2024 Quarter 2 | The Council of State Governments (CSG) | Midwestern Legislative Conference (MLC)

MLC Education & Workforce Development 

Committee Newsletter


OH Sen. Hearcel Craig


WI Rep. Joel Kitchens

Vice Chair

MN Sen. Heather Gustafson

Upcoming Events

June 5-7:

Child Welfare, Reimagined: Policy Workshop for Midwest’s Legislators - Wheaton, Ill.

June 28:

CSG Midwest Webinar: How Midwestern States are Addressing Ongoing Teacher Shortages -

12:00 EDT/11:00 CDT

July 21-24:

78th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Legislative Conference - Columbus, Ohio

August 1:

Application Deadline: CSG 20 Under 40 Leadership Award

August 23-27:

29th Annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD) - Madison, Wis.

September 5-10:

CSG 2024 Henry Toll Fellowship - Lexington, Ky.

September 9-10:

Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus Annual Meeting - Duluth, Minn.

December 4-7:

2024 CSG National Conference - New Orleans, La.

MLC Annual Meeting Page

Committee Happenings

This quarter's newsletter is coming out slightly early so you have enough of a heads-up to plan for some upcoming summer events hosted by our committee as well as The Council of State Governments' entire Midwestern Legislative Conference.

June 28 Webinar on Teacher Shortages

CSG Midwest recently released an issue brief showcasing the myriad strategies Midwestern state legislatures and education agencies have implemented to address the ongoing shortage of K-12 teachers, with a particular focus on actions taken between 2021 and 2023.

Read "Research Resources" below for more information about the contents of the brief.

To complement the release of this report, and to learn more about efforts being made in the region to staff classrooms with qualified educators, our committee is hosting a webinar related to teacher shortage policy on Friday, June 28, at 12:00 p.m. EDT/11:00 a.m. CDT.

In addition to allotting time for a roundtable discussion with all participants, the webinar will feature presentations by experts from the Learning Policy Institute and the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools.

Registration for the webinar can be found HERE.

Please come prepared to share your prospective and insights on the challenges in your state and offer suggestions on how progress can be achieved.

MLC Annual Meeting on July 21-24 in Columbus, Ohio

There is still time to register for the 78th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Legislative Conference being held in Columbus.

This family-friendly event will feature two sessions hosted by the MLC Education & Workforce Development Committee.

On Sunday, July 21, the committee will host its annual business session an opportunity to not only hear presentations on important education and workforce development policy, but also to better understand how your fellow lawmakers are tackling similar issues in their home states and provinces. This year's business session will be extended to two hours to allow more time for a roundtable discussion among legislators.

Participants will learn about efforts in Ohio to strengthen and integrate state policy on education and workforce development and will hear about a pedagogical method to literacy education that is based on cognitive science and that now has been adopted by a majority of Midwestern states.

The presenters will include:

  • Rick Carfagna, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Ohio Chamber of Commerce
  • Stephen Dackin, Director, Ohio Department of Education & Workforce 
  • Rebecca Estes, Assistant Secretary for Educator Talent, Indiana Department of Education

On Tuesday, July 23, a committee-sponsored session will explore state policies to better help students in need of academic remediation as they transition from high school to college, as well as prevention strategies to help students prior to graduation from high school.  

The presenters will include:

  • Mike Abrahamson, Senior Manager of Research and Policy, Partnership for College Completion
  • Katie Beal, External Affairs Associate, MDRC
  • Sen. Andrew Brenner, Ohio 

View the full committee agenda HERE.

Please visit csgmidwest.org for more information about the MLC Annual Meeting and to register for the event.

Education & Workforce Articles

In the latest edition of Stateline Midwest, a "Capital Clips" story highlights new laws in Iowa and South Dakota that will raise minimum salaries for K-12 teachers. For South Dakota, this is the first time a mandated salary floor has been authorized statewide.

In both states, the phased-in salaries for new educators will be over $45,000 the highest levels among Midwestern states with mandated salary floors (Illinois, Indiana and Ohio).

The article can be found HERE.

Research Resources

New CSG Midwest Issue Brief: "State Efforts to Combat Teacher Shortages: A Look at New Laws and Investments in the Midwest"

The strategies Midwestern states have used in recent years to recruit and retain K-12 educators are multifaceted. This policy brief highlights efforts to create new or expand existing loan forgiveness and scholarship programs, to create alternative pathways to teacher licensure, to invest in the upskilling of paraprofessionals, and to increase the pool of substitute teachers. 

CSG Midwest produced this issue brief as a part of its staff support of the MLC Education & Workforce Development Committee. Members of the committee were mailed hard-copy versions of the report. An online version with links to various external sources can be found HERE.

"State Workforce Trend Mirrors 1970s’ Low Rates"

A recent article by The Council of State Governments provides historical perspective on national rates of labor force participation. It notes, for example, that rates peaked at 67.1% in the late 1990s. The annual rate in 2023 was 62.6%, almost the same as in 1976 (61.6%). 

The CSG article also provides a number of policy strategies that states can adopt to bolster participation rates and alleviate workforce shortages. Ideas include investing in child care access; providing new forms of transportation; and removing barriers for justice-involved individuals, military veterans and migrant workers.

For more information, read the article HERE.

Thank you for reading. Watch for the next edition to come out in September 2024.