Teacher Recruitment and Retention: Federal, State, and Local Programs

CRS Report for Congress
Teacher Recruitment and Retention:
Federal, State, and Local Programs
Updated January 26, 2006
Jeffrey J. Kuenzi
Analyst in Social Legislation
Domestic Social Policy Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

Teacher Recruitment and Retention:
Federal, State, and Local Programs
The recruitment and retention of a high-quality teaching force is critical to the
future success of our nation’s school system. To address this issue, a very wide range
of programs have been put into place at the federal, state, and local levels in recent
years. As Congress works to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA), this issue
promises to be a major part of the debate.
The requirement in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) that all teachers be
highly qualified in many ways crystalized national attention on the teacher supply
problem. Learned observers disagree over whether the problem is a matter of a
general shortage of qualified teachers or an uneven social and spacial distribution of
good teachers. However, most agree that successful recruitment and retention are
key to meeting the long-term challenges faced by our nation’s schools.
In recognition of the importance of the recruitment and retention of good
teachers, policymakers at all levels of government have developed a wide variety of
programs designed to increase the supply of teachers, create incentives for
professional development, and improve teachers’ job experience and satisfaction.
The purpose of this report is to review the range of these efforts nationwide and
provide a context for the issues that may yet arise during HEA reauthorization. Title
II of HEA and sections of HEA, Title IV provide the bulk of the federal effort to
recruit and retain teachers. In addition to these programs, this report will discuss
many teacher recruitment and retention efforts that have been initiated at the state and
local levels, as well as by private foundations.
This report will be updated as significant legislative actions occur.

In troduction ......................................................1
Taxonomy of Teacher Recruitment and Retention Programs............2
Current Federal Programs...........................................3
Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants..............................3
Loan Forgiveness for Teachers...................................3
Teacher and Principal Training and Recruitment Fund.................4
Troops to Teachers.............................................5
Transition to Teaching..........................................5
Non-Federal Programs..............................................5
Foundation Programs...........................................6
Ford Foundation Initiatives..................................6
Teach for America.........................................6
Pathways to Teaching Careers................................6
State Programs................................................7
Recruitment Scholarships...................................9
National Board Certification................................10
Signing Bonuses..........................................10
Alternative Route to Teaching...............................11
Induction Programs.......................................11
Local Programs..............................................11
Brenham, TX............................................12
New York, NY...........................................12
Longview, WA...........................................12
Carson, CA..............................................12
Chicago, IL..............................................13
Conclusion ......................................................13
List of Tables
Table 1. State Efforts to Recruit and Retain Teachers.....................8

Teacher Recruitment and Retention:
Federal, State, and Local Programs
The recruitment and retention of a high-quality teaching force is critical to the
future success of our nation’s school system. To address this issue, a very wide range
of programs have been put into place at the federal, state, and local levels in recent
years. As Congress works to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA), this issue
promises to be a major part of the debate.1 Although there is widespread agreement
that the nation has a teacher supply problem, learned observers disagree over whether
the problem is a matter of a general shortage of qualified teachers or an uneven social
and spacial distribution of good teachers.
Since the early 1980s, some researchers have warned of a coming teacher
shortage driven by demographic changes that would simultaneously increase school
enrollment and teacher retirement. Other analysts argue that an additional, or perhaps
more important, factor contributing to the difficulty in staffing K-12 teaching
positions has been the rapid turnover of newly hired teachers in hard-to-staff
schools.2 Current estimates suggest that, overall, about one-third of teachers leave
the profession within five years of being hired; however, in certain schools the five-
year attrition rate reaches 50%.3 Thus, many policymakers posit that solutions to the
teacher staffing problem: (1) make as great an effort as possible to retain as to recruit
new teachers, and (2) make an extra effort in schools suffering the greatest loss of
newly hired teachers.
In addition to the federal programs in the HEA and Elementary and Secondary
Education Act (ESEA), many policies and programs designed to address teacher
recruitment and retention have been initiated at the state and local levels as well as
by private foundations. The purpose of this report is to review the range of current
efforts nationwide and provide a context for the issues that may arise during HEA
reauthorization. A description of current federal programs will be followed by a
review of non-federal programs. With over 14,000 schools districts across the

1 For an overview of HEA reauthorization, see CRS Report RL33040, The Higher Education
Act: Reauthorization Status and Issues, by Adam Stoll.
2 Richard M. Ingersoll, “A Different Approach to Solving the Teacher Shortage Problem,”
Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy, Teaching Quality Policy Briefs, no. 3, Jan.


