Rural schools - teachers and special services providers - financial incentives - appropriation. Current law allows the department of higher education (department) to provide up to 20 financial stipends annually, not to exceed $6,000 each, to teachers in rural schools or school districts (rural schools) who are seeking certification as a national board certified teacher, seeking certification as a concurrent enrollment teacher, or furthering their professional development plan through continuing education, and who commit to employment in a rural school for a minimum of 3 years. The act increases the number of available stipends to 60 and expands it to include teachers completing an approved alternative licensure program leading to initial licensure and full-time employment in a rural school or a rural school district, and individuals completing the required course work leading to certification as a special services provider and employment in a rural school or a rural school district. A provision is added stating that if, in any one fiscal year, the number of stipend applications submitted exceeds the total amount of available stipends, the department shall give priority for stipend awards to teachers. After all teacher applications have been funded, stipends may then be awarded to special services providers, subject to available appropriations.
The act appropriates $240,000 from the state education fund to pay for the stipends.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)