Kim hosts conference to introduce bipartisan teacher bill package
Elevating Educators addresses teacher shortages in PA.
HARRISBURG, March 6 – State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, today showcased her bill and five others aimed at curbing the recent decline in available educators in Pennsylvania.
“Teacher shortages and teacher turnover is linked to lower student achievement and poorer school climates with increasingly worse outcomes for PA’s more vulnerable students,” Kim said. “What we have in front of us are six solutions to a problem that will only be exacerbated with inaction. In as bipartisan a manner as possible, we are going to make these changes happen and ensure teachers receive the compensation and respect they deserve.”
Today’s news conference featured statements from Dr. Travis Waters, chief recovery officer for Harrisburg School District; Dr. Mike Robinson, superintendent for East Pennsboro Area School District; and the five prime sponsors of the other bills in the package.
Elevating Educators contains the following bills:
- Kim - Raise the minimum salary for education professionals from $18,500 to $50,000 initially and then by an additional $2,500 annually until it reaches $60,000.
- Rep. Mike Schlossberg - Create a grant program to support high-need schools in geographic areas that have hard-to-staff teaching positions by recruiting students, paraprofessionals and parents to pursue teaching in their local school district.
- Rep. Jim Rigby - Create a grant program for colleges to create or expand programs for paraprofessionals to become certified teachers.
- Rep. Regina Young - Create a Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.
- Rep. Mark Rozzi - Create a Teacher Scholarship Program.
- Reps. Carol Hill-Evans & Stephen Kinsey - Create a support/mentor program for first-year teachers in districts with high turnover.
Kim concluded the news conference by answering questions on competitive salaries, common ground with the governor’s education plans, and passing the bills with bipartisan support.
More information can be found at pahouse.com/Kim/elevatingeducators.
Video from the news conference can be found at this link: https://youtu.be/dCVAK1KsGgY.