Editor's Note: See 52 Pa.B. 1845 (March 26, 2022) for IRRC's approval order.)
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 6-346 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.
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