Shapiro Administration Awards Funding to Kutztown University to Bolster Special Education Teacher Workforce
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced that $1.5 million in grant funding was awarded to 15 universities that partner with school districts to expedite the process for students to become a special education teacher, including $99,510 to Kutztown University.
“The Shapiro Administration is committed to supporting and growing Pennsylvania’s educator workforce, especially in specialized and underserved areas like special education,” said Acting Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “These grants will expedite the process of becoming a certified special educator and enable more teachers to enter the field faster.”
In his budget address, Governor Josh Shapiro unveiled a refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 for three years for anyone who earns a new license or certification in education, nursing or law enforcement, to help more Pennsylvanians become teachers and combat the shortage of education professionals in Pennsylvania. Governor Shapiro’s budget also includes an additional $103.8 million in funding for special education in Pennsylvania. This funding will support school districts as they provide high-quality education services to students with disabilities and special needs.
Through the Accelerated Program for PK-12 Special Education Teacher Certification, grants are awarded to colleges and universities with approved PK-12 special education certification programs to partner with at least one school district, approved private school, career and technical center, charter school, cyber charter school or intermediate unit to provide individuals who currently hold bachelor’s degrees with summer field experiences, mentoring by experienced special educators during the school year and deliver a postbaccalaureate program for PK-12 special education teacher certification within 18 months.
This grant program builds on the Department’s efforts to recruit and retain teachers in Pennsylvania. PDE’s educator workforce strategy works to ensure there is a robust pipeline of educators in place to provide a high-quality education to learners of all ages across the commonwealth.