Scholarships Available For Future Teachers

An Indiana State University study found that nearly 97% of Indiana schools are impacted by teacher shortages. The General Assembly has worked proactively in addressing many of the issues affecting teachers, and I believe recent legislative action will attract more teachers to the field.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education is encouraging high-achieving high school and college students who are planning to teach in Indiana for at least five years to apply for the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship program, which was created by the Indiana General Assembly in 2016. This scholarship provides a $7,500 scholarship each year for four academic years (up to $30,000 total).

To qualify for the scholarship, students must have either graduated in the top 20% of their high school class or earned a score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT (1190) or ACT (26). To continue earning the scholarship while in college, students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year, earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete at least 30 credit hours per year. Any current college students must be able to use the scholarship for at least two full academic years if they apply.

Nearly 90% of scholarship recipients from 2017 are either continuing their education or have already become a licensed teacher in Indiana.

Those interested should act quickly, as there are only 200 scholarships available. The deadline to apply is Jan. 30, 2022. The commission will review all applications and notify applicants of their scholarship status via email by March 28, 2022.

In addition, following recommendations from the Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission report, the latest state budget contains a $1.9 billion increase in K-12 education funding over the next two years, including a $600 million down payment needed to improve teacher pay across the state. We have also strongly encouraged schools to have a minimum teacher salary of $40,000 per year and now require them to spend 45% of the state tuition support on teachers’ salaries.

As former chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development, I believe attracting and attaining quality candidates to teach Hoosier children is essential to Indiana’s future. As I enter my final session, I will continue to advocate for Indiana’s school system to be as quality as any state in the Midwest and the country.

The Waynedale News Staff

State Sen. Dennis Kruse

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