Lawmakers to unveil legislation that would give schools more power in education, sports decision-making

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Tuesday at 11:30 a.m., state Representatives Mike Reese and Jesse Topper are unveiling legislation that would give school districts in Pennsylvania more power.

It comes days after parents and students were shocked by Governor Tom Wolf’s announcement that he doesn’t recommend sports resume until next year.

The new bills would impact sports, extracurricular activities, and general learning in the upcoming school year.

Reese is proposing districts be able to make their own decisions regarding fall sports and activities.

At this point, the Governor has only issued recommendations, and not a mandate.

Topper’s legislation would give students the option to continue their education and extracurriculars for an additional year, to make up for the loss during this past school year and the potential loss during this upcoming year.

Reese and Topper believe it is too close to school starting to be making last-minute changes and say communities need a clear and transparent direction.

When the Governor first publicly stated he didn’t recommend sports resume until January of 2021, the PIAA said it would connect with him and come to a decision about how to move forward in a couple of weeks.

Monday, the state gave recommendations on when to have in-person versus online instruction.

COVID cases in counties are going to be classified as low, moderate or substantial based on a formula including infections per 100,000 and percent positivity rate.

Schools in low and moderate counties can do all in-person or hybrid.

Those in substantial counties, which right now is only Union County, are recommended to do virtual learning.

“I get parents who definitely want kids to be back in school and decry any attempt to do anything else, and I get other parents who say how can we possibly put all of our children at risk and all of our education should be remote,” said PA Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.

Those county classifications will be updated weekly as new numbers are collected.

The legislation announcement can be viewed live on the GOP Republicans’ website.

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