Requirements will apply beginning in the 2018-19 school year. School board directors or charter school trustees appointed as of July 1, 2018 will be required to complete the initial four-hour training program required under Act 55 during their first year in office.
School directors elected in November 2017 will not be “newly elected” during the 2018-19 school year; therefore, these school directors are not required to complete the initial four-hour Act 55 training program but may do so voluntarily if they so choose. School directors elected in November 2017 who seek and win reelection in 2021 will be required to complete the advanced, two-hour training programs required by the Act within one year of reelection.
The school director is required to complete the initial four-hour training program required under Act 55 during his or her first year in office after Act 55's 2018 effective date, regardless of previous service.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is pleased to announce that it will provide training programs free of charge to directors and trustees. The training programs will enhance the skills and knowledge necessary for individuals to serve successfully on the governing bodies of public schools across the Commonwealth.
Additionally, school districts, intermediate units, postsecondary institutions and statewide education organizations may seek to provide their own Act 55 training programs. Enrollees in these training programs are responsible for all costs charged by the provider.
To ensure access to high quality training programs, a listing of approved training programs will be posted on PDE’s website. Training Providers wishing to provide school board director or charter school trustee training programs must be approved by PDE. The application process for inclusion as an approved provider may be accessed via PDE’s website. Only those training programs which are approved and posted on the PDE website may be counted toward fulfillment of Act 55’s requirements.
School Board Directors - School districts, intermediate units, postsecondary institutions, and statewide education organizations may offer PDE approved training programs to school board directors.
Charter School Trustees - Charter schools (including regional and cyber charter schools), school districts, intermediate units, postsecondary institutions, statewide education organizations, and statewide education organizations representing charter schools may offer PDE approved training programs to charter school trustees.
No entity may provide the training programs required under Act 55 without PDE approval.
Secretaries of the Board and/or CEOs should maintain a copy of each Directors’/Trustees’ certificate(s) of completed training(s) in order to provide proof of compliance of this requirement during a State Audit.
Act 55 training should be taken after a School Director or Charter Trustee officially assumes office. Training must be completed during the first year a director or trustee is in office.
As a result of Pennsylvania Act 18 of 2019 legislation, trauma-informed
training is mandated to be conducted through Act 55 of 2017 training
programs. This includes a minimum of one
hour of trauma-informed instruction in the initial training program for new school
directors and charter school trustees, and a minimum of one hour training in
the advanced training for reelected and reappointed school directors and
charter school trustees.
Additional questions may be directed to the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Bureau of School Support, Division of Planning, RA-EDDOP@pa.gov.