Posts Tagged ‘rural education’
The author is chair of AACTE’s newly formed “Preparing Teachers for Rural Schools and Communities” topical action group. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Rural schools and communities may appear as little more than blips on a map, known perhaps for their relaxed pace of life but largely anonymous to the rest of the world. In reality, though, these communities are a critical thread that holds our country together, and preparing educators for the unique needs of rural students and schools is a vital task.
The U.S. Department of Education has announced a new competition for the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant program. After consultations with tribal communities and officials, the Department has designed this grant cycle to focus on improving the outcomes of students in tribal and rural populations.
For this competition, the Department expects to award three to five grants averaging $1 million each. Interested parties have until June 22 to submit their notice of intent to apply; completed applications are due by July 7.
It is no secret that South Carolina has faced many challenges related to education. Most recently, a shortage of teachers has been severely affecting the most vulnerable regions of South Carolina: our rural and poverty-stricken regions. In a state where most students live below the poverty level, there are some unsung heroes doing their best with the lowest of means, but we desperately need to improve our recruitment and retention of professional educators.
One way the state is supporting this goal is through Proviso 1A.73, also known as the Rural Teacher Recruiting Incentive. The FY16 budget allows for $1.5 million to be spent on this plan. The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) at Winthrop University along with the South Carolina Department of Education and the Education Oversight Committee has been charged with the responsibility to develop the initiative, and CERRA Executive Director Jane Turner submitted the plan for the first year in January 2016 with multiple components: