Sen. Vincent Hughes' proposed amendment to allow the governor to abolish the School Reform Commission was voted down in committee this afternoon, according to my colleague, Amy Worden.
Hughes, a Philadelphia Democrat who criticized the SRC last week for canceling the teachers contract and imposing health care contributions, introduced the legislation this afternoon at a meeting of the appropriations committee, of which he is Democratic chair, accoording to Ben Waxman, a spokesman for Hughes. It was included with a bill that deals with home schooling, he said.
The move came amid several calls for the panel to be abolished in the wake of the teachers contract dispute. Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf last week said he favors abolishing the SRC and replacing it with an elected school board.
Waxman said Hughes' proposal did not spell out what should replace the commission.
Sen. Jake Corman, Republican chair of the appropriations committee who is from Centre County, did not return calls for comment.
School district spokesman Fernando Gallard also did not offer comment.
Under the current law, the SRC can only dissolve itself, with the concurrence of the state Secretary of Education.
If Corbett were re-elected, the amendment, even if it had passed, likely would not have had any impact. Corbett has backed the SRC's decision to cancel the contract.
Hughes also put forth an amendment that would require several days advance notice before a School Reform Commission meeting could be held. That amendment also was voted down. Educators, parents and advocates were upset that the SRC scheduled last week's meeting on the contract cancellation with only one day's notice and no indication what would be voted upon.