Pennsylvania Offers $15K Stipends to Student Teachers; Here's What to Know!

By Madz Dizon

Apr 11, 2024 11:41 PM EDT

Pennsylvania Offers $15K Stipends to Student Teachers; Here's What to Know!
A teller flicks through a bundle of US dollar bills at an exchange office in Ankara on July 20, 2023.
(Photo : ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images)

In just three hours of launching, over 3,500 applications flooded in for a Pennsylvania stipend that would compensate for an unpaid semester of student teaching.

However, the new program is currently limited in funding, allowing for approximately 600 to 700 student teachers to assume teaching roles in Pennsylvania classrooms during the upcoming winter or next spring as part of their teaching certification.  

Pennsylvania Student Teachers Stipend Application

The funds will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, with each student-teacher eligible for up to $15,000, according to WESA.

Bethany Coleman, a spokesperson for the agency stated, "[The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency] is so happy to be a partner with the Shapiro Administration and of the General Assembly on the rollout of the new PA Student Teacher Support Program. By providing financial support to support teachers we are not only investing in the future of education, but also addressing the critical teacher shortage in this Commonwealth."

The applications became available just one day after Gov. Josh Shapiro, along with Sens. Ryan Aument, R-Lancaster, and Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, and Reps. Gina Curry, D-Delaware, and Jesse Topper, R-Bedford, made a request for a 50% increase in funding for the upcoming year.

This announcement was made during a press conference to celebrate the launch of the $10 million program. The additional $5 million would need to be approved by the legislature through the budget process.

That would still be insufficient to meet the high demand on the initial day of applications. A program was established through legislation that received bipartisan support last year.

READ NEXT: Vietnamese Billionaire Truong My Lan Sentenced to Death in One of the Biggest Corruption Cases in History

Demands Grow Over Additional Funding

Aaron Chapin, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, a teachers union that also represents around 7,100 student members, highlighted the significant number of applications as evidence of the program's effectiveness and the growing demand for additional funding in the future.

"Regrettably, due to the overwhelming demand, the majority of students who applied for stipends will not receive them this year. The program only has a budget of $10 million," explained Chapin.

"This compelling evidence highlights the urgent need for lawmakers and Gov. Shapiro to allocate more funding for the program in the upcoming 2024-25 state budget," he said.

According to Chapin's estimation, it would cost approximately $75 million to provide stipends for every student teacher in the state.

Currently, the majority of individuals would be eligible to receive $10,000 to fund their semester of work. Those assigned to high-need schools with teacher shortages or low numbers of student teachers may be eligible for an extra $5,000.

Despite the slim chances of receiving a stipend, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency continues to urge aspiring student teachers to submit their applications.

READ NEXT: New York's Legal Marijuana Industry Hits New High, Reaches Over 100 Licensed Shops Across Empire State 

© 2024 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics