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, introduced the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act that would create a CTE teacher-training grant partnership to recruit and train high-quality CTE teachers. The Creating Quality Technical Educators Act grant would foster partnerships between high-needs secondary schools and post-secondary institutions to create one-year teacher residencies for CTE teachers. 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.
CTE teacher residencies created through the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act would target mid-career professionals in related technical fields, as well as recent college graduates, veterans or currently licensed teachers with a desire to transition to a CTE focus.
“This bipartisan bill would give aspiring CTE teachers the experience necessary to succeed in the classroom, where students can benefit from their work experience and credibility,” said Senator Kaine. “I’m pleased we are beginning to see a renaissance of interest in career and technical education, but we have to recruit and train talented teachers to meet this rising demand for CTE. The Creating Quality Technical Educators Act will take an important step to ensure students in communities of all sizes have access to high-quality CTE teachers and career-training programs.”
“High-quality teachers will play a central role in helping young students prepare for technical careers,” Senator Portman stated. “As the demand for people with technical skills grows, this legislation will help ensure we recruit and train educators to help keep up with the growing need for young people with these skills.”
“As the demand for a workforce with highly-technical skills continues to grow, I’m proud to support bipartisan legislation that ensures we have highly-trained, talented educators in classrooms across the country to help our CTE students attain the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the needs of today’s employers,” said Senator Baldwin.
The Creating Quality Technical Educators Act has received praise from the Association for Career and Technical Education and education groups, both nationally and in Virginia.
"We strongly support Sen. Kaine's sponsorship and introduction of this bill to extend the teacher residency model to technical education," said Christine S. Walther-Thomas, dean of the VCU School of Education. "Through the Richmond Teacher Residency program, a partnership between Virginia Commonwealth University and Richmond Public Schools, we have first-hand experience with the power of this comprehensive model of teacher preparation. Mature residency programs increase student achievement by preparing and retaining highly skilled and effective teachers."
"The Creating Quality Technical Educators Act provides another path to the classroom for professionals with invaluable experience in technical fields and a passion for preparing students for college and career success,” said ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson. “By opening the door for future CTE educators to existing Teacher Quality Partnership grants, these Senators have found a creative solution to the challenges posed by our nation’s critical shortage of CTE educators. This legislation will connect highly-skilled professionals, American veterans and dedicated educators with the resources to access rigorous educator training and technical expertise they will apply in the CTE classroom.”