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Emily Nell came back to teach art and make an impact after spending 14 years as an independent artist working in schools and holding benefit auctions.
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PSEA is committed to making changes aimed at protecting everyone who works and learns in our schools.
Cover story: Connecting the dots - Community building for English Learners
The Pennsylvania General Assembly recently approved bipartisan legislation that will help get more substitute teachers into public school classrooms and address the substitute teacher shortage that is stretching educators and support professionals to the breaking point. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill into law shortly after.
PSEA has been working closely with lawmakers and Gov. Wolf’s administration on the details of this plan. While it won’t solve every problem associated with the substitute teacher shortage, it is a very significant step in the right direction, because it:
There are many people in Pennsylvania who will make good substitute teachers. This new law will help give them the opportunity to become substitutes and broaden the pool of substitutes available to school districts.
For the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years, school administrators will have the flexibility to call whomever they want in whatever order they need in order to staff classrooms. The bill also reinforces existing law by stating that a person’s annuity cannot be diminished if they are hired because of an emergency shortage of day-to-day substitutes.
Permits individuals with inactive certifications to substitute for 180 days during the school year — up from 90 days under current law.
Expands the number of days a substitute can work in a school year by making it clear that a day-to-day sub can fill in for an individual for no more than 20 days. Currently, state regulations limit day-to-day substitute teachers to a maximum of 20 days in a “single assignment,” which has always meant the person’s certification area.
Allows future educators who have completed all of their requirements except a PRAXIS exam and have not yet received their diplomas to become day-to-day substitutes or long-term subs on a temporary basis.
Lifts limits on the number of days students enrolled in education programs may sub (while preserving limits when the individual is taking part in a student teacher program).
For the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years, allows people with 60 credits or paraprofessionals with at least three years of experience to fill in for teachers as “classroom monitors.” These “classroom monitors” would be allowed to oversee classrooms but would not be allowed to instruct students, grade assignments, or create work. The pilot program will expire on June 30, 2023, and the Department of Education will be required to release a report on how the classroom monitor permit is used and if it helped ease the substitute crisis.