Golden, Bost Introduce Legislation to Help Combat Rural Teacher Shortages

March 16, 2021
Press Release

Congressmen Jared Golden (ME-02) and Mike Bost (IL-12) today introduced the Rural Education Investment Act in the House of Representatives. The bipartisan legislation helps address teacher shortages in rural schools by requiring the U.S. Department of Education to increase the share of Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant funding for rural areas so that it is equal to the percentage of K-12 students living in a rural area.

“Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants help school districts across the country hire promising new teachers and get them in the classroom full-time,” said Golden. “TQP is a great program, but rural schools see so few TQP grants that so many of their students simply don’t get the benefits. More than half of Maine kids attend rural schools, and they deserve access to the same great teachers as their peers in cities. Congressman Bost and I introduced legislation today to rebalance the TQP program so that rural schools get their fair share of funds to hire talented new educators and address teacher shortages.”

“Our children are the next generation of leaders and deserve access to a quality education, regardless of where they live,” said Bost. “Many of our rural Southern Illinois communities have been struggling with teacher shortages for years, and COVID-19 has only made it worse. While we are blessed to have many wonderful educational professionals, we must find new ways to address this shortage and give rural areas the tools they need to recruit and retain qualified teachers.”

The TQP grant program allows teachers to be placed in a full-time classroom clinical practice while completing Master’s-level coursework, but only a handful of these grants go to rural schools.

The Rural Education Investment Act is supported by the National Education Association.