|Posted:||November 23, 2021 02:53 PM|
|From:||Representative Michael H. Schlossberg|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Time for Pennsylvania to Grow Our Own Educators|
|Even before the pandemic, school districts across Pennsylvania were in dire need of teachers. As the pandemic continues, the teacher shortage poses a real and growing crisis as district after district reports a need for more qualified educators in classrooms. The shortage threatens our students’ ability to learn, reduces teacher effectiveness, and causes high teacher turnover. Although many fields of instruction are bearing the weight of the shortage, finding new, qualified teachers in mathematics, science and special education is increasingly difficult.
Studies have found a compelling connection between strong credentials and retention weakens in high-poverty schools. The University of Pennsylvania estimates that half of teacher turnover occurs in 25 percent of public schools, largely in high-poverty urban and rural areas. Research has shown that a method to address teacher shortages and teacher diversity is the establishment of “grow-your-own” programs. These programs reach out to members within the community who are already heavily involved with a school district and supports them to become a teacher. These programs are known to successfully address recruitment, development, and retention of diverse and passionate educators.
I will be introducing legislation establishing a “Grow Our Own Educators” Program in Pennsylvania. The program would provide financial assistance, including pathways for educators to help support high-need schools in geographic areas that have hard-to-staff teaching positions. The program would equip aspiring educators with the supports necessary to ultimately become a certified educator. Recognizing the decline in the number of people seeking a teaching certification in this Commonwealth, and that this Commonwealth has one of the least diverse educator workforces in the country, we need to increase the pipeline of high-quality and diverse future educators.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as HB2206