ICYMI: Governor Shapiro Touts His Plans to Rebuild Pennsylvania’s Workforce, Recruit More Teachers, Cops, & Nurses

Harrisburg, PA – In the first full week after his budget address, Governor Josh Shapiro touted his commonsense proposals to address critical workforce shortages by recruiting and retaining more teachers, cops, and nurses in Pennsylvania. At each event, he reiterated his commitment to good schools, safe communities, and healthy families.

Governor Shapiro visited George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science in Philadelphiathe Lackawanna College Police Academy, and Gwynedd Mercy University to hear from teachers, police officers, and nurses and share his Administration’s plan to rebuild our workforce and make it easier for Pennsylvanians who want to enter these professions. 

To address critical workforce shortages in public safety, education, and health care, Governor Shapiro’s budget proposes:

  • A refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 every year for up to three years for anyone who earns a new license or certification in education, nursing, or law enforcement, or for anyone who already has a license in those fields and decides to move to Pennsylvania for work.
  • A $16.4 million proposal for four new Pennsylvania state trooper cadet classes in 2023-24, to hire and train 384 new troopers and to more well-qualified police officers in communities across the Commonwealth.
  • An increase of $567.4 million, or 7.8 percent, for basic education funding, in addition to targeted support to help students learn and grow.

Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis also joined Fox29 Philadelphia this week to discuss how Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal will invest in public safety to make Pennsylvania communities safer. Lieutenant Governor Davis was named Chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency last month and is helping lead the Shapiro-Davis Administration’s efforts to reduce violence and crime.

Read what leaders across the state are saying about Governor Shapiro’s budget investments in teachers, nurses, and police officers:

Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. Tony Watlington: “The research says that the single most important factor in student learning is a highly-qualified, well-supported, and stable teaching force over time. We’re pleased that our Governor took time to come here this morning to spend time talking with principals, spend time talking with teachers, and spend time talking with students to hear directly from them about how we can continue to improve schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the School District of Philadelphia. We are particularly grateful for his support in the budget for the School District of Philadelphia, not limited to the $2,500 proposed tax credit for teachers, since they are number one in the research in terms of improving student outcomes.”

Philadelphia School District Board President Reginald Streater: “We really greatly appreciate that Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal increases basic funding education and calls for a personal income tax of up to $2,500 a year for three years for new teachers who received the certifications from the Commonwealth. We are also appreciative the Governor’s budget proposal would invest $500 million over five years in school environmental repairs, another $500 million in student mental health, and provide for each free universal breakfast to every child in Pennsylvania. These are critical investments that address pressing needs to recruit and retain teachers, invest in our facilities, and support the well-being of our students here in Philadelphia and across the Commonwealth. We believe that Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal is a positive start, and we look forward to working with him in the future.”

George Washington Carver High School Teacher Paul Wagenhoffer: “I had the privilege alongside of two of my colleagues to sit down with Governor Shapiro and talk about some ins-and-outs of the budget. One of the big things that we took away, and that we tried to share with him, is how important it is to not only keep us as teachers involved and keep us retained, but also make sure that we’re treated as professionals. I feel that a lot of the pieces of this budget really do that, and I’m really excited to have been a part of all this. A billion dollars going to schools is absolutely incredible – for mental health and for facilities.”

State Senator Marty Flynn: “Right now our Commonwealth is short over 1,200 municipal officers statewide. When the Governor gave his address in front of the entire legislature, I was pleased to hear he was going to be investing in new local police officers, state troopers, and 911 dispatchers. I hear from police departments all over my district all the time that they’re struggling to attract new officers. And Governor Shapiro’s idea to provide a $2,500 tax credit to those who decide to join the noble profession of protecting us in our communities is a great idea.”

Scranton Police Chief Thomas Carroll: “I am very passionate about public service, and more importantly, about public safety. The difficulty of maintaining public safety increases when staffing shortfalls exist. Our dedicated officers will always face the challenges and cover those shortfalls, but it’s not sustainable. I, like my fellow public safety counterparts, am concerned about the impact of the shortfalls to our operations over time. For the first time in our history, we have developed a comprehensive recruiting initiative to motivate good people to accept the challenges of policing and join our forces. Governor, we appreciate you understanding the seriousness of our staffing needs, promoting law enforcement’s legitimacy, and proposing recruitment incentives for public safety positions.”

Read what people are saying about Governor Shapiro’s plans to rebuild our workforce:

Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Shapiro touts proposed K-12 spending as ‘a real downpayment on the future of education’

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Gov. Shapiro touts his plan to give tax breaks to new Pa. teachers, as a way to ease shortage

The Philadelphia Tribune: Shapiro plan tackles Pa. teacher shortage

WGAL: Gov. Josh Shapiro highlights plan to recruit more teachers in Pennsylvania

The Scranton Times-Tribune: Shapiro visits police academy, touts incentive to help fill 1,200 open spots

The Times Leader: Shapiro plans to recruit more police officers, invest in public safety

WBRE/WYOU: Governor Shapiro plans to increase and support area law enforcement

WNEP: Governor lays out plan for more cops

PennLive: Shapiro’s workforce development plan could pay off big for Pa., policy director says

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