State aiding local school systems in attracting and retaining competent teachers. (1989)
- The state setting realistic minimum beginning salaries.
- The state funding scholarships for college education of qualified candidates entering the teaching profession, particularly for those agreeing to teach in critical subject areas or in school systems with critical teacher shortages.
- The state supporting alternative paths to certification.
- The state providing support for professional development activities.
- The state encouraging the use of support staff to enable teachers to spend more time with students and their learning problems.
Background: The 1987 LWVMD Convention adopted a study of teachers' salaries/benefits and the status of the teaching profession throughout Maryland. Research by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) showed that shortages of teachers were beginning to be felt statewide in a number of disciplines. Research also showed that teachers were paid less than others with comparable academic requirements for their jobs.
LWVMD study included interviews and surveys of local superintendents, school board members, principals, teachers and parents as well as data from other states, research by MSDE and national reports.
- Supported bills to target aid for teachers' salaries and staff development and incentives. (1990 not achieved)
- Supported proposals for alternative paths to certification (1990 – the State Board of Education adopted a Resident Teacher Certificate program designed to attract liberal arts graduates to classroom teaching.)
- Supported state scholarship reform which would include incentives to attract high quality students to teaching.
- Supported creation of the Maryland “HOPE” program for scholarships for college students who choose to become teachers (1999 – achieved).
- Participated in the Leadership Forum for Policy Changes, “Attracting and Retaining Quality Teachers: Solutions for Maryland” (2001)