Senate Endorses Piccola Bill
Calling for Reform to Superintendent Contracts
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania school superintendent contract reform is one step
closer to becoming law under legislation sponsored by Senator Jeffrey Piccola
(R15) and approved by the Senate.
Senate Bill 1296 limits generous contract buyouts to departing school
district superintendents and requires more contract details to be made available
to the public. The legislation also links superintendent contracts to
performance standards tied to student achievement and shortens the contract
limit to three years for new superintendents and assistant superintendents, a
change from the current three to five-year range under current state law.
Additionally, the bill subjects superintendent and assistant superintendent
contracts to public access under Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know Law.
"The Senate Education Committee has been working to develop a system that
effectively evaluates the Commonwealth's teachers on objective standards and it
is only appropriate that our key administrators are similarly evaluated. In
addition, Senate Bill 1296 ensures employment contracts for school
superintendents receive greater public scrutiny by requiring the details of the
contract to be made public," said Piccola. "Under the new process included in
the bill, both superintendents and school boards will also know upfront what the
expectations are for the job and the consequences of terminating a contract
prematurely," said Piccola.
The introduction of Piccola's bill followed a string of large buyouts given
to superintendents over the past decade. Most notably was the buyout agreement
for the superintendent in Philadelphia.
"At the time of his audit, I commended the Auditor General for his work and
exposing these buyouts that have been increasingly and justifiably the subject
of the taxpayer ire. He clearly identified a pattern warranting legislative
action. This legislation is the joint product of his recommendations and my own
long-time interest in establishing objective and comprehensive performance-based
contracts for the Commonwealth's school administrators," added Piccola.
Senate Bill 1296 will now be referred to the House of Representatives for