3 Anne Simmons, A Guide to Today’s Teacher Recruitment Challenges (Belmont, MA:
Recruiting New Teachers, Inc., 2000).

country, it is difficult to catalogue every program in existence. Thus, the goal of this
review is to cover the major state policies in existence and provide a description of
how selected programs work at the local level.
Taxonomy of Teacher Recruitment and Retention Programs
The federal programs described below provide a significant amount of funds
(approximately $4.1 billion in FY2005) in support of a broad array of teacher
recruitment and retention programs. The spectrum of activities allowed under the
federal programs encompasses most (if not all) of the activities discussed in the
review of non-federal programs. Indeed, some of the programs described in the
“non-federal” section of this report receive federal funds. Before getting into the
descriptions of these programs, a brief overview of teacher recruitment and retention
programs may be useful.
Recruitment efforts can be generally divided between (1) programs that try to
attract individuals who are not currently considering a career in teaching and (2)
programs that provide incentives designed to influence job choice and professional
development among those already in (or about to enter) the teaching profession. The
first category of programs target either high school and college students or mid-career
professionals who are not currently teaching. These efforts may involve early
intervention in career choice such as familiarizing high school juniors and seniors
with the teaching profession or later intervention in career change such as providing
financial incentives (and/or alternate routes) to teacher certification.
The second category of recruitment programs targets either students in teacher
education programs or currently employed educational professionals (both teachers
and teacher’s aides — sometimes called paraprofessionals). Since these programs
are dealing with people who have already chosen a teaching career, they create
incentives (primarily financial in nature) intended to guide the course of that career
— such as obtaining National Board Certification,4 taking a job in a hard-to-staff
school, or completing an unfinished or advanced teaching degree program.
Retention policies can also be divided into two types: (1) those which are
directly tied to a recruitment policy and (2) stand-alone programs. The best example
of the former are scholarship programs that have a service requirement. For example,
such programs may provide college seniors with money to stay for a fifth year of
schooling in order to complete a teacher education program. In return, recipients are
required to work for a specified number of years — perhaps in subject areas
experiencing an acute shortage or in hard-to-staff schools.
An example of a stand-alone policy is an induction program that attempts to
give new teachers mentoring and other support during their first few years of
teaching. This induction may be related to recruitment efforts in that it may follow
certain pre-service activities (such as summer training); however, it need not

4 A voluntary credential available to teachers who possess a bachelor’s degree and a state
teaching license and have taught for at least three years.

necessarily have any real connection to those activities and may in fact function
entirely separate from recruitment efforts.
Current Federal Programs
Major federal programs aimed at teacher recruitment and retention are contained
in both the HEA and ESEA. These include the Teacher Quality Enhancement
Grants, Loan Forgiveness for Teachers, Teacher and Principal Training and
Recruitment Fund, Troops to Teachers, and Transition to Teaching. Each of these
programs is described below.
Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants
These grants, authorized in HEA, Title II, consist of three competitive awards
— state grants, partnership grants, and recruitment grants. Although the last are
expressly targeted at teacher recruitment, the first two also contain objectives and
activities meant to improve recruitment and retention. Each is awarded on a one-time
basis of limited duration (three years for state and recruitment grants and five years
for partnerships).
Recruitment and retention activities in these programs include the creation of
alternative routes to traditional teacher preparation and certification, assistance to
local educational agencies (LEAs) to recruit and reward highly qualified and effective
teachers, teacher education scholarships for postsecondary education that require
teaching service in high-need schools, and additional assistance to high-need LEAs
for attracting highly qualified teachers.
The FY2006 appropriation is $59.9 million. Further information on this
program can be found in the CRS Report RL31882, Teacher Quality Enhancement
Grants (Title II, Part A of the Higher Education Act): Overview and Reauthorization
Loan Forgiveness for Teachers
Additional federal programs intended to encourage individuals to enter and
continue in the teaching profession are authorized in HEA, Title IV. For certain
student loan borrowers employed as teachers in low-income schools or subject matter
shortage areas, these programs provide for full or partial cancellation, deferment or
forbearance, or reduced repayment obligation. Eligibility for the programs is
restricted according to the type of loan, the year in which it was dispersed, years of
teaching service, and teacher qualifications.
Two sections of the HEA (428J and 460) provide payment relief for Federal
Family Education Loans and Direct Loans. Up to $5,000 of such loans may be
forgiven for teachers who have accrued at least five consecutive years of full-time
teaching experience in a low-income school and were “new borrowers” on or after

