Senator Bob Mensch E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Survey Question
  • 2022 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule Now Available!
  • The Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy is accepting applications for its first-ever cadet class in July 2022
  • Schools Have New Tool to Ease Substitute Teacher Shortage
  • Grants Available for Community Learning Centers
  • Help for Students to Acquire Skills in High Demand by Employers
  • Senate Committee Activity is Streamed and Stored Online

Survey Question

Please take a moment to answer this week’s survey question.

2022 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule Now Available!

​ Excitement for the spring trout fishing season kicks into high gear yesterday as the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is pleased to make its 2022 adult trout stocking schedule available using the FishBoatPA mobile app and website (www.fishandboat.com).

“The release of our trout stocking schedule is always a welcome reminder that spring is just around the corner,” said Brian Wisner, Director of the PFBC Bureau of Hatcheries.  “This schedule is our roadmap for stocking millions of trout into hundreds of waterways across the state before and during the trout season, which is no small task.  Anglers can review the schedule to learn which local waters will be ready for some great fishing in just a few weeks.  So, buy your fishing license early, get your gear ready, and start planning your opening day adventure and fishing trips throughout the season.”

The trout stocking schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates, meeting locations for volunteers, and the species of trout that will be stocked. 

In 2022, Pennsylvania will return to a single, statewide Opening Day of Trout Season on the first Saturday in April, which in 2022 will occur on Saturday, April 2.  A single, statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will take place on Saturday, March 26.  Under this change, which will result in a longer regular season for trout statewide, the practice of holding a separate regional opening day and mentored youth day for Pennsylvania’s 18 southeastern counties will no longer occur. 

To accommodate the earlier statewide trout season, preseason trout stocking operations are set to begin the week of February 21.  Anglers should note that fishing is not permitted on lakes and streams designated as Stocked Trout Waters from February 21 to the Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day and the opening day of the regular trout season in April, unless waters are included in the Stocked Trout Waters Open to Year-Round Fishing program.

Licenses and Permits

To participate in trout fishing and keep trout, anglers ages 16 and older require both a fishing license and a trout permit. 

Anglers and boaters can start preparing for opening day of trout season right now by purchasing their 2022 Pennsylvania fishing licenses, launch permits, and boat registration renewals online at www.fishandboat.com, the FishBoatPA mobile app, or by visiting one of approximately 700 retail license issuing agents.  Online customers will notice an improved licensing buying experience, save time, and can avoid long lines in stores when waiting to purchase a license closer to the start of trout season.  Anglers are no longer required to display a printed copy of their fishing license on the outside of their clothing and may simply store their license digitally on their phones.

The Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy is accepting applications for its first-ever cadet class in July 2022

Flags available for vets groups 

Order forms and a postage-paid return envelope for Memorial Day flags and markers have been recently mailed to all American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in Lackawanna County.

The Lackawanna County Veterans Affairs Office is asking the organizations to return the forms as soon as possible so that the overall order can be submitted early.

The office is trying to head off any supply shortage or delivery issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The office will notify everyone when the shipment arrives and provide information on the location for the pickups so that preparation of the cemeteries for Memorial Day by the various organizations and groups can begin.

Program helps struggling teens 

The Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy is accepting applications for its first-ever cadet class in July 2022.

The Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy is designed to give academically challenged teens a second chance at obtaining their basic education, learn leadership, self-discipline and responsibility while working towards finishing their education and building a brighter future.

The opening of the academy at Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County formally establishes the National Guard Bureau’s Youth ChalleNGe Program in Pennsylvania.

The program is open to 16- to 18-year-old Pennsylvania residents who are failing to progress in high school or may not be on a clear path to graduating. Applicants must be willing to be drug free, free of felony convictions and voluntarily commit to the program. The program lasts for 17 months, with the first five months consisting of residential training at FTIG followed by one year of mentorship back in the community.

“Sometimes teens head down the wrong path and fall short of reaching their potential in life,” said Stephen Radulski, KSCA director. “This academy provides the commonwealth’s disconnected youth with a second chance, one that will help them to reach their potential as productive citizens both socially and educationally. We encourage anyone who feels they are eligible to join the academy to apply right away.”

For detailed eligibility requirements and to begin the application process, go to: KSCA Application. If you prefer to have an application mailed to you, or would like to talk with someone about this program, please contact the academy by emailing RA-MVPACHALLENGE@pa.gov, or by calling 717-861-7767 or 717-861-8831.

