School hearing discusses role of parents and community

Published Sep 25, 2013 at 6:01 am (Updated Sep 25, 2013 at 11:21 am)

The House Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing Sept. 17 and heard from school administrators, parents’ groups and community leaders. Together they looked at the role the community and parents can play in school.

State Rep. Dan Miller, D-Allegheny, requested the hearing and served as co-chairman. He plans to introduce legislation related to this issue and that would aid families in being able to attend academic-related activities for their children, similar to the federal Family Medical Leave Act.

“We all know the phrase, ‘it takes a village,’” said Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “Nowhere is this truer than in our schools. I think many people realize the important role of a strong relationship between parents, educators and the community in the overall enrichment of our youth.”

Those testifying at the hearing included Tim Steinhauer, superintendent Mt. Lebanon School District; William Stropkaj, superintendent Keystone Oaks School District; Nancy Rose, superintendent Bethel Park School District; Julie Daubner, president Mt. Lebanon Council PTA; The PEAL Center; Coleman McDonough, police chief Mt. Lebanon; Josephine Posti, co-chairman of Mt. Lebanon Drug Task Force and Mt. Lebanon School Board director; Kelly Fraasch, co-chairman of Mt. Lebanon Drug Task Force and Mt. Lebanon commissioner; and Todd Pritchard, co-chairman of Mt. Lebanon Drug Task Force and chief of Medical Rescue Team South Authority.

“It’s indisputable that there is a strong connection between parental involvement in a child’s education and an increased chance of success,” Miller said. “I think people recognize that for many working families, being as involved as they would like to be, or need to be, is becoming more and more challenging. It is my hope that the legislature sees the value in assisting families and passes the Parental Involvement Leave Act.”

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