• Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Happy Friday, everybody! PA HB 2074 – This legislation was introduced in the House this week.  It would require Pennsylvania schools to report any and all suicide attempts and completions that occur on school grounds.  Currently, such reporting is optional.  “In essence, we require school districts to report a criminal charge from a pushing match in the cafeteria but we leave it entirely to their discretion to report that a student has tragically attempted to or has taken their life while on school grounds…Additionally, our proposal would be subject to the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 to ensure that such reporting by districts does not…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Happy Friday, everybody! PA HB 1653 – We’ve been watching this bill since it was first introduced back in October.   The governor signed it into law this week! HB 1974 – This one’s an interesting one.  It is similar to  SB 1011 in that it concerns itself with the rights of victims of crimes.  HB 1974 does not appear to call for an amendment to the PA constitution, however.  “This legislation was considered in two prior sessions, HB 2646 from the 2013-2014 Session and last session as HB 186. During both sessions, the House passed the bill unanimously but the bill was not considered by the Senate.”  It made it to the Senate this past Monday.…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Good morning again! Lots of oldies but goodies on the docket for this week.  Also, fun fact, I found a PDF about how a bill becomes a law in PA, which I have found helpful as I’ve been going through the heaps of legislation this week.  Find it here. PA HB 1653 – We looked at this bill when it was first introduced back in October.  It passed the house and looked like it had died in the Senate in November, but the Senate Education Committee gave it a second consideration this week and reported it as “Committed,” which is one step before a third and final passage.  Therefore, this bill looks like…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Happy Friday, everyone! PA SB 1527– According to the memo for this bill that was written prior to its being submitted to the floor, it seeks to amend current mandated reporter laws to require mandated reporters to report suspected child abuse if they witness an abusive act to an identifiable child.  Evidently this was a loophole, wherein mandated reporters did not have to report abuse if they saw it, only if they were informed of it after the fact.  This bill was introduced in May, assigned to the Children and Youth committee in November, and was voted on by that committee this week. SB 872 – This bill reminds me of HB…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Happy New Year, all!  New year, new legislation! PA HB 1753 – This bill was introduced this week in the house.  It will require schools K-12 as well as postsecondary institutions to annually report incidences of sexual assault and domestic violence to the Department of Education, which would then be published on the Department’s website as part of a Campus Report Card.  Could be interesting; I hope it’s done well and not bungled, if it’s done at all. HB 2009 – This was also introduced this week, and if it’s enacted, it will require “bullying education” to be taught in schools across all grade levels.  As a former teacher, I’m always skeptical when the…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    While a lot has been happening this week in the news, not much has been happening in the legislatures regarding children or child welfare.  Here are the few items I found. PA State House HB 1912 – This is a bill proposing a statewide study of secondary school start times.  This is in response to several studies into sleep and the importance of sleep to adolescent development that have gained visibility lately.  I, for one, hope that such a study in Pennsylvania gets traction, and I think anything that comes of it could positively affect kids in foster care, since they have the same developmental needs as their peers along with,…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Another week, another set of legislation coming down the pike. PA State House HB 1653 – This is a bill to include students enrolled in distance education (online classes) in eligibility for state grants for higher education.  I’m not a huge proponent of distance education (but I’m biased as a former classroom teacher) but online classes make learning accessible to students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to take some of their classes, including youth who don’t have permanency or need to work during the day to make money for school.  Our youth often fit into those categories, so it is necessary that online education be an option for them, without disqualifying them from…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Some items of note that have been introduced in the various legislatures this week: PA -State House House Bill 1745 -This is huge!  Write your legislators about this bill!  This could be so great for kids in foster and adoptive care! Creates a tuition and fee waiver program for youth who are in foster care, who were adopted from the foster care system, or who have “aged out” of foster care, to be made available by State-supported postsecondary educational institutions, including State-owned universities, State-related universities, community colleges, and other State-aided postsecondary educational institutions. Sets forth eligibility criteria for participation in the program, including the maintenance of satisfactory progress in postsecondary educational work. Requires a coordinated effort by State agencies…

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