October 1, 1998.5 Although loan dispersal need only precede completion of the fifth
year of teaching, large numbers of qualified borrowers are not expected to “take-up”
the program until FY2009.
Between FY2001 and FY2003, approximately $1.6 million in loans were
forgiven under Sections 428J and 460. The Education Department projects these
figures to rise dramatically over the next decade as the number of eligible teachers
increases. These estimates project cumulative program outlays of over $1.6 billion
by the end of FY2014.6 Further information on this program can be found in CRS
Report RL32516, Student Loan Forgiveness Programs.
Teachers are also eligible for forgiveness of Perkins Loans under HEA Section
465. Loans made after June 30, 1972 may be cancelled based on years of qualifying
service as a full-time teacher in either a low-income school or a high demand subject
area including special education, mathematics, science, foreign languages, and
bilingual education. Repayment is made at a rate of 15% for the first and second year
of service, 20% for the third and fourth year of service, and 30% for the fifth year of
service. As of June 2003, $562 million in Perkins Loans have been cancelled under
this program.7 Further information on this program can be found in CRS Report
RL31618, Campus-Based Student Financial Aid Programs Under the Higher
Education Act.
Teacher and Principal Training and Recruitment Fund
This ESEA program (Title II, Part A) provides grants to states (and subgrants
to LEAs) on a formula basis. The formula consists of a base guarantee in an amount
derived from two antecedent programs (Eisenhower and Class Size Reduction).
Excess funds are distributed on the basis of each state’s (and each LEA’s) school-
aged and poor population counts. High-need LEAs can also receive competitively
awarded grants in partnership with higher education institutions (and their schools
of arts and sciences).
This program supports numerous activities at the local, state, and national levels
including a national teacher recruitment campaign along with local recruitment
assistance, mentoring and training that improve professional development
(particularly for special education and early childhood teachers), grants to promote
advanced certification as well as reforms in teacher certification and tenure, and a
clearinghouse for teacher recruitment and placement. The FY2006 appropriation for
this program is $2.94 billion. Further details on this program are laid out in CRS
Report RL30834, K-12 Teacher Quality: Issues and Legislative Action.

5 P.L. 108-409, signed into law by the President on October 30, 2004, provides a one-year
expansion of this amount to $17,000 for qualified teachers in the fields of math, science, and
special education.
6 Unpublished work by the U. S. Department of Education Budget Service, Apr. 30, 2003.
7 U.S. Department of Education, 2004 Campus-Based Programs Data Book, at
[ ht t p: / / www.ed.gov/ f i nai d/ pr of / r esour ces/ dat a/ dat a book2004/ i ndex.ht ml ] .

