Dr. Douglas C. Arnold, Executive Director, National Association of Pupil Services Administrators
US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona sent a “Dear Colleagues” letter addressing labor shortages in K-12 education. According to letter, “The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) is committed to supporting districts and schools across this country in addressing teacher and staff shortages, minimizing disruption to in-person learning, and meeting student needs. That is why we are urging you to use resources from the $122 billion made available through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) (Pub. L. 117-2) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund and a portion of the $350 billion made available through the ARP’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to ensure that students have access to the teachers and other critical staff they need to support their success during this critical period. This includes moving quickly to implement short-term strategies while also considering longer-term investments.”
According to the letter, ARP provides vital resources to hire additional educators and school staff and to improve compensation to recruit and retain educators and school staff. School districts should act with urgency to keep schools open for in-person learning and ensure they do not waste this opportunity to make critical investments. The letter also describes (1) evidence-based and promising short- and long-term strategies for addressing teacher and staff shortages that can be funded through ARP ESSER and (2) examples of how ARP and previous relief funds are already being used to attract and retain teachers and staff. These strategies can help to fill currently open positions and add and fill new roles, such as providing one-time initial hiring incentives, or short-term investments in additional staff to support students and educators and increased needs.
This resource was developed by EALA partners to give an overview of strategies for preparing and developing highly qualified general and special education teachers. It will show how states and districts can invest Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to address the current and growing need for educators to support students with disabilities and their peers. It shares data and research on both current challenges and recommended strategies and outlines recommended actions for states, districts, and educator preparation programs.
New staff, new tech and even new classrooms — that’s just some of what school superintendents across the country are buying with the windfall of COVID-19 relief dollars Congress has sent their way since the pandemic began. Those are the findings of a new survey of hundreds of school leaders put together by the national School Superintendents Association (AASA).
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In plans submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, states are detailing how they will use COVID-19 relief funding to recruit and retain teachers, including strengthening the teacher pipeline through “Grow Your Own” programs, offering financial incentives, providing staff mental health supports and creating alternative licensure routes.
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This report [PDF] provides a snapshot of the extent to which U.S. public school students are taught by certified and experienced teachers, including data for the subgroups of students with disabilities and English language learners. The report uses two datasets available to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES): the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).