St. Paul Public Schools program meant to get more teachers, more diversity in classrooms

January 09, 2019 06:55 PM

St. Paul Public Schools is trying to get more teachers and more diversity into the district's classrooms.

And a program launched in 2016 is meant to do just that.


The fast track for candidates who want to teach in the district is designed to address two issues: a shortage of teachers and a lack of diversity.

"It's important that teachers' experiences and their identities match the lives of students," said Danaya Franke. who coordinates the program for the district.

The program is called "The Saint Paul Urban Teacher Residency."

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Residents in the program co-teach in a district school for a year - all while working on their master's degree and obtaining their teaching license over 15 months. 

The program has incentives. It pays for books, it pays a $21,000 stipend and it offers a reduced tuition rate at the University of St. Thomas. 

In exchange, teachers have to stay with the district for three years.

See Yang is a current resident in the program.

"It's like the helping hand to get us where we need to be, which is teaching," she said.

After this current class graduates, the program will have licensed 72 new teachers in three years. Sixty percent of them have been teachers of color.

The district is currently taking applications for the next batch of residents. More information can be found online.

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Ellen Galles

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