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Sen. Schumer Visits Brighton to Launch Plan to Boost Teacher Recruitment

Sen. Schumer press conference

Standing in the Brighton Central School District Administration Building on Thursday, flanked by teachers, advocates, and experts, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer addressed the shortage of teachers that is impacting the state.

Schumer said he has heard from many school board members and principals about the difficulties they are having in recruiting high-quality teachers, especially for some content areas. Recent reports indicate that New York has roughly 8,600 fewer teachers than it did five years ago, with Rochester-area colleges experiencing a 40 percent drop in students enrolled as education majors over the past decade.

To boost the number of qualified teachers in the state, Schumer has a two-pronged plan. First, the senator will call on Congress to reject the administration’s proposed elimination of the Title II Supporting Effective Instruction State grant program, which provides funding for school districts to use for teacher recruitment, retention, and professional development. Second, Schumer will urge Congress to expediently consider and pass the What You Can Do For Your Country Act, which would fortify the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), incentivizing young professionals and college graduates to enter the field of education by forgiving their student loan debt in return for serving as a public school teacher.

Joining Sen. Schumer at the press conference were Brighton Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan, Board of Education President Mark Kokanovich, Board of Education Vice President Julene Gilbert, BTA President and Council Rock Primary School teacher Judy Wegman, Brighton High School science teacher Adam Eck, Monroe County School Boards Association Executive Director Sherry Johnson, Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle, New York State United Teachers Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango, NYSUT Regional Staff Director Carrie Andrews, and St. John Fisher College School of Education Dean Dr. Mike Wischnowski.

Group photo with Sen. Schumer

Sen. Schumer with teachers Adam Eck and Judy Wegman

Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan and Sen. Chuck Schumer

Adam Eck with Sen. Schumer