Bill strengthens programs to train more teachers of color

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A bill that invests an additional $3.5 million to the Grow Your Own teacher pathway project was heard this week in the Education Policy Committee. The additional funds add to the $1.5 million appropriation for the program made last session. Grow Your Own provides grants to non-licensed school employees to enroll in approved licensure programs to obtain their teaching degrees. The program is designed to bring more teachers of color into Minnesota classrooms.

Of the additional $3.5 million, $2 million is added to the existing program and $1.5 million is for grants to qualifying districts for support of persons of color who reside or work in the district who seek teacher licensure. The grants may be used for a period not to exceed five years for tuition scholarships or stipends to eligible teaching assistants, cultural liaisons, or other non-licensed employees of color who choose to enroll in a teacher preparation program or a school-based, board-approved program.

The bill provides tuition and stipends to eligible candidates and adds a provision that grants may be used to support future teacher clubs for middle and high school students of color or American Indians who may want to pursue a teaching career. (SF3340)