WASHINGTON – Vice Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-03), Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12), and Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) reintroduced the Teacher Diversity and Retention Act, to invest in and expand the teacher workforce in Connecticut and across the country. 

The Teacher Diversity and Retention Act would authorize two grant programs to fortify teacher recruitment and training programs. The first would provide an infusion of funds for teacher training programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). The second would expand teacher preparation programs that provide dual certification in special education, social and emotional learning competencies, and behavior management so that teaching candidates are better prepared to meet the needs of all students. 

“While the student population continues to become more diverse, educator ranks are drastically falling behind. At a time of unprecedented teaching shortages, it is essential that schools have the ability to recruit and retain educators who reflect the communities and students they serve,” said Congresswoman Hayes (CT-05). “Teachers of color are critical in closing the achievement gap for students. This legislation aims to fortify the educator pipeline and position students for long-term success. I thank my colleagues Rep. Gallego, Adams, and Houlahan, for their leadership and I look forward to working together to strengthen our educator workforce.”

“Too many Arizona students are in over-crowded classrooms or are being taught by teachers who aren’t fully qualified. We must address this teacher shortage for our kids’ future and our state’s economic future,” said Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-03). “I’m proud to reintroduce this bill that will support teacher training programs at Arizona’s public universities and schools like Diné College. By training teachers right here in Arizona, we can help ensure our teachers can understand and meet the unique needs of Arizona students.”

“Half of Black public school teachers in our classrooms graduated from a Historically Black College or University,” said Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus. “HBCUs, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) are essential partners for increasing the diversity of classroom faculty. I’m proud to introduce the Teacher Diversity and Retention Act with my colleagues so we can empower these institutions to train the next generation of public school teachers.”

“Before I was elected to Congress, I proudly served in Teach for America as a chemistry teacher in North Philadelphia,” said Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06). “As much as I loved my students and was inspired by my work, I was frequently disappointed in the lack of diversity among my fellow instructors and, subsequently, the lack of diverse role models for my students. As we know, you can’t be what you can’t see. The Teacher Diversity and Retention Act seeks to ensure that our educators are as richly diverse as our communities and country, and I am honored to help reintroduce it.”

The members first introduced this legislation in the 117th Congress.

In the 118th Congress, the Congresswoman has introduced legislation to expand access to free school meals, address school shootings, fight food insecurity for college students, and strengthen environmental education. Additionally, she delivered $8.8 million in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding for 28 zero-emission buses in Connecticut. This legislation builds on the efforts of Congresswoman Hayes to ensure students and educators are set up for success when they enter the classroom.

Full text of the legislation can be found here.