HARRISBURG – The PA Senate approved legislation that would assist recent teaching graduates who are attempting to navigate the state certification process, which was disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill sponsor, Bedford County Sen. Wayne Langerholc, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, said his bill is needed because teacher certification testing centers were closed during the health emergency. Senate Bill 1216 would allow the PA Department of Education to issue a temporary certificate to those who have completed all of their teacher preparation requirements except their final assessment and allow PDE to issue an exceptional case permit for current educators unable to take their assessment to move from an Instructional I to an Instructional II certificate. The bill also allows PDE to issue a temporary certificate under limited circumstances for individuals who were seeking to add on a certification; waive the requirement for undergraduate sophomores to take the basic skills exam; and extend the deadline for paraprofessionals to satisfy staff development requirements. The flexible provisions would expire June 30, 2021.

SEN. WAYNE LANGERHOLC