|February 28, 2022 03:30 PM
|Representative Mark Rozzi
|All House members
|PA Teach Scholarship Program
As the cost of a college education has continued to grow over the last decade, fewer students are training to become our next generation of teachers. Over the last 50 years, the share of college freshmen planning to major in education has tumbled from ten percent to well under five percent. While our universities are training fewer teachers, elementary and secondary schools have also been struggling to retain qualified teachers. The stress around the COVID-19 pandemic and the new demands on teachers have built on the pressures educators already face at work. A recent report from the RAND Corporation found that one in four teachers are now considering leaving.
My legislation would make it easier for students to pay for their education to become teachers by establishing the Pennsylvania Teach Scholarship Program. This program would provide a scholarship worth up to $8,000 per year, up to $32,000 over four years, to eligible students studying within our state school system. To be eligible, these students would have to be engaged in studies to become a primary or secondary school teacher or be in a student teaching role. After graduating, the students will have two requirements to meet, or they will have to reimburse the Commonwealth all amounts received. One, commence employment in the Commonwealth within one year of graduating, and two, work within this Commonwealth for a period of one year for each academic year that the eligible student received a scholarship grant.
If anyone was ever in doubt about the importance of qualified, passionate teachers, this pandemic has dramatically highlighted the shortage of teachers in our state as well as just how much we depend on them. We can help to make it easier for students to become teachers themselves and to not feel that they need to leave their profession to pay off student loans. In securing our teachers, we can ensure that we have great classrooms for years to come.
Together we can address the teacher shortage in our state. Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as HB2389