We advocate for legislative initiatives to help to improve teacher recruitment and retention in New York State, including the following:
Increase funding for the Mentor Teacher Intern Program.
The Mentor Teacher Intern Program helps new educators transition from teacher preparation to practice. The program reflects best practice in mentoring, improves teacher quality and helps bolster the education performance of students instructed by new teachers. NYSUT is asking that the program be funded at the pre-recession level of $10 million.
Expand the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program.
An expanded teacher loan forgiveness program is an important step in recruiting and retaining teachers. NYSUT would like to boost funding for the program to $10 million and include higher education faculty in the initiative.
Expand state funding for the Teacher Opportunity Corps.
The TOC provides grants to 16 public and private colleges in New York State to help recruit and diversity the ranks of the teaching profession. The initiative also supports students who are pursuing a career in education.
Give higher education institutions the flexibility to evaluate candidates using alternative criteria.
Currently, all students entering a graduate level teacher or educational leader program must have an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Prior to 2014-15, higher education institutions had the discretion to use a number of factors, including GPA, to assess a candidate’s suitability for their programs. This bill passed during the 2019 legislative session and is awaiting the governor’s signature.