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AACTE President Addresses the Educator Workforce Crisis at NGA Session

As school districts prepare for the 2022-23 school year, policymakers are determined to prioritize comprehensive solutions to address staffing shortages, a long-standing issue exacerbated during the pandemic.

AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone recently shared insight on this topic at a virtual session hosted by the National Governor Association’s (NGA) Community Renewal Task Force. Led by Co-chair and Missouri Governor Mike Parson, the discussion also included Penny Schwinn, Tennessee commissioner of education, and Roberto Rodriquez, assistant secretary of planning, evaluation, and policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education.

Gangone emphasized actionable solutions that policymakers can take to address the shortage crisis and how to better support the most underserved students and teachers across the United States.

“In 2020, colleges of education around the country produced and educated over 135,000 teacher candidates who completed programs at our colleges and universities around the country,” Gangone stated, highlighting the importance of PK-12 partners to make high-quality education preparation accessible to a diverse array of future educators.

“The capacity that we have to build state support and federal support in financial aid is absolutely essential” in order to help diversity a teacher workforce that may better reflect a school’s demographics and to help teachers thrive and grow on every level.

Gangone spoke about the work and programs that colleges of education have implemented to prepare high-quality classroom-ready teachers — highlighting the importance of building close partnerships, removing the financial barriers to becoming a teacher, implementing state quality applications, and using relief funding to better access the teaching profession.

“The use of these funds has made a dramatic change in how we’ve been able to address the teaching shortage and the interest in teaching — which is something impeded by finances,” said Gangone.

Watch the entire Community Renewal Task Force Meeting.

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