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State Superintendent Rice Highlights Teacher Educator Programs and State Efforts Addressing Teacher Shortage

LANSING – State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice today praised Michigan’s teacher educator programs for actively addressing the teacher shortage in partnership with local school districts, intermediate school districts, and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).

Dr. Rice spoke to the Directors and Representatives of Teacher Education Programs (DARTEP) in Michigan at Western Michigan University (WMU). He highlighted progress in increasing the quantity of teachers, the quality of teacher educator programs, and the expanding diversity of Michigan’s pool of educators and teacher candidates.

“The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is proud to partner with our state’s educator preparation programs to foster growth in teacher numbers, expand teacher diversity, and strengthen high quality educator preparation programs,” Dr. Rice said. “The educator preparation programs have been great partners, as have intermediate school districts and local education agencies, both traditional public school districts and public school academies, in helping our state develop, attract, and retain more certified teachers and address the teacher shortage.”

Overall teacher preparation enrollment in Michigan rebounded from a 59% decrease between 2011-12 and 2016-17 to a 56% increase from 2016-17 to 2021-22.

Goal 7 of Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan is to increase the numbers of certified teachers in areas of shortage.

With these important partnerships, a number of programs and initiatives that address the teacher shortage continue to spark interest in people exploring the field and supports those seeking teacher certification. They include:

  • Grow Your Own, which creates support staff-to-teacher programs where teaching candidates work while completing preparation programs. Michigan’s fiscal year 2023 investment is $175 million.
  • MI Future Educator Fellowships, which offer $10,000 scholarships to up to 2,500 future educators every year. The state has budgeted $305 million in fiscal year 2023 and $25 million in fiscal year 2024.
  • MI Future Educator stipends, which offer $9,600 to support student teachers using $50 million allocated each year in fiscal years 2023 and 2024.
  • Grow Your Own EXPLORE, which introduces students to the teaching profession using $1.7 million in grants across three fiscal years for future educator programs in grades 6-12.
  • Talent Together, which helps school employees earn certification through partnerships with intermediate school districts and educator preparation institutions with $76 million allocated by the state legislature.
  • The Rural Educator Credentialing Hub to assist rural educators in becoming certified through a consortium of educator preparation institutions and rural school districts led by Central Michigan University funded by a $15 million grant.
  • Mentoring and other support to new teachers and others new to their positions in education through $50 million in grants over five years.
  • Student loan repayments to help educators pay off their loans with $225 million that is available in the fiscal year 2024 budget.

Dr. Rice highlighted programs at Alma College, Calvin University, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Northern Michigan University, Oakland University, Siena Heights University, Wayne State University, and WMU for their work in one or both of these areas.

MDE encourages outreach and program development to attract a more diverse workforce in the profession. Over the last seven years, an additional 1,317 Black teachers and an additional 216 Latino teachers joined the workforce. The University of Michigan-Flint and Wayne State University participate in the Morris Hood Jr. Educator Development Program to promote diversity within the profession. Programs have drawn more teacher candidates from historically underrepresented populations.

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Dr. Rice at DARTEP

State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice speaks with 2019-2020 Michigan Teacher of the Year and current Oakland University Secondary Coordinator Cara Lougheed during today's meeting with teacher educators.