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PSEA president says Gov. Shapiro’s state budget proposal makes public education a top priority

Responding to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s state budget address today, PSEA President Rich Askey called the education funding components of his spending proposal an example of the governor’s strong support for public education.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

In the fall of 2020, PSEA established a Task Force on Racial Justice and Equity in PSEA (Task Force) charged with:

1) Developing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement for the Board’s consideration, and;

2) Overseeing an equity assessment of PSEA’s organizational operations, policies, and practices. The first step – the development and adoption of a DEI Statement - is foundational for ensuring PSEA’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are realized in our culture, practices, and policies.

PSEA's Center For Professional Learning

  • PEARL Platform
  • Webinars
  • Book Discussions
  • Wellness Events
  • Micro-credentials and other online learning portals

Keep up-to-date on all of the ways PSEA is prepared to meet your professional learning needs.

Stay Connected

Keeping Connected is an e-newsletter for PSEA members to stay informed. In each issue, you'll receive the latest legislative and policy updates from your association, helpful links, and inspiring stories of educators going above and beyond to make the best of an extraordinarily difficult time.

PSEA is a community of education professionals who make a difference in the lives of students every day. Hear their stories and more in each issue of The VOICE. 

SUCCESS! PA House approves top PSEA legislative priorities

During the week of May 1, the state House of Representatives passed three bills that are among PSEA’s top legislative priorities. They now go to the state Senate. 
  • House Bill 141 – “Grow Your Own”
    Approved May 1, this bill will create a program to help paraprofessionals and other school support staff go back to college to earn their teaching credentials. Read more in the Press Release. 

  • House Bill 688 – scholarship program for aspiring educators
    Approved May 2, this bill will establish the Pennsylvania Teach Scholarship Program, which will create an affordable pathway for talented, caring people to become teachers while lowering their student loan debt in the process. Read more in the Press Release.  

  • House Bill 299 – extends Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements to public sector employees
    Approved by the House on May 2, this bill will extend OSHA protections to school and other public sector employees, ensuring that state and local government entities receive the same occupational health and safety protections as their counterparts in the private sector so that Pennsylvania’s students and school staff members can teach and learn in healthy environments. Currently, public sector workers in Pennsylvania are not covered by federal guidelines for on-the-job safety. 

PSEA’s legislative priorities are your priorities. And the House Education Committee approved them because you advocated for them. PSEA members sent more than 2,000 emails to lawmakers over the weekend urging them to support these bills. That strong response went a long way.

Your hard work yields real results in Harrisburg. These are just two more examples of that.

Governor Shapiro introduces members at budget address

Gov. Josh Shapiro invited two PSEA members to sit in the state House chamber for his budget address. The governor recognized them both in his speech. 

PSEA asked Jess Porter and Stephen Sharp how they felt as educators when Gov. Shapiro asked them to stand and be recognized. 

Hear Jess's reaction:

Hear Stephen's reaction:

Connecting the dots with member Andrea Bitner- Community building for English Learners

English learners have unique educational needs, and it takes a unique teacher to meet them. Interboro School District EL teacher Andrea Bitner shows how building and strengthening a sense of community has been the key to her students’ success inside and outside the classroom.

Armstrong EA members distribute hundreds of books to families for holidays

(from left) Randy Cloak, Armstrong Education Association (AEA) vice president; Erin Kidder AEA secretary; Kevan Landstrom, AEA president; Lindsay Feitknecht, BSN RN, nurse manager 3A-OB; and Leslie Vandegrift, librarian, West Hills Primary School.

On Dec. 13, members of the Armstrong Education Association delivered nearly 150 bags of books, library cards, and information on community literacy programs to Armstrong County’s ACMH Hospital maternity unit. The bags were intended for families of newborns to promote the importance of reading to and with children as they grow.

“As educators, we understand the importance of students having access to books from an early age,” said AEA President Kevan Landstrom when delivering the books to representatives of the ACMH Maternity and Delivery Unit. “It is our hope having these books in the homes of our newest community members will foster a love of reading.”

The initiative was supported in part through a grant from the PSEA Education Foundation.

Altoona phys ed duo brings positivity to TikTok

"We laugh a lot and have a good time. When teachers and support professionals are positive, it translates to students. And that’s our goal with TikTok; having a good attitude and bringing positive vibes to kids."

Read more in the November 2022 issue of Voice.

Angela Vigna, the 2022 ESP of the Year!

There’s no better time than American Education Week to celebrate our hardworking ESP members. And none more deserving of recognition than Angela Vigna, the 2022 Dolores McCracken PSEA Education Support Professional of the Year.

Vigna has worked as a paraprofessional in the Leechburg Area School District for the past 19 years. In this role, she has served as a classroom aide providing academic support to students with special needs. During her tenure, Vigna had the opportunity to work with one particular student from first grade all the way through to graduation.

School colleagues praised Vigna for her dedication and ability to draw out the very best in her students.

“Mrs. Vigna takes pride in her work and the accomplishments of the students,” Michelle Ferretti, a Leechburg middle and high school learning support teacher, wrote in nominating Vigna for the award. “She works well beyond the school day to ensure that all students are receiving what they need. Mrs. Vigna is a true example of the importance of paraeducators and the critical role they play in children’s academic success, social and emotional development, and sense of belonging within the community.”

“I know without a doubt that teachers cannot do what we do as well as we do without our education support professionals,” wrote Ashley Mondale, a high school English teacher and president of the Leechburg Area Education Association. “Mrs. Angela Vigna is the best of the best. She deserves recognition for her tireless work during the school day, her activism in our community, and her willingness to provide for her family, her association members, and Leechburg as a whole.”

Angela on a recent episode of PA Newsmakers explaining the roles of paraprofessionals and support staff in schools.

Subs wanted!

There’s a substitute shortage in Pennsylvania’s public schools, and it’s making it harder for kids to learn. Our schools need substitute teachers and substitute support professionals. Badly.

In late 2021, Act 91 was passed into law allowing more Pennsylvanians to support educators, schools, and students as a day-to-day or long-term substitutes. And there are several different pathways to help you get started.

Learn more about how you can make a difference as a substitute teacher or support professional with the resources in our "Subs Wanted!" sections of the site.

Substitute Teachers
Substitute Support Professionals 

Members in the news

PSERS has delivered for school retirees — and Pa.’s economy | Opinion

Keystone Oaks teacher receives Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, one of public education’s highest honors

Kevin and PSEA President Rich Askey recently joined host Terry Madonna on PA Newsmakers to talk about the Horace Mann Award, engaging families and communities in the work of public schools, and just how much teachers make a difference in their students' lives.

Check it out here.

Or catch the broadcast on your local channel 📺
WGAL Channel 8 (Harrisburg and Lancaster) Dec. 18 at 11:30 AM
WBPH (Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia) Dec. 19 at 8:30 PM
WLYH (Harrisburg, Lebanon, York) Dec. 19 at 8:30 PM
WKBS 47 (Altoona) Dec. 24 at 9:30 AM
WPCB 40 (Pittsburgh) Dec. 24 at 9:30 AM
MeTV (Susquehanna Valley) Dec. 18 at 9:30 AM

In our Locals

Altoona phys ed duo brings positivity to TikTok

Find moments that spark joy

Garrettford Youth Court is now in session

Commitment to teaching Holocaust truth

Student art project makes a powerful impact

Seneca Valley’s No Cost to Shop store

Issues & Action