Could teacher residency programs address California’s teacher shortage?

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, at an education summit Monday in San Diego, identified teacher residency programs, increasing teacher pay and other initiatives as solutions to California’s growing teacher shortage.

Education Secretary Dr. Miguel Cardona

Cardona spoke at the Carnegie Foundation’s Summit on Improvement in Education conference to about 1,300 educators and other attendees, the San Diego Union Tribune reported. He called on schools to dramatically change in order to better serve students.

One of the biggest challenges to implementing change, he said, is the lack of available teachers and school staff, since many have left or are considering leaving the profession.

Cardona proposed schools tap into their federal pandemic aid funds to address the shortage, implementing or scaling up teacher residency programs, increasing teacher pay and paying future teachers while they are in training, the Union-Tribune reported. Cardona acknowledged that many people are turned away from the profession because they don’t get paid while they’re working as student teachers.

Cardona also called on California and other states to allocate more funding toward prospective teachers through teacher residency program grants, scholarships and loan forgiveness. He also called on states to establish teaching as a registered apprenticeship, according to the Union-Tribune.

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