Categories Op/Ed

Letter to the Editor: Military Recruiter Bill Merely Brings Law Into 21st Century

letter, LTE

I want to respond to Timothy Runkle’s letter (“Should Military Recruiters Pitch to High School Sophomores?”, Advocate, Feb. 21) regarding House Bill 239, legislation proposed by my colleague Harry Readshaw, a Pittsburgh Democrat. I have chosen to co-sponsor Rep. Readshaw’s bill because it merely aims to bring Pennsylvania’s cyber, charter and other types of schools into compliance with federal law by extending what is currently required of public schools.

Current law — Act 10 of 1991 — requires each public school district to provide armed forces recruiters with the same access to junior and senior students as is available to institutions of higher education and trade schools.

When that law was passed, lawmakers did not envision cyber, charter and other types of schools. Rep. Readshaw’s bill merely brings the law into the 21st century. It should also be noted that when I was chairman of the House Education Committee in the 2017-18 session — I am now chairman of the House Professional Licensure Committee — this exact legislation was proposed by then-Rep. Will Tallman and passed the Education Committee 27-0 and the full House 177-18. While it did not make it to the governor’s desk, this is hardly a partisan bill.

There is the legitimate question of why should we do this? Rep. Readshaw believes, as do I and many other lawmakers, that today’s military is not the military of the past. Today’s military offers scholarships and training in legal services, civil engineering cyber security and much more which allow our young people to be academically and professionally prepared to provide a multitude of career services to our state.

Rep. DAVE HICKERNELL

West Donegal Township

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