Reviving STEM tuition program is opportunity for teachers/students

The American Press

The state has revived a program that would give teachers the opportunity to attend college tuition free to help prioritize science, technology, engineering and math in their schools. 

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shelved its Tuition Program for Teachers in 2010 amid budget cuts. The revived program, which teachers have to apply to participate in, is expected to serve about 21 public and private school teachers initially. 

“Louisiana strives to make STEM education available to all students to help build a workforce and a citizenry fluent in future technologies,” State Superintendent John White said in a news release. “That will necessitate fully prepared teachers with every opportunity to further their own education.”

If selected for the college-free tuition program by BESE, a teacher could then enroll at Centenary, Louisiana or Our Lady of Holy Cross colleges; Dillard, Tulane, Xavier or Loyola universities; Tulane Medical School; or at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

Teachers who apply but are not accepted into the program initially then become eligible for the Classroom Teacher Enrollment Program, which allows teachers to enroll in college classes if space is available. That program would allow teachers to pursue up to six hours per semester. 

Alayna Guillory, spokeswoman for the Lake Charles charter schools, said STEM subjects are “fundamental in scholastic success.”

“Science, technology, engineering and math are the future and we must better equip our students for these fields,” Guillory told the American Press.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the United States is falling behind internationally, ranking 29th in math and 22nd in science among industrialized nations. 

In our competitive global economy, that is unacceptable.

All young people should be prepared to think deeply and to think well so that they have the chance to become the innovators, educators, researchers and leaders who can solve the challenges facing our nation and world today and tomorrow.

We applaud the decision to revive the program. 

””

The revived Tuition for Teachers program is expected to serve about 21 public and private school teachers initially. 

American Press composite

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