Education Department Continues Push to Invest in Highly Effective Educators and Address Teacher Shortage

Education Department Continues Push to Invest in Highly Effective Educators and Address Teacher Shortage

Grant Program Focuses on Equity, Diversity, and Increasing the Educator Pipeline
April 7, 2022

The U.S. Department of Education is continuing to take action to support and invest in the teaching profession and address the teacher shortage many schools and districts across the country face. The Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant program is now accepting applications for efforts that increase the pipeline of highly effective educators.

The SEED program will award $65 million to support the implementation of evidence-based practices that prepare, develop, or enhance the skills of educators. These grants also will enable recipients to develop, expand, and evaluate practices that can serve as models that can be sustained, replicated, and scaled. This program is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader commitment to supporting targeted efforts that will provide comprehensive, high-quality pathways into the profession, such as residency and Grow Your Own programs, and evidence-based professional development all focused on building and supporting a more diverse educator pipeline and combating the teacher shortage nationally.

“We know that in order to improve education across the country and meet our students where they are, we must invest in teacher professional learning, recruitment, and retention. This past year, we heard from our educators, parents, and leaders that investing in teachers is investing in students. We are ready to act on that!” said Secretary Cardona. “This grant competition will support institutions of higher education, national nonprofits, and other eligible partners that provide teachers and school leaders with effective strategies for building inclusive, unbiased, and safe learning environments that support the academic, social, and emotional needs of every student. Building an education system that is the best in the world requires an investment in our dedicated teachers.”  

As states, districts, and schools are working hard to address the impact of COVID-19 on students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs, many of them are facing significant challenges in attracting and retaining teachers. Preexisting teacher shortages in critical areas such as special education; multilingual education; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); career and technical education; and early childhood education have only been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic—directly impeding student access to educational opportunity.

The SEED program fosters the use of rigorous evidence-based practices in selecting and implementing strategies and interventions that support educators’ development across the continuum of their careers. Support for educator preparation programs and high-quality professional development are vital to ensure that all students have access to well-prepared and qualified teachers, principals, and other school leaders. These programs invest in educators who are effective and likely to stay in the profession. Research shows that existing educator shortages disproportionately impact students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, and, often, rural communities.

Coinciding with today’s announcement, this afternoon the Department is hosting a webinar focused on “Strengthening Partnerships Between States, School Districts, and Higher Education to Increase the Number of Teacher Candidates Prepared to Enter the Classroom and Provide Immediate Support to Schools.”

During the webinar, Education Department representatives will discuss Secretary Cardona’s recent call to action for states, institutions of higher education, and school districts to commit to using American Rescue Plan and other federal relief funds to help address teacher shortages. Representatives also will share how federal relief funds and opportunities through the U.S. Department of Labor can and are being used to address teacher shortages and provide support to schools by establishing or scaling up teaching residency and apprenticeship programs.

To join today’s webinar, please register here. A Zoom link will be provided after registration. The Department recognizes the value of supporting educators and is committed to providing resources and opportunities that uplift the educator workforce. 

To learn more about the SEED program, please visit: https://oese.ed.gov/offices/office-of-discretionary-grants-support-services/effective-educator-development-programs/supporting-effective-educator-development-grant-program/. The FY 2022 SEED grant competition will close on June 3, 2022.