How States Are Using Federal Funds to Solve Teacher Shortages
New report from The Education Trust highlights promising practices used to invest in teacher recruitment and retention
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As students headed back to school this fall, there were an estimated 300,000 teacher and staff vacancies across the U.S. A new report from The Education Trust, How States Can Use American Rescue Plan Funding and Federal Grants to Support Teacher Diversity, discusses how some states are utilizing funds made available in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis to solve the teacher shortage crisis.
“All students, regardless of race or ethnicity, benefit from having a racially and culturally diverse teacher workforce,” said Eric Duncan, Ed Trust’s assistant director of P-12 policy. “Many states are investing in innovative practices that need to be looked at and modeled after. By increasing the diversity of the educator workforce, we support states’ efforts to end the teacher shortages facing their schools.”
The new report was released at a congressional briefing, “Rise as a Collective,” hosted by Latinos for Education, to address the importance of increasing and diversifying the educator workforce. At the event, Duncan was joined by the Honorable Roberto Rodriguez, assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development at the U.S. Department of Education; Jacqueline Rodriguez, vice president, research, policy and advocacy at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE); and Manny Cruz, Massachusetts advocacy director at Latinos for Education. Together, they discussed policy solutions that have been shown to accelerate the leadership education pipeline, narrow the ethno-racial gap between teachers and students of color, cultivate educators, and improve outcomes for students.
“The teacher shortages plaguing our nation have exposed the lack of diversity among the U.S. educator workforce and factors that have contributed to this persistent issue,” said Amanda Fernández, CEO/founder of Latinos for Education. “For this reason, Latinos for Education gathered policymakers and education leaders to join this congressional briefing on educator diversity to help advance much needed policy solutions.”
Ed Trust collected state-level data on how American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds are being used to elevate promising practices that state policymakers and advocates can emulate. State spending is broken down into three broad categories: 1) supporting educator preparation programs that attract and support candidates of color; 2) developing and/or implementing policies or programs to recruit teachers of color; and 3) developing and/or implementing policies or programs to retain teachers of color.