Governor Kathy Hochul today announced actions to expand and support a diverse teacher workforce in New York State. At an event at the United Federation of Teachers, Governor Hochul announced the first round of funding awards of the $30 million Empire State Teacher Residency Program. In addition, Governor Hochul signed legislation to direct the State Education Department to issue guidance to school districts for developing programs to attract underrepresented candidates into the teaching profession and legislation to develop and implement programs to prevent workplace violence in public schools.
“Teachers take on the vital role of educating and preparing our children for a successful future, and we have the responsibility to ensure they have the necessary resources and training to support them in this important task,” Governor Hochul said. “We’re working hard to build a world-class public education system in New York and our investment in our teachers is a core component of our success.”
In the first round of funding in Empire State Teacher Residency Program, multiple school districts and BOCES are receiving a total of $11.9 million in funding to create two-year residency opportunities for graduate-level K-12 teacher candidates. Program participants will gain real teaching experience under the supervision of mentors.
Governor Hochul signed legislation (A68A/S2140B) which directs the Commissioner of the State Education Department, in consultation with institutions of higher education, to issue guidance to school districts and boards of cooperative educational services for developing programs to attract underrepresented candidates into the teaching profession and to identify existing funding available to school districts for such purposes.
State Senator John Liu said, “Our students’ educators should reflect the diversity of our student body, and Grow Your Own programs offer a proven approach to both recruiting good teachers and promoting an environment that cultivates better ideas, better outcomes, and brighter futures for all. Grow Your Own initiatives will empower our educational system to address the stark lack of diversity among the ranks of New York’s teachers by attracting and retaining new and underrepresented candidates into the teaching profession. Thank you to Governor Hochul for ringing in the school year with this strong message that New York is constantly working to ensure our classrooms are in the best position to provide a sound, basic education to all our kids.”
Assemblymember Nader Sayegh said, “As a lifelong educator, I understand and appreciate the importance of an ethnically and racially diversified Teaching Faculty and Staff. With our projected shortages in the teaching profession, it is the time to encourage our youth to become teachers and especially those from underrepresented communities. My Legislation “Grown Your Own Initiative” (Sayegh A.0068) supported by local and State Teachers Organizations will accomplish such. I thank Governor Kathy Hochul for signing this Legislation into law especially as our students return to an academically rewarding school year.”
Governor Hochul also signed legislation (S1746/A1120) which requires public school districts to develop and implement programs to prevent workplace violence, in alignment with other public employers.
State Senator Jessica Ramos said, “As the mother of two public school children, I know that educator safety only improves student safety. Public school educators, administrators, and support staff have been asking for the ability to proactively take action to create safe and nurturing learning environments, and I’m honored that I could play a role in ushering this bill across the finish line. Thank you, Governor Hochul, for helping us start the school year by recognizing and valuing the workforce that make our children’s schools special.”
“We’re working hard to build a world-class public education system in New York and our investment in our teachers is a core component of our success.
Governor Kathy Hochul
The first round of funding awards in the Empire State Teacher Residency Program are as follows:
- Eastern Suffolk BOCES - $4,590,000 to partner with 51 school districts to support 153 teacher residents.
- Albany City School District - $150,000 to support 5 teacher residents.
- Chatham Central School District - $30,000 to support 1 teacher resident.
- Warrensburg Central School District - $52,000 to support 2 teacher residents.
- Monroe 2 Orleans BOCES - $3,600,000 to support 120 teacher residents.
- Rochester City School District - $1,160,000 to support 40 teacher residents.
- Utica City School District - $300,000 to support 10 teacher residents.
- Ulster BOCES - $269,595 to support 9 teacher residents.
- Rockland BOCES - $300,000 to support 10 teacher residents.
- Syracuse City School District - $1,500,000 to support 50 teacher residents.
The New York State Department of Labor program, launched last October, is part of an effort to promote diversity in the educational workforce by funding master’s degrees for teacher residents. It also addresses teacher shortages in high-need regions in various subjects, including English, special education, bilingual education, career, and technical education, and more.
Additional upcoming awards will be announced on a rolling basis. Selected programs connect public school districts and/or BOCES with the State University of New York (SUNY), City University of New York (CUNY), and/or private colleges. Programs can use the funding to provide reduced or free tuition for teaching candidates earning a master’s degree, including books and fees, resident wages and benefits, and stipends for living expenses. These stipends allow easier access into the profession for aspiring teachers from diverse backgrounds.
Teacher residency programs have been proven to increase teacher retention rates and improve the experience of new educators. These programs expand access to communities that often face barriers by reducing costs and incentivizing teachers to work in geographic locations facing shortages.
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Teachers are a critical component of our workforce pipeline. These educators are often the first to inspire career exploration in students, the inheritors of our economic future. I thank Governor Hochul for supporting innovative programs that enhance our educational system.”
State University of New York Chancellor John King said, “Every student deserves that teacher who leads them to new heights of achievement they may not have thought possible. Mr. Osterweil was that teacher for me and, along with the team at P.S. 276 in Canarsie, Brooklyn, he made school a safe place and opened my mind to further study, and eventually, a career in education. SUNY is the state’s largest teacher-preparation provider and we are proud to help enact Governor Hochul’s vision to support educators from all walks of life, and the students they inspire.”
City University of New York Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, “As a university that educates one-third of the new teachers for the New York City public schools each year and awards more graduate degrees in education than in any other area of study, CUNY will do its part to ensure the success of the Empire State Teacher Residency Program. CUNY is proud to support Governor Hochul’s efforts to address the shortage of diverse and well-prepared teachers in our state’s public schools, to bolster New York State's commitment to providing top-quality public K-12 education and advancing the teaching profession.”
New York State United Teachers President Melinda Person said, “We have successfully fought to bolster our schools across the state with resources for the mental, physical and emotional health of all our students and staff. So we must remain proactive about preserving our learning environments as safe spaces. Today’s actions will give parents and kids confidence that our classrooms are setting them up for the success they deserve, and they show educators that New York cares about supporting sustainable and attractive careers where they can thrive.”
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said, “Our diversity is our greatest strength. We thank the Governor and our public education allies in Albany for giving us additional tools to do this important work.”
This builds on Governor Hochul’s nation-leading education initiatives to address teacher shortages, including unprecedented support for education in the FY24 Budget, including $34.5 billion in School Aid. The Budget also includes $24 billion for Foundation Aid, delivering on Governor Hochul’s promise to fully fund Foundation Aid for the first time in history.