HARRISBURG, Pa. — On Tuesday, around 100 advocates, from students to teachers, rallied with lawmakers at the State Capitol to address the teacher shortage across Pennsylvania.
The #PANeedsTeachers Campaign organized the rally to urge more state legislators to help alleviate the teacher shortage crisis they have seen in the past 10 years.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, in-state teacher certifications have dropped nearly 72% from the 2012-2013 school year to 2021-2022.
In the 2021-2022 school year, the number of Pennsylvania certified teachers plummeted. Only 4,200 students graduated from in-state teaching certificate programs—the lowest number that has ever been recorded, according to the Center for Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis.
This is significant decrease from nearly 16,000 graduated students back in 2021.
Educators said that there has been a sense of hope for them coming out of Harrisburg.
Laura Boyce, Pennsylvania executive director of TeachPlus, said that the state legislature has recently passed legislation out of committee in the House and introduced bills in the Senate and House that will provide student teachers with stipends, improve data collection and implement "Grow Your Own" programs to help communities build a pipeline of teachers for their classrooms.
The rally starts at noon on the Main Rotunda steps at the State Capitol in Harrisburg.