Watch CBS News

How is Pennsylvania addressing its teacher shortage?

How is Pennsylvania addressing its teacher shortage?
How is Pennsylvania addressing its teacher shortage? 02:28

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- There are simply not enough teachers to teach all the children, so what's the state doing to solve the problem? And will it work? 

The state of Pennsylvania doesn't have nearly as many teachers as it needs. More and more positions are available every day as teachers for a number of reasons walk away from a profession that was once highly respected. 

"In Allegheny County, we're seeing there are no subs. We're seeing teachers and support staff can barely get time off whenever they need it," said Annie Briscoe with PSEA.

And that is just one of the many reasons education professionals say Pennsylvania teachers are leaving in droves and would-be teachers are looking at other types of employment.

"I know friends of mine personally who were so motivated and driven to be educators and just suffered the burnout 10 years into their career," Briscoe said.

A recent Penn State study showed the state of Pennsylvania needs some 15,000 teachers to fill the ranks. 

"Here in Allegheny County, we had districts that did not have any applicants," Briscoe said.

Other states like West Virginia have offered $6,000 to potential educators to move there and teach. Ohio has lowered qualifications for advanced educator licenses.

Pennsylvania is competing for those some teachers. For its part, the state of Pennsylvania has the $10 million student teacher support program that offers $10,000 stipends for student teachers, $15,000 for those working in high need areas. All applicants must commit to teaching in Pennsylvania for three years. Classroom monitors are eligible for up to $2,500.

According to Briscoe, the program is working. But more funding is needed. 

"I believe the applications opened up recently and within a day, I mean, they were like maxed out," Briscoe said. 

"It's about $10 million, is what was designated for this, but that's only enough for about 740 student teachers," Briscoe added.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.