HARRISBURG – The PA House Education Committee has passed legislation that would reform the teacher tenure and furlough decision process for Pennsylvania’s public school districts. House Bill 1722 is sponsored by Westmoreland County Rep. Tim Krieger, who says, “Especially during these tough fiscal times, Pennsylvania’s public school districts need clear guidelines for making furlough decisions to protect the mutual best interests of students, teachers and taxpayers. The Commonwealth’s current Public School Code generally prohibits the furlough of teachers for budgetary reasons. Even when furloughs are permitted, seniority alone dictates which teachers stay or go. Not basing furlough decisions on classroom performance inevitably results in removing some of our best teachers from the classroom. This is not only unfair to our most productive teachers but also to our children.” The bill will also expand the current benchmark for awarding tenure to public school teachers from three to five years of satisfactory classroom performance. The measure is on its way to full House consideration.