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Breaking News and Updates Timeline

May 8, 2020: PSEA announced that it will join other public education associations to plan for the safe reopening of Pennsylvania’s schools in the fall. The goal of the task force is to get Pennsylvania’s students back into their schools and classrooms as safely as possible.

May 5, 2020: Gov. Tom Wolf announced that 1 million Pennsylvania voters have requested to vote by mail in the June 2 primary election. Wolf touted the mail-in ballot as a way for voters to participate in the primary election if they are anxious about going to the polls during the COVID-19 emergency. Request your mail-in ballot today.

May 4, 2020: Nearly nine out of 10 parents approve of how their children’s teachers are handling the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new poll commissioned by the National Education Association (NEA). The poll was released as the nation marks Teacher Appreciation Week, a tradition that traces back to 1953 when former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt proposed that Congress set aside a day to acknowledge the work of educators.

April 30, 2020: The General Assembly has passed legislation to extend the deadline for any current school employee who is due to update his or her FBI background check until December 31, 2020.  The bill is now on the governor’s desk and he is expected to sign it soon. Lawmakers made this change because many IdentoGO facilities that offer fingerprinting are closed due to the COVID-19 emergency. School employees who need to update their state background checks and child abuse clearances must still do so as scheduled, but those updates can be completed online now and don’t require fingerprints.

April 29, 2020: Check out new PSEA guidance on ESSA implementation during the COVID-19 emergency.

April 28, 2020: The Department of Education has released guidance related to how schools should address student grades and student promotion

April 24, 2020: PSEA has scheduled new professional development programs to help members educate students during the COVID-19 emergency. Register for one today

April 23, 2020: Gov. Tom Wolf has released a plan for reopening the commonwealth with a targeted May 8 start. The administration will categorize reopening into three phases: red, yellow, and green. Phases will be assigned based on conditions in a county, counties, or region. 

April 23, 2020: Check out President Rich Askey on PCN's Coronavirus Impact program discussing teaching and learning while keeping students and staff safe.

April 22, 2020: Check out the new PSEA Legal Alert update on the CARES Act found in the NEA&PSEA Resources below.

April 17, 2020: Check out the new PSEA "In Brief" on implementation of the educator effectiveness system during the COVID-19 school building closures found in the NEA&PSEA Resources below. 

April 16, 2020: Check out the PSEA Legal Division's new Critical Alert about online learning rules and advice.

April 15, 2020: MEMBER BENEFIT ALERT - Verizon users, Verizon is adding 15 GB of data to your plans automatically. Students and teachers who are Verizon users can increase to 30 GB of additional data by calling 1-800-922-0204.

April 14, 2020: For the 2019-20 school year, Secretary Rivera has waived the requirement for LEAs to include performance data in professional employee evaluations. 

April 9, 2020: Today, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania’s public schools will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year in order to guard against the spread of the coronavirus.

“We must continue our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus during this national crisis,” Wolf said. “This was not an easy decision but closing schools until the end of the academic year is in the best interest of our students, school employees, and families.”

The governor’s order means that schools will remain physically closed to all but essential personnel and that they will continue to make a good faith effort to plan to offer continuity of education to students using alternative means.

While this will be frustrating for many students and educators who want to go back to school, it is important to remember that Gov. Wolf and his team speak to experts about the pandemic daily. They clearly have the health and safety of all of us in mind and are taking this action out of an abundance of caution.

Social distancing is key to stopping the spread of the coronavirus. So, as difficult as this is, closing schools for the year – as many other states have done - and ensuring that large groups of students, educators, and support professionals don’t congregate makes sense.

PSEA will continue to offer as much information and support as possible as members work to deliver instruction while schools are closed.

Check out PSEA’s comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions document on the COVID-19 emergency and see the Department of Education’s information about Gov. Wolf’s announcement.

April 9, 2020: Liberty Mutual Insurance announces that auto insurance customers will receive a 15%  refund on two months of premiums, auto and homeowners insurance customers will see late fees and cancellations due to non-payment paused from March 23 through at least May 22, and personal auto policies will cover customers who use their personal vehicles to deliver food and medicine.

April 8, 2020: If you have received a text recently from PSEA, please know that it is legitimate and part of an effort to connect with members during this challenging time.

April 8, 2020: FRAUD ALERT. PSERS reports that some members have received unsolicited emails or calls from people claiming to have the authority to discuss their retirement benefits. PSERS SAYS: DO NOT RESPOND TO THESE EMAILS OR CALLS.

These cold calls are not from PSERS. PSERS only contacts members to reschedule canceled counseling sessions. If you believe you have received a fraudulent call or email, please report it to the Attorney General’s office.
Counseling Sessions: PSERS will be holding exit counseling sessions on-line because PSERS offices are closed. Members should reach out to PSERS.

April 7, 2020: PDE posts new information related to high school graduation requirements for 2019-20

April 6, 2020: PSEA Guidance - COVID-19 Emergency Frequently Asked Questions

April 2, 2020: On PA Newsmakers, PSEA President Rich Askey talks about the incredible job PSEA members are doing as they teach and serve students during the COVID-19 emergency.

March 31, 2020: Read PSERs FAQ on the new COVID-19 emergency law

March 27, 2020: Gov. Wolf signs Act 13 COVID-19 emergency bill into law

March 25, 2020: On March 25, both the state House and Senate approved a sweeping COVID-19 emergency bill to provide clear policy direction to Pennsylvania’s public schools and ensure that all school employees – both EA and ESP members – are paid for the rest of the school year and get a full year of retirement credit.

“This is great news,” said PSEA President Rich Askey. “We have been encouraging the Legislature to act on this bill. And you sent more than 20,000 emails last week, asking lawmakers to make this a priority. They listened to us, and they did the right thing.”