HARTFORD, CT – Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker last week announced new investments to defray certification-related testing costs for aspiring educators in Connecticut.
A total of $2 million dollars of federal, state-level reserve American Rescue Plan Act, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP-ESSER) funding is being dedicated over a two-year period, which includes $750,000 in year one and $750,000 in year two. The remaining $500,000 is being set aside for educators of color and other educators who will be completing their student teaching in urban school districts.
“Our administration has made it a priority to ensure that we maintain and continue to recruit a high quality and diverse educator workforce in Connecticut,” Governor Lamont said. “This investment will ensure more aspiring educators – especially minority educators and educators who strive to work in our urban districts – are able to pursue lifelong and rewarding careers in education.”
“This investment will provide financial support to our aspiring educators currently enrolled in Connecticut Educator Preparation Programs on their paths to obtaining their certification,” Commissioner Russell-Tucker said. “These funds will alleviate some of the financial barriers that may prevent, or delay needed educators from entering the profession.”
“This investment has the strong potential to impact the recruitment and retention of students in every teacher preparation program in Connecticut,” Dr. Stephen J. Hegedus, dean of the College of Education at Southern Connecticut State University, said. “I am very pleased that we can offer our students the support they need to offset the costs of becoming a teacher in the future. I thank my colleagues from other colleges and universities as part of AACTE-CT for raising awareness of this need. Thank you for investing in the future teachers of Connecticut.”
This funding will be dispersed to each of the Educator Preparation Programs across the state that opt into the program. This program will be administered by the Connecticut State Department of Education’s Talent Office. The Talent Office will convene a meeting with education preparation programs in the coming weeks detailing the process to apply for and disperse these funds.
The Connecticut State Department of Education is committed to ensuring all federal and state funds are properly used to serve the education community and has set up a thorough accountability process. Each grant will be monitored to ensure that expenditures align with the activities in their approved application. Information on individual grants can be publicly accessed online through the department’s Electronic Grants Management System, which is available at connecticut.egrantsmanagement.com.