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State House Wraps Up Final Week of Session Before Primary 

State House members were busy in the last session week before the May 17th primary, with highly contested, bipartisan bills flying through the legislative process.  

The House amended HB 1866 on second consideration Wednesday with primarily technical language, including adding language from HB 1650, which has been sitting in the Senate for several months. PPC is championing HB 1866 to improve permanency practices for transition age youth in the foster care system. The bill now awaits a vote on final passage in the House, which we hope occurs when the chamber returns to session later this month. 

The final hours of session were derailed by an attempt from conservative members to either adjourn until May 23rd or take up the American Legislative Exchange Council-sponsored HB 71, known as the “Taxpayer Bill of Rights,” or TABOR bill. The bill ultimately failed to pass by an 82-120 margin, after which the regular calendar was restored, and the House finally adjourned.  

The House also made history in passing HB 2169, which would create a voucher system for students in the bottom 15% of poor-performing schools. The bill received final consideration and fully passed the House, with 10 Republicans joining most of the Democratic delegation in voting in the negative, creating a passing margin for the bill of 104-98. House Bill 2169 was the first voucher bill ever to pass the state House. In late March, PPC signed on to a letter opposing the bill because it will siphon taxpayer funding from public schools and reallocate it to private schools that lack accountability measures. Given pressure during the election year from voucher interests, there is a belief the legislation could pass the Senate as part of the budget negotiation process in the coming weeks. 

As we race towards the June 30th state budget deadline—and with the legislature back in session the week of May 23rd—look for future updates. 


Spread the word! May is National Foster Care Month.  

This year, National Foster Care Month is committed to highlighting the importance of relative and kinship care placements to maintain family and cultural connections. 

Acknowledging the unique role kin caregivers play in working to achieve reunification for children and youth in foster care is a critical factor in moving the system toward one that genuinely supports families. 

The National Foster Care Month website has free tools and resources to help inform others and spread the word. Here are some ways you can use these tools and resources: 

  • Share inspiring stories to highlight the importance of prioritizing kin placements for children and youth in foster care. 

  • Help educate the public by sharing information and resources. Use the hashtag #FosterCareMonth to help spread the word

  • Learn how child welfare agencies from across the country are working to change their culture and practice to ensure foster care is a support to families.  

  • Use graphics and key facts and statistics to help raise awareness throughout May.  

You can stay connected to the conversation by using the hashtag #FosterCareMonth and follow Child Welfare Information Gateway on Facebook and Twitter to see regular updates! 


While PA has seen a 5-year increase in placing children and youth with kin, we can do more to preserve biological families and keep children connected to their race, religion, communities, culture, and heritage. 


Zero to Three Releases State of Babies Yearbook  

Zero to Three has released its annual State of Babies Yearbook: 2022. The report looks at how infants and toddlers fare in each state and nationally using over 60 indicators in three focus areas: good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences.  

The 2022 report shows that 40% of babies are born into poverty; however, 60% of Black babies are born into poverty. The report also shows racial disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes, especially for Black and Native American mothers. 

In Pennsylvania, the Yearbook presents some improvements but a need for policies to strengthen outcomes for our youngest residents, including an Earned Income Tax Credit or paid family leave.  

Along with other stakeholders at the state Prenatal-to-Age-Three Collaborative table, we will continue to harness research showing how Pennsylvania compares to other states to implement policy changes that increase equitable access to quality health and nutrition supports so every infant and toddler can thrive.  


In Case You Missed It...

  • PPC Board Member and Sadler Health Center CEO Manal El Harrak and Dr. Kelly Leite, pediatrician and member of the PA-AAP, co-signed an op-ed for Pennlive urging DHS to use as much time and resources as allowable when redetermining eligibility for hundreds of thousands of children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP when the public health emergency ends.  

  • HR 119 of 2021 directed the Joint State Government Commission to study the progress and development of the integrated child welfare information system. Released in April, the report focuses on the implementation timeline and costs and urges not to rush the process.   

  • PDE submitted final form regulations for 22 Pa. Code Chapter 4 – Academic Standards and Assessment, #006-347. The modifications align with several acts that passed between 2017 and 2020.  

  • OCYF issued a new memo to county agencies outlining information sharing and confidentiality between agencies and local education agencies for children and youth in foster care. 

  • PDE released new guidance to local education agencies for Act 1 of 2022, which requires further support and graduation assistance for students experiencing educational instability. See Education Law Center’s fact sheet.  

  • PPC signed on to a child-focused letter with 110 national, state, and local children’s advocacy organizations in response to the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed rule on public charge. The letter highlights the improvements in the proposed rule and makes recommendations to strengthen the rule for children and families. 

  • NIEER released The State of Preschool Yearbook 2021 about state investments in high-quality pre-k and policy recommendations to increase access and quality. Pennsylvania’s profile looks further into our pre-k programs and our rankings compared to other states.   

  • A recent report indicates that approximately 1 in 6 U.S. children are currently food insecure. Food insecurity has been associated with numerous adverse health and developmental effects, including the risk of chronic illnesses, behavioral problems, and even premature death. While racial inequalities in food insecurity existed before COVID-19, Black and Latino households have continued to experience a disproportionately high food insecurity rate during the pandemic. In response to these increasing rates of food insecurity, policymakers have focused on establishing structures to prevent lapses in program enrollment in Food Stamps, SNAP, WIC, and School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. Some states have also expanded SNAP to ensure children receive year-round food support through their school meal programs regardless of school absences due to illness, holidays, vacations, and social distancing rules. 


Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
200 North Third Street 13th Floor
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
(717) 236-5680

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