Press Releases

For Immediate Release
November 6, 2017

For more information, contact
Tricia Harris, | 717.720.5447

PA Chamber Applauds Enactment of Important Education Reform That Will Help Keep Quality Teachers in the Classroom

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding the enactment of H.B. 178 – the Public School Code bill – which contains language that replaces the current seniority-based process used when teacher furloughs are necessary with a more fair and logical approach that aims to keep high-quality teachers in the classroom: 


“We applaud the General Assembly for passing this long-overdue education reform and are pleased that it became law today.   Among other important components of this omnibus School Code bill is language to remove the archaic and counterproductive ‘last in, first out’ mandate that had tied school administrators’ hands when faced with the unfortunate situation of having to furlough teachers.  This antiquated system pulled some of Pennsylvania’s best and brightest teachers out of the classroom because seniority was the only factor in determining which teachers should be let go.  As a result, this practice led to gifted, quality educators being forced to leave the classroom simply because they were hired more recently than others.


“The enactment of H.B. 178 is an important step for the Commonwealth’s education system.  This critical reform will improve the quality of education for current students – and future generations of students – who will benefit from having the best, most qualified and inspiring teachers in the classroom.”


The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.