EXPLAIN IT TO ME: Evers embraces teacher apprenticeships, but veto will slow down progress

Apr 10, 2024 | Uncategorized, Wisconsin Voices Blog

Explain it to me: Evers embraces teacher apprenticeships, but veto will slow down progress

His pilot leaves out Milwaukee, Madison, and rural Wisconsin; IRG-backed bill covered entire state 

Veto slows progress

As part of a number of vetoes issued before the Easter weekend, Governor Evers vetoed IRG-backed legislation that would have helped Wisconsin go all in on the teacher shortage. But, with the announcement of his own pilot, Governor Evers has embraced this policy as part of the solution to Wisconsin’s teacher shortage.

The bill

While public and private schools across the state desperately recruit teachers for next school year, Senate Bill (SB) 917 would have allowed all 4-year colleges to alleviate the shortage with their own “teacher apprenticeship” pathway. Teacher apprenticeships – where college students get 2 years of paid, real-life experience before graduating, lowering their debt and career turnover – are bipartisan and used in 30 states already.

Evers has his own plan…but your schools may be cut out

Despite his veto, Governor Evers seems to know teacher apprenticeships should be part of the solution. His version will start in the 2024-2025 school year and use the Wisconsin Technical College System and Lakeland University. There are 2 problems with that: technical colleges in Milwaukee, Madison, and much of rural Wisconsin don’t offer the right degree he requires to participate, and the UW System and private colleges are left on the sidelines.

IRG is happy that teacher apprenticeships are a bipartisan solution in Wisconsin. However, we will never solve the teacher shortage unless the policy broadens to include students at 2- and 4-year institutions.

Impact on Wisconsinites

18% of new teachers in Wisconsin quit before their 3rd year on the job. Rural and urban schools can’t convince people to remain in their communities. That means your child had an 11% chance of being taught by a novice teacher last year, lowering your child’s performance and prospects. Wisconsin’s mediocre academic performance is directly affected by having too few high-quality teachers to go around!

Now what?

While the Evers program is not a perfect outcome, Republicans and Democrats embracing teacher apprenticeships is a net win for Wisconsin’s kids. IRG and IRG Action proudly drove the public conversation.

IRG will work with excluded technical colleges and universities to offer the correct credentials to participate. We’ll work to get 2- and 4- year institutions involved, and will assist schools, including choice and charter, that want to participate to be included. Ultimately, schools will only solve the teacher shortage if the pipeline is expanded with quality individuals – and teacher apprenticeships is a proven way to do just that.

IRG policy paper

Policy Solution: Teacher Apprenticeships – Tackling the Teacher Shortage

Have questions?

Reach out to Alex Ignatowski, IRG’s director of government reform with any questions.

About IRG 

The Institute for Reforming Government is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that seeks to simplify government at every level by offering policy solutions to thought leaders in American government in the areas of tax reform, government inefficiency, and burdensome regulations.