Schmotzer Introducing Bill to Strengthen Requirement for School Principals

'Ensuring our principals have the classroom experience necessary to effectively lead a school is crucial.'

, (D-Pennsylvania's 22nd House District), will soon introduce a bill requiring anyone seeking a principal, vice principal or assistant principal certificate in Pennsylvania to complete at least 10 years of satisfactory professional school experience before a certificate is awarded.

"Ensuring our principals have the classroom experience necessary to effectively lead a school is crucial," Schmotzer said in a news release, "especially in today's climate of decreased appropriations and strained budgets.

"It appears the new Republican state budget will continue to leave schools in the hole dug by last year's roughly $1 billion in K-12 education cuts, so this reform is all the more vital."

Currently, people seeking to serve as a principal, vice principal or assistant principal in Pennsylvania need five years of professional school experience to receive the required Administrative I certificate, according to the release.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, Schmotzer's bill would place into law a requirement that no one would be granted an Administrative I certificate without having completed at least 10 years of professional school experience. The bill would define "professional school experience" as professional experience in an educational setting that is directly related to the instructional process.

"This new requirement would ensure principals and others in a school administrative capacity have the knowledge and experience to successfully lead a school," Schmotzer said.

Schmotzer, a former Baldwin-Whitehall School Board member who lives in , will represent all of and part of Whitehall in the state House of Representatives through the end of 2012.

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