Bipartisan Meijer bill offers work-study funds for teachers

To address the nation’s teacher shortages, U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) on May 14 offered a bipartisan bill that would add teacher and principal residencies to the Federal Work-Study Program, a federally funded program that assists students with the costs of post-secondary education.

“During this challenging time when schools are strained and facing serious teacher shortages,” Rep. Meijer said, “we must utilize every resource available to ensure all individuals who aspire to become teachers have access to the training and hands-on classroom experience they need to succeed.”

Rep. Meijer is an original cosponsor of the Teacher, Principal, and Leader Residency Access Act, H.R. 3244, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) and fellow cosponsor U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL). 

If enacted, the bill would include teacher and leader residencies as an allowable use of funds under the Federal Work-Study Program and would prioritize students from low-income families, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Meijer’s office.

“The Teacher, Principal, and Leader Residency Access Act would give teachers in training more flexibility with federal work-study funds, enabling them to take advantage of a wider variety of residency and preparation opportunities,” said Rep. Meijer. “I am proud to cosponsor this legislation that will benefit educational institutions and students across Michigan.”

H.R. 3244, which is supported in west Michigan by Aquinas College and Grand Valley State University, has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee.