District 60 Selected for Teacher Vacancy Grant

District 60 Selected for Teacher Vacancy Grant Funding
Posted on 09/22/2023
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Waukegan Community Unit School District #60 was recently announced as recipient of the State of Illinois’ Teacher Vacancy Grant, which aims to address shortages in understaffed school districts statewide.

District 60 is eligible for up to $775,000 annually, for three years, which will be used to attract, hire, support, and retain teachers. The funding is part of the State’s program announced by Gov. JB Pritzker in the spring. The program directs money to the 170 Illinois school districts with the greatest need to fill teaching positions.

“As we deal with a national teachers shortage it is more important than ever to find innovative ways to attract, hire and retain educators. We believe this infusion of dollars will help tremendously as we aim to ensure our students have access to highly qualified teachers,” said Superintendent Theresa Plascencia

In Waukegan Public Schools the funding will be used for a variety of initiatives aimed at creating career advancement opportunities for current staff while also building a pipeline of potential teachers who are currently serving as paraprofessionals. Among the planned programs are the following: 

Teacher Apprenticeship Program (TAP) for Paraprofessionals- This on-the-job program enables participants to complete the 60 credit hours necessary to earn a fully accredited Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education or Intervention Specialist (Mild-to-Moderate Needs, K-12) via the Teacher Vacancy Grant. 
Teacher Navigator Stipends- Teachers play an important role in supporting our TAP paraprofessional apprentices by providing access to curriculum, teaching resources, opportunities to lead instruction/co-teach, and providing feedback.  Teachers who support paraprofessionals in the TAP program will receive a stipend.
Masters Program- Teachers seeking a Master's degree in Elementary Education OR a core content area at the Secondary level can get 100% tuition covered via the Teacher Vacancy Grant. 
Additional Endorsements- Teachers seeking a Learning Behavior Specialist 1 (LBS1) endorsement or an English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement can get 100% of the coursework covered via the Teacher Vacancy Grant AND receive a $1,000 stipend for doing so. 

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