The Teachers Professional Development Institutes Act

News: Congressman Mike Honda (D, CA-15) cosponsors the Teachers Institutes legislation. In doing so, he is helping to bring congressional attention to its national significance.

Connecticut Senators Joseph Lieberman (I, CT) and Richard Blumenthal (D, CT) and Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D, CT-3) and Chaka Fattah (D, PA-2) have introduced legislation (S. 1240 and H.R. 2255) to create a competitive grant program to establish Teachers Institutes in states throughout the nation. Senator Christopher Coons (D, DE) and Congressmen John Carney (D, DE) and Jesse Jackson Jr. (D, IL-2) have joined them in cosponsoring the bills. The Senators' and Representatives' plan is modeled after the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute®.

This measure recognizes the national significance of the Teachers Institute approach. At a time of shrinking budgets, the bill would help demonstrate an innovative and cost-effective way for school districts to allocate their limited funds for high-quality teacher professional development.

Teachers Institutes are a proven way of engaging universities’ sciences and humanities faculty in enhancing teachers’ subject-matter knowledge and critical-thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. Teachers Institutes enhance those teacher qualities known to increase student achievement, and participation in Institutes is strongly correlated with teacher retention in high-need schools.

The legislation would authorize funds to be expended over five years to provide for the establishment of Teachers Institutes that would enable state and local education agencies to learn from their own experience about the efficacy of this tested approach for reforming their policies and practices for teacher professional development.

If you favor this legislation, we urge you to contact your own Senators and Representative by fax or e-mail, asking them to co-sponsor the bill. If you do so, please send a copy to the Initiative.

For background, see the recognition the Teachers Institute approach has received over the past 30 years, including the earlier calls that have been made to enact similar legislation.

You can follow the progress of this legislation in Congress by checking for legislative updates on this Web site.

Sponsors and Cosponsors

Senator Richard Blumenthal: fax (202) 224-9673
News release about the bill: Legislation to Enhance Teacher Effectiveness

Congressman John Carney: fax (202) 225-2291

Senator Christopher Coons: fax (202) 228-3075

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro: fax (202) 225-4890
News release about the Bill: Legislation to Enhance Teacher Effectiveness

Congressman Chaka Fattah: fax (202) 225-5392

Congressman Mike Honda: fax (202) 225-2699

Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.: fax (202) 225-0899

Senator Joseph Lieberman: fax (202) 224-9750
Statement on Legislation to Support the Establishment and Operation of Teachers Institutes

Other Members of Congress

For information on how to contact Members of Congress, enter your ZIP code on the Web site at