HOLLISTER, Missouri – The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has announced that school districts across the state will receive $ 50 million in grants over the next three years to help recruit and retain teachers. School districts are expected to receive grants of $ 10,000 from DESE.
“It’s not something that we want to do while the grant is in for the next three years, but we want it to be something that will be sustainable,” said Dr. Brian Wilson, principal of the Hollister School District.
Dr. Wilson plans to use the allocated money over the next three years to help their “Grow Your Own” program. The program allows high school students to take educational courses to earn college credit in partnership with Missouri State University.
“About 60% of teachers teach within 20 miles of their place of birth,” said Dr Sandy Humbyrd, professional developer for the Teaching, Leadership and Learning Agency at State University of Missouri. “So Grow Your Own programs are a big chunk of districts bringing their best and brightest back to their own district.
Dr Sandy Humbyrd taught in Hollister Schools for thirty years and helped implement the “Grow Your Own” program in the school district.
“To make those connections early on, because over the past decade in Missouri, teacher enrollment programs have declined by about a third.”