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Department of Education

  1. Teacher Tenure Appeals (24 P.S. §§ 11-1131; 22 Pa. Code §§ 351.1 through 351.10)
    1. Typically, oral argument before attorney in Office of Chief Counsel (with discretion to hold evidentiary hearing);
    2. The school district submits the record of the hearing held before the local school board ` typically, a transcript and exhibits;
    3. The Secretary of Education issues the final administrative decision.

  2. Professional Discipline (24 P.S. §§ 2070.1a through 2070.18a; 22 Pa. Code 233.13 through 233.122)
    1. Evidentiary hearing before hearing officer appointed by the Professional Standards and Practices Commission;
    2. Hearing officer issues proposed report;
    3. Parties may file exceptions from hearing officer proposals to Professional Standards and Practices Commission, which hears oral argument.

  3. AYP Appeals (General Rules of Administrative Practice & Procedure - 1 Pa. Code)
    1. Evidentiary hearing before hearing officer appointed by Secretary of Education;
    2. Hearing officer certifies record to Secretary and provides written summary of facts and issues to Secretary;
    3. Secretary issues decision based upon. certified record.

  4. Certification Audit Appeals (24 P.S. § 25-2518)
    1. School Districts cited for employing professionals that are not properly certified may appeal to the Secretary;
    2. Evidentiary hearing before hearing officer appointed by Secretary of Education;
    3. Heating officer issues a proposed report;
    4. Parties may file exceptions from hearing officer proposals to Secretary of Education;
    5. Secretary issues final decision

  5. Certification Appeals Committee (22 Pa. Code § 49.13(b)(9))
    1. Applicants denied teaching certificate may appeal to Secretary of Education’s Certification Appeals Committee;
    2. Committee holds informal time-limited hearing which usually consists of applicant’s statement and applicant’s answering questions posed by committee.

  6. Teacher Tenure Hearings - This is a hearing held when a tenured teacher appeals his or her dismissal or demotion by the school district’s board of school directors to the Sec. of Education (24 P.S. sec. 1131; 22 Pa. Code secs. 351.1-- 351.10). The hearing officer is an attorney in the OCC and the hearing involves legal argument by counsel for the parties and is held in the OCC. Evidentiary testimony can be taken but that is extremely rare because the necessary information/testimony is in the record from the evidentiary hearing before the board of school directors. The hearing officer advises the Sec. and drafts the decision for the Sec’s signature; The decision can be appealed to Commw. Ct.
  7. Charter school issues -- These hearings are held when there are payment or residency issues between a school district and a charter school. The hearing officer is appointed by the Sec. from the OGC hearing officers. The hearings are held pursuant to 24 P.S. sec. 17-1725-A(6). These can be evidentiary hearings or simply legal argument depending on the issue and the requests of the parties, The hearing officer provides a proposed decision to the Sec., which allows the parties to file exceptions if they desire. The Sec. makes the final decision, which can be appealed to Commw. Ct.
ABLE - Bureau of Adult Basic Literacy & Education (a PDE bureau)
ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder (special education context)
AMID - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (special education context)
ADM - Average Daily Membership (attendance measure for school districts) (see WADM)
APS - Approved Private School
AVTS - Area Vocational and Technical School
AYP - Adequate Yearly Progress (requirement of NCLB that schools achieve a certain level of improvement each year)
BEC - Basic Education Circular
BBFM - Bureau of Budget and Fiscal Management
BSE - Bureau of Special Education
BTPC - Bureau of Teacher Preparation and Certification
CAC - Certification Appeals Committee
EDGAR - Education Department General Administrative Regulations
EIT - Earned Income Tax (a tax imposed by local school districts on earned income)
ELL - English Language Learners
EMR - Educable Mentally Retarded
ESBE - Equalized Subsidy for Basic Education (formula which forms the basis of the funding scheme for school districts)
FAPE - Free Appropriate Public Education (required by special education laws)
FERPA - Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act
GEPA - General Education Provisions Act
IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEP - Individualized Education Plan (for special education students)
IG - Intergovernmental Agreement
IU - Intermediate Unit
JTPA - Job Training Partnership Act
LEA - Local Education Agency
LEP - Limited English Proficient
MA - Medical Assistance
MAWA - Mutually Agreed upon Written Arrangement
MDT - Multi-Disciplinary Team (planning group for special education services)
MOE - Maintenance of Effort
MOU - Memorandum of Understanding
NCLB - The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
OCC - Office of Chief Counsel
OGC - Office ’of General Counsel
PA SA - Pennsylvania Alternative System of Assessment (alternative state assessment that is available to some students with IEPs depending upon their individual needs)
PIT - Personal Income Tax (a tax school districts may impose - under the terms
PRRI - Private Residential Rehabilitative Institution
PSEA - Pennsylvania State Education Association
PSPC - Professional Standards and Practices Commission
PSSA - Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (Pennsylvania’s standardized assessment)
SED - Serious Emotional Disturbance (special education)
TTA - Teacher Tenure Appeal
USCO - Unsafe School Choice Option (a requirement of NCLB that schools with certain levels of violence incidents provide an alternative educational placement for students)
WADM - Weighted Average Daily Membership (measure of school attendance that factors in kindergarten, elementary, and secondary school levels)

Contact Person:

Carol Hroback
Administrative Assistant
333 Market Street 9th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126