ICYMI: Gov. Shapiro Highlights Plan to Address Teacher Workforce Shortage in Visit to Pittsburgh School
March 22, 2023
Gov. Shapiro’s plan will attract and retain new teachers with a personal income tax credit of up to $2,500 a year for three years
HARRISBURG, PA – At a visit to a Pittsburgh school yesterday, Governor Josh Shapiro shared his plans for rebuilding Pennsylvania’s teacher workforce and making our schools better, healthier, and safer.
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.
In Pittsburgh, local leaders praised Governor Shapiro’s plan to address critical workforce shortages.
- Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey: “Right now of all times our children need this more than ever. We know there’s a host of social issues that we’re dealing with and in order to deal with this we need qualified teachers … that want to make sure that our children are alright.”
- Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald: “I want to thank the Governor for the initiative in putting forth to increase funding for education to encourage more people to get into teaching. We know in our region right now, in Allegheny County, we have all these jobs and opportunities that are growing, but unless our children and young people have the skills and the ability to get these jobs, they might as well be separated by millions of miles. I was at Governor Shapiro’s budget address a couple of weeks ago, and his commitment to education, to try to level the playing field, is really important.”
- Congresswoman Summer Lee: “Governor Shapiro understands that every child deserves to be taught by well-qualified and well-paid teachers, and every teacher deserves to live with dignity.”
- State Representative Dan Frankel: “Our communities desperately need them, and many people want to be teachers – they are called to it. What we need to do, and what Governor Shapiro is working to do, is to ensure that they are able to answer that calling without sacrificing other parts of their lives.”
Read excerpts from the Governor’s visit to Colfax K-8 below.
There is a teacher shortage in Pennsylvania.
According to Governor Josh Shapiro, the state is down almost 15,000 new teacher certifications from a decade ago. Part of his budget plan calls for a tax incentive to recruit teachers.
“You want to make sure these kids have every opportunity possible to live their lives,” Westinghouse teacher Sean Means said.
With the workload and wearing of so many hats to help kids be the best they can, it leaves teachers burned out.
It’s showing across the state. Governor Shapiro said a decade ago, there were about 20,000 new teacher certifications. Last year, it was down to 6,100.
Shapiro wants to give a $2,500 tax incentive for three years for any new teacher. He’s hoping this can turn that around.
“We’re not only going to put dollars back in their pockets but hopefully send a very clear message that we value our teachers,” the governor said Tuesday after touring Pittsburgh Colfax K-8 in Squirrel Hill.
Governor Josh Shapiro shared his plans for making Pennsylvania schools healthier, safer, and more successful during a visit to a Pittsburgh school.
While at Pittsburgh Colfax K-8 at 2332 Beechwood Boulevard, on Tuesday Shapiro met with students and teachers and talked about ways to invest more in education.
To bring in new teachers, Shapiro’s plan is to give them a tax credit of up to $2,500 a year for three years.
“It’s critically important that we invest in our teachers, that we show that there is real mobility in their profession,” Shapiro said. “That’s why I said before we are not only going to put dollars back in their pockets but hopefully send a very clear message that we value our teachers, and we are willing to invest in them.”
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 certification or moves to the commonwealth for work.
In his latest stop on a tour to talk up his first state budget, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro told Pittsburgh Public Schools staff on Tuesday that he was working to get them more support.
Shapiro included a tax incentive program in the spending plan that he released earlier this month. If approved, new teachers, nurses, and police officers would receive a personal income tax credit worth as much as $2,500 a year for up to three years for working in what Shapiro called “frontline” trades.
Each of the three professions is facing a statewide worker shortage. And even as many teachers are leaving the profession, fewer are being trained. Shapiro said Tuesday that the state certified just 6,100 teachers last year, compared to around 20,000 a decade ago. He said his administration is trying to figure out why the number dropped so dramatically.
“Part of the way we address the ‘why’ is through financial incentives,” he said Tuesday at Colfax K-8 in Squirrel Hill. Along with goals like improving the classroom experience, he said, the initiative would “hopefully go into making sure that those certification numbers begin to rise again.
“This won’t happen overnight,” he acknowledged, “but now is the moment we have to make the down payments in order to help the next generation.”
Shapiro’s proposed budget includes: a nearly 8% increase in basic education funding; universal free breakfast for all students; $500 million over five years to reduce and remediate environmental hazards in schools; and another $500 million for schools to fund mental health counselors or existing behavioral health programs.
Gov. Josh Shapiro on Tuesday doubled down on the importance of bolstering Pennsylvania’s teaching profession, which for years has seen a drastically declining number of new educators.
Standing in the library of Pittsburgh Colfax K-8 in Squirrel Hill, Mr. Shapiro touted his proposed three-year tax incentive of up to $2,500 a year for newly certified teachers, while stressing the impact a better school environment can have on quelling the teacher shortage.
“For too long we have disinvested in our teachers,” Mr. Shapiro said. “We have not placed a premium on our teachers and that is going to change.”
Teacher certifications issued in Pennsylvania have been in steep decline, going from about 15,000 new in-state certifications in 2010 to about 5,000 for the 2020-21 year, according to state data.
“Pennsylvania is in deep need for great, passionate and hardworking educators. … I believe this can really impact new educators and help those passionate about teaching,” said Megan Ost, a senior in early childhood education at Carlow University who was at Tuesday’s event.
The idea was applauded by Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey who stressed the need of making the education profession attractive.