Educator Quality Remains Top Focus of Governors

The 41 State of the State Addresses made so far in 2017 show a continued focus by governors on education issues. Education Commission of the States (ECS) has recently updated its searchable database of trends in these speeches and issued a report summarizing the top issues spotlighted in governors’ addresses this year.

According to the report, this year’s top education mentions have included the following:

  • School finance
  • Workforce development and career/technical education
  • Teacher issues – recruiting, retaining, and better compensation for teachers
  • Early learning (PK-3)
  • Postsecondary affordability
  • Technology
  • School choice

At least 17 State of the State Addresses mentioned the need to improve recruitment, retention, and compensation of educators, and the governors of Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, New York, Oklahoma, and Washington proposed various measures related to educator quality. For example, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback spoke of creating TeachersKan, a scholarship program for students who commit to teach in an underserved community or subject. In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee proposed funds for the Beginning Educator Support Team, which provides mentoring and other induction support.

If you are from a member institution or a state chapter from any of these states, please thank your governor for their support and focus on elevating the education profession. As a reminder, AACTE has an updated state-by-state contact list of key policy makers available (member login required).


Aaron Goldstein

Manager, State Policy & Relations

Clarissa Garcia

State Policy Analyst Intern