Troops to Teachers
Another ESEA teacher recruitment program (Title II, C, 1-A) was previously
authorized as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2000. Troops
to Teachers is intended to (1) assist eligible members of the armed forces to obtain
certification or licensing as elementary, secondary, or vocational/technical teachers;
and (2) facilitate the employment of these individuals by LEAs or public charter
schools that receive ESEA Title I, Part A grants or are experiencing a shortage of
highly qualified teachers.
Although appropriations for this program go to the Department of Education
(ED), the Secretary of Education is required to transfer most of the funds to the
Department of Defense, which administers much of the program. ED is authorized
to reserve up to $10 million of each year’s appropriation to award funds to state
educational agencies (SEAs), institutions of higher education, or consortia of those
entities to develop, implement, and demonstrate the Innovative Preretirement
Certification portion of the program. The FY2006 appropriation for this program is
$14.6 million. Further details on this program are discussed in CRS Report
RL30834, K-12 Teacher Quality: Issues and Legislative Action.
Transition to Teaching
The third ESEA program specifically aimed at addressing teacher recruitment
and retention is Transition to Teaching (Title II, C, 1-B). This program authorizes
competitive five-year grants to partnerships and eligible entities to establish programs
to recruit and retain highly qualified mid-career professionals and recent college
graduates as teachers in high-need schools. This includes the recruitment of teachers
through alternative routes to certification under state-approved programs that enable
individuals to be eligible for teacher certification within a reduced period of time.
An SEA and a high-need LEA may partner with (1) each other, (2) a consortium
of other SEAs and/or high-need LEAs, (3) for-profit or nonprofit organizations that
have a proven record of effectively recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers,
or (4) institutions of higher education. Eligible activities include financial incentives
to participants, pre- and post-placement induction or support activities, placement
in high-need schools or short-staffed subject areas, collaborations with institutions
of higher education to develop and implement long-term teacher recruitment and
retention strategies (including teacher credentialing). The FY2006 appropriation for
this program is $45.5 million. Further details on this program are discussed in CRS
Report RL30834, K-12 Teacher Quality: Issues and Legislative Action.
Non-Federal Programs
In addition to federal support, state and local funds as well as grants from
private foundations provide for a broad spectrum of teacher recruitment and retention
activities around the country. Some of the major efforts are reviewed in this section.
Evaluation information is also provided when available.

Foundation Programs
Three major initiatives to recruit teachers that are coordinated and funded at the
national level by private foundations include the Ford Foundation Minority Teacher
Education Initiative, Teach For America, and the DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest
Fund Pathways to Teaching Careers Program.
Ford Foundation Initiatives. The Ford Foundation provides a number of
grants to improve teacher recruitment and retention through its Knowledge,
Creativity, and Freedom Program. Among these are the Minority Teacher Education
Initiative which helps individuals complete teacher-education programs at four- and
five-year colleges and universities. As of 2000, the Minority Teacher Education
Project had recruited approximately 5,000 program participants from high schools,
community colleges, and four-year colleges and universities as well as from the
paraprofessional teaching ranks. Major activities in this project include identification
and recruitment of participants, assessment and monitoring of progress, academic and
personal support, curriculum revision, and limited financial incentives.8 No
evaluations of this program are available.
Teach for America. Each year, Teach For America selects a corps of almost
2,000 individuals for placement as full-time, paid teachers in one of 15 low-income
urban and rural public schools nationwide. Participants are primarily college
graduates who did not major in education. They attend a five-week summer training
institute in basic teaching skills and approaches utilized by successful teachers in
low-income communities. Additional activities include induction programs, regional
support networks, social activities, seasonal retreats, monthly newsletters, discussion
groups and annual inter-regional conferences. An internal evaluation revealed that9
nearly 90% of participants complete their two-year service commitment. On the
other hand, a recent evaluation found that students taught by teachers from the10
program scored lower on reading, mathematics, and language assessments.
Pathways to Teaching Careers. Pathways recruits teaching candidates
from two nontraditional sources: (1) paraprofessionals and noncertified teachers
already working in hard-to-staff rural and urban public schools, and (2) returned
Peace Corps volunteers. Participants receive scholarships and other support services
that enable them to return to college or university and complete the required courses
leading to full certification and teaching jobs. Since 1989, the program has provided
scholarships and other forms of support to more than 9,000 prospective teachers11
enrolled in 149 institutions nationwide. A six-year evaluation of the program

