Become a teacher for free: Tennessee offering grants to future educators amid teacher shortage

Posted at 9:23 AM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 10:40:01-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new round of grants from the Tennessee Department of Education is helping future educators become a teacher for free.

These grants have been awarded to establish partnerships between Education Preparation Providers (EPPs) and local school districts. If you want to be a teacher in the state, you must complete one of the programs.

The Department of Education is giving $4.5 million in what they call "Grow Your Own" grants to build these partnerships. In total, it’s 45 grants at $100,000 a pop to 13 programs.

They say the grants are designed to provide pathways to teaching that are innovative and don’t cost anything by increasing enrollment in EPPs.

“This investment provides individuals with the opportunity to become a teacher for free and will continue to make Tennessee the best state to become and be a teacher. We are excited to continue to see the success of this program impact the state for years to come," said Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

According to the department, the grants remove barriers by providing the funds to cover tuition, books, and other fees.

Right now, Tennessee has a teacher shortage. According to a spokesperson for Metro Nashville Public Schools, the typical turnover rate for teachers is around 16%, and as of late May, the district had more than 300 teacher openings.

To learn more about these grants and the different partnerships between these programs and local districts, click here.

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