Bustos Highlights Bill to Address National Teacher Shortage Following Shocking Dept. of Ed. Report

Half of principals say their schools are understaffed in a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics

WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) highlighted how her RETAIN Act could help address the current nationwide teacher shortage following the release of a shocking report by the Department of Education yesterday.  

A survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 53 percent of school principals felt their schools were short workers, with 48 percent stating they have been unable to fill open teaching positions.

By providing tax credits to educators and school staff, Congresswoman Bustos’ RETAIN Act would help incentivize teacher retention.

“Our nation’s teachers are overworked, underpaid and deserve better. With academic and behavioral problems on the rise, it’s getting harder and harder to keep educators and fill essential roles at our schools. I’m grateful that the Biden Administration is taking this issue head on by commissioning and releasing a report on school staffing and prioritizing funding for at-risk schools,” said Congresswoman Bustos.

“It’s long past time we value our teachers with the compensation they deserve – and support them in the work they do to prepare young people for the future and to make sure every child has the foundation they need for success. By passing my RETAIN Act, we can provide tax credits to teachers at our most challenged schools to ensure that every child receives the education they deserve. ” 

The Retaining Educators Takes Added Investment Now Act, or the RETAIN Act, would create a fully refundable tax credit for teachers, paraprofessionals, mental health providers, and school leaders in Title I schools and educators, program providers, and program directors in Head Start, Early Head Start, and Child Care & Development Block Grant-funded early childhood education programs. The tax credit would start at $5,800 annually and increase to $11,600 as these professionals become more experienced to incentivize retention.

The survey on school staffing was conducted through President Biden’s Executive Order on Supporting and Reporting and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers.