For immediate release:
Feb. 2, 2016
INDIANAPOLIS — State Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) is working to put an end to Indiana’s teaching crisis through the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship Program and Fund.
House Bill 1002, which was approved by House members, would provide an incentive for qualified individuals to pursue a teaching degree.
Individuals considering education as a career path could apply for a $7,500 stipend. The scholarship, available every year for four years, would only be available for individuals who maintain the necessary qualifications and agree to teach in Indiana schools for five years after receiving their degree.
The bill, coauthored by Smith, could play a crucial role in addressing the teacher shortage that plagues Indiana schools.
“This is quite an incentive for people considering the field of education,” commented Smith. “This scholarship can help us ensure that we are not losing future educators because they lack the funds to continue their studies.”
The scholarship would be awarded to as many as 200 new applicants each academic year who have been accepted for enrollment in an accredited postsecondary educational institution approved by the commission for higher education.“By supplying this stipend, we can help a number of future educators stay on the path to graduation,” concluded Smith. “This legislation is a step on the long road to retaining quality teachers in Indiana and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
The bill now moves to the Senate for further discussion.