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Application Now Available for New PA Student Teacher Support Program

Eligible student teachers can receive $10,000; additional $5,000 available in high-need areas

Harrisburg, PA (April 11, 2024) – The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has announced that the student application for the new PA Student Teacher Support Program is now available on pheaa.org/StudentTeacher.

Ten years ago, Pennsylvania certified approximately 20,000 new teachers every year; now, the Commonwealth certifies approximately 5,000-6,000 new teachers each year. Student teachers may face financial challenges as they often forgo income, while incurring additional expenses such as transportation and professional attire.

The Student Teacher Support Program is designed to:

· Address the financial strain caused by student teaching requirements

· Incentivize completion at local education agencies and non-public schools that struggle to attract educators

· Reduce teacher shortages in Pennsylvania

· Incentivize cooperating teacher participation

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro signed into law Act 33 of 2023, establishing the $10 million PA Student Teacher Support Program, which provides $10,000 to eligible student teachers. There is an option to receive an additional $5,000 for student teachers in high-need areas. The program also provides up to $2,500 to cooperating teachers who will be working with and mentoring student teachers throughout the student teacher experience. Program recipients must commit to teaching in Pennsylvania for 3 years following the completion of their teaching certification. 

“Today, we are here as Democrats and Republicans, investing in commonsense solutions to address the real problems Pennsylvanians face. We want more Pennsylvanians to become teachers – and that’s why we fought to include $10 million for student teacher stipends in last year’s budget and why my budget this year boosts funding for the Student Teacher Support Program to $15 million,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “This investment is commonsense and it has strong bipartisan support – let’s come together to increase our support for our new teachers and show Pennsylvanians that their state government is working for them.”

PHEAA is administrating the program for the Commonwealth. The application, along with additional program information, can be found at pheaa.org/StudentTeacher.

“This program aims to address the financial challenges that has turned so many potential teachers away from this rewarding and much-needed career,” said Senator Wayne D. Fontana, PHEAA Board Chairman. “As a long-term member of the PHEAA Board of Directors, I know that this program is in the right hands with PHEAA administering it.”

Pennsylvania student teachers who will be student teachers in the fall and spring semesters of the 2024-25 academic year are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Eligible student teachers will need to download or print the PDF application located on pheaa.org/StudentTeacher. Completed applications can be submitted via the PHEAA Account Access Portal, email, or fax. The program will be awarded on a first come, first served basis per term basis.  

“I’m thrilled to see this program open up to student teachers for the 2024-25 academic year,” said Senator Vincent Hughes. “This is a great moment for educators and our schools, but our fight is not over. The $10 million is estimated to cover stipends for approximately 650 student teachers, yet PDE estimates we’ll have thousands of student teachers in the 2024-25 academic year. We must do more to fund this program so stipends are available to more student teachers well into the future. We can’t let them down.”

“Senator Hughes and I recognized the impact that the teacher shortage was having on our children and on the Commonwealth,” explained Senator Ryan Aument, PHEAA Board Member and co-prime sponsor of the bill. “We introduced the bill with that in mind. The PA Student Teacher Support Program is exactly what we need to inspire future educators and make this an affordable career choice for them.” 

For more information regarding the PA Student Teacher Support Program, including eligibility criteria and access to the student application, please visit www.pheaa.org/StudentTeacher.

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