HARRISBURG – Today, legislation co-prime sponsored by Rep. Jill Cooper (R-Westmoreland) cleared the House Education Committee with a unanimous vote. House Bill 1258
proposes improvements to the current law pertaining to dual enrollment programs in Pennsylvania schools by temporarily removing the requirement that students enrolled in such programs are removed from the school’s average daily membership.
Commonly referred to as the “ADM,” the average daily membership impacts state funding to local school districts.
“Requiring students be removed from their school’s daily count creates a disincentive for school districts to have dual enrollment programs,” Cooper said. “Harrisburg shouldn’t be hindering innovation; we should be fostering it.”
Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to enroll in college-level classes, earning college credits while still enrolled in high school. In some cases, college classes are taught by certified high school teachers and in the high school facility.
House Bill 1258 would pause the practice of removing dually enrolled students from the school’s average daily membership for two years. During this time, the Department of Education would provide data to the General Assembly, so a more permanent process can be established.
The concern was brought to Cooper by administrators at Franklin Regional School District.
“I am thankful that Superintendent Dr. Jamie Piraino alerted me to this problem,” Cooper said. “When a student begins earning college credits in high school, they save themselves and their families a significant amount of money and helps them avoid student debt.”
The subject also had the attention of Rep. Stephen Kinsey (D-Philadelphia). He and Cooper worked together to draft House Bill 1258 and also came together as co-chairs of the Pennsylvania House Bipartisan “Meet Me in the Middle” Caucus, which hosted a press conference earlier this month. Reps. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin/Cumberland) and Jamie Flick (R-Lycoming/Union) are also co-chairs.
“A proposal like this is bipartisan, for good reason. It addresses a very specific need that holds back Pennsylvania students from very worthwhile programs,” said Cooper. “Fixing a problem like this transcends party lines.”
Representative Jill Cooper
55th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives