Gov. Wolf Signs Bill to Support Schools, Teachers Staffing to Keep Children in Classrooms During Pandemic

December 17, 2021

Governor Tom Wolf today signed House Bill 412, which amends the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No. 14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, by addressing the immediate need for substitute teachers due to the pandemic.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have learned how critical in-classroom education is for our K-12 students,” said Gov. Wolf. “I am proud to sign this legislation which allows schools the short-term flexibility to ensure children can safely learn in-person where we know is best for them and their futures. I look forward to continuing to work with members of the General Assembly to address these key issues longer term.”

The laws enacted today will expand the number of individuals eligible to substitute in public schools and will provide schools with the flexibility they need to continue providing safe, structured learning environments for K-12 students.

Flexibilities for school years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 include:

  • Retired teachers are now eligible to fill teacher vacancies on an emergency or short-term basis.
  • Schools can use eligible college students and recent graduates of education programs to serve as substitute teachers.
  • Educators with active Pennsylvania certificates and those with comparable out-of-state certificates can serve as day-to-day substitutes for 20 days, or longer under certain circumstances.
  • Teachers with inactive certificates may substitute for 180 days instead of 90 days per school year.
  • Individuals who are 25 or older, have at least 60 college credits or 3 years of experience as a paraprofessional, and complete training on classroom management, may serve as “classroom monitors” by delivering preplanned assignments for a teacher.
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