Senate Approves Aument Bill to Combat PA Students’ Learning Loss

HARRISBURG – The Senate approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Ryan Aument (R-36) that would combat the learning loss caused by the pandemic for Pennsylvania’s students by broadening the state’s Open Campus Initiative to include charter schools, regional charter schools, and cyber charter schools.

Currently, the Open Campus Initiative allows school districts to enter collaborative partnerships, which permits a student from one participating district to attend classes at the other school district and receive credit for that course.

The initiative is a valuable resource for students because it gives them opportunities that their current school district doesn’t or isn’t able to offer, such as high-level language courses, AP credit courses and specialized career and vocational courses.

“Due to the pandemic, we have seen a tremendous amount of learning loss, and some school districts are struggling to bridge the gap. My legislation would help accelerate addressing some of those issues by giving school districts an additional tool in their toolbox,” Sen. Aument said.

Senate Bill 786 would not require school districts to develop collaborative partnerships with a charter school, regional charter school or cyber charter school. Rather, it would simply give school districts the option to integrate into their own curriculum courses and materials from local education agencies that are currently ineligible to participate in the Open Campus Initiative.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT:  Stephanie Applegate, 717-787-4420

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