Pennsylvania to Offer Student Teachers up to $15,000 Stipends

Beginning in the 2024-2025 academic year, the state will offer eligible student teachers up to $15,000 stipends for academic and living expenses.
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  • Student teachers in Pennsylvania will have the opportunity to earn $10,000 from the state starting in the 2024-2025 academic year.
  • Participants must be enrolled in a state-approved educator preparation program and commit to teaching for at least three years at a state school post-graduation.
  • Students can earn an extra $5,000 for working in a high-needs area.

Students earning their education degrees in Pennsylvania may soon be able to take advantage of a new program that helps them pay for living expenses while they complete their student-teaching requirement.

Starting in the 2024-2025 academic year, eligible students will receive at least $10,000 from the state to help with academic costs, housing expenses, and other personal expenses during their student-teaching period.

Students can earn an additional $5,000 for working in high-need areas, which traditionally attract fewer teachers.

Additionally, cooperating teachers, or those who agree to mentor student teachers, would also receive a grant of $2,500.

Participants will have to be enrolled in an approved educator preparation program at a higher education institution in the state and commit to teaching for at least three years at a Pennsylvania school post-graduation.

The 2023 Pennsylvania state budget allotted $10 million for the program, administered by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, aimed at attracting and retaining teachers.

The 2022-2023 academic years saw 9,587 teachers in the state leave their positions — the largest number on record, according to a research study by Pennsylvania State University's Center for Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

The study also found that the percentage of teachers leaving was substantially higher in the poorest districts compared to wealthier ones and that teachers of color had the highest attrition rates.

States Across the Country Invest in Students

Pennsylvania is not the only state investing in student teachers.

New Jersey offers $3,000 stipends to student teachers in approved Education Preparation Programs. Students can use the funding to pay for living expenses, including housing, food, healthcare, and education expenses during student teaching.

Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey's programs started as bills, but neither passed the state legislature. The programs were instead brought to fruition by each state's governor, courtesy of the state budget.

New Jersey's legislation was introduced by Democratic Assemblymember P. Christopher Tully in May 2023.

Pennsylvania Sens. Vincent Hughes, a Democrat, and Ryan Aument, a Republican, sponsored the Pennsylvania legislation.

The severity of the teacher shortage problem varies from district to district. In some areas, especially rural districts, the teacher shortage is severe, Aument's office told BestColleges last May.

After speaking with education representatives, we learned that the majority of student teachers stay in the district in which they completed their student teaching. For this reason, Sen. Aument thought it was important to offer an incentive to students to complete their student teaching at schools that have traditionally had difficulty attracting them.

Maryland, Colorado, Michigan, and Oklahoma also currently or recently offered programs to support the education of student teachers and encourage them to stay in state once they have graduated.