PA Department of Education Approves Spring-Ford School District Mandate-Waiver Application

Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Education

    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
 Pennsylvania Acting Education Secretary Charles B. Zogby today announced his
 approval of the Spring-Ford Area School District's request for a mandate
 waiver under the Education Empowerment Act.
     Spring-Ford in Montgomery County sought relief from provisions of the
 School Code regarding special-education class size and caseload to enable the
 district to operate in a more efficient and economic manner.
     "Spring-Ford officials believed that this waiver would enable the district
 to operate more effectively and efficiently, while ensuring that every child
 receives a quality education," Zogby said.  "I'm pleased to approve their
 request and wish them success as they implement their program."
     In a letter to the district, Zogby also noted that new changes to
 special-education regulations known as Chapter 14 will require the district to
 seek approval for this type of relief under its special-education plan once
 the new regulations take effect.
     Since Gov. Ridge signed the Empowerment Act in May 2000, the Department of
 Education has granted 21 waiver requests from 30 school districts, including
 today's announcement.
     The Department of Education had 60 days to approve, disapprove or request
 modifications to the application.
     The Education Empowerment Act gives all Pennsylvania school districts the
 opportunity to apply to the Department of Education for waivers from state
 educational mandates if they believe the waiver will enable them to improve
 instruction or operate more effectively, efficiently or economically.
     Before being submitted to the Department of Education, the application
 must be adopted by a resolution of the school board or board of control at a
 regularly scheduled meeting.
     Some statutes, regulations and standards cannot be waived, including those
 protecting students' health, safety and civil rights; certain
 special-education regulations; prevailing wage; collective bargaining; and
 federal regulations.  Districts may apply, however, for relief from certain
 school-construction or renovation requirements, for example.  Or, they might
 seek relief from some reporting or paperwork requirements.  It is up to each
 district to prepare an application and submit it to the Department of
 Education for review, and each request is reviewed on an individual basis.
     In its application, a school district must outline how the waiver will
 enable it to improve its instructional program or operate in a more effective,
 efficient or economical manner.  The district also must determine that the
 implementation of the waiver will be consistent with the terms of any court
 order, collective-bargaining agreement or contract by which the district is
 bound.
     The Education Empowerment Act also will help more than a quarter-million
 children in Pennsylvania's lowest-performing schools get the quality education
 they need and deserve -- through powerful new management tools and
 $25 million to make needed improvements.
     For more information about the mandate-waiver program, visit the PA
 PowerPort at www.state.pa.us or directly at www.pde.state.pa.us.
 
     CONTACT:  Dan Langan of the Pennsylvania Department of Education,
 717-783-9802.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X94299279
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education
    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
 Pennsylvania Acting Education Secretary Charles B. Zogby today announced his
 approval of the Spring-Ford Area School District's request for a mandate
 waiver under the Education Empowerment Act.
     Spring-Ford in Montgomery County sought relief from provisions of the
 School Code regarding special-education class size and caseload to enable the
 district to operate in a more efficient and economic manner.
     "Spring-Ford officials believed that this waiver would enable the district
 to operate more effectively and efficiently, while ensuring that every child
 receives a quality education," Zogby said.  "I'm pleased to approve their
 request and wish them success as they implement their program."
     In a letter to the district, Zogby also noted that new changes to
 special-education regulations known as Chapter 14 will require the district to
 seek approval for this type of relief under its special-education plan once
 the new regulations take effect.
     Since Gov. Ridge signed the Empowerment Act in May 2000, the Department of
 Education has granted 21 waiver requests from 30 school districts, including
 today's announcement.
     The Department of Education had 60 days to approve, disapprove or request
 modifications to the application.
     The Education Empowerment Act gives all Pennsylvania school districts the
 opportunity to apply to the Department of Education for waivers from state
 educational mandates if they believe the waiver will enable them to improve
 instruction or operate more effectively, efficiently or economically.
     Before being submitted to the Department of Education, the application
 must be adopted by a resolution of the school board or board of control at a
 regularly scheduled meeting.
     Some statutes, regulations and standards cannot be waived, including those
 protecting students' health, safety and civil rights; certain
 special-education regulations; prevailing wage; collective bargaining; and
 federal regulations.  Districts may apply, however, for relief from certain
 school-construction or renovation requirements, for example.  Or, they might
 seek relief from some reporting or paperwork requirements.  It is up to each
 district to prepare an application and submit it to the Department of
 Education for review, and each request is reviewed on an individual basis.
     In its application, a school district must outline how the waiver will
 enable it to improve its instructional program or operate in a more effective,
 efficient or economical manner.  The district also must determine that the
 implementation of the waiver will be consistent with the terms of any court
 order, collective-bargaining agreement or contract by which the district is
 bound.
     The Education Empowerment Act also will help more than a quarter-million
 children in Pennsylvania's lowest-performing schools get the quality education
 they need and deserve -- through powerful new management tools and
 $25 million to make needed improvements.
     For more information about the mandate-waiver program, visit the PA
 PowerPort at www.state.pa.us or directly at www.pde.state.pa.us.
 
     CONTACT:  Dan Langan of the Pennsylvania Department of Education,
 717-783-9802.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X94299279
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Department of Education