Amid shortages, DWD directing $1 million to teacher training, recruitment

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The state of Wisconsin is making $1 million available to support the recruitment and training of new teachers in low-income and urban area school districts.

Gov. Tony Evers announced this week the funding for the Teacher Training and Recruitment Grant program, which is being administered by the Department of Workforce Development.

Through the program, Wisconsin nonprofit organizations can apply for up to $500,000 to recruit, train and license teachers to meet Department of Public Instruction guidelines for serving low-income and urban area school districts. Applications for funding are due March 4.

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Wisconsin public schools are facing historic teacher shortages as increasingly fewer students pursue education as a career, according to DPI.

DWD projects a combined 2,565 preschool and K-12 teacher openings each year in the seven-county southeastern Wisconsin region. Those openings outpace the annual average of all education degrees and certificates conferred by the region’s colleges and universities, which total 2,062 annually. Meanwhile, education degree completions at southeastern Wisconsin colleges and universities decreased 13%.

In 2020, DWD granted $500,000 to Milwaukee-based City Forward Collective for the recruitment, training and mentoring of 140 new teachers in the city of Milwaukee. Those funds were used to expand the Emerging Educators program piloted by Milwaukee Public Schools, through which paraprofessionals working in urban schools serving low-income students completed degrees and teacher certification at Alverno College, Concordia University or Viterbo University.

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It also granted $500,000 to the Urban League of Greater Madison in support of a program that will recruit and train 32 newly licensed teachers in the Madison Metropolitan School District and Verona Area School District.

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