Biden Debuts New Initiatives To Attract And Retain Teachers

( – School Districts across the country have been dealing with teacher and support staff shortages. Some states, like Florida, have loosened hiring requirements to get more educators through the door. President Joe Biden has now launched new initiatives to retain and attract more teachers.

On May 2, the Biden Administration announced new initiatives to help strengthen and support schools and teachers in America. A press release from the White House stated it’s a priority of the president, whose wife is a teacher, to “address [the] long-standing staffing challenges” that are facing schools and were made worse by the worldwide health crisis. The statement called for teachers and support staff to “be paid competitively and treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.”

The administration announced the following initiatives:

  • Providing data from every congressional district showing the work to fix the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
  • The Department of Education will also establish a Center on Strengthening and Supporting the Educator Workforce.
  • A $25 million increase in funding for special education teachers.

The administration stated that it has already implemented changes to help strengthen the profession, including encouraging states to raise teacher pay. The nation’s capital and 30 states have done just that. They also made changes to fix the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to forgive the college loans of thousands of educators, expanded teacher apprenticeship programs, and secured $2.7 billion in funding to help states address teacher shortages.

During his tenure, the administration increased funding for schools with the American Rescue Plan, one of the bills passed to aid the nation’s recovery after the health crisis. As a result, more people are working in schools across the country than before the pandemic. Since Biden took office in January 2021, schools have increased education jobs by 638,000. Still, the administration is concerned about shortages in communities with more low-income students and minorities.

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