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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 9, 2017 01:23 PM
From: Representative James R. Roebuck, Jr.
To: All House members
Subject: Governor’s School of Urban Teaching Act
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will create the “Governor’s School of Urban Teaching Act.” This legislation is intended to establish a program that will enable future generations of educators to engage in an intensive summer program designed to demonstrate the rewards and hardships of teaching in an urban environment.

Prior to funding cuts in 2008, the Governor’s Schools of Excellence consisted of eight (8) residential summer programs on college campuses serving high school students with abilities and interest in a diverse array of disciplines to include The Pennsylvania Governor's School for Teaching (PGST) which was held annually at Millersville University, Millersville, PA. PGST was the first and only school of its kind in the nation.

In 2007, I secured funding to implement a ninth (9th) Governor’s School which replicated many of the principles of PGST but focused on the challenges and rewards of teaching in an urban school setting. The Governor’s School for Urban Teaching (PGSUT) was established at Temple University with the support and guidance of the staff at the Millersville School for teaching.

PGSUT was designed to attract and expose young people interested in teaching in urban areas, like Philadelphia, to an invaluable experience in their future teaching careers. PGSUT was created to address the reoccurring problem of attracting students to teach in cities. Unfortunately, the program was cut along with the other Governor’s Schools in 2008.

Urban teaching presents a very different environment than rural teaching. In an urban setting, it is not uncommon to have classes that are diverse along the spectrums of many identities. Different societal factors also play a role in the teaching environment. Issues ranging from drugs, gangs, low parental involvement and poverty find themselves disproportionately affecting urban areas.

With these issues in mind, it is very important that students interested in teaching in an urban setting be able to engage in a program that is designed to expose them to the realities of the job. It is my hope that by re-establishing the PGSUT, the program will help in attracting better, more qualified educators for future generations and for that reason, this legislation is of the highest importance.

Please consider co-sponsoring this piece of legislation. For more information concerning this legislation, you are asked to please contact Erin Dixon at (717)787-7044 or edixon@pahouse.net

Previous cosponsors: Longietti, O’Brien, Freeman, Kinsey, McCarter, Murt, Schlossberg, Schweyer, Thomas, Youngblood, and Gillen

Introduced as HB363