Pattye Benson

Community Matters

House Bill 855

State Rep Kampf Supports Teacher Furloughing for Economic Reasons

In today’s Main Line Media News, Alan Thomas writes an article on our state representative, ‘Warren Kampf thinks he knows how to get the Pennsylvania Family back on track”. Thomas was able to get our state rep to offer some remarks on various topics.

On House Bill 855, teacher furloughing . . .

We learn that Kampf supports the bill that would permit the furloughing of teachers for economic reasons. Current legislation only permits school districts to lay off teachers only if enrollment declines, districts consolidate or if a program is eliminated.

The proposed legislation, House Bill 855 would permit ‘economic’ as a reason to furlough teachers. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association and the state’s largest teacher union, Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) are at odds over this proposed legislation. Among some, there is fear this proposed legislation could be open the door to teacher layoffs. House Bill 855 would allow furloughs to occur without regard for an employee’s seniority and experience.

According to Kamp, TESD is able to “reduce by 15 [the number of teachers] by going from five to six [teaching] periods a day. However, the law prevents furloughing.” Kampf supports the furlough legislation and thinks that it may pass before school budgets are due.

On the State’s pension problem . . .

Kampf’s solution is to “go to a defined-contribution plan for new hires, a percentage of payroll for employees, but that’s the end of it for the taxpayer . . . “

On taxing natural-gas production . . .

Kampf is OK with taxing natural gas production, as long as it is a low tax at the well-head, citing substantial revenue as the reason.

Kampf makes an interesting remark at the end of the article, referencing the taxing of the natural gas production — “The governor campaigned on no tax. My prediction – not going to happen.” Apparently, Kampf believes that Corbett is going to have to reverse his campaign promise and tax the companies conducting the drilling. Could taxing those companies involved in national gas production have an effect on job growth in those areas? I don’t have an answer, just asking the question . . .

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