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Education Policy Issues

PSEA tracks a variety of education policy issues, including amendments to the Pennsylvania School Code, special education regulations and court cases, and other changes to the laws and regulations impacting public education and our members.

School Vouchers

PSEA strongly opposes any federal or state legislation that would create a taxpayer-funded school voucher program, because these programs divert essential resources from public schools to private and religious schools, while offering no real "choice" for the overwhelming majority of students.

Research published in early 2017 found that voucher programs do not improve student achievement. Instead, vouchers distract from proven policies and programs with proven impact on test scores and graduation rates.

Improving Public Education

Solutions That Work

Across the state, PSEA members are using all kinds of creative approaches to teach our students.

Educators see challenges, and find solutions.

PSEA wants to take these creative solutions, tell policymakers about them, and help craft state laws and regulations so that every school and every student can benefit from them.

PSEA’s 20/20 Vision for the Future

Strong Schools, Successful Children, Vibrant Communities

Imagine a Commonwealth where all children learn and achieve to their fullest potential and pursue lifelong learning opportunities within a quality public school system. Educators are valued, respected, and prepared to provide students with the academic tools they need to be successful citizens. Learning and teaching are supported by parents, families and communities. As a result, all communities thrive. 

PSEA’s 20/20 Vision is a comprehensive, strategic approach to state public education policy that is intended to open a serious discussion about future investments.

Act 1

About Act 1

Act 1, passed by the PA General Assembly in July 2006, authorizes school districts to levy new earned income or personal income taxes. Act 1 requires school districts to adopt a preliminary budget and seek voter approval in a referendum to implement increases greater than the year's index or to levy new taxes for the following fiscal year. Districts may qualify for exceptions to this requirement.

Key dates for 2017

  • Jan. 26. The deadline for school districts to make the next fiscal year’s preliminary budget available for public inspection or adopt a resolution indicating they will not increase property taxes above the Act 1 index
  • Feb. 15. Deadline for districts seeking tax increases above their indices or applying for exceptions to adopt 2016-17 preliminary budgets
  • Feb. 23. Deadline for districts to seek state Education Department approval for referendum exceptions permitted under state law (now limited to debt load, special education costs, and pension contributions)
  • March 17. Deadline for districts not seeking exceptions or seeking increases beyond exceptions to submit referendum question to their county Board of Elections for approval
  • March 27. Deadline to submit referendum question for those districts that were denied a referendum exception
  • May 16. Primary election