The Commonwealth Education Continuum (CEC), an initiative launched by Governor Andy Beshear in 2021 to improve Kentucky’s workforce education pipeline, released its recommendations this week for the state’s political leaders , government agencies, education membership organizations, school districts, and colleges and universities.
Co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman, Post-Secondary Education Council Chairman Aaron Thompson and Education Commissioner Jason Glass, the Continuum consists of 28 members with expertise ranging from early childhood to early childhood development. workforce.
One of the areas of focus on the continuum is the recruitment and retention of educators, especially in areas where shortages are critical, and increasing the diversity of the teaching workforce.
“We need to attract more people to our classrooms, but more importantly, we need to build a minority educator workforce with a leadership trajectory,” Thompson said. “This is a crucial area that we must address immediately. “
The group’s proposals include a messaging campaign to elevate the teaching profession, the recruitment of military and ROTC and JROTC participants to continue teaching in the areas of vocational and technical education, increased teacher pay and developing an equitable approach to raises; and launching mentoring and leadership programs for future teachers of color.
The CEC also released recommendations for two other areas of focus: improving post-secondary transitions and increasing equitable access and success in early post-secondary education opportunities.
Thompson said developing a strong Kentucky workforce begins when children enter the school system, and continuum work is crucial in connecting each level of Kentucky’s education systems with support and resources. they need to effectively guide students in school and in their careers.
“Only half of Kentucky’s children are prepared for kindergarten, and these gaps extend into workforce preparation,” he said. “The way to get a great higher education system is to get a great early childhood education system. “
See the list of CEC priority recommendations at cpe.ky.gov.
The Commonwealth Education Continuum is a partnership between the Council on Post Secondary Education, the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, and the Kentucky Department of Education.
Kentucky Council for Post-Secondary Education