8 U.S. Department of Education, Literature Review on Teacher Recruitment Programs, Sept.


9 More information available at [http://www.teachforamerica.org].
10 Ildiko Laczko-Kerr and David C. Berliner, “The Effectiveness of ‘Teach for America’ and
Other Under-certified Teachers on Student Academic Achievement: A Case of Harmful
Public Policy,” Education Policy Analysis Archives, vol. 10, no. 37 (Sept. 6, 2002).
11 More information available online from the Recruiting New Teachers, Inc. website at

revealed that the program had high completion rates for its preparation programs
(75%), high placement rates in targeted schools (84%), and high three-year retention
rates (88%).12
State Programs
Several sources of information on existing state programs are available, and
each produces slightly different tallies of which states have and do not have
programs.13 Variation among these reports is primarily due to differences in program
definition and funding. One source of nationally standardized information comes
from a national survey conducted by Education Week.14 This survey collected
information on actual participation in specific programs. Thus, it avoids some of the
problems associated with differing program definition and does not produce positive
“hits” for states with unfunded programs.
Education Week analyzed these data and produced a state-by-state checklist of
recruitment and retention policies including financial incentives, alternative routes
to teaching, and induction and mentorship programs for new teachers.15 This
checklist is reproduced in Table 1. Following a brief discussion of the table are
examples of each of these types of programs.
In the 1999-2000 school year, 24 states awarded loans, scholarships, or waived
licensing fees in an effort to retain or recruit teachers. These efforts were targeted to
subject-area shortages in 18 states and to high-need schools in seven states. Thirty-
five states awarded retention bonuses to highly qualified and/or veteran teachers who
acquired National Board Certification. A handful of states offered signing bonuses
(five states) and/or housing assistance (six states) to teachers. Additionally,
according to a survey by the Education Commission of the States, 19 states offered
loan forgiveness to teachers in hard-to-staff schools during the 1998-1999 school16

year (not shown in the table).
11 (...continued)
[http://www.rnt.org/ resour ces/breaking+the+class+ceiling.pdf].
12 Beatriz Chu Clewell and Ana María Villegas, Evaluation of the Dewitt Wallace-Reader’s
Digest Fund’s Pathways to Teaching Careers Program (Washington, DC: The Urban
Institute, Oct. 2001).
13 For example, see reports by Recruiting New Teachers, Inc. [http://www.rnt.org]; the
Education Commission of the States [http://www.ecs.org]; Education Week
[http://www.edweek.org]; U.S. Education Department [http://www.ed.gov]; the State Higher
Education Executive Officers [http://www.sheeo.org]; and the Southeast Center for
Teaching Quality [http://www.teachingquality.org].
14 Published by Editorial Projects in Education Inc. a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization
based in Washington, D.C.
15 Susan E. Ansell and Melissa McCabe, “Off Target: Ensuring Qualified Teachers,”
Education Week, vol. 22, no. 17 (Quality Counts 2003), Jan. 2003.
16 Education Commission of the States, Information Clearinghouse 2000, at
[ h t t p : / / www.e c s .or g/ ] .

Table 1. State Efforts to Recruit and Retain Teachers
Loan, Nat i onal
sc ho la r - B oard Alternative New New
ship, feecertificationSigningHousingrouteteacherteacher
St a t e waiver bonus bo nus a ssist a n c e program induct io n me n t o r i n g
Alabama X X
Al a s k a
Ar i z o n a
Ar ka nsa s X X X X
California X XXXXX
Co lo r a d o X
ConectiuX XXXX
Dlawr X XXX
District of
Co lumb ia X X X X
Flo r id a X X X X X
Geo r gia X X X
Hawa ii X X
Idho XXX
I llino is X X X X
Indiana X X
Iowa X X X
Kansas X
K e nt uc ky X X X X X
Lo ui s i a n a X X X X
Maine X
Marylnd XX XXXX
M a ssa c huse t t s X X X X X X
Michigan X
M i nne so t a X X
M i ssissip p i X X X X X
M i sso ur i X X X X X
Montana X
Neb r aska
Neva d a X X
New HampshireXXX
New Jersey
New MexicoX
New YorkXXXX
North CarolinaXXXXX
North DakotaXX
Ohio X X
Oklaho ma X X X
Orego n
P e nnsyl va ni a X X
Rhode Island
South CarolinaXXXXX

