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Education Secretary Thanks Educators During Teacher Appreciation Week

Harrisburg, PA - Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera and the state Department of Education (PDE) this week released an online video thanking Pennsylvania’s educators for their efforts in the classroom. The video, utilizing the hashtag #ThankATeacher, was posted to the department’s social media accounts and website.

“Teachers do so much more than teach and the important work they do deserves to be recognized year-round,” Rivera said. “During Teacher Appreciation Week, we publicly thank our educators for creating environments that inspire success, for empowering students to follow their dreams, and for encouraging students to believe in themselves and their futures.”

Rivera added that the Schools That Teach Tour provides PDE leaders with the opportunity to check in with teachers and administrators in their home districts.

“These visits allow us to gain great insight into what’s happening in the field, to have productive conversations with school leaders and teachers, and to express our appreciation for all that they do,” he said.

The first full week in May is celebrated as National Teacher Appreciation Week, with the Tuesday of the week recognized as National Teacher Day.

Investing in schools and improving education for all students is Governor Wolf’s top priority and is a central component in his new Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP).

Introduced in this year’s budget proposal, the SWEAP plan focuses on recruiting and retaining qualified teachers by raising the minimum salary from the current $18,500 to $45,000. Across the state, 180 out of 500 school districts would receive money to raise the minimum salaries to $45,000. About 3,100 educators across the commonwealth would benefit from the governor’s proposal to raise teacher salaries and three out of four are women.

Governor Wolf’s SWEAP proposal also includes lowering the required age to start school from 8 years to 6 years; and raising the dropout age from 17 to 18.

Through the Schools That Teach Initiative, Wolf Administration officials from multiple agencies have visited dozens of schools across the state since 2015. A Google Map of all tour stops is available here.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website at or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Eric Levis - 717-783-9802 or

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