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SC education programs wins $1.75M in federal grants to combat teacher shortage

US Department of Education seeks local solutions for teacher shortage through recruitment, training programs

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The US Department of Education is attempting to address local teacher shortages by investing $25 million across the country through the department's Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant program.

The purpose of TQP is to:

  • improve the quality of prospective and new teachers by improving the preparation of prospective teachers and enhancing professional development activities for new teachers
  • recruit highly qualified individuals who may be considering a career change into the teaching force
  • hold institutes of higher education accountable as they prepare prospective teachers to meet applicable state certification and licensure requirements
  • develop and retain a strong, effective and diverse teacher workforce in local communities

The program funds teacher preparation programs in high-need communities at colleges and universities for the undergraduate, “fifth-year” level, and for teaching residency programs for individuals new to teaching with strong academic and professional backgrounds.

In South Carolina, the education programs at Columbia College and the University of South Carolina are recipients of a total of over $1.75 million. Columbia College was granted $589,163 while USC received $1,152,376.

RELATED: South Carolina school districts face teacher shortages as school year begins

At the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, school districts in the Midlands faced record teacher shortages. In early August, Richland One reported 181 vacancies, Richland Two reported 103 teacher openings, and Sumter School District had 154 openings.

“At the U.S. Department of Education, we recognize the value of supporting our nation’s educators, and we have a responsibility to providing resources and opportunities that promote a diverse educator workforce,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “These programs help prepare, place, develop, and retain effective teachers and leaders in our schools and classrooms. Our students need quality educators now more than ever to address their academic and mental health needs.”

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