U.S. Departments of Education and Labor Support Higher Wages and Career Pathways in Education Field under Biden-Harris Administration

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) have announced new initiatives today aimed at broadening access to high-quality and affordable pathways to teaching, while also enhancing compensation and improving working conditions for professionals in the early childhood, K-12, and higher education sectors.

Today, the ED has aligned itself with the Biden-Harris Administration’s Good Jobs Initiative, which advocates for the advancement of access to and retention of quality employment as a cornerstone for a robust economy that uplifts all citizens. As part of this initiative, the ED is introducing a series of Good Jobs Principles for Education outlining the essential working conditions that define a good job and will aid in attracting and retaining a top-tier workforce in education across all levels, from early childhood to higher education. Moreover, the number of states with teacher registered apprenticeship programs has increased from zero to 34 states and Puerto Rico since President Biden’s inauguration. To build on this progress, the ED and DOL are now unveiling new funding and resources to support the expansion of affordable and high-quality pathways to education careers, addressing a crucial factor exacerbating staffing shortages in the education sector.

These announcements will be delivered during a joint visit by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie Su in Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada, this week.

“Recruiting and retaining talented educators and education staff to deliver and support fundamental instruction from pre-K through college is fundamental to student success and to establishing solid paths to good, sustainable employment,” stated U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The funding being released by the Department today, along with the Education Good Jobs Principles revealed today, acknowledge that when workers have access to competitive compensation, benefits, working conditions, and opportunities for growth, their perspectives are valued, their communities prosper, and they can cultivate the next generation of proficient workers, leaders, and citizens.”

“Our educational system relies on educators to unlock opportunities for their students. Equally critical is ensuring that our nation’s educators enjoy the advantages and security of holding a quality position,” remarked Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su. “Through these Principles and in collaboration with the Department of Education, we aim to create opportunities for a new generation of educators, including enhancing access to Registered Apprenticeships and readiness programs, particularly for individuals in historically underserved communities. Though education careers are often viewed as a vocation, we must ensure that those educating our youth are secure in good, sustainable jobs by establishing clear pathways to increased salaries, better benefits, and improved working conditions.”

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