House Appropriations Committee chairman Stan Saylor (R-York) issued the following statement announcing his intentions to require school districts, community colleges, technical schools and universities to return to in-person instruction as a condition of receiving state funding:
“Many schools in Pennsylvania have worked hard over the past year to keep their doors open to students while providing a safe learning environment. They should be commended. Unfortunately, we continue to see too many special interests and others fighting to keep other schools closed to in-person instruction. We appropriate over $16.6 billion from the state’s General Fund to support PreK-12 and higher education. If school districts, technical schools, community colleges or universities do not open their doors to full-time, in-person instruction, working with my colleagues, I will push to ensure the School Code prohibits them from accessing these dollars.”
A national study released in December found that K-5 students learned only 67 percent of the math and 87 percent of the reading that grade-level peers would typically have learned by the fall. The study also found that students could lose on average 5 to 9 months of learning by the end of June.
The CDC recently announced that schools can safely resume in-person instruction with social distancing 3 feet apart.