Rozzi authors bill to encourage Pennsylvanians to pursue education degrees
Rep. Mark Rozzi March 6, 2023 | 3:28 PM
HARRISBURG, March 6 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, is introducing legislation to help remedy Pennsylvania’s teacher shortage and encourage students to pursue education degrees.
Rozzi’s bill would establish the PA Teach Scholarship Program. This program would provide a scholarship of up to $8,000 per year, $32,000 in total, to eligible students studying at one of the 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education schools. To be eligible, students would have to be enrolled in a primary or secondary education program or in a student teaching role.
“The demand for teachers continues to grow, but the supply of educators has not kept up. One reason for this is the astronomical price tag that comes with earning a degree here in Pennsylvania,” Rozzi said. “My bill would help ease the financial burden of earning an education degree, therefore incentivizing students to enter the field.”
In addition to encouraging students to pursue teaching, Rozzi’s bill would ensure that their talents stay in the state and benefit Pennsylvania children. After graduating, scholarship recipients would have two requirements to meet, or they would have to reimburse the commonwealth all amounts received. One is to commence employment in Pennsylvania within one year of graduating. The second is to work within the commonwealth for a period of one year for each academic year that the student received a PA Teach scholarship.
“Less and less students are pursuing education degrees, and schools are struggling to retain teachers. Ultimately, children are the ones who suffer in this dilemma as it’s detrimental to the quality of their education,” Rozzi said.
Rozzi highlighted his legislation at a news conference hosted by Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, addressing Pennsylvania’s teacher shortage. Rozzi’s bill is among six bills in a package titled “Elevate Teachers.” More information on that is available on Kim’s website: https://www.pahouse.com/Kim/elevatingeducators.
This bill is currently being circulated for co-sponsors.