ISBE Invests $4.3M to Cultivate Future Educators through CTE Education Career Pathway Grants

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced approximately $4.3 million in state funding for the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Education Career Pathway Grants. The grant marks the fourth round of funding for the CTE Education Career Pathway Grant program, which has provided $5.6 million to date and served nearly 12,000 Illinois high school students across 212 school districts and three community colleges.  The grant provides funding to prepare current high school students in Illinois for careers in teaching and aims to address the teacher shortage in Illinois by recruiting diverse students into the field of education. Participants are equipped for success in college-level teacher preparation programs through tailored coursework, field experiences, and work-based learning opportunities.  ISBE recently released unfilled positions data that shows that initiatives like this are paying off, resulting in year-over-year growth in the teaching profession for the past seven years. The number of teachers in the profession increased again in 2023, compared to 2022. However, the demand for teachers also grew, and supply has not kept pace. Illinois districts reported 4,096 teaching vacancies as of October 2023 – a 15 percent increase in unfilled positions over the previous year.  Grant funding has been allocated to 170 districts with the highest need and vacancy rates to tackle local recruitment and retention challenges.

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