HARRISBURG, PA — A bill aimed to provide flexibility in obtaining teacher certifications during the coronavirus pandemic this week passed the Pennsylvania House Education Committee.
The legislation, sponsored by Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35), aims to assist recent teaching graduates who are attempting to navigate the state certification process, which was disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teacher certification testing centers were closed during the health emergency.
"In addition to enabling graduates to obtain certification, the additional flexibility will ensure schools are not faced with additional challenges in recruiting staff when reopening schools," Langerholc said.
Senate Bill 1216 would allow the Pennsylvania Department of Education to issue a temporary certificate to individuals that have completed all of their teacher preparation requirements except their final assessment.
Many districts are facing staff shortages due to leave requests, social distancing requirements, and multiple educational models requiring more staff.