Policy Brief

Federal Funding for Aspiring Teachers: An Investment in the Nation’s Future

January 2022 | Prepared to Teach

This concept paper from Prepared to Teach advocates for the universal transformation of teacher preparation in the United States through teacher residencies. Emphasizing the detrimental impact of underprepared teachers on educational inequities, the paper proposes that high-quality teacher residencies, which integrate coursework with clinical practice, can disrupt this cycle. Financial barriers, particularly the need for unpaid clinical practice, contribute to underpreparedness and teacher turnover. The paper suggests that funded teacher residencies, developed through deep P-20 partnerships, can address these root causes. The document calls for a federal role in spurring innovation and funding for teacher residencies, offering a feasible investment of $30,000 per year for every needed new teacher. The transformative impact is anticipated to result in systemic improvements and reduced teacher turnover.