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Kaine, Portman, Baldwin, Capito Introduce Bill To Expand Teacher Training To Prepare Students For Technical Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Co-Chairs of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, along with U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), introduced the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act. This legislation will create a teacher residency grant program to help address the CTE teacher shortage in schools. The grant program creates partnerships between elementary, middle or high schools and higher education institutions to offer one-year teacher residencies to train prospective educators. The Creating Quality Technical Educators Act takes a proactive approach to recruit and train high-quality CTE teachers who will be able to better prepare students with the skills needed to fill in-demand jobs. 

“To strengthen our economy, we’ve got to ensure our education system meets the needs of the modern workforce,” Kaine said. “One important way we can accomplish that is by ensuring we have enough high-quality CTE teachers in schools. This commonsense, bipartisan bill is a big step forward in equipping the next generation with the skills they need to succeed.” 

“Quality CTE teachers play a key role in expanding access to high quality programs and making sure more students and parents recognize the value of a CTE education – all of which helps lead to more and better job opportunities for students,” Portman said. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to ensure that we have better prepared teachers for this generation and generations to come.”

“I’ve heard firsthand from students, businesses and manufacturers in Wisconsin and it’s clear that we need to do more to support career and technical education so people are better equipped for the high-skilled jobs of today and tomorrow,” Baldwin said. “This bipartisan legislation will help address the CTE teacher shortage by taking action to recruit and train high-quality CTE teachers. Career and technical education has shown to be one of the most effective ways to respond to our workforce readiness needs and create shared prosperity so I’m proud to work across party lines on this effort.”

“Career and technical education teachers play an important role in providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to secure good-paying jobs in industries that are critical to economic growth and development,” Capito said. “This legislation will help ensure students in West Virginia and throughout the country have access to CTE teachers who are well-prepared to set them up for success—both in school and in the workforce.”

“The American economy relies on a skilled workforce, and career and technical education is the important link helping students succeed in the classroom and in their careers,” said Toinette Outland, a CTE instructional supervisor for Newport News Public Schools. “Today we see critical shortages in the CTE educator workforce that threaten students' access to high-quality CTE. The Creating Quality Technical Educators Act will help fuel the CTE educator pipeline, creating positive benefits for both students and the economy.”

The residencies target mid-career professionals in related technical fields, recent college graduates, veterans or currently licensed teachers with a desire to transition to a CTE focus, to provide students with the opportunity to learn from teachers who have had success in their field of interest. These partnerships would apply the model used by the Richmond Teacher Residency program, a partnership between Virginia Commonwealth University and Richmond Public Schools, to CTE-focused programs.  Through grants in the Higher Education and Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), many teacher residency partnerships already exist between post-secondary institutions and local schools to train prospective educators, but none are CTE focused.  

The bill is supported by the Alliance for Excellent Education, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), and Advance CTE. Kaine, Portman, Baldwin, and Capito introduced an earlier version of the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act in the 114th Congress. 

Text of the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act is available here.