Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rural N.C. school district recruits teachers locally

One rural North Carolina community has started a "teacher cadet" program to recruit local students to return to their hometown to teach. Bertie County, in the northeastern corner of the state, is also the state's poorest school district, and has struggled to retain qualified teachers.

The program selects promising high school seniors who "have a strong academic record, demonstrate a desire to remain in Bertie County, and commit to becoming a teacher in math, science, or English," says The Rural School and Community Trust. In exchange for five years of service after graduation, the community, in partnership with Shaw University in Raleigh, pays for tuition and books for four years, then receive a salary of $25,000 with full benefits.

The program aims to recruit 20 students per year, which would cost the community $670,000 annually. “We pitched this in economic development terms,” says Superintendent Chip Zullinger. “We’re keeping county money in the county and investing in our own young people.” (Read more)

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