– Like many states, Pennsylvania is dealing with a shortage of teachers. State Rep. Jim Rigby (R-Cambria/Somerset) thinks he has part of the answer to that issue.
“This isn’t a problem that started during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rigby said. “Teacher shortages existed well before that. The pandemic only made it worse to the point of school districts even having difficulty finding substitute teachers.”
As part of a package of bills designed to incentivize teacher hiring and retention, Rigby is reintroducing his legislation from last session that would establish a Paraprofessionals to Teachers Grant Program.
“Paraprofessionals play a vital role in our education system and my bill would provide an incentive for those men and women who want to obtain their teaching certificate,” added Rigby. “Institutions of higher education would be allocated funds to create or expand educational programs and course offerings that serve as pathways for paraprofessionals to become certified teachers. The legislation is written so paraprofessionals could participate in the program and not have to give up their job, with discounted tuition or additional financial aid serving as an incentive to enroll.”
Rigby’s legislation is being circulated for cosponsors before being assigned a bill number.
Questions about this or any legislative issue should be directed to Rigby’s Cresson office at 814-886-1055 or his new Ferndale office at 814-536-9818.