Education Bill Sets Reasonable Limits on Emergency Powers, Sonney Says
HARRISBURG – The House last week approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Curt Sonney (R-Erie) that limits a school board’s temporary emergency powers to 60 days.

“This bill provides some checks and balances in the event of an emergency,” Sonney said. “Currently, a school board can invoke emergency powers for up to four years without gathering any input from the community. My legislation will limit this to a more reasonable 60 days and then require schools to collect public input before extending the emergency further.”

Under House Bill 1660, if there is an emergency that prevents a school district from providing in-person instruction for five or more consecutive days, the school board could then by a majority vote put in place temporary provisions for up to 60 days that would allow for schools to be in session on Saturdays and the length of the school day to be reduced. If an extension is needed, a second majority vote by the school board would be required. However, prior to the second vote, the school board would have to hold at least one public hearing. Current law allows a school board to implement temporary emergency powers for up to four years when an emergency prevents a school district from allowing children to attend school normally.

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

The 4th Legislative District in Erie County include Amity, Concord, Greene, Greenfield, Harborcreek, Leboeuf, North East, Union, Venango, Waterford and Wayne townships; Elgin, Mill Village, North East, Union City, Waterford and Wattsburg boroughs; and the city of Corry.

Representative Curt Sonney
4th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tracy Polovick