Press Releases

For Immediate Release
May 19, 2016

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Tricia Harris, | 717.720.5447

PA Chamber: Governor's Veto of Important Education Reform Hurts Quality Teachers and Students


HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of H.B. 805, legislation that would have helped to keep quality teachers in the classroom:


“We are disappointed the governor chose to veto this important education reform. This legislation would have removed the burdensome ‘last in, first out’ mandate that prevents school districts from retaining their best teachers. One of the biggest factors impacting a child’s education is access to quality teachers. Unfortunately, under current law, school districts’ hands are tied when faced with the unfortunate situation of having to furlough teachers, as seniority is currently the only factor in determining which teachers should be let go. As a result, gifted educators have been forced to leave the classroom, while teachers who are proven to be less effective are able to keep their jobs. Not only does this hurt teachers who are let go from a job they love, but it hurts the students who gained inspiration from those teachers.”


“The antiquated practice of ‘last in, first out’ conflicts with the time-honored principles of workplace management and optimizing workforce talent. In the private sector, an employee’s effectiveness and work product are taken into account for human resource decisions. There is no reason why the same principles shouldn’t be applied to basic education. Truly improving our education systems means more than just pushing for more spending. If we want to ensure that every Pennsylvania student has the opportunity to obtain a high quality education, we need to make sure that the best, most qualified teachers are 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.