Senator Dush E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Schools Have New Tool to Ease Substitute Teacher Shortage
  • Grants Available for Community Learning Centers
  • Help for Students to Acquire Skills in High Demand by Employers
  • Emergency Medical Responder Course Being Offered Feb. 17 through May 19, 2022
  • Senate Committee Activity is Streamed and Stored Online
  • Public Invited to Participate in PennDOT’s Safety Citizens Program
  • If You Lose Your CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Card
  • Now Online: 2022 Trout Stocking Schedule

Schools Have New Tool to Ease Substitute Teacher Shortage

The General Assembly recently passed Act 91 to help schools find substitute teachers to fill critical staffing shortages caused by the pandemic. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has released guidelines for schools to follow in taking advantage of the law.

Act 91 provides additional pathways for quality individuals to pursue and complete certifications and enter the educator workforce. Specifically, the law creates a new Classroom Monitor Permit for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. A classroom monitor may be employed to provide coverage and deliver preplanned assignments in classrooms. A classroom monitor may not plan lessons or create or grade student work.

An individual receiving a Classroom Monitor Permit must satisfy the following requirements as outlined in Act 91:

  • Has completed at least 60 semester hours or the equivalent of courses at a regionally accredited college or university located in Pennsylvania or have at least three years’ experience as a paraprofessional in a school entity and is currently employed as a paraprofessional.
  • Has met the pre-employment requirements for background clearances, citizenship and good moral character under the School Code and Child Protective Services Law.
  • Has completed training on classroom management provided by an intermediate unit (IU) and approved by PDE.
  • Is at least 25 years of age.

Additional consideration should be taken when determining if a classroom monitor should work with students with disabilities. Schools can find more information and resources about the changes under Act 91 on the department’s Certification Services website.

Grants Available for Community Learning Centers

Organizations may now submit their intent to apply for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program, which provides funding to support community learning centers that provide academic, artistic and cultural enrichment opportunities for students and their families.

Eligible organizations include public school districts, charter schools, private schools, nonprofit agencies, city or county government agencies, faith-based organizations, institutions of higher education, for-profit corporations and others.

Programs must take place during non-school hours or periods when school is not in session to help students attending high-poverty and low-performing schools to meet state and local standards in core academic subjects. Centers must also offer students a broad array of activities that can complement their regular academic programs and literacy and other educational services to their families. How to apply.

Help for Students to Acquire Skills in High Demand by Employers

Financial assistance is available to help students learn skills in high demand by today’s employers in energy, health, advanced materials and diversified manufacturing, and agriculture and food production.

The PA Targeted Industry Program, created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2012, provides need-based awards up to $5,000. Approved veteran applicants may receive up to 100% of the student’s total educational costs or the max award, whichever is less. Awards can be used to cover tuition, books, fees, supplies and a $4,000 living expense allowance.

Students must have received a high school diploma, GED or recognized homeschool certificate. Students who have completed a bachelor’s or graduate degree are still eligible to apply for assistance. Information and Applications

Emergency Medical Responder Course Being Offered Feb. 17 through May 19, 2022

In conjunction with Lock Haven EMS, the Centre County Public Safety Training Center is offering an emergency medical responder (EMR) course from Feb. 17 through May 19, 2022.

Pre-registration is being accepted now through Feb. 10. To register, please email The class location will be Lock Haven EMS, located a 21 Liberty Street in Lock Haven.

The online/blended EMR Program is a combination of self-paced, online modules with interactive assignments and discussions. Students are required to attend in-person lab sessions throughout the program to demonstrate their competency in numerous psychomotor skills, complete testing requirements and prepare for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) EMR certification examinations.

This course is for first responders at the scene of a trauma or medical emergency. Upon successful completion of the EMR Program, students are eligible for their EMR certification exams. Students must be at least 16 years old before the first day of class.

The cost of the program is $400 per student, plus the National Registry testing fee. Materials being used are the Jones and Bartlet / AAOS Emergency Medical Responder (included with course cost). Use of JB Learning Nav 2 for self-paced study, on-line quizzes and exams, and homework submission (included with course cost). The instructional team members are practicing EMTs and paramedics, bringing real life examples and current practices to the learning environment.

Senate Committee Activity is Streamed and Stored Online

Last year, the Senate held nearly 330 public meetings and hearings that were streamed live from the Capitol and locations across Pennsylvania. You can find them all, plus 2022’s committee activity, here.

The Senate’s 23 standing committees, ranging from Aging and Youth to Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness, are where legislation is vetted, debated and, if necessary, altered before being considered by the full Senate. Committee hearings bring citizens, experts and other interested parties together for public presentations on various topics.

Committee pages are where you can find agendas, video and written testimony. You can find the most recent committee action and upcoming livestreams here, and a full Senate committee schedule here.

Public Invited to Participate in PennDOT’s Safety Citizens Program

Pennsylvanians are being invited by the state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to participate in the agency’s Safety Citizens Program, which encourages community members to answer traffic safety questions in original and creative ways.

Traffic safety topics are introduced bi-monthly posing a question for the public to answer. Participants can answer by submitting an original piece of artwork, such as a short video, a poem, or a drawing. Selected submissions are displayed on PennDOT’s statewide social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The first topic for 2022 is Drowsy Driving. Participants are asked to submit a response to the question “What do you think are the best ways to avoid drowsy driving?” The kids’ challenge for the topic is to draw a picture of other ways to travel if someone is too tired to drive. Submissions are due by Monday, Feb. 28.

Additional information on the program, including the details and guidelines for participation, can be found online at or questions can be emailed to Interested participants are encouraged to check the website frequently for updates about future topics.

If You Lose Your CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Card

Should someone lose their CDC COVID-19 vaccine card, the Pennsylvania Health Department’s Statewide Immunization Information System (PA-SIIS) can offer some assistance.

They PA-SIIS can’t give you a replacement CDC card, but they can send you a record of your immunizations. That record of immunizations, as well as the CDC vaccination card that individuals receive at the time of their vaccination, are both official proofs of vaccination.

To request your immunization records, please complete the Authorization for Release of Immunizations Records Form. You will need to upload a copy of your photo ID. Have questions? View the COVID-19 Vaccine Records FAQs.

If you are unable to submit your request via the web form above, you may complete this form and email or mail it, along with a copy of your photo ID.  Please be aware this will require additional processing time.

Please only submit one form. A representative of the Pennsylvania Department of Health will review your request and contact you if additional information is needed. Please allow 7-10 business days for fulfillment of your vaccine record request. If you have questions, please email us at or call 877-774-4748.

Now Online: 2022 Trout Stocking Schedule


The 2022 adult trout stocking schedule is now available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

The trout stocking schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates, meeting locations for volunteers and the species of trout that will be stocked.

In 2022, Pennsylvania will return to a single, statewide Opening Day of Trout Season on the first Saturday in April, which is April 2. A single, statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will take place on Saturday, March 26. Under this change, which will result in a longer regular season for trout statewide, the practice of holding a separate regional opening day and mentored youth day for Pennsylvania’s 18 southeastern counties will no longer occur.

To accommodate the earlier statewide trout season, preseason trout stocking operations are set to begin the week of Feb. 21. 

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