Wolf Administration Official Meets Educators, Highlights Innovative Program to Address Teacher Shortage

Posted on 9/30/2018 8:16:45 PM

Noe Ortega , Pennsylvania Department of Education Deputy Secretary for Secretary for Postsecondary and Higher Education, toured Indiana University of Pennsylvania and met with education students.

PDE Deputy Secretary for Postsecondary and Higher Education Noe Ortega and IUP faculty member Sue RiegIn recent years, the commonwealth has seen a decline in the number of undergraduate education majors in Pennsylvania. In addition to a diminishing supply of new classroom educators, many Pennsylvania districts have seen high turnover rates among teachers and school leaders. In 2015–16, nearly one in every five schools in Pennsylvania experienced principal turnover.

Earlier this year, the Wolf Administration awarded $2 million in grants to eight universities across the state to develop and implement year-long residency programs for teachers and principals. IUP received $578,038 to increase the number of qualified instructors and school leaders serving the commonwealth’s public schools.

“The commonwealth is facing significant challenges with providing high-quality educators to teach our children,” said Deputy Secretary Ortega. “However, with Governor Tom Wolf’s support, programs like the Innovative Teacher and Principal Residency grant program will provide year-long clinical experience, intensive supports, and ultimately improve educators’ pre-service experience, induction, and future professional learning.”

As part of the grant, programs must be developed in partnership with at least one high-need local education agency (LEA). A high-need LEA is one that has high rates of minority students or high rates of students in poverty, or can demonstrate chronic, multiple teacher shortages in special education, STEM subjects, or other state-identified or local shortage areas.

President Driscoll, PDE Deputy Secretary Noe Ortega, and faculty member Sue RiegAs part of the newly adopted Pennsylvania’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Consolidated State Plan, increasing the number of collaborative field-based, practical experiences was a priority recommendation within the plan.

Governor Tom Wolf has improved access to high-quality education to ensure all students, regardless of zip code, are ready for college or to begin their career. Since taking office, the governor has increased higher education funding by $153 million, including an additional $42.5 million this year.
For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, please visit the Department of Education website or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Media Contact

Eric Levis, 717-783-9802 or elevis@pa.gov