Late last month, the U.S. Department of Education announced that North Carolina has been rewarded with $24 million in grants to schools to recruit and retain teachers.
WUNC reports that the federal Teacher and School Leader grants support programs that provide better compensation, working conditions and diversity for public schools, with Wake County, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Montgomery County and the Raleigh-based Innovation Project making the list.
According to WUNC, the awards include:
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools receiving $2.8 million to expand its Teacher-Leader Pathways program, which offers raises of up to $18,250 a year for effective teachers who take on extra duties coaching colleagues and working with more students.
- Wake County Schools receiving $4.6 million to launch a program called Project LEADERS, which creates performance-based teacher pay at 24 high-need schools.
- Montgomery County Schools receiving $8.3 million for a new teacher and principal effectiveness program in 11 high-need schools.
- The Innovation Project, a Raleigh-based group that’s working with eight North Carolina school districts, receiving $8.3 million this year, and $21.5 million over the course of three years for recruiting teachers and principals in Asheboro City Schools, Edgecombe County Schools, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools, Lexington City Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Scotland County Schools, Vance County Schools, and Warren County Schools.
The grants come as school districts are experiencing teacher vacancies due to years of lackluster teacher raises, inadequate funding, and attacks from Republicans.
According to The News & Observer, North Carolina school districts opened the school year with 3,584 teacher vacancies.
“Teachers shape thriving individuals and communities, as well as the future of our nation. Now more than ever, we need more innovative approaches to supporting the return and retention of outstanding, well-prepared, well-supported educators who meet the needs and reflect the diversity of their students,” stated James Lane, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, in a press release. “These funds will catalyze more of these approaches in schools across the country.”
Read more at WUNC.