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Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) introduced new legislation that would provide Iowa with $15,000,000 to recruit and retain new teachers and invest in professional development for educators, as well as increase resources available to aspiring educators.

The EDUCATORS for America Act, which was introduced in both the House and Senate this week, would provide funds to Iowa to help recruit additional educators at school districts statewide.

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The bill would also expand existing grant programs that help train teachers, administrative staff, and applicants interested in entering the teaching profession.

“As a proud mom of two Iowa public school students, I’ve seen firsthand the difference that a quality education from good educators can make in a child’s life. And in the face of the most difficult school years in recent memory, we need to make sure we have the educators in place to continue supporting our students,” said Rep. Axne. “We know that we need more teachers, and that we need to do more to ensure they’re are supported once they’re in the job. With this legislation, we invest in Iowa’s educators — and by doing so, Iowa and our whole nation will see a monumental return on our investment.”

More than a million teachers are expected to retire or leave the education field over the next five years, a recent trend that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Iowa’s education workforce has shrunk more than 5% since the beginning of the pandemic, according to state data.

Staffing shortages have also prevented existing staff from taking advantage of professional development opportunities that would provide educators with more avenues to remain in their field.

According to the Iowa State Education Association, there is a staffing shortage in almost every school building across Iowa.

Author: Press Release

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