Rapp Legislation to Improve Secondary Transition Services Teacher Training Approved by State House
6/21/2016
HARRISBURG — Legislation sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) that would offer reasonable protection for special education students receiving secondary transition services passed the state House on Monday.

Secondary transition is the process of preparing special education students for life after they leave high school, including participation in post-secondary education or training, employment and community living. The purpose of House Bill 1834 is to ensure that professional educators who provide secondary transition services are highly qualified and well trained.

“It is imperative that our school personnel have the skills and knowledge necessary to implement these services that will prepare and shape students for the rest of their lives,” said Rapp, who serves as the Special Education Subcommittee Chair on the House Education Committee. “Educators tasked with the important responsibility of imparting this instruction to students should receive, and continue to receive, specialized and detailed training in this particular area.”

Now awaiting consideration in the state Senate, House Bill 1834 would require professional educators providing secondary transition services to students who are in grades eight to 12, or are at least 14 years of age, to complete training within two months of assuming their duties. They would also be required to complete this training again every five years.

Federal law specifically defines transition services as a “coordinated set of activities” and a “results-oriented process” that focus on improving the academic and functional achievement of a student with a disability, based upon the individual student’s needs. These services must be included in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP); and, in Pennsylvania, a student’s IEP must address transition services and planning beginning at age 14.

House Bill 1834 would also require the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to create this training program, which must be available online, free of charge, and enumerate what must be included in the program. Finally, this legislation would establish that completion of this program would be credited toward any professional educator or school leader’s continuing professional education requirement under current law.

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Representative Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
717.772.9979
RepRapp.com / Facebook.com/RepRapp
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