Reps. García and Hayes, Senator Booker Announce Introduction of the DIVERSIFY Act to Create a Well-Prepared and Diverse Educator Workforce

December 6, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC - Congressman Jesús "Chuy" García (D-IL), Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (D-CT) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced the introduction of the Diversifying by Investing in Educators and Students to Improve outcomes For Youth (DIVERSIFY) Act. The legislation will increase the TEACH Grant award to support students interested in becoming teachers, ensuring an education workforce as diverse as the students it serves. The DIVERSIFY Act would complement the important administrative fixes to the TEACH Grant proposed in the College Affordability Act by ensuring the grant amount more closely matches college costs.

“Students in our country should be taught by expert teachers and attend schools where the teacher workforce reflects our nation’s rich diversity. But the skyrocketing cost of college is often a barrier to students of color as they are more likely to come from families who are unable to contribute financially to their higher education. Students of color are also less likely to pursue education careers after graduation when they receive less financial aid. That’s why I am proud to introduce the DIVERSIFY Act with Congresswoman Hayes and Senator Booker to ensure students of color have access to the teaching profession,” said Congressman García. 

“America’s teachers rely on federal programs like the TEACH grant to reduce their student loan debt burden,” Senator Booker said. “As we continue to ask them to do more and often on their own dime, we must focus on putting money back in our teachers’ pockets. By doubling the TEACH grant and stopping the harmful yearly cuts to the program, the DIVERSIFY Act is an important signal to our teachers that we recognize their hard work and want to do everything in our power to support them as they give their all to preparing our next generation.”

The DIVERSIFY Act will help create a well-prepared and diverse educator workforce by:

  • Increasing the maximum TEACH Grant award to $8,000 per year to align with the full cost of college today – which exceeds $20,000 a year.
  • Protecting the TEACH Grant award from being cut by the Budget Control Act which this year alone resulted in a decrease to the maximum award of nearly $250. 

A fact sheet can be found here.

The DIVERSIFY Act is endorsed by the following organizations: The Higher Education Consortium for Special Education, The Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, National Association of Elementary School Principals Public Advocacy for Kids, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Writing Project, National Association for the Education of Young Children, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Public Advocates, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, The Joint National Committee for Languages, National Council for Languages and International Studies, National Association for Bilingual Education, National Association of State Directors of Special Education, National Center for Learning Disabilities and the National Education Association.

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