There's a new plan in Dallas to increase the number of teachers with backgrounds in science and math in the Dallas Independent School District.
Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings outlined the plan with representatives from Paul Quinn College and the Tom Joyner Foundation. The goal of the partnership is to increase the number of teacher education graduates that commit to Dallas ISD with backgrounds in STEM.
Community college students with a good grade point average who are majoring in biology or math can apply for the new Teacher Quality Initiative to get eight free semesters of education at historically black colleges or universities. The TQI will also provide internships, free summer classes, assistance with job placement, and other benefits.
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Students involved in the TQI will also will work as Dallas ISD elementary school tutors with a science, technology, and math focus.
"There was times when teachers was one of the most respected, most sought after professions, especially in the African-American community," Joyner said.
Rawlings said he appreciates Foundation's commitment to education, and hopes that this partnership helps fix a glaring problem for the school district.
"The answer for that education gap-people tell you time and time again-is having a great teacher in front of students," he said. "When you get a great teacher in front of students, lives are changed and they go on to do great things. The problem is that we don’t have enough teachers in the pipeline, we just don’t."
The Tom Joyner Foundation has partnered with more than 100 historically black colleges and universities. They're accepting applications now: tomjoynerfoundation.org/tqi