Recruiting and hiring qualified teachers is one of the most important tasks facing school districts. As the teacher candidate pool in shortage areas continues to shrink, the Minnesota Legislature passed a grant program for school districts to be proactive and create a “Grow Your Own” program. This approach allows local districts to recruit local community members and establish an alternative pathway to teacher licensure.
The “Grow Your Own” program has many benefits. Participants get a real taste of what it’s like to be a teacher though their work in district classrooms, which can introduce them to the career of teaching and help them determine whether teaching is truly a career path they want to pursue. Districts get additional helping hands in the classroom and potentially increase their pipeline of educators in the future. This is truly a win-win for all.
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has funding available (under Minnesota Laws 2017, 1st Special Session, Chapter 5, Article 2, Sec. 57, Subd. 23). The funding provides school districts — with more than 30 percent minority students — grants for tuition scholarships or stipends to employees or community members affiliated with a school district for a Board of Teaching-approved, non-conventional teacher residency pilot program.
Further, the funding provides school districts and charter schools with grants to develop innovative “Grow Your Own” programs that encourage secondary school students to pursue teaching. This includes developing and offering dual-credit, postsecondary course options in schools for “Introduction to Teaching” or “Introduction to Education.”
Eligible applicants are school districts with more than 30 percent minority students. The grant period is October 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, with the possibility of extension for one year.
Complete application information is now available on MDE’s grant opportunity site at https://w1.education.state.mn.us/EGMS/searchAllActiveGrants.do. Scroll down and select “COMPETITIVE – STATE 2018 – GROW YOUR OWN – ROUND 2 REISSUE GRANT OPPORTUNITY.”
Applications must be submitted via email no later than 3:30 p.m. August 18, 2017, to MDE.CompGrants@state.mn.us. The subject line of the email must include “Grow Your Own” and the name of your school district. Late applications will not be considered. Please follow all requirements included in the application instructions.
Contact Timothy Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-582-8451 for more information.