HARRISBURG – Legislation has been introduced to help address PA’s teacher shortage by simplifying the process for out-of-state teachers to receive certification. It would allow PA residents who are currently teaching in other states and new residents who have recently moved to the Commonwealth to continue to pursue a teaching career. A person who has completed any state-approved educator preparation program from an accredited institution of higher education is eligible for a comparable in-state instructional certification. The bill also grants PA certification to any candidate who holds a valid certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards or has a qualifying score on equivalent content tests toward the Department of Education’s testing and certification requirements. According to the state Education Department, the number of newly issued in-state instructional teaching certificates has dropped by 71% since 2009. The dwindling number of certified teachers, coupled with challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, have raised concerns about the ability of school districts to appropriately staff instructional positions for the current school year.