Jun. 22, 2023

HARRISBURG – The House Education Committee has unanimously advanced legislation authored by state Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) that would continue teacher hiring practices which were initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The challenge of addressing teacher shortages, which existed before COVID-19 and was aggravated during the pandemic, still exists,” Struzzi said. “House Bill 27 extends certain provisions from Act 91 of 2021 which provided flexibility to school entities that must address the day-to-day substitute teacher shortage. Without this legislation, the flexibility schools had under Act 91 when employing annuitants, prospective teachers, and graduates of educator preparation programs as substitute teachers will no longer be available.”

The bill would remove the sunset date of Act 91 and allow school entities to permanently have these tools available when securing substitute teacher coverage. House Bill 27 also includes safeguards to limit the number of days student teachers would be permitted to serve in that capacity, so as to not take away from their supervised student teaching experience. 

“The legislation expands opportunities for individuals who have temporary teaching certificates and substitute teaching permits, in addition to anyone who serves as a classroom monitor,” added Struzzi. “The measures I’m proposing were initiated out of necessity during the pandemic, and still serve as viable solutions to a problem we cannot ignore.”

In April, the Department of Education issued a report highlighting how beneficial these permits were over the last two school years. In 46 counties, 884 permits were issued with a 20% increase in use from the first school year to the next.

Questions about this or any legislative issue should be directed to Struzzi’s Indiana district office at 724-465-0220.  

Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137 (office), 717.497.5937 (cell)
RepStruzzi.com / Facebook.com/RepStruzzi