Student teacher stipends go live

Otten legislation to help teachers in training gives way to state program

APRIL 10 - Today in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro joined House and Senate members to announce tomorrow’s opening of the online application period for student teacher stipends through the new PA Student Teacher Support Program.

Last year, I introduced legislation to create a Student Teacher Stipend Program, which will help to address our teacher shortage by providing up to $15,000 for aspiring teachers during their student teaching semesters as well as a $2,500 stipend for cooperating teachers who agree to mentor student teachers.

I was thrilled when this bill passed the House last June with strong bipartisan support, and even more excited to see it signed into law as part of last year’s budget, with $10 million in funding allocated to ramp up the program.

Governor Shapiro has now proposed $15 million dollars to fund the program for the 2024-2025 fiscal year, and the program will be available to student teachers beginning with the 2024-25 academic year.

I am hopeful that these initial budget allocations are just the very start of our investment in the Student Teacher Stipend program and in building the teacher pipeline. This morning, my co-prime sponsor Rep. Gina H. Curry and I sent a letter to House Appropriations Chair Jordan Harris requesting $75 million in the Fiscal Year 2024-25 budget to fully fund this program, because every aspiring teacher should receive fair pay for their 12-week student teaching placement.