Senate Passes Bill to Address Teacher Shortage by Improving Certification Process

HARRISBURG – In an effort to help address the teacher shortage facing the Commonwealth, the Senate this week approved a plan to simplify the process for out-of-state teachers to obtain certification in Pennsylvania, according to Senator Cris Dush (R-25) who supported the bill.

“The Commonwealth’s current process for approving out-of-state educators presents unnecessary barriers for qualified candidates who are seeking to obtain a certificate to teach in Pennsylvania,” said Senator Dush. “Senate Bill 224 will help make it easier to get experienced educators into Pennsylvania classrooms.”

Senate Bill 224 would allow an out-of-state candidate who has completed any state-approved educator preparation program (including field placement/student teaching) from an accredited institution of higher education to be eligible for a comparable Pennsylvania instructional certification.

The bill would also require the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to recognize and accept out-of-state candidates’ qualifying scores on equivalent content tests toward PDE’s testing and certification requirements.

Lastly, Senate Bill 224 would grant Pennsylvania certification to any candidate who holds a valid certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education.

According to PDE, the number of newly issued in-state instructional teaching certificates has dropped by 66% since 2010.

Senate Bill 224 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT:    Zack Ankeny

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