A team of Cal Poly staff members in the School of Education have been awarded a $2.1 million grant for support of local educators, according to a Cal Poly press release

The U.S. Department of Education gave the Teacher Quality Partnership grant to fund Cal Poly’s Teaching for Inclusivity and Equity Residency project.

The project will train 44 new teachers in special education and bilingual education. Candidates complete their teaching credential and their master’s degree while receiving a stipend for the program.

The program starts in fall 2021, and full-time teaching starts in fall 2022. The five-year program funded by the grant will result in 44 new bilingual teachers employed on the Central Coast.

Teachers educated through the program will commit to teach three years in one of the project’s partner districts, such as Santa Maria-Bonita School District, Santa Maria Joint Unified School District and Lucia Mar Unified School District.

“We hope that this program … can help us recruit individuals from the Santa Maria and Five Cities areas and help them become the best possible teachers for the children in those communities,” said Briana Ronan, education professor and the principal investigator for the grant.

Students in the program will be partnered with teachers in the local school district for support.

“We know that our emergent bilingual students and students with disabilities need this support, and seeing that there is a willingness to put resources into supporting them and their teacher is a great step toward greater equity in our school systems,” education professor Tina Cheuk said.

Information on how to apply to the program will be posted in the coming months on the School of Education’s website.

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