Rozzi’s teacher scholarship bill clears House Education Committee

HARRISBURG, April 25 – Today, State Rep. Mark Rozzi’s bill that aims to remedy the commonwealth’s teacher shortage and strengthen the quality of education in Pennsylvania was approved by the House Education Committee on a vote of 17-4.

House Bill 688 would establish the Teacher Pipeline Scholarship Program. The program, administered through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, would provide a scholarship of up to $8,000 per year ($32,000 in total) to eligible students. To be eligible, students would have to attend either a Pennsylvania State System or state-related school, independent college or university, or community college; be enrolled in a primary or secondary education program or in a student teaching role; and be a Pennsylvania resident.

“Our commonwealth has been facing a teacher shortage for years, and the ones who ultimately suffer the consequences of this are children because it affects the quality of their education,” Rozzi said. “We desperately need more educators in every region of Pennsylvania so the legislature should be doing everything it can to attract qualified professionals to the field.”

In addition to reliving the financial burden of earning an education degree, H.B. 688 would ensure that talented teachers stay in the state and benefit Pennsylvania children. After graduating, scholarship recipients would have to meet two requirements, or they would have to reimburse the commonwealth for their scholarship.

  • They would have to commence teaching in Pennsylvania within one year of graduating. This could be at any public school, which includes intermediate units; career and technical education centers; or charter or cyber charter schools.

  • They would have to teach in the Pennsylvania for one year for each academic year for which they received a Teacher Pipeline Scholarship.

“Teacher Pipeline Scholarship recipients would be required to stay here in Pennsylvania for however many years they received the scholarship. This ensures that these state dollars go hard at work for local K-12 students while simultaneously addressing our state’s worsening teacher shortage,” Rozzi said. “House Bill 688 is a win-win for primary and secondary school students, and post-secondary students.”

Next, H.B. 688 will head to the House chamber for a full vote.