School of Education unveils bold new program to invest in Wisconsin’s future teachers

School districts across the state and around the country are struggling to find enough qualified teachers — and these staffing challenges are growing.

In an effort to help bolster Wisconsin’s teacher workforce and give the state’s schoolchildren access to the high-quality educators they deserve, the UW–Madison School of Education launched a bold new program Tuesday, Aug. 18.

The program is called the UW–Madison School of Education Wisconsin Teacher Pledge. It’s supported via $18 million in donor funds and goes into effect during the upcoming 2020 fall semester.

Here’s how it works. The initiative “pledges” to provide financial support — including up to in-state tuition, fees, and testing certification costs — for students enrolled in one of the School’s teacher education programs. For teacher education students with greater financial need, the program can also provide funds to cover additional costs, such as books or living expenses.

In return, after graduating, the students “pledge” to teach for three or four years at a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade school in Wisconsin. Students who go on to teach in a high-need district or in a high-need subject area will fulfill their obligation in three years, while all others will do so in four. Over the next five years, the Teacher Pledge is expected to support more than 1,500 students in the School’s teacher education programs.

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