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Florida Grant to Support Education Career Program

Florida Grant to Support Education Career Program
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer and fewer go into the education field.
  • Post Category:News

For years, it has been a struggle to get people to go into the education career path. However, especially since the pandemic, it has been increasingly harder for school systems to properly staff their classrooms. During and just after the pandemic, many teachers left the career path, seeking other professions instead. At the same time, fewer people were enrolling in education programs at universities. This has led to severe shortages of employees. To try and counteract that, the Florida government started a teacher apprenticeship program earlier this year. Now, a grant known as the Pathways to Career Opportunities Grow Your Own Teacher Grant, will fund the program, providing $5 million to different universities and colleges around Florida.

Ten schools across the state will receive the grant money.

One such university set to receive money from the grant is Saint Leo University in St. Leo, Florida. The department chair for the undergraduate education department at the university, Holly Atkins, said the grant will help the work they have already been doing with the Pasco school district. They have a program with the district in which they support paraprofessionals working in the school and help them with the steps towards becoming a classroom teacher. The program is known as the Para to Pro program.

The program takes those working in schools, often teacher assistants, and helps them transition to becoming the main classroom teacher. Oftentimes the teaching assistants have associate’s degrees but do not yet have their bachelor’s degree. With the Para to Pro program, they allow them to continue working for the school district as a teacher assistant while taking courses for their bachelor’s degree. This particular program is only through the Pasco school district with Saint Leo University, however other schools have similar programs that will be funded by the Florida grant.

With the grant, Saint Leo University will provide textbooks to its students.

Overall, the hope of the grant is to fund approximately 200 people on an annual basis. They will be funded throughout the process of receiving their bachelor’s degree and becoming credentialed for teaching. With this financial assistance during the process, the government hopes it entices more people to pursue the career path.

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