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Senators Baldwin, Kaine, Portman Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Train High-Quality CTE Teachers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Rob Portman (R-OH), 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.

“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.

“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.”

Baldwin has been a strong advocate for Career and Technical Education and has visited a number of Wisconsin’s technical colleges. Baldwin recently received the Association for Career and Technical Education’s “Policymaker of the Year” award for her work on behalf of CTE and her continued support of career and technical education. She is also a co-chair of the Career and Technical Education Caucus and has urged President Obama to establish a Presidential Career and Technical Scholars Award program. Earlier this year, Baldwin introduced legislation to provide for competitive grant funding for clean energy career and technical training programs so that students are better trained for post-secondary education and better equipped for the high-skilled jobs of the future. Just this month, Baldwin introduced both the Working Student Act and the CTE Opportunity Act in an effort to ensure students access to affordable higher education.