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Mo. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education launches new campaign in efforts to recruit more teachers

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 5:40 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - All hands-on deck to help recruit and fill the need of qualified teachers across Missouri.

That’s why the state’s education department launched a new campaign called Teach Missouri.

“It’s got some big components to it,” said Paul Katnick with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. “One of them are $50 million in grants that we’re providing to educator prep programs, community colleges, to school districts and charter schools across the state.”

According to DESE, enrollment in teaching programs is down 25 percent over the past six years.

“Which means we had less supply, you have less enrollment, you have less certificates issued, you have less in the pull to be hired as teachers and then on the other side of it our retention rates at the three year mark is just 64 percent,” Katnick said.

The recruiting efforts will focus on scholarships, mentoring and reimbursement for application fees.

“We want to remind people that teaching is one of the most noble professions there are,” he said. “It is the profession that creates all of the professions like journalists, like people who work at DESE, we all started with teachers that’s what teachers do for our state and our country. It’s a great profession and it’s kind of gotten a bad narrative lately. We’re trying to alleviate that narrative. We are trying to actively recruit our next generation of teachers.”

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