State Grant Will Pay to Train Teachers
A state grant will help train new teachers in eastern Iowa. Seven school districts, led by Davenport, will receive 3.7 million dollars from the Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Program.
Davenport Superintendent T.J. Schneckloth says the money will be used by the districts' para-educators to earn enough college credits to become teachers.
"They're already here, they're dedicated, they love working with students, and have a passion for this area. So to have the ability to grow those human beings into teachers is an absolute win, win, win all the way round."
The state money can also be used by high school students to earn para-educator certificates and associate degrees.
"One of the goals of every district is to have the teaching staff look like and represent the students. And the people who are showing interest in our district for getting their teaching degree, it's a very diverse group, it does match our population."
The seven districts include Davenport, Bettendorf, Clinton, Muscatine, North Scott, Pleasant Valley, and West Liberty. Schneckloth says the application and screening process will begin immediately.
This pilot program was recommended by a state task force that looked at ways to encourage more Iowans to pursue careers in education. Initial grants totaling 45.6 million dollars will go to 19 districts across the state.