The KSCA is a joint effort between the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the National Guard Bureau in consultation with the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Cadets are introduced to the military structure and focus on eight core components: Academic Excellence; Physical Fitness; Leadership/Followership; Responsible Citizenship; Job Skills; Service to the Community; Health and Hygiene and Life Coping Skills. Graduates often receive high school credits, credentials, or a GED. There is no tuition cost to attend. Meals, housing, uniforms and school supplies are provided at no charge.

Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than 179,000 young people have completed the ChalleNGe program nationwide. This award-winning program has been recognized as one of the nation’s most effective and cost-efficient programs for targeting youth who have dropped out of school or are at the greatest risk for not satisfactorily progressing, are unemployed or under employed.

The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program currently operates 40 Youth Challenge sites in 31 states and territories. The program is both federally and state funded.

More details can be found at www.ngchallenge.org, www.ngyf.org or at https://www.dmva.pa.gov/KeystoneStateChallengeAcademy.

https://www.thevalleyadvantage.com/news/community-briefs/article_c4c34f88-f43d-5366-9af1-0cf3ab7bb99a.html

Schools Have New Tool to Ease Substitute Teacher Shortage

The General Assembly recently passed Act 91 to help schools find substitute teachers to fill critical staffing shortages caused by the pandemic. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has released guidelines for schools to follow in taking advantage of the law.

Act 91 provides additional pathways for quality individuals to pursue and complete certifications and enter the educator workforce. Specifically, the law creates a new Classroom Monitor Permit for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. A classroom monitor may be employed to provide coverage and deliver preplanned assignments in classrooms. A classroom monitor may not plan lessons or create or grade student work.

An individual receiving a Classroom Monitor Permit must satisfy the following requirements as outlined in Act 91:

  • Has completed at least 60 semester hours or the equivalent of courses at a regionally accredited college or university located in Pennsylvania or have at least three years’ experience as a paraprofessional in a school entity and is currently employed as a paraprofessional.
  • Has met the pre-employment requirements for background clearances, citizenship and good moral character under the School Code and Child Protective Services Law.
  • Has completed training on classroom management provided by an intermediate unit (IU) and approved by PDE.
  • Is at least 25 years of age.

Additional consideration should be taken when determining if a classroom monitor should work with students with disabilities. Schools can find more information and resources about the changes under Act 91 on the department’s Certification Services website.

Grants Available for Community Learning Centers

Organizations may now submit their intent to apply for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program, which provides funding to support community learning centers that provide academic, artistic and cultural enrichment opportunities for students and their families.

Eligible organizations include public school districts, charter schools, private schools, nonprofit agencies, city or county government agencies, faith-based organizations, institutions of higher education, for-profit corporations and others.

Programs must take place during non-school hours or periods when school is not in session to help students attending high-poverty and low-performing schools to meet state and local standards in core academic subjects. Centers must also offer students a broad array of activities that can complement their regular academic programs and literacy and other educational services to their families. How to apply.

Help for Students to Acquire Skills in High Demand by Employers

Financial assistance is available to help students learn skills in high demand by today’s employers in energy, health, advanced materials and diversified manufacturing, and agriculture and food production.

The PA Targeted Industry Program, created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2012, provides need-based awards up to $5,000. Approved veteran applicants may receive up to 100% of the student’s total educational costs or the max award, whichever is less. Awards can be used to cover tuition, books, fees, supplies and a $4,000 living expense allowance.

Students must have received a high school diploma, GED or recognized homeschool certificate. Students who have completed a bachelor’s or graduate degree are still eligible to apply for assistance. Information and Applications

Senate Committee Activity is Streamed and Stored Online

Last year, the Senate held nearly 330 public meetings and hearings that were streamed live from the Capitol and locations across Pennsylvania. You can find them all, plus 2022’s committee activity, here.

The Senate’s 23 standing committees, ranging from Aging and Youth to Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness, are where legislation is vetted, debated and, if necessary, altered before being considered by the full Senate. Committee hearings bring citizens, experts and other interested parties together for public presentations on various topics.

Committee pages are where you can find agendas, video and written testimony. You can find the most recent committee action and upcoming livestreams here, and a full Senate committee schedule here.

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