Loan, Nat i onal
sc ho la r - B oard Alternative New New
ship, feecertificationSigningHousingrouteteacherteacher
St a t e waiver bonus bo nus a ssist a n c e program induct io n me n t o r i n g
South DakotaX
T e nne sse e X
xas X XXX
Utah X X X
Vermo nt X X
Vir ginia X X X X
W a shi ngt o n X X X X
West VirginiaXX
W i sc o nsin X X X X
Wyoming X
U.S. 24 35 5 6 25 30 19
Source: Susan E. Ansell and Melissa McCabe, “Off Target: Ensuring Qualified Teachers,Education Week,
vol. 22, no. 17 (Quality Counts 2003), Jan. 2003.
Nearly all states offer some form of alternative route to teaching, but only 25
feature “structured” programs that include both preservice-training and mentoring
components.17 Of the 25, 11 target subject-area shortages, three target high-need
schools, 18 require passage of a teacher-licensing exam, 14 require a minimum GPA,
and 12 require work experience and/or subject-area coursework. Thirty states have
an induction program for new teachers and about half of these (16) require and
finance the program for all new teachers. Finally, 19 states require a mentoring
program of one to three years in duration.
State programs for teacher recruitment and retention are described in fuller
detail in the following paragraphs. These descriptions cover five types of programs:
scholarships to attend college in return for teaching service, compensation for
achieving National Board Certification, signing bonuses, alternative routes to teacher
certification, and new teacher induction programs.
Recruitment Scholarships. An example of a state scholarship program that
is used to recruit students into teaching careers is North Carolina’s Teaching Fellows
Program. This program has been recognized for its longevity (begun in 1986) and
strong funding support ($2.8 million annually).18 Each year, about 400 high school
seniors are awarded scholarships of $6,500 per year to pay for college in return for
a four-year teaching service commitment. Fellows are recruited from the most
successful students (average SAT score of 1150 and average GPA of 3.6) and those
least represented as teachers (20% are minorities and 30% are male). According to
a recent report, 82% of the teachers who received a scholarship through the program

17 All but six states have some type of alternative route program. However, many have been
criticized for their lack of structure and considered “little more than renewable emergency
certificates.” See Susan E. Ansell and Melissa McCabe, “Off Target: Ensuring Qualified
Teachers,” Education Week, vol. 22, no. 17 (Quality Counts 2003), Jan. 2003.
18 More information is available at [http://www.teachingfellows.org].

were still employed after completing their required teaching service (i.e., in their fifth
year) and 73% remained after 10 years.19 The program has been a model for similar
programs in development in other states including South Carolina, Hawaii, Maryland,
and New Mexico.
National Board Certification. National Board Certification is a voluntary
credential available to teachers who possess a bachelor’s degree and a state teaching
license and have taught for at least three years. To obtain this credential, teachers
must demonstrate their knowledge and skills through a series of performance-based
assessments.20 Several states provide bonuses to teachers who attain National Board
Certification including North Carolina — 12% annual salary increase; Florida —
additional 10% of the statewide average teacher salary; South Carolina and
Mississippi — $7,500 and $6,000 annual supplements respectively; and California
— a one-time $10,000 bonus plus $20,000 for teachers in low-performing schools.
These incentives may be motivated by evidence that Board certified teachers
outperform comparable non-Board-certified teachers on a number of pedagogical and21
student outcome measures. Other researchers suggest that certification does not
lead to improved student achievement.22
Signing Bonuses. Along with a handful of states, Massachusetts established
a signing bonus program in the late 1990s. The program operates through a
subcontract with the Teach For America initiative mentioned earlier. Between 1998
and 2001, the Massachusetts Institute for New Teachers (MINT) gave a $20,000
signing bonus to over 400 mid-career switchers to address the state’s teacher quality
and supply problems. About one-third of these individuals were either already
certified or had some teaching experience. The rest, though they may be considered
“subject matter experts,” were given a six-week teacher training program. Teachers
in the program also attended weekly mentoring sessions. An early evaluation
revealed that 20% of the candidates recruited in the first year of the program’s
existence had left by the end of the second year.23 On the other hand, principals who
have hired MINT graduates have been very happy with the program and would
continue to hire MINT graduates without reservation.24

