July 11, 2023

New state initiative pays for teachers to pursue STEM licensing

Article origination IPB News
A new state initiative will help pay for Indiana teachers to become certified to teach STEM classes.  - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

A new state initiative will help pay for Indiana teachers to become certified to teach STEM classes.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Indiana needs more STEM teachers, and the state is taking action it hopes will fill empty positions.

According to Indiana’s statewide job board, there are more than 290 open teaching jobs in math and science alone across the state. A new partnership between the Indiana Department of Education and Education Service Centers of Indiana aims to license more educators to teach STEM subjects. Eligible teachers could receive free tuition, free books, and $1,000 stipends from the initiative.

The $4.8 million I-STEM Educator Expansion Initiative will be paid for with money distributed to the state from the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund and federal Title II A funding.

The initiative will help pay for STEM licenses for some educators licensed in non-STEM subjects and prospective teachers with bachelor’s degrees. I-STEM is modeled after similar programs that train special education teachers and teach English language learners.

READ MORE: Indiana to fund $2 million program to support English learner teachers

 

 

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“Building off the success of the I-SEAL [special education] and I-TELL [English learner] initiatives, I-STEM will allow us to expand our focus and strengthen our teacher pipeline in additional high-need areas, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Indiana Secretary of Education Katie Jenner, in a news release. “In today’s technology-driven world, it has never been more important for every Indiana student to have access to high-quality STEM instruction, and this starts with ensuring we have the very best and brightest educators in the classroom.”

Teachers who enroll in the initiative could also receive additional $1,000 stipends for meeting certain requirements. The payments are available for child care during licensing, accepting a STEM-related teaching position after becoming licensed, and accepting a STEM position in a rural school district.

Kirsten is the education reporter for Indiana Public Broadcsting. Contact her at kadair@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @kirsten_adair.

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