10.09.15

Senators Baldwin, Kaine, Portman, Capito Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Create CTE Teacher Residency Programs

Washington, D.C. – 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, along with U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), introduced the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act to expand the Higher Education Act's teacher residency grant program to help schools recruit and train high-quality CTE teachers. The Creating Quality Technical Educators Act would foster partnerships between high-needs secondary schools and post-secondary institutions to create one-year teacher residencies for CTE teachers. 

“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.

“In my conversations with educators and students across Virginia, I hear time and again that high-quality CTE courses open up pathways to good, high-paying career fields. Unfortunately, I also hear about the shortage of teachers with experience in technical fields,” said Senator Kaine. “This is a commonsense, bipartisan bill that would help ensure students across the country receive the high-quality training they need – in fields ranging from computer science to agriculture and welding - to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.”

“As the demand for people with technical skills grows, our bill will help recruit and train educators in this critical area,” Senator Portman stated. “High-quality teachers will play a central role in helping young students prepare for technical careers, and I’m pleased to continue our push on this issue.”

“As our state struggles with high unemployment, this legislation will empower our teachers and students to diversify and grow our economy,” said Senator Capito. “By promoting career and technical training for our teachers, we can better prepare our students and future workforce for the careers of tomorrow.”

“The Association for Career and Technical Education applauds Senators Kaine, Portman, Baldwin and Capito for the reintroduction of the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act,” ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson. “Their efforts will pave the way for the development of a new generation of educators, while helping to address our nation’s critical shortage of CTE professionals. In leveraging existing federal funding for postsecondary education, this bill would bring much needed support for CTE educator preparation programs.  We urge Congress to adopt this legislation as part of a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.” 

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. The bill is supported by the Alliance for Excellent Education, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Consortium (NASDCTEc) and Public Advocacy for Kids. Senators Baldwin, Kaine and Portman introduced an earlier version of the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act in the 113th Congress.

Senator Baldwin has been a strong advocate for Career and Technical Education and has visited a number of Wisconsin’s technical colleges. In September, Senator Baldwin introduced the CTE Opportunity Act, legislation to extend eligibility for federal student loans to short-term CTE programs which do not meet the current program length requirements under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. This extended eligibility for federal aid provides increased access to courses that provide students with the industry-recognized credentials that employers are looking for. Senator Baldwin has also received the Association for Career and Technical Education’s “Policymaker of the Year” award.