Members of a legislative budget subcommittee got a status report on teacher training Thursday. Officials representing elementary, secondary and postsecondary teachers testified before the House panel.
Taylorsville Representative Jim Tipton chairs the subcommittee. “We hear a lot that a lot of our communities and schools are having challenges, having qualified applicants for teaching positions,” said Tipton.
Council on Postsecondary Education President Aaron Thompson suggests looking at increasing the value of teacher education. The CPE head said that could include establishing a pipeline to get more people in the teaching profession from a variety of demographic areas. Thompson says it might also mean re-thinking teacher preparation methods. “Starting earlier maybe getting our teacher prep students in the classroom may be at the freshman year versus the senior year. How to build on their knowledge base by having them work with different kinds of population groups,” Thompson suggested.
Thompson said the discussion over pension reforms for teachers has caused some in education to “take pause.” But, the CPE leader says pensions may not be a top priority issue for those just entering the profession. Subcommittee Chair Tipton called the meeting a chance to hear more about teacher training efforts. He said it may not lead to specific legislation this session.