For years, our education system has faced challenges in attracting, recruiting, and retaining qualified teachers – challenges that were made worse by the pandemic. As children across the country start the 2022-2023 school year, too many schools are struggling to fill vacancies for teachers, including with qualified teachers, and other critical school professionals – such as bus drivers, paraprofessionals, nurses, and mental health professionals – positions that are essential to help our students recover academically, access the mental health supports they need, and thrive in and out of the classroom.
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new efforts to strengthen the teaching profession and support schools in their effort to address teacher shortages as the new school year begins.
The $130 billion in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) directed to the nation’s K-12 schools have allowed school districts across the country to invest in teacher pipeline programs, increase compensation for teachers, and hire more professionals across the education workforce. ARP funding has helped school districts increase the number of school social workers by 54%, increase the number of school counselors by 22%, and increase the number of school nurses by 22% compared to years prior to the pandemic.
Today, leading talent recruitment and job platforms are announcing a series of new actions to make it easier for states and school districts to source, recruit, and hire job seeking teachers and school professionals, and to help more Americans find jobs in education:
New Actions and Resources Strengthen the Educator Pipeline and Address Shortages
Today, the Department of Education (ED) and the Department of Labor (DOL) have issued a joint letter to state and local education and workforce leaders encouraging them to take a series of actions to address teacher and school staff shortages and invest in the teaching profession, including:
National Unions and State Organizations Expand Teacher Apprenticeship Programs
National organizations representing teachers, state school chiefs, governors, and teacher colleges are announcing today that they are working together to expand high-quality registered teacher apprenticeship programs, teaching residencies, and Grow Your Own programs.
Today the White House is holding a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Day of Action.
Earlier this year, the Biden-Harris Administration made temporary changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program to make sure teachers and school staff can access the loan forgiveness they are eligible for. As part of today’s Day of Action, leading education organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association, are working to ensure that school staff across the nation are able to take advantage of the temporary changes to the program. To benefit from the temporary changes, borrowers must apply and certify their employment for the period of time they wish to count toward PSLF using the PSLF Help Tool. For more information, visit www.PSLF.gov. The temporary changes end on Oct. 31, 2022. The White House is urging eligible teachers to take advantage today before time runs out.