The bill creates the future educator pathways grant program (grant program) in the department of education (department) to provide grants to local education providers, as defined in the bill, to create future educator pathways programs. The department shall administer the grant program, and the state board of education (state board) shall promulgate necessary rules for the grant program.
Future educator pathways programs prepare future educators, including future educators in early childhood education, by providing students with opportunities for concurrent enrollment and apprenticeships that lead to college credit toward degrees and credentials as educators. The state board, after consultation with the department of labor and employment and the department of higher education, shall promulgate rules establishing requirements for apprenticeship programs.
The bill specifies the dates by which an eligible local education provider must apply to the department for grant money and the information required in the grant program application. The state board shall award grants to one or more qualified local education providers by dates specified in the bill. A local education provider that receives a grant is required to use the grant money for specified purposes in connection with apprenticeship programs and concurrent enrollment. To receive a grant, a local education provider shall commit to match state grant money with local money equal to 25% of the grant award.
The bill specifies that the state board is required to ensure that grants are awarded to geographically diverse local education providers and to a mix of rural, urban, and suburban local education providers. In addition, the state board shall award at least 20% of the total amount awarded in grants to eligible rural local education providers, as defined in the bill, and at least 70% of the total amount awarded in grants to future educator pathways programs that provide apprenticeships.
The bill creates the future educator pathways fund (fund) in the state treasury and requires the state treasurer to transfer an amount of money specified in the bill from the general fund to the fund in the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 state fiscal years. The state board may award grant program grants in a fourth year of the program if money remains in the fund after the third grant cycle.
The department is required to submit an annual report on the grant program to the governor and the house and senate education committees that includes specified information, including a final report.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)