CEC Endorses Legislation to Address Educator Shortages
On Thursday, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representative Alma Adams (D-NC) introduced the EDUCATORS for America Act, a bill that would provide $1 billion to address national educator shortages.
The bill would dedicate $500 million a year to grants to states to support strategies to improve their specific educator workforce needs. That effort would prioritize attracting, preparing, and retaining people of color, people with disabilities, and first-time college students into the educator workforce. Another $500 million would be dedicated to expanding the Teacher Quality Partnership program, with priorities to support specialized instructional support personnel and early childhood educators.
The bill would reauthorize the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence program, a program to improve the diversity of the educator workforce through supporting educator preparation programs at historically black colleges and universities and minority serving institutions. That program, which has been authorized but never funded, could see funding for the first time this year through passage of the Build Back Better Act or the annual appropriations process. Finally, the bill would double the TEACH Grants program award to $8,000 annually to make higher education more affordable for future teachers.
CEC was pleased to join nearly 50 national organizations in support of the bill.
“This legislation offers a thoughtful and comprehensive solution to the current educator shortage crisis, including in high-needs areas such as special education,” remarked CEC President Dennis Cavitt, Ed. D.