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Front of the Capitol building

Meijer Introduces Bill to Address Teacher Shortages

May 14, 2021

U.S. Representative Peter Meijer (R-MI) today joined Representatives Rodney Davis (R-IL), Jason Crow (D-CO), and Jahana Hayes (D-CT) in introducing the Teacher, Principal, and Leader Residency Access Act. The bipartisan bill would allow Federal Work-Study Funds to pay for costs associated with participating in teacher and principal residency programs, which have been effective in improving teacher demand, quality, and retention. The bill would add teacher and principal residencies to the Federal Work-Study Program at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

“During this challenging time when schools are strained and facing serious teacher shortages, we must utilize every resource available to ensure all individuals who aspire to become teachers have access to the training and hands-on classroom experience they need to succeed,” said Rep. Meijer. “The Teacher, Principal, and Leader Residency Access Act would give teachers in training more flexibility with federal work-study funds, enabling them to take advantage of a wider variety of residency and preparation opportunities. I am proud to cosponsor this legislation that will benefit educational institutions and students across Michigan.”

The Teacher, Principal, and Leader Residency Access Act has broad support in West Michigan.

“The origins of Aquinas College are based in the preparation of highly-skilled teachers, and we have long valued clinical field placements as part of that preparation. We welcome the opportunity to support future teachers through the federal work study program and applaud the prioritization of the needs of low-income students. Programs like this have great potential to strengthen and diversify the educator pipeline – a much needed response to the current teacher shortage in our communities.” – Kevin Quinn, President, Aquinas College

“Every student has the right to a highly effective teacher. This legislation allowing FWS funds to support preservice teachers during their clinical field experience would benefit those enrolled in a comprehensive teacher preparation program like Grand Valley’s.  By reducing the cost of attendance, this effort could also help attract more individuals into the teaching profession.” – Dr. Sherril Soman, Dean of the College of Education, Grand Valley State University

The Teacher and Leader Residency Access Act would:

Provide prospective teachers and school leaders the opportunity to develop the skills they need to be effective in the classroom by:

  • Including teacher and leader residencies as an allowable use of funds under the FWS Program; and
  • Including a priority to target students from low-income families.

Read the bill here.