Capitol Roundup from Rep. Mike Peifer
8/16/2013

Veterans Outreach Services Available at Honesdale Office

A representative of the American Legion Service Officer Outreach program is available on the second Monday of each month at Rep. Mike Peifer’s (R-Monroe/Pike/Wayne) office in Honesdale. The American Legion program offers veterans assistance with compensation, education, pension, health care and death benefits. Veterans need not be a member of the American Legion to use the service. Meetings are available by appointment only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Monday of the month. To schedule an appointment, contact Peifer’s office at 570-253-5533.

 

Commission Continues Study of Special Education Costs

The Special Education Funding Commission, on which Peifer serves, is continuing its review and discussion about the cost of educating students with special needs in Pennsylvania. Among the challenges facing Pennsylvania schools is the failure of the federal government to provide the 40 percent in funding it pledged for special education programs and a state funding formula that does not account for the actual population of students with special needs in each school and the level of services required. The commission, formed as a result of Act 3 of 2013, is made up of appointed House and Senate members, the secretaries of Education and Budget, and the deputy secretary for elementary and special education. The commission has until fall to recommend a new funding formula to more effectively pay for special education throughout the state.

 

Laws Aim to Protect Student Athletes

With the fall sports season getting underway, students, parents and coaches should be aware of two recently adopted state laws aimed at protecting student athletes. Act 59 of 2012 aims to raise awareness about the dangers of sudden cardiac arrest by requiring coaches and parents to complete an online training program to learn how to identify symptoms. Under the law, student athletes must be removed from practices or games if they display symptoms, and they cannot return to play until cleared to do so by a medical professional. Similarly, Act 101 of 2011 requires the removal from play of a student athlete who shows symptoms of a concussion, such as confusion, headache, nausea, blurred vision or memory loss. Parents and their student athletes are required to sign a concussion awareness sheet annually before the student is allowed to participate in a sport, and coaches of those sports must complete a concussion certification course each year. Additional information about both laws, and access to the online training course related to sudden cardiac arrest, is available through the Department of Health website at www.health.state.pa.us.

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