Senator Tim Kaine recently introduced a bill to address teacher workforce shortages in rural communities across the state of Virginia.
He and Senator Jon Tester of Montana partnered to introduce the bill, titled the rest act. The bill focuses on improving educator retention in rural schools. The three parts of the bill include giving students scholarships and financial aid if they commit to teaching in rural America, helping existing teachers get public service loan forgiveness, and making it more affordable to obtain a national board certification.
“You see salary competitive challenges and school districts set salaries based on a combination of state federal and local funding but often they will lose teachers to neighboring localities that can afford to pay more, so we have to try to tackle this, a lot of that is state responsibility, but at the federal level, there are things that we can do.” Senator Tim Kaine says.
Kaine says the Senate is constantly hearing about teacher shortages from the Virginia School Board Association.