Smith backs expanding teacher scholarship program

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) has signed on as a co-sponsor to Senate Bill 101, which would address several education issues in Indiana.

The bill, which today passed unanimously through the House, would increase eligibility for the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship, require postsecondary schools that cease operations to submit student records to the state archives and repeal a requirement for sixth graders to develop a graduation plan.

The Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship is available to high-achieving high school and college students interested in pursuing a career in education. In exchange, students agree to teach for five years at an eligible Indiana school or repay the corresponding amount of the scholarship.

“Raising up a new generation of teachers to help the students of the future is vital to the health of our schools,” Smith said. “Expanding this scholarship will help us help more bright young people begin that path to the classroom.

“As a teacher myself, I know that journey from my own footsteps. We in Indiana have not done well to pay our teachers. In economic times like these, that can be discouraging to young students considering where to take their careers. Teacher retention is becoming a challenge as our young educators continue to take jobs in surrounding states with the promise of being paid more. Until we correct that problem, we must find other ways to encourage our best and brightest to stay here and invest in our children. This scholarship is one of those ways and I am glad to support this bill expanding it.”

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