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Legislative Update

U.S. Department of Education Announces New Grant Opportunities to Enhance Teacher Recruitment and Promote Diversity

By Ralph Forsht, Manager, Advocacy & Legislative Affairs

Posted on 2023-07-03

U.S. Department of Education Announces New Grant Opportunities to Enhance Teacher Recruitment and Promote Diversity

Last month, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the availability of more than $368 million in new grant opportunities through the Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program and the Teacher and School Leader (TSL) Incentive program. These opportunities are part of ED’s effort to eliminate the educator shortage and support the educator workforce by investing in teacher leadership and career advancement, improved compensation, and teacher diversity.

"Teachers shape thriving individuals and communities, as well as the future of our nation. Now, more than ever, we need more innovative approaches to supporting the return and retention of outstanding, well-prepared, well-supported educators who meet the needs and reflect the diversity of their students,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education James Lane. “These funds will catalyze more of these approaches in schools across the country.”

Last week, NSTA held its annual National Congress on Science Education, an event in which diversity, equity, and inclusion are the central focus. NSTA’s regional leaders from throughout the nation attended this noteworthy gathering.

In all its efforts and work, NSTA is committed to promoting increased teacher diversity and equity. NSTA applauds ED’s efforts to address the teacher shortage issue with new resources and policies aimed at recognizing, rewarding, and retaining our quality science and STEM teachers.

The FY2023 EIR grant competition funds projects that test, replicate, and scale evidence-based practices. According to ED, this includes establishing competitive compensation systems; providing more time for planning and collaboration; increasing access to leadership opportunities that can lead to higher pay and improved retention for fully certified, experienced, and effective educators; and expanding the impact of great teachers within and beyond their classrooms. The grant also supports increasing educator diversity.

The TSL Incentive program primarily serves educators in high-need schools who raise student academic achievement and close the achievement gap between high- and low-performing students. TSL also funds services for educators serving in high-need subject areas (such as science or STEM), as determined by their local education agency or their state.

To support those applying for these grant opportunities, ED is offering a series of resources, including pre-applicant webinars to provide technical assistance, at

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