Dean Katharine Strunk supports fair pay for student teachers in Pennsylvania

May 7, 2024
Penn GSE Dean Katharine Strunk.

Penn GSE Dean Katharine Strunk

In response to a severe teacher shortage, Pennsylvania created a stipend program to support student teachers through often unpaid periods of their training. But demand proved so great after enrollment opened this spring that potentially thousands of teachers committed to working in the state for at least three years could not participate.

As the state legislature considers expanding the program this budget cycle, Katharine Strunk, dean of Penn GSE, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that supporting student teachers would make it easier for more teachers to enter the profession. 

Student teachers “should be remunerated for their work, as a matter of fairness and as a signal that we respect and value their contributions,” Strunk stated, pointing out the backdrop of Pennsylvania’s teacher shortages.

As advocates lobby for a significant increase in funding — from $10 million to $75 million — Strunk’s perspective underscores the importance of this financial support in cultivating a robust educational workforce.

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer.