HARRISBURG – Legislation that would help address Pennsylvania’s teacher shortage by simplifying the process for out-of-state teachers to receive certification earned the approval of the Senate Education Committee today, according to the bill’s sponsors, Senators Camera Bartolotta (R-46) and Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35).
Senate Bill 224 would allow Pennsylvania residents who are currently teaching in other states and new residents who have recently moved to Pennsylvania to continue to pursue a teaching career. An individual who has completed any state-approved educator preparation program from an accredited institution of higher education is eligible for a comparable in-state instructional certification.
In addition, the bill would grant Pennsylvania certification to any candidate who holds a valid certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards or has a qualifying score on equivalent content tests toward the Department of Education’s (PDE) testing and certification requirements.
The Senators said their bill would streamline Pennsylvania’s rigorous training standards for teachers to ensure students can continue to access quality instruction. According to PDE, the state has seen a 66 percent decline in newly issued in-state instructional teaching certificates since 2010.
“The current teacher certification system creates a huge barrier for new state residents who want to share their talents and knowledge with the leaders of tomorrow,” Bartolotta said. “Breaking down these roadblocks will help more teachers come to Pennsylvania and create a positive impact on students and our communities in the long run.”
“At a time when schools are in dire need of experienced teachers, this legislation will provide a pathway to permit new Commonwealth residents who have that experience to fill that need,” Langerholc said.