Gov. Shapiro Highlights Commitment to Creating Better Schools, Recruiting More Teachers in Visit to Pittsburgh Elementary School
March 21, 2023
Governor Shapiro highlighted his plan to attract new teachers with a personal income tax credit of up to $2,500 a year for three years.
Pittsburgh, PA – Governor Josh Shapiro today shared his plans for rebuilding Pennsylvania’s teacher workforce and making our schools better, healthier, and safer for Pennsylvania students during a visit to Pittsburgh Colfax K-8.
Earlier this month, Governor Shapiro unveiled his first budget – a commonsense set of solutions to the most pressing issues Pennsylvanians face, including a critical teacher shortage across the Commonwealth. Governor Shapiro’s budget proposes a personal income tax credit of up to $2,500 every year for up to three years for any new teacher, nurse, police officer, or trooper who earns a new license or certification, or for anyone who already has a license in those fields and decides to move to Pennsylvania for work.
The teaching shortage is a crisis across the Commonwealth. In 2021, Pennsylvania issued 6,000 new teacher certifications – down from 20,000 certifications ten years ago. Nearly half of all school districts had open teaching positions at the start of this school year, and roughly 1 in 5 school districts have had significant negative impacts on educational programs from teacher shortages.
“I’ve talked to students, teachers, administrators, and parents across Pennsylvania, and it’s clear the teaching shortage is having a significant impact on our schools and our kids,” said Governor Shapiro. “We need to get more teachers in our classrooms to reduce class sizes, ease the burden on current teachers, and ensure our kids have the support they need to learn and grow. My budget proposes a commonsense solution to this problem – a new tax credit of up to $2,500 a year for three years for new teachers – and ensure we have enough qualified teachers in our classrooms.”
“We are ecstatic to learn about specific attention and proposals that include supports to rebuild our workforce and that offers opportunities to those who aspire to a career in education,” said Colfax K-8 Principal Dr. Tamara Sanders-Woods. “It is our hope that these efforts will help recruit and retain quality educators into our schools. Our students deserve it, educators deserve it, and our world needs it.”
“It is important to note that Pennsylvania is in deep need for great, passionate, and hardworking educators,” said Student Teacher Megan Ost. “To help incentivize this in his budget, the Governor is proposing a refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 each year, every year for three years for anyone who earns a new license or certification in teaching. I believe this can really impact new educators and help those passionate about teaching.”
Governor Shapiro’s budget is a down payment on the future of public education. The Governor’s budget includes an increase of $567.4 million – or 7.8 percent – for basic education funding, $38.5 million for universal free breakfast for all Pennsylvania students, $500 million over the next 5 years to reduce and remediate environmental hazards, and $500 million over the next five years so that schools can fund mental health counselors and services.
The Shapiro Administration is already taking action to support Pennsylvania’s teacher workforce. Yesterday, the Department of Education announced that it is providing $1.5 million in grant funding to institutions of higher education who partner with school districts to expedite the process to become a special education teacher.
Learn more about Governor Shapiro’s budget and plans for rebuilding our education workforce here.
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