Senate Approves Phillips-Hill’s Transparency Legislation for School Boards Association

HARRISBURG – In a decisive move to enhance transparency with entities that receive public benefits, the Senate of Pennsylvania approved legislation that would bring the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) under the state’s Right-to-Know Law, according to the measure’s sponsor, Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York). The legislation aims to provide public access to information about how taxpayer dollars are utilized by organizations that participate on the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS). 

The PSBA, a private nonprofit organization supporting elected school board directors, has staff members who enjoy the same benefits as public school teachers through PSERS. Phillips-Hill contends that this affiliation justifies subjecting the association to the same transparency requirements as public entities. 

“This legislation is a crucial step to ensure that all entities that receive public benefits are transparent and accountable.” Phillips-Hill said. “The public deserves to know how their tax dollars are being spent.” 

The Senate’s decision comes shortly after the House of Representatives narrowly approved a measure that would mandate new school directors to undergo training by the PSBA. This sequence of events underscores the critical timing and importance of the Senate’s legislative approval. 

Phillips-Hill’s legislation aligns with a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that classified the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) as a public entity subject to the Right-to-Know Law. The court’s opinion highlighted that since the PIAA receives tax dollars and funds from public schools, its classification as a state-affiliated entity was legitimate and essential for ensuring transparency in its use of public funds. 

Phillips-Hill argues that if the PSBA staff benefit from the public pension program, they should be held to the same transparency standards as public school employees. 

The Senate’s approval of this measure represents a significant advancement in promoting transparency and accountability in the use of public resources within the education sector. 

The legislation now awaits further action in the House of Representatives.


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