Grants Of $35 Million Target Recruitment And Training Of New Teachers
The U.S.Department of Education has awarded 95 grants totaling nearly $35 million under the Transition to Teaching program to help school districts recruit skilled mid-career professionals, paraprofessionals, and recent college graduates into teaching careers.
Data show that there is a critical need for teachers in certain curriculum areas such as mathematics, science, foreign languages, English as a Second Language, reading and special education — and the problem may worsen as student enrollments increase and current teachers retire.
The Transition to Teaching program helps high-need school districts tackle teacher shortages by recruiting talented and capable individuals from other professions and academic fields, as well as recent college graduates with strong academic records and a bachelor’s degree in a field other than teaching, to serve as teachers.
Several alternative teacher recruitment programs, include Troops to Teachers, the New Teacher Project, and Teach for America. Troops to Teachers, which received $18 million in FY2002, has placed some 4,000 former military personnel in teaching positions since 1994.
Transition to Teaching grantees will work in partnerships that help high-need school districts to recruit, prepare, and place professionals in their new teaching careers and to support them to promote retention. Grantees will recruit those with strong backgrounds and skills, and ensure that those individuals receive special assistance, guidance, support, and in some cases stipends and incentives, to become highly qualified teachers through alternative certification routes and make teaching a long-term commitment.
Transition to Teaching grants are awarded for five years to high-need local school districts, states, institutions of higher education, national organizations, or partnerships. A project may support one or more school districts and may be located in more than one state. The program, now in its second year, is authorized under Title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.