19 The Southeast Center for Teaching Quality, Recruitment and Retention Strategies in a
Regional and National Context, Jan. 2002.
20 More information is available at [http://www.nbpts.org].
21 Linda Darling-Hammond, “Teacher Quality and Student Achievement: A Review of State
Policy Evidence,” Education Policy Analysis Archives, vol. 8, no. 1 (Jan. 1, 2000). Lloyd
Bond et al., The Certification System of the National Board for Professional Teaching
Standards: A Construct and Consequential Validity Study, Center for Educational Research
and Evaluation, UNC-Greensboro, Sept. 2000.
22 Dale Ballou and Michael Podgursky, “The Case Against Teacher Certification,” The
Public Interest, no. 132 (summer 1998), pp. 17-29.
23 R. Clarke Fowler, “The Massachusetts Signing Bonus Program for New Teachers: A
Model of Teacher Preparation Worth Copying?” Education Policy Analysis Archives, vol.

11, no. 13 (Apr. 22, 2003).

24 According to a recent study by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. More

Alternative Route to Teaching. The Georgia Teacher Alternative
Preparation Program (formerly Teach for Georgia) is an example of a “fast-track”25
program to certification for mid-career changers. The program recruits business
professionals with college degrees and a 2.5 GPA who complete a four-week summer
training session followed by a semester of classroom experience in the fall. Few of
the partnerships require a significant amount of training beyond the summer session.
Some have criticized this program (and similar programs in other states) for uneven
and inadequate training — particularly in preparation for teaching in high-need26
schools. Others point to research showing that such programs recruit teachers who
remain in teaching for at least as long as or longer than traditionally prepared27
Induction Programs. An example of an induction program is the California
Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Program. This program involves a two-
year induction period in which a mentor teacher is partnered with a new teacher. The
program is centered around the development of an Individualized Induction Plan that
includes the beginning teacher’s growth goals, specific strategies for achieving those
goals, and documentation of progress. The program allocates $3,320 per new teacher
with local districts expected to contribute $2,000 to the total cost of the program.
Recent evaluation data suggest that new teachers who participated in the program had
a 66% lower attrition rate than those who did not receive support.28
Local Programs
This section reviews selected teacher recruitment and retention efforts at the
local level. These programs can be classified according to one of five target
populations identified by Darling-Hammond, et al.: (1) pre-college recruitment
programs; (2) university-based programs to improve recruitment and retention of
students already in the pipeline; (3) efforts to develop pathways into teaching for
students in community colleges; (4) programs that tap the pool of paraprofessionals
and teacher aides; and (5) programs to attract mid-career professionals and other29
college graduates into teaching. Examples of projects in each of the five areas are

24 (...continued)
information is available at [http://www.doe.mass.edu/mint/].
25 Some of the projects in this program are funded in part through the Troops to Teachers
program described earlier.
26 Lawrence Baines, Jackie McDowell, and David Foulk, “One Step Forward, Three Steps
Backward: Alternative Certification Programs in Texas, Georgia, and Florida,” Educational
Horizons, fall 2001.
27 E. Feistritzer and D. Chester, Alternative Teacher Certification: A State-by-State Analysis,
(Washington, DC: National Center for Education Information, 2000) [http://www.ncei.com].
28 The Southeast Center for Teaching Quality, Recruitment and Retention Strategies in a
Regional and National Context, Jan. 2002.
29 Linda Darling-Hammond and Gary Sykes, eds., Teaching as the Learning Profession:
Handbook of Policy and Practice (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999).

