The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) today announced the availability of three grant programs totaling $5 million to support Pennsylvania’s educator workforce and increase the number and diversity of teachers and school leaders.
“One of the best ways we can rebuild our educator workforce is by providing opportunities to those who will pursue education careers in the future,” said Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty. “These three new grant programs will lay the groundwork for strong teacher and principal preparation from the time they are candidates in educator-preparation programs to those critical first years that impact their ability to remain in these critical roles. These targeted investments build upon the Wolf Administration’s commitment to education over the past eight years and will help set the course for the future of public education in the commonwealth.”
The grant programs supplement PDE’s recently released strategic plan to recruit and retain more educators across the commonwealth, The Foundation of Our Economy: Pennsylvania Educator Workforce Strategy, 2022-2025.
Through the grant initiative, educator-preparation programs will be invited to apply for grants to design and implement innovative solutions to strengthen and diversify the teacher and school leader pipelines. Priority will be given to educator preparation programs that partner with local education agencies (LEAs), and other organizations relevant to the educator workforce.
Eligible applicants should apply here by August 22, 2022.
The Aspiring to Educate STEM-Computer Science (A2E STEM-CS) grant program will use PAsmart funds to make simultaneous progress to diversify the teacher workforce and increase the number, diversity, and cultural awareness of STEM-CS teachers. Approximately $1 million in funding is available to be shared among all grant recipients.
The Innovative Principal Prep 2 Practice grant program will provide awards of up to $100,000 to approved educator-preparation programs so they can build innovative partnerships with LEAs that improve the “prep to practice” linkage in the preparation of school leaders. Preference will be given to programs that deepen the clinical experience, enhance integration between clinical experience and other components of preparation programs, provide enriched oversight and supervision, enhance induction, enhance diversity in the school leader workforce, and provide professional development in delivering culturally relevant and sustaining education. Approximately $2 million in funding is available to be shared among all grant recipients.
Finally, the Innovative Teacher Prep 2 Practice grant program will provide funding to stimulate the creation of highly cohesive and innovative clinical experiences for teachers that make explicit connections across the three stages of clinical experience: as first-year candidates, during their capstone clinicals, and during induction. Preference will be given to programs that enhance diversity in the teacher workforce, strengthen the professional knowledge of culturally relevant and sustaining education competencies, build cohesion across the three stages of clinical experience, strengthen partnerships between ed-prep programs and LEAs, and strengthen the integration of clinical experience into the broader teacher preparation program. Approximately $2 million in funding is available to be shared among all grant recipients.
Historic increase in budget
The educator-workforce plan builds on the Wolf Administration’s efforts over the past eight years to ensure a high-quality education to learners of all ages across the commonwealth. The administration has increased education funding by more than $3.7 billion since 2015, with a historic increase of $1.8 billion in this year’s final budget.