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Act 55 of 2017: School Director and Trustee Training Programs 

Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, school board directors and charter school trustees will be required to complete training programs pursuant to Act 55 of 2017.

  1. When do school director and charter school trustee training requirements take effect?
    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

  2. Must the class of school directors elected in November 2017 and seated in December 2017 complete training requirements?
    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.

  3. What if a school director previously served on a board prior to July 1, 2018, has a break in service, and returns to the board by appointment on or after July 1, 2018?
    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.

  4. How may school board directors and charter school trustees gain access to the required training programs?

    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.

  5. What types of entities may develop and offer these training programs?
    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.

  6. How are LEAs held accountable in ensuring that School Board Directors or Charter School Trustees have completed the mandatory training as required by Act 55?
    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.
Additional questions may be directed to the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Bureau of School Support, Division of Planning, RA-EDDOP@pa.gov.