This story originally appeared on The Philadelphia Tribune.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education will be reducing the wait time for new teachers to receive their certification.
An educator can now expect their certification to be processed by approximately 10 weeks. Certification for in-state Level I will be processed in two to four weeks and in-state Level II certification will be processed in four to six weeks.
Educators seeking add-on certifications will be processed in one to three weeks and emergency certificates will be processed in two to four weeks.
The news comes after the new in-state teacher certifications for Pennsylvania are at an all-time low.
In the 2010-2011 school year, more than 15,000 in state certifications were issued. About 2,080 out-of-state certificates and 3,934 add-on certificates were also issued to educators.
By 2021-2022, that number dropped to more than 4,200 for in-state educators and 881 for out-of-state educators. Nearly 1,000 educators also sought add-on certificates, according to the Department of Education.
“Since day one, the [Gov. Josh] Shapiro administration has been committed to improving government processes — making it easier for Pennsylvanians to live and work in the commonwealth — and I’m proud of our team’s work to reduce processing times and help more teachers get their certificates,” said Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Khalid Mumin in a statement.
“We will continue to make progress and work to further processing times so teachers can get their certifications as efficiently as possible,” he said.
In addition to the reduction of wait time for teacher certification, the Pennsylvania Department of Education will also be launching a new feature on its website to improve transparency and responsiveness in the certification process.
The website will feature a certification clock that will show in real-time the length of time needed to process a certificate once required information is submitted to the Department of Education.
“I’m excited about the new online feature, which will allow educators to know exactly what to expect during the certification process,” Mumin said in a statement.
“By making our response time public, we are increasing transparency and accountability and improving the services we provide to current and prospective educators across the Commonwealth.”