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In a series of new efforts, the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor announced to expand Registered Apprenticeships for educators and invest in teacher preparation programs. The efforts focus on a key focus area of the Department of Education’s Raise the Bar: Lead the World initiative to improve learning conditions by eliminating educator shortages.
“Teacher apprenticeships are a key strategy in our plan to Raise the Bar in education and improve learning conditions in our schools by ending the educator shortage and providing all students with great teachers who are prepared to succeed in the classroom from day one,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Providing opportunities for future teachers to earn while they learn has created an affordable and exciting pathway into the teaching profession that can help states build a talented and diverse pipeline of educators at a moment when doing so has never mattered more. I’m thrilled that in just one year, the Biden-Harris Administration has helped grow the number of states with Registered Apprenticeship programs for teachers from two to 21, and look forward to these new guidelines helping get all 50 states get onboard.”
New Initiatives for Teacher Preparation Programs
The initiatives to help address the shortages include:
- New National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards (NGS) for Registered Apprenticeships for K-12 teachers developed by The Pathways Alliance;
- More than $27 million from the Department of Education to support educator preparation programs;
- More than $65 million from the Department of Labor to develop and scale Registered Apprenticeship programs in critical sectors across 45 states—with 35 targeting education;
- The Department of Labor is announcing a new industry intermediary to launch, promote and expand Registered Apprenticeship programs for K-12 educators; and
- A policy brief authored by the Department of Education that highlights how states are taking strategic steps outlined by the Biden-Harris Administration to support the effective recruitment, preparation, and retention of teachers.
“The Department of Labor’s investments will enable states to strengthen educator pipelines and create pathways to opportunity through a proven earn-as-you-learn model of Registered Apprenticeships,” said Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie Su. “This important partnership with the U.S. Department of Education advances the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to building a highly-skilled, diverse workforce that is reflective of the communities that teachers serve.”
National Guidelines for K-12 Teacher Registered Apprenticeships:
The newly released National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards (NGS) for Registered Apprenticeships for K-12 teachers will guide states, school districts, and other apprenticeship sponsors to align their programs to quality standards for K-12 teachers. It also provides a framework that partners can use to develop state-specific program standards and provide for expedited development and approval of new apprenticeship programs.
Department of Education Investments:
The new Department of Education policy brief, Raise the Bar: Eliminating Educator Shortages through Increased Compensation, High-Quality and Affordable Preparation, and Teacher Leadership, highlights how states nationwide are taking strategic steps to support the effective recruitment, preparation, and retention of teachers.
The Department of Education also announced new awards totaling more than $27 million to support these efforts, including:
- $14.5 million in Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants. These awards are intended to improve the quality of prospective and new teachers by improving educator preparation programs and support for new teachers.
- $12.7 million in Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) funds to support the implementation of evidence-based practices that prepare, develop, or enhance the skills of educators. These grants will also enable recipients to develop, expand, and evaluate practices that can serve as sustained, replicated, and scaled models, including career advancement opportunities for current teachers.
These efforts will help reduce the cost of being a teacher by offering an affordable pathway to become a teacher.