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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

PA high school focuses on attracting new teachers to the field

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Monday, April 1, 2024   

The shortage of educators and school staffers has reached a crisis level in some Pennsylvania public schools.

The state will need to fill thousands of vacancies for teachers, principals and administrative staff by August of 2025 - according to a report from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Billy Hileman, president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, said there's been a decline in enrollment for teacher education programs at universities in the past decade.

But one exception can be found at Pittsburgh's Brashear High School. Hileman said it aims to inspire and prepare students interested in pursuing teaching careers.

"There are students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools who do the Teacher Academy who do become teachers, who otherwise might not have," said Hileman, "partly because of the really wonderful teachers who have been part of that effort. Expanding that in more public schools across our state, can make a difference."

Pennsylvania serves more than 1.7 million students in grades K-12.

This year, the Shapiro Administration unveiled a $379,000 grant to create an apprenticeship program to produce more certified teachers for Pennsylvania schools.

Susan Kemper Patrick, senior researcher with the Learning Policy Institute, said having a diverse group of teachers is crucial - particularly for students of color.

However, she noted that the teaching workforce in the U.S. has remained predominantly white over the past three decades.

At a recent national forum on the teacher shortage, she said figures from the 2020-to-2021 school year show only 20% of public school teachers in the nation were Black.

"Higher salaries are associated with lower teacher turnover," said Kemper Patrick. "And a recent national study of teachers of color across the country found that among those surveyed, increasing salary was the top strategy to recruit and retain more teachers of color."

Kemper Patrick said some states have managed to get substantial pay increases for teachers in the past five years, but it remains low overall.

She said as of 2021, the average starting salary for a teacher with a bachelor's degree was over $42,000 a year.




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