SB 956: Redirect Funds to Teacher Training
No. of Jobs
Prepare the state’s workforce
Improve Worker Training
This bill redirects five million dollars of federal workforce training funds to expand training for laid off teachers and teachers seeking retraining. The funds will be used to allow them meet subject matter competency in science, math, and career technical education.
Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs) receive 85 percent of the state’s federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) allocation. The remaining 15 percent of WIA funds are available for state discretionary purposes and are distributed at the governor’s direction. State discretionary funds can be used for administration, statewide initiatives, and competitive grants for employment and training programs. Discretionary fund expenditures depend on gubernatorial and legislative priorities.
The Legislature will reallocate $5 million in these funds to LWIBs for distribution to school districts, country offices of education, or charter schools in order to fund intensive retraining courses. These courses will be directed at laid-off teachers, enabling them to be retrained and meet subject matter competency in teaching science, math, and industrial and technology education.
According to a recent publication by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning (The Status of the Teaching Profession): “in some communities, prepared teachers are being laid off. Other communities are having difficulty finding fully prepared teachers, particularly in critical subjects.” Additionally, the study finds that “(w)hile the numbers of underprepared teachers, including high school teachers, has steadily come down, one thing has remained quite constant—students who are poor, of color or who are in low-achieving schools are much more likely to face teachers who are underprepared, inexperienced and teaching out of their subject areas.” It is crucial that we re-train laid off teachers and those who are teaching out of their subject areas to fully prepare our students for 21st Century jobs.