Federal Policy Issues

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Federal Policy Issues

PSEA works with the NEA to monitor federal issues that impact our schools, our students, and our professions. This includes legislation in Congress and policy changes from the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies. 

ESSA: Once-in-a-decade opportunity

The Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, has presented Pennsylvania with a once-in-a-decade opportunity to help reshape public education in the Commonwealth. PSEA was at the forefront of that opportunity, working diligently with Gov. Tom Wolf's administration to help design a comprehensive, forward-thinking state ESSA plan.

Pennsylvania's plan, approved by the U.S. Department of Education on Jan. 17, 2018, focuses on a more balanced approach to school accountability, reducing time spent on high-stakes standardized testing, and increasing supports for Pennsylvania educators and students. The plan was fully implemented beginning in the 2018-19 school year.

U.S. Supreme Court: Fair Share Fees

A divided U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on June 27, 2018, in Janus v. AFSCME that further rigs the rules against working people. The 5-4 court majority ruled that public-sector unions like PSEA can no longer collect fair share fees from non-members for the services that unions provide to them.

College Affordability

Painful funding cuts have resulted in rising costs for colleges and universities. Graduates are often saddled with crushing student loan debt. Seven out of every 10 Pennsylvania students have debt that averages more than $33,000.

We can do better. That's why the National Education Association has launched the Degrees Not Debt Campaign.