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May 15, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman David E. Price (NC-04) introduced the Keep Teachers Teaching Act (H.R. 2321), which would provide federal seed money to develop innovative teacher retention programs. The bill would also direct the Department of Education to identify the most promising teacher retention programs and share best practices with school districts around the country. 

H.R. 2321 is supported by the National Education Association and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and it has been co-sponsored by Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC), Congresswoman Corinne Brown (D-FL), Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).

Experienced educators are critical to the success of our schools, but for the first time since the 1960s, teachers with 10 years of experience or less now constitute a majority of the teaching force.  Some estimates show that the nation may lose as many as half of its teachers to retirement over the next decade, but research has found that a majority of teacher turnover is actually a result of job dissatisfaction resulting from poor working conditions, low pay, low morale, or lack of opportunities for advancement. The Keep Teachers Teaching Act would help reverse this trend by building upon the success of existing teacher retention programs, such as North Carolina’s Kenan Fellows program, with new programs nationwide.

“During my Teacher Appreciation Week events last week, I heard time and time again that we must be doing everything we can to train and retain good teachers,” said Congressman Price. “That means providing them with the resources and support they need to thrive. I am hopeful that my bill will help state and local grantees to find innovative ways to improve teacher retention rates across the country.”

Congressman Price, a former educator who taught public policy and political science at Duke University, has been a leader in Congress on legislation to improve the quality of public education by bringing teachers of the highest caliber into the profession and then keeping them in the classroom. He spearheaded a similar program at the National Science Foundation to promote innovation at community colleges. The Keep Teachers Teaching Act was first introduced in 2007.