– To ensure that students of the future don’t experience the same educational challenges as students who struggled to learn through the pandemic and its subsequent school closures, Rep. Carrie Lewis DelRosso (R-Allegheny/Westmoreland) introduced legislation to preserve equal access to in-person instruction for students across the Commonwealth.
Known as the In-Person Education Act, House Bill 1254
would give families the option to use their child’s share of state education funding in the form of a grant to access educational alternatives if their public school does not offer full-time, in-person instruction.
The bill would not require students to attend in-person instruction, nor would it require schools to offer in-person instruction.
“Because of the pandemic, many families were reminded of the value of in-person learning as strong students began to flounder and others who need more help were cut off from the support that maximized their learning in school,” Lewis DelRosso said. “Our children faced this tremendous challenge – and will continue to deal with its impact indefinitely, for some students – so we owe it to future generations to protect them from the same injustice.”
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics warned that closed schools present significant short- and long-term harm to children, ranging from academic setbacks to depression, substance use, physical inactivity and abuse.
“Too many students struggle academically and emotionally when they’re shut out of their classrooms,” Lewis DelRosso said. “Students need access to in-person learning to ensure they do not fall permanently behind.”
The In-Person Education Act awaits consideration by the House Education Committee.