given below. Information on program effectiveness is discussed in cases where
evaluations are available.
Brenham, TX. An example of a pre-college program is the Educational
Pathway for Teaching Program in the Brenham Independent School District. The
program targets high school students who take “future teacher courses” in child
development and teaching. Participating students are awarded teacher aide
certificates and teach for one year while attending community college. Then,
participants can apply to the Teacher Aide Exemption Program which releases them
from their teaching responsibilities in order to attend a four-year university on a full-
time basis and complete the teacher certification process. Following certification
students are encouraged to return to Brenham ISD to teach. No evaluation of this30
program is available at the present time.
New York, NY. The Teacher Opportunity Corps at Teachers College is a fifth-
year university-based program that recruits minorities who possess a bachelor’s
degree into teaching by providing financial incentives and support services to further
their education. Recruits enroll in a master’s degree teacher preparation program
necessary in New York State to secure a permanent state teaching certificate. The
program provides a $1,250 scholarship for part-time study and reimbursement for
attending a professional conference, writing center fees, and teacher exam fees. In
addition to regular graduate courses required for the M.A. at Teachers College,
participants attend a cohort seminar focusing on urban settings and teaching at-risk
students and undergo two semesters of student teaching experiences in schools with
high enrollments of at-risk students.31
Longview, WA. The Elementary Education Program is a community college
program involving a collaborative effort between Lower Columbia College,
Washington State University, and area school districts including the Longview local
educational agency. Its goal is to attract community college students into teaching
and retain them as teachers in area schools. Participants complete two years of
prerequisite course work at LCC and transfer directly into WSU’s elementary
education program, a full-time course of study leading to a Bachelor of Arts and K-8
certification in two years. Other activities include field experiences, preprofessional
education course work, regularly scheduled counseling and academic planning
meetings at each of the two postsecondary institutions. Students also receive
academic support services such as reading, writing, and mathematics assistance, as32
well as critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making.
Carson, CA. A paraprofessional program called the Aide-to-Teacher (ATT)
Project is a teacher recruitment and preparation project for classroom aides. Based
at the California State University at Dominguez Hills, the program provides
paraprofessionals with the financial, academic, and personal support to continue

30 Additional information is available at [http://texasteach.tamu.edu].
31 J. Jacullo-Noto, “Minority Recruitment in Teacher Education: Problems and
Possibilities,” Urban Education, vol. 26. no. 2 (July 1991), pp. 214-230.
32 Additional information available at [http://www.lcc.ctc.edu/programs/eep/].

employment as classroom aides while completing their undergraduate degree and
elementary teaching credential. Financial support comes in the form of a stipend to
cover the costs of student fees and books and advice on obtaining university, state,
and federal aid. Non-credit, pre-university basic skills preparation is offered during
the first two semesters, followed by a one-year academic program of required
college-level math and English courses. After completing this coursework,
participants are integrated into the liberal studies undergraduate degree program, an
interdisciplinary major designed for those who wish to become elementary school
teachers, with the end goals of completing the B.A. degree, passage of the California
Basic Educational Skills Test, and job placement. Evaluations of the program show
a five-year attrition rate of 14% and an average GPA of 2.8.33
Chicago, IL. Teachers for Chicago is a mid-career program that partners with
the Chicago Teachers Union, nine public and private colleges and universities, and
several foundations in the Chicago metropolitan area. The program recruits and
trains bachelor’s degree holders with no teaching experience, especially those who
work in science, math, and business or have skills in working with bilingual and
special education. Applicants undergo extensive screening interviews aimed at
identifying individuals who would make good urban teachers. Participants receive
funding from the Chicago public schools to earn a master’s degree in education at a
participating university in exchange for interning while in the program and
committing to two years of teaching in Chicago schools.34 According to an
unpublished evaluation report, as of 1999, 72% of the program’s 1992-1994 cohort
were still teaching in the Chicago public schools. However, critics of the program
argued that it screened out qualified applicants and discouraged those already
possessing an advanced degree. The program is being phased out and replaced by an35
alternative certification program.
The purpose of this report was to review the range of current teacher recruitment
and retention efforts nationwide and provide a context for the issues that may arise
during HEA reauthorization. The programs described above cover most of that
national landscape. Two general conclusions can be drawn from this review. First,
a wide array of recruitment and retention programs and policies have been
implemented in the U.S. — scholarships, incentives for National Board Certification,
alternative routes to teaching, and induction are among the most common at the state
level. Second, the federal programs on this issue provide broad support for a variety
of activities — including most of those described in the state and local sections of the

33 M. Warshaw, Aide-to-Teacher Project (Carson, CA: California State University-
Dominguez Hills, Consortium for Minorities in Teaching Careers, 1992). Additional
information at [http://www.csudh.edu/soe/ppgp.htm#und].
34 Bart Gallegos, “Urban Alternative,” The American School Board Journal, vol. 182, no.

3 (Mar. 1995), pp. 38-40.

35 More information can be found at [http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/03-01/0301tfc.htm].