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Shapiro Administration Awards $1.5 Million to 15 Universities to Bolster Special Education Teacher Workforce


Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) today announced that $1.5 million in grant funding was awarded to 15 universities that partner with school districts to expedite the process for students to become a special education teacher. 

“The Shapiro Administration is committed to supporting and growing Pennsylvania’s educator workforce, especially in specialized and underserved areas like Special Education,” said Acting Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “These grants will expedite the process of becoming a certified special educator and enable more teachers to enter the field faster.” 

Awardees include: 

  • Commonwealth University, $100,000
  • Eastern University, $96,741
  • East Stroudsburg University, $100,000
  • Gannon University, $100,000
  • Holy Family University, $99,984
  • Kutztown University, $99,510
  • Lehigh University, $100,000
  • Lincoln University, $99,999
  • Millersville University, $100,000
  • Moravian University, $99,912
  • Slippery Rock University, $100,000
  • The Pennsylvania State University, $100,000
  • University of Pittsburgh, $99,984
  • West Chester University, $99,579
  • Widener University, $99,993 

In his budget address, Governor Josh Shapiro unveiled a refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 for three years for anyone who earns a new license or certification in education, nursing, or law enforcement, to help more Pennsylvanians become teachers and combat the shortage of education professionals in Pennsylvania. Governor Shapiro’s budget also includes an additional $103.8 million in funding for special education in Pennsylvania. This funding will support school districts as they provide high-quality education services to students with disabilities and special needs. 

Through the Accelerated Program for PK-12 Special Education Teacher Certification, grants are awarded to colleges and universities with approved PK-12 special education certification programs to partner with at least one school district, approved private school, career and technical center, charter school, cyber charter school, or intermediate unit to provide individuals who currently hold bachelor’s degrees with summer field experiences, mentoring by experienced special educators during the school year, and deliver a postbaccalaureate program for PK-12 special education teacher certification within 18 months.   

This grant program builds on the Department’s efforts to recruit and retain teachers in Pennsylvania. PDE’s educator workforce strategy works to ensure there is a robust pipeline of educators in place to provide a high-quality education to learners of all ages across the Commonwealth.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the website or follow PDE on InstagramFacebookTwitterYouTube, or Pinterest.

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