Pennsylvania Policy Fellowship

Leveraging the expertise and voices of our state’s outstanding teachers to advance equity for students

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Application Deadline: May 6, 2024

Teachers from across Pennsylvania:

You are invited to apply for the Teach Plus Pennsylvania Policy Fellowship, a highly selective leadership opportunity for outstanding Pennsylvania teachers and early childhood educators looking to deepen your knowledge of education policy and gain a voice in decisions that affect your students and the teaching profession.

Testimonials

"I would encourage anyone who is interested in educational policy...to apply for [the Teach Plus PA policy fellowship]. It has changed my life."
Kristen Haase
2022-23 Senior Policy Fellow, School District of Lancaster
“My experience working with Teach Plus has challenged me to become more active in the policy that affects my students on a state and national level. Having the opportunity to connect with other teachers from across the state gives me a broader perspective on the challenges that teachers face in supporting their students.”
Derek Long
2022-23 Senior Policy Fellow, Pittsburgh Public Schools

About the Pennsylvania Policy Fellowship

In summer 2024, Teach Plus will launch its fourth full cohort of Teaching Policy Fellows in Pennsylvania. This highly selective leadership opportunity is for 30 outstanding teachers looking to deepen their knowledge of education policy and amplify the voices of teacher leaders in Pennsylvania. Policy fellows, who will receive a $1,500 stipend for their commitment, will expand their influence without leaving the classroom through guided work, including:

  • Two in-person training sessions, monthly virtual meetings, and smaller, issues-focused working groups.
  • Training through expert-led modules on topics such as Storytelling for Impact, Policy 101, Advocacy & Organizing, Evidence-Based Policymaking, Testifying and Meeting with Decision Makers, Op-Ed Writing, & Media Relations
  • Direct engagement with key stakeholders and policymakers
  • Pursuit of a policy research or advocacy project that addresses a pressing state-level policy issue

2024-25 Policy Focus Areas (tentative)

Early Childhood Education

Expand access and quality of
childcare and Pre-K in Pennsylvania
in addition to increasing the
pipeline of ECE educators.

Equitable Funding

Ensure adequacy and equity in the state’s education funding system, particularly for underserved students.

Reimagining Teacher Preparation

Identify improvements to teacher preparation to better prepare teachers to be effective, use culturally responsive practices, and persist in the profession.

Culturally Affirming Schools

Increase access to inclusive curriculum and instructional materials, diverse educators, and equitable school policies at the district and state level, with a focus on underserved populations; defend against attacks on marginalized students.

Advancing the Science of Reading

Ensure teachers are trained in the science of reading and that curricula, assessments, and supports are also aligned with the science of reading to support students reading proficiently.

Expanding & Diversifying the Teacher Pipeline

Identify strategies to attract more teachers into the teaching profession, address teacher shortages, and reduce barriers to entry in order to address looming teacher shortages and a lack of diversity in the workforce.

Qualifications

  • Be a current educator (early childhood to 12th grade) in a PA public, charter, or early childhood education setting with at least two full years of teaching experience by June 2024
  • Have a track record of success teaching students in Pennsylvania
  • Be ready to dedicate your time and passion to learning about policy and advocating on behalf of changes that impact students

Application Process

Part 1 – Written Application

Complete and submit a written application prior to the deadline: May 6th, 2024: 11:59 pm. Teach Plus Pennsylvania will host three virtual information sessions prior to the application deadline:

Part 2 – Interview

Candidates participate in both an individual phone interview and a group activity via Zoom. If advanced, candidates select a day and time that works best for their schedule. Interviews will take place between May 28th-31st, 2024.

Part 3 – Final Status Notifications

All candidates will receive notification of their final status (accepted, not accepted, or wait listed) by June 6th, 2024.

Interested in becoming a teacher leader?

Click below to start your application.

Know a teacher leader?

Nominate a teacher who wants to achieve change in their schools and in the broader education system.

About Teach Plus:

The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that advance equity, opportunity, and student success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has developed thousands of teacher leaders across the country to shape education policy and improve teaching and learning, to create an education system driven by access and excellence for all. Teach Plus policy fellows have:

  • Met with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office
  • Shaped state plans across the U.S. for the Every Student Succeeds Act
  • Joined U.S. Secretaries of Education as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s official delegation to the International Summit on the Teaching Profession
  • Been published or featured in Education Week, the Associated Press, major local news publications, and have appeared on National Public Radio and local and national and local television outlets

About Teach Plus Pennsylvania:

Teach Plus launched its teacher-led policy work in Pennsylvania in 2020 with an 11-teacher Policy Advisory Board and grew to a 30-teacher Policy Fellowship in 2021. Teach Plus also leads a statewide network of over 500 educators. Since 2020, Teach Plus PA policy fellows, staff, and network teachers have:

  • Met with Governor Wolf, Governor Josh Shapiro, and leaders of the Pennsylvania House and Senate
  • Helped pass historic education funding increases in the 2022-23 state budget, including a $225 million Level Up equity supplement for underfunded districts
  • Contributed to legislation on teacher diversity, the science of reading, and more
  • Helped advance legislation to accomplish two major priorities: paid student teaching and improved data collection, both of which will help expand, strengthen, and diversify Pennsylvania’s educator workforce in the midst of a dire teacher shortage crisis.
  • Been published or featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Morning Call, Education Post, Scranton Times-Tribune, Pottstown Mercury, Erie Times-News, and WHYY

Teach Plus Pennsylvania Leadership:

Zakiya Stewart serves as the Teach Plus Pennsylvania Policy Manager and leads the Teaching Policy Fellowship. She is a former elementary school teacher who has also worked in district administration, consulting, and educational management.

Laura Boyce serves as the Teach Plus Pennsylvania Executive Director and supports the Teaching Policy Fellowship. She has led Teach Plus PA’s policy and instructional leadership work since the region’s founding in 2017. Previously, Laura was a high school teacher in Philadelphia and a principal in Camden, NJ.

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Meet our Teacher Leaders

Get to know the Pennsylvania Policy Fellowship teachers.

Teacher Voices