Press Releases


Diversifying and Increasing Connecticut’s Educator Workforce: An Update on the CSDE's Strategic Actions and Results

(HARTFORD, CT) - The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is pleased to announce updated results of its continued commitment to addressing educator shortages and diversification across the state. In line with national trends, Connecticut has faced challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified educators. However, through decisive actions led by Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker and the CSDE, Connecticut is reversing this trend by successfully implementing a series of innovative programs and initiatives to attract, retain, and diversify its educator workforce.


"I am immensely proud of the dedication and innovation demonstrated by Commissioner Russell-Tucker and the State Department of Education in bolstering Connecticut's educator workforce,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “Their tireless efforts have not only increased the quantity of teachers but is also diversifying the profession, ensuring that all students have access to educators who reflect the rich tapestry of our communities.


"Connecticut is making remarkable progress in expanding our educator workforce," said Commissioner Russell-Tucker. "Through strategic initiatives and collaborative partnerships, we are actively working to enhance the availability and quality of educators across our state. These concerted efforts underscore our dedication to supporting our educators and providing every student with the exceptional education they deserve.


Educators of Color in 2023-2024


2015-16; 4372, 2023-24; 6313

The number of educators of color has increased from 4,372 (8.3 percent) in 2015-2016 to 6,313 (11.7 percent) in 2023-2024, resulting in nearly 2,000 additional educators of color teaching students across the state.

To further its commitment to fostering diversity within the educator workforce, the CSDE developed a guidebook and companion toolkit specifically designed to assist school districts in their efforts to enhance diversity among educators while providing technical support for developing hiring and selection plans.

Northeastern Enhanced Reciprocity Initiative


As a result of this initiative, 2,442 content-specific teaching, administrative, and/or special service endorsements have been issued to 1,834 educators, resulting in 977 new educators working in nearly 175 Connecticut public school districts.

In the spring of 2022, the CSDE implemented the Enhanced Educator Certification Reciprocity Policy, which streamlined the process for educators holding out-of-state certifications to obtain Connecticut certifications. In addition to enabling educators certified in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia, to seek and acquire a Connecticut certificate upon verification, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin have also been added as of March 1, 2024.


Connecticut Special Education Employment System (CSEES)


Website views 714,312, Job Postings 2501, Placements 1120, Districts/Programs 154

Since its launch, CSEES has resulted in 714,312 visits to the website by employers and potential job seekers, 2,501 special education job postings across 154 districts/programs, and 1,120 placements.

Launched in 2022, CSEES is a comprehensive recruitment system with the goal of connecting job seekers to available positions in their communities. The CSEES, which can be accessed at, is available to schools and districts at no cost and is an easy-to-use resource with a particular focus on special education and related services vacancies involving local and national recruiting components. Schools and districts populate the system by posting job vacancies based upon their current individualized needs.


Educators Rising (Ed Rising)


Districts 22, Students 518

Launched in 2020 in a single district with fewer than 50 students, Ed Rising has since expanded to 22 districts with over 518 students now participating. Thanks to Governor Lamont's seed funding of $500,000, this expansion indicates a significant stride towards nurturing the next generation of diverse and passionate educators.


Ed Rising works with aspiring educators in middle and high school who reflect the demographics of their communities and are passionate about serving those communities through public education. This initiative is part of Connecticut’s "grow-your-own" strategy to expose students to opportunities that will prepare them for a career in education.


NextGen Educators Program


Since the program’s inception, more than 230 NextGen Educators have been placed in classrooms as substitute teachers. By fostering a supportive environment and leveraging the expertise of experienced educators, the Connecticut NextGen Educators program seeks to cultivate a new generation of highly qualified teachers who are equipped to meet the evolving demands of the education landscape.

Launched in 2020, in collaboration with Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), the Connecticut NextGen Educators program addressed the shortage of teachers in the state by providing a comprehensive pathway and streamlined route to obtaining teaching credentials while addressing the unique needs of Connecticut's diverse student population. Through partnerships with local school districts, the program emphasizes hands-on experience and mentorship, ensuring that participants are well-prepared for the challenges of modern classrooms, all while paying them for their work.

Grants for Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs)


Aligned with its commitment to nurturing a skilled and diverse educator workforce, CSDE forged partnerships with 18 institutions of higher education and allocated $2 million in grant funding over two years to cover licensing and testing fees for participants in the EPPs.
The partnership between CSDE and higher education institutions exemplifies a shared commitment to advancing educational excellence and equity across the state by eliminating fees that are often barriers preventing qualified applicants from moving forward in their careers.


Additional Efforts


  • The Aspiring Educators Diversity Scholarship Program, established through 2023 legislation, provides financial support to aspiring educators from diverse backgrounds who are pursuing degrees or certifications in education. Offered to students from the state’s 16 priority districts, aspiring educators can apply to receive up to $10,000 annually in tuition. 
  • To assist districts with staffing shortages, the Emergency Certifications for Teachers adopted by the State Board of Education allows educators to temporarily teach other subjects. To date, 507 educators received emergency certifications. 
  • In order to break down barriers for those entering the teaching profession, and for retention of all educators, the Educator Evaluation and Support Council developed revised CT Guidelines for Educator Evaluation focused on growth and development for educators. 
  • Comprised of a wide range of diverse stakeholders and convened by the CSDE, the CT Educator Certification Council aims to modernize the state's certification process. The council’s efforts resulted in proposed legislation HB-5436. 
  • A recent study released by the CSDE showed that while the vast majority of teacher candidates, including candidates of color, are passing the Praxis II content area licensure assessments, some are not. The study recommends alternative approaches to demonstrating minimum content knowledge for those who are close to passing Praxis II after two attempts. As a result, for those specific candidates, the CSDE is planning to pilot during the 2024-25 school year an alternative path to certification attainment that does not involve additional Praxis testing. 




Director of Communications
Connecticut Department of Education
Phone: 860-424-1988

Twitter: CT State Department of Education Twitter
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