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VDOE & Department of Labor and Industry Sign Teacher Apprentice Agreement

Post Date:01/31/2023 3:12 PM
For Immediate Release: January 31, 2023
Contact: Charles Pyle  (804) 371-2420

RICHMOND — Representatives of the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry signed an agreement this month approving VDOE’s application to create a registered teacher apprentice program in the commonwealth.

Virginia’s newly approved program is one of only a handful of teacher apprentice programs nationwide that meet U.S. Department of Labor and Industry standards and are eligible for funding through several federal workforce-development grants. 

Teacher apprentice programs allow divisions to hire classroom aides, paraprofessionals, substitute teachers and other unlicensed school employees as teacher apprentices and provide a mentored pathway for them to complete the coursework and on-the-job training required to become fully licensed teachers.

Assistant Superintendent for Teacher Education and Licensure Joan Johnson and VDOLI Commissioner Gary G. Pan signed the agreement — known as a “certificate of commitment” — on January 26 during an annual VDOLI awards ceremony at Brightpoint Community College in Chester.

“Teacher apprentice programs expand the new teacher pipeline and open new career opportunities for school employees who may have considered full licensure and a teaching career out of reach,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said. “I thank Commissioner Pan for his enthusiastic support of teacher apprenticeships and for his agency’s assistance as VDOE implements its strategic plan to meet the objectives of Governor Youngkin’s executive directive on addressing teacher shortages in the commonwealth’s public schools.”

“This collaborative effort is critical in addressing the state’s teacher shortage and represents a significant step towards developing the next generation of educators,” Pan said. “We are so proud to be part of this initiative and hope this will be the model for future partnerships among state agencies looking to build their workforce pipeline with registered apprenticeships.”

In November, VDOE awarded $143,000 in grants to nine universities to develop teacher apprentice residency programs in partnership with nearby school divisions. VDOE will announce another round of grants this year to support training for mentors, the hiring of new apprentices and tuition assistance. Priority will be given to partnerships that received a planning grant in 2022.

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