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State awards funds for more teachers in rural areas, Pueblo

Two programs that bring teachers to hard-to-staff areas, including remote and rural areas of Colorado, will expand next year thanks to a state-funded grant awarded Wednesday.

Both Teach for America and the Boettcher Teacher Residency received nearly one and a half million dollars each from the Colorado Department of Education to expand their work on recruiting and training teaching candidates.

The Boettcher Teacher Residency, which is run through the Public Education and Business Coalition, is one of only a few programs focused on placing teachers in notoriously hard-to-staff rural areas. The grant will provide funding for an expansion to southwest Colorado, including Montezuma-Cortez and Durango. Currently, the program recruits and trains teaching in San Luis Valley districts as well as Front Range schools.

“For recruitment we have taken a very localized and relationship-oriented approach,” said Lori Pidick, PEBC’s director of communication. “We partner with the school districts to identify local candidates, such as paraprofessionals and substitute teachers, who would be a good fit for the program. Candidates living in these rural areas are excited about becoming a teacher and giving back to their local community.  It’s a win-win for everyone.”

The grant to Teach for America will increase the number of recruits it places in Denver schools and use the funds to fuel its recently announced Pueblo expansion.

For more information, see here.