AACTE Releases Model Legislation for States

Today, AACTE released model state legislation to recruit high-achieving students into the teaching profession and incentivize them to teach in our neediest schools.

The Teaching Fellows bill is the first released by AACTE in its initiative to develop model state legislation that is aligned with AACTE’s state policy priorities and with the recommendations from “Excellent Teachers for Each and Every Child: A Guide for State Policy,” a joint effort by AACTE and several partner organizations that was released in December 2013. The initiative reflects AACTE’s goal of promoting sound education policies—grounded in research and practice—that will strengthen the teaching profession and will have a positive impact on students.

Many capable individuals opt not to pursue a career in teaching for a variety of reasons, including low compensation, a perceived lack of respect for the profession, and evaluation policies that are being implemented in some districts and states. In order to leverage state resources to recruit talented individuals into the teaching workforce, states have made efforts to attract career-changers into the teaching profession and have enacted grow-your-own programs, among other initiatives.

AACTE is adding to policy makers’ toolbox for teacher recruitment policies by offering this model legislation, which is focused on recruiting potential teachers as they enter college. This model bill would provide 4-year college scholarships to high-achieving high school seniors for their teacher preparation programs if the scholarship recipients commit to teaching for 4 years in a high-need school in the state. This bill is based on the North and South Carolina Teaching Fellows programs, which have been shown to recruit effective teachers and to increase teacher retention.  

AACTE members, state chapter leaders, and advocates from partner organizations can take this model legislation to state legislators to advocate for the adoption of this policy in its entirety or for adapting it to better fit the state context.

The following organizations have signed on in support of this model legislation:

  • American Council on Rural Special Education
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • National Education Association
  • Opportunity to Learn Campaign
  • Public Advocacy For Kids
  • San Francisco Teacher Residency

Sign up here to list your organization as a supporter. Click here to read a brief fact sheet about this legislation.

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Sarah Pinsky

Manager for State and Federal Policy, AACTE