HARRISBURG – To help address the teacher shortage facing the Commonwealth, the Senate approved a plan to simplify the process for out-of-state teachers to obtain certification in Pennsylvania, according to Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32) who supported the bill.
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.
“As someone whose parents were both teachers, I understand the importance of having educators who are truly dedicated to the next generation,” Sen. Stefano said. “We need to attract the best and brightest for the benefit of our students, especially since many of them are still recovering from the impact the pandemic and its closures had on their education.”
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.
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