Those looking for constructive collaboration between individuals and entities with different points of view need to look no further than H.R. 6236, the Innovations to Recruit and Retain Excellent Teachers Act. Representative Susan Davis (D-San Diego) and other Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced this bill last week. We here at ERN endorsed the bill along with a number of other organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers, Teach for America, Teach Plus, and The New Teacher Project.
We’re particularly proud of the bill’s focus on equity, including incentives to attract and retain teachers, especially those in subject areas of shortage and those in high-poverty schools. As Representative Susan Davis (D-San Diego, CA) said:
Excellent teachers are at the core of a high-quality school, and this legislation provides teachers with various tools and opportunities to equip them to lead their schools and their classrooms. Our high teacher turnover rates, especially in low-income schools, are driven by teachers’ unaddressed calls for targeted support and more autonomy. This legislation is a direct response to that call by encouraging comprehensive mentoring and induction programs, teacher leadership pathways, and higher compensation.
Ranking House Education and Workforce Committee member Bobby Scott (D-Richmond, VA) said:
Elevating the teaching profession to the status it deserves, by providing teachers with a rewarding, sustainable, and successful experience in the classroom, will help ensure that more high-quality teachers remain in the classroom and all students are well-educated. This legislation is an important step in fulfilling the promise of the Every Student Succeeds Act to provide all students, including low-income students, with a high-quality education supported by an excellent and diverse teacher workforce.
The fund under the bill would be awarded competitively in any year in which appropriations are less than $2 billion. At $2 billion or more, funds would be allocated to states by formula. See more here.