Biden-Harris Administration Releases Public Service Announcement Promoting the Teaching Profession

The U.S. Department of Education has launched a new campaign called “Teachers: Leaders Shaping Lives” in partnership with TEACH.org and One Million Teachers of Color. The campaign aims to inspire more people, especially those from underrepresented communities, to become teachers and to celebrate the teaching profession. The campaign’s Public Service Announcement (PSA) premiered on LinkedIn Live and will be shown on television, radio, and social media across the country. To watch the PSA, click here.

Today’s announcement is part of the Department’s efforts to address educator shortages and elevate the teaching profession. As of October 2023, local public education employment has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels, with only 0.17 percent fewer employees compared to four years prior. During the pandemic, there were 730,000 fewer local public education employees. The Department recognizes that educator shortages disproportionately affect students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, students with disabilities, and multilingual learners.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona emphasized the importance of diverse and talented educators in the classroom and expressed the Department’s commitment to encouraging more people, especially those from underrepresented communities, to pursue careers in education. The Department’s efforts to support a talented and diverse teacher pipeline have already reduced the educator shortage significantly.

Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, president and CEO of the Hunt Institute, highlighted the need to address the underrepresentation of teachers of color in schools. The partnership between TEACH.org, the U.S. Department of Education, and One Million Teachers of Color aims to increase the number of teachers of color by one million by 2030.

TEACH.org aims to ensure that every classroom has a quality teacher and every student has access to educators who reflect the diversity of their community. The campaign highlights the expertise and innovation that teachers bring to their work and aims to inspire diverse individuals to pursue fulfilling careers in education.

The progress made in reducing educator shortages is a result of the Department’s systematic efforts, in collaboration with partners across the Biden-Harris Administration, to restore staffing in schools. School districts are estimated to spend nearly $30 billion of their American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds on staffing. The Department has also invested $2.76 billion in the nation’s educators through its grant programs in fiscal year (FY) 2023, $93 million more than the previous year.

The Department has focused on increasing teacher compensation and improving working and learning conditions, which are crucial for recruiting and retaining educators and increasing diversity in the profession.

  • President Biden and Secretary Cardona have called for increasing educator pay and providing teachers with a livable and competitive wage. Many states have taken steps to increase compensation for teachers.

The Department is expanding access to high-quality and affordable pathways into the teaching profession, such as “grow your own” programs and teacher residency programs.

  • The Department has partnered with the Department of Labor to expand Registered Apprenticeship Programs for teachers. As of November, 28 states and Puerto Rico now have registered apprenticeship programs for teachers.
  • In FY 2023, the Department awarded grants to support high-quality pathways into the profession and address shortage areas, including special education.

The Department is actively working to increase educator diversity to address shortages and improve student outcomes.

  • In FY 2022, the Department included priorities focused on educator diversity in 14 grant programs, resulting in $370 million awarded to grantees. In FY 2023, the Department awarded nearly $450 million to 263 grantees, with 92 percent addressing educator diversity priorities.
  • The Department released a policy brief highlighting its efforts to support and advance educator diversity and address high-need shortage areas. The Department also hosted events to bring together leaders and discuss effective practices for increasing educator diversity.

The Department is also investing in supports for school leaders and providing opportunities for current teachers to succeed and advance in the profession.

  • In FY23, the Department awarded grants to support school leaders and new teacher induction programs, as well as career advancement and leadership opportunities.

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