Education Committee Approves Teaching Partnership
The House Education Committee has approved a bill to help fund a program to bring teachers to reservation and other low-income schools. Teach for America has been in existence for about a decade. The program gives training to recent college graduates, not necessarily with education degrees, and fills vacancies for schools in underserved areas. State Senator Phyllis Heineman is a supporter of a bill to bring the State Department of Education in for recruitment and funding efforts.
According to Heineman "Teach for America South Dakota started in 2004, in Rosebud and Pine Ridge. Prior to 2004, South Dakota Reservation Schools often would start with vacant classrooms. There were very little applicant pool, and even today, for every high school opening, there's point-eight applicants. For every elementary opening, there's one-point-two applicants."
Heneiman says the new teachers, who come from across the U-S, are helping reduce a gap in test scores and graduation rates between Native and whites students. The State House Education Committee approved the measure, and advanced the grant funding request to the Legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee.
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