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Regulations

The State Board of Education works closely with the Department of Education, state policymakers, educators, and other interested stakeholders to review, develop and adopt regulations that govern significant components of both basic and higher education in the Commonwealth. Here you will find information about regulations currently under review by the Board.

Chapter 4 (Academic Standards and Assessment)

In fall 2019, the State Board of Education directed the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to undertake an effort to update our current academic standards in Science and Technology (2002) and Environment and Ecology (2002) and to return with recommendations for updated standards for the Board's consideration. Recommendations were developed through extensive outreach to interested stakeholders and engagement of content experts in drafting standards updates.

Access background on the process PDE conducted to develop recommendations, a report on stakeholder feedback and research that informed this work, and reports that provide context for the recommended standards updates.

The Board's Committee on Academic Standards/Chapter 4 accepted the recommendations presented by the Department on its agenda for consideration and endorsed their approval as proposed amendments to Chapter 4 (Academic Standards and Assessment). On September 9, 2020, the proposed amendments to Chapter 4 subsequently were approved by both the Council of Basic Education and the State Board of Education.

Proposed amendments to 22 Pa. Code Chapter 4 were published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin for public comment on June 5, 2021. Following its review of public comment, the Academic Standards/Chapter 4 Committee met on September 8, 2021, to discuss next steps to address concerns expressed by stakeholders related to the content of the new standards proposed in the rulemaking. The Committee adopted the document linked below that summarizes the next steps determined at the meeting.

The Academic Standards/Chapter 4 Committee held a public meeting on December 1, 2021, to receive recommendations from the Science Standards Content Committee and Steering Committee in response to the charge to the Committees set forth in the document above titled "Next Steps on Proposed Amendments to 22 Pa. Code Chapter 4." 

Recommendations presented by the Science Standards Content Committee and Steering Committee, along with the PowerPoint presentation from the December 1, 2021, meeting are available below.

On January 13, 2022, the State Board of Education approved final-form amendments to Chapter 4. The regulation was approved by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission on May 19, 2022.  Together, the two documents linked below (Annex A and Appendix B-1) comprise the final-form amendments approved by the Board and by IRC. 

Chapter 4 (Final-form):

Final amendments in the Annex set forth a July 1, 2025, effective date for three new sets of standards: the Pennsylvania Standards for Integrated Science, Environment, Ecology, Technology and Engineering (grades K-5), the Pennsylvania Standards for Integrated Science, Environment and Ecology (grades 6-12), and the Pennsylvania Technology and Engineering Standards (grades 6-12). The final-form academic standards are presented in Appendix B-1.

The Annex also includes technical amendments to align Chapter 4 with changes to the Public School Code of 1949 enacted by the General Assembly that revised high school graduation requirements, lowered the compulsory school age to 6, and updated terminology to replace references to "vocational-technical education" with "career and technical education."

Chapter 49 (Certification of Professional Personnel)

In November 2018, the Secretary of Education presented recommended amendments to Chapter 49 (Certification of Professional Personnel) to the State Board. The Secretary's recommendations were informed by multiple stakeholder convening, along with a report on certification research and recommendations prepared by the Learning Policy Institute (LPI). Below you will find a copy of LPI's report.

The Board accepted the Secretary's proposal on its agenda and announced its intention to consider the proposal as the Board initiated a required major review of Chapter 49.

Throughout the spring of 2019, the Board's Teacher and School Leader Effectiveness Committee traveled across the state to gather feedback from interested stakeholders on the Secretary's recommended amendments to the Chapter. The Committee heard from diverse stakeholders at public hearings in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Lock Haven, and Pittsburgh. The Committee also invited individuals who could not attend its hearings to submit their comments on Chapter 49 in writing. All testimony and written comments were reviewed and considered by the Board.

The Board adopted proposed amendments to Chapter 49 in July 2020. Those proposed amendments were published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin for public comment and were submitted for review by the Senate Education Committee, House Education Committee, and Independent Regulatory Review Commission.

The Board considered additional stakeholder feedback received through public comment. A draft final rulemaking that reflected additional refinements based on stakeholder input was presented by the Teacher and School Leader Effectiveness Committee. Final amendments to Chapter 49 subsequently were approved by the Council of Higher Education and by the State Board of Education on September 9, 2021.

The final amendments adopted by the Board were transmitted to the Senate Education Committee, House Education Committee, and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.  Final amendments to Chapter 49 were deemed approved by the Senate Education Committee and the House Education Committee on March 9, 2022.  

On March 10, 2022, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) considered final amendments to Chapter 49 at a public meeting of the Commission.  Comments submitted to IRRC identified a typographical error in the definition of "structured literacy."  In reviewing these comments, the Board agreed that the final-form regulation erroneously uses the term "systemic" when referring to "structured literacy" and that the correct term is "systematic."  The Board noted for IRRC that it will work cooperatively with the Legislative Reference Bureau to ensure that the proper revised text is published in the Pennsylvania Code and Bulletin.  IRRC approved the final-form amendments to Chapter 49 at its public meeting on March 10, 2022.   

Final-form amendments to Chapter 49 were published in the April 23, 2022, edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin and take effect at the time of publication.