WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration has approved plans by 16 states to help give all students -- regardless of race, ethnicity or economic background -- access to the best teachers.
The Education Department says some states are boosting education preparation programs, while others are providing more mentoring for new teachers.
All 50 states submitted plans as a requirement of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law.
In the first batch of approvals, the department endorsed teacher equity plans by Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin.
The department is reviewing plans from the remaining states.
States could lose federal dollars if they don't have adequate plans to address gaps in the distribution of high-quality teachers across school districts.