AACTE Applauds Secretary Cardona’s Vision to Elevate the Teaching Profession
On June 9, Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona released a vision to support and elevate the teaching profession. AACTE applauds the vision to recruit, develop, and retain future educators in a time when extreme educator shortages are afflicting the country, and looks forward to working with the secretary to realize each strategy. The secretary’s vision, announced during a fireside chat at AACTE member institution, Bank Street College of New York, arrived on the heels of AACTE’s premier advocacy event, Washington Week, as AACTE members and its state affiliates met with their federal legislators to promote comprehensive educator preparation.
AACTE’s legislative priorities to address educator shortages, diversify the profession of education, increase funding that supports candidates’ entry into the profession are each addressed within the secretary’s priorities as well. In addition, AACTE continues to encourage its members to contact their legislators urging them to support EDUCATORS for America Act. The Act not only elevates the profession, but it also funds state grants to support higher education institutions, doubles the TEACH grants, increases funding for Teacher Quality Partnership Grants, and funds the Hawkins Center of Excellence amongst other provisions. AACTE fully supports the Secretary’s advocacy for increased financial investment to support the strategies outlined in his vision.
Below are the major sections of the Secretary’s vision. A link to the full Press Statement can be found on the U.S. Department of education website.
Secretary Cardona’s vision focuses on three areas:
- Recruiting diverse, high-qualified teachers into the profession and investing in high-quality teacher pipeline programs
- Supporting educators’ professional development to ensure our nation’s students are receiving high-quality education to meet the demands of today’s economy
- Investing in strategies to retain high-quality educators and keep them in the profession long-term.
Secretary Cardona laid out the following strategies that will continue to guide the Department of Education’s work to recruit, develop, and retain high-qualified teachers in the coming months and years:
- Investing in a strong and diverse teacher pipeline, including increasing access to affordable, comprehensive, evidence-based preparation programs, such as teacher residencies, Grow Your Own programs, including those that begin in high school, and apprenticeship programs
- Supporting teachers in earning initial or additional certification in high-demand areas such as special education and bilingual education or advanced certifications to better meet the needs of their students
- Helping teachers pay off their student loans, including through loan forgiveness and service scholarship programs
- Supporting teachers by providing them and students with the resources they need to succeed, including mentoring for early career teachers, high-quality curricular materials, and providing students with access to guidance counselors, social workers, nurses, mental health professionals, and other specialists
- Creating opportunities for teacher advancement and leadership, including participating in distributive leadership models, and serving as instructional coaches and mentors.
Secretary Cardona’s Financial Vision
To advance these efforts, the Department’s fiscal year 2023 budget request includes nearly $600 million in new funds — over funds included in the FY22 Omnibus —f or a total of almost $3 billion —to recruit, support, and retain a talented, diverse workforce. These investments include $350 million to focus the Education Innovation and Research program on a new charge to improve teacher recruitment and retention; $132 million for Teacher Quality Partnerships to improve preparation for teachers (an additional $73 million); $20 million for the Hawkins Centers of Excellence to increase the number of diverse and talented teachers prepared at our Historically Black colleges and universities, minority serving institutions, and Tribal colleges and universities (an additional $12 million); and $250 million for IDEA Part D to better prepare and support our special education teachers (an additional $155 million).