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Credit: U.S. Department of Education

Federal education, labor departments team up to expand teacher preparation programs, apprenticeships

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Educator Preparation | Certification Congress | Federal

Date Posted: 8/04/2023 | Author: Tricia Cave

With back to school approaching and teacher shortages continuing with no end in sight, the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor have teamed up to invest in two key educator pathways as part of their Raise the Bar: Lead the World initiative, which seeks to reduce educator shortages and improve classroom conditions for educators.

The federal government has partnered with the Pathways Alliance, a coalition of organizations seeking to expand educator pathways, to create National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards for Registered Apprenticeships for K-12 teachers. These guidelines are designed to guide school districts and states in aligning their programs to national quality standards. As part of this initiative, the Department of Labor has announced a $65 million investment in developing and scaling Registered Apprenticeship programs targeting education in 35 states. Additionally, the Department of Labor is partnering with RTI International to promote and expand Registered Apprenticeship programs for K-12 education.

“Teacher apprenticeships are a key strategy in our plan to Raise the Bar in education and improve learning conditions in our schools by ending the educator shortage and providing all students with great teachers who are prepared to succeed in the classroom from day one,” U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “Providing opportunities for future teachers to earn while they learn has created an affordable and exciting pathway into the teaching profession that can help states build a talented and diverse pipeline of educators when doing so has never mattered more.”

Apprenticeship has grown in popularity as experienced educators have retired and left the classroom.  This pathway allows for on-the-job training under the supervision of a trained educator for a specific period of time, usually three to five years.  In Texas, many educator preparation programs (EPPs) offer Registered Apprenticeships to aspiring teachers who wish to start working and earning while continuing their training and seeking full certification.  Programs like these seek to remove barriers for aspiring educators by making pathways more affordable and accessible.

In addition to growing and expanding Registered Apprenticeships, the Department of Education has announced more than $27 million in new investments in educator preparation, including $14.5 million for Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants that will be used to improve EPPs and increase the level of support offered to new educators. Additionally, the education department is investing $12.7 million into building best practices for developing educators through the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) program.

The teacher attrition rate in Texas is higher than the national average—around 12% in the 2021-22 school year, according to The Texas Tribune. These new federal investments in educator preparation will be welcomed as the state struggles to attract and train enough new teachers to fill remaining open positions as the 2023-24 school year begins.



Luz Elena Ramirez

This is very good news; it provides a lot of hope for the future of the children. I recently retired from education, but it is still in my heart to ensure that all children get an education that will help them to live a decent life.

Meredith Bowman

Education needs to get back to teachers teaching with books, paper, and pencil. Teachers are leaving in drones bc of the education departments and TEA forcing teachers to teach via chrome books. The kids don’t learn using those. Science proves children are screens for hours a day diminishes their brain development. And now Texas passed HB1605 enforcing more screen time for students. This also takes the creativity away from teachers. One of the major reasons for them exiting this career. Along with the lack of discipline support from admin and parents. This is the pipeline to prison concept! And the school choice and vouchers is the workforce pipeline.

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