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Education Briefs

Education Briefs

Kentucky School Advocate
September 2021

Districts win grants for teacher preparation programs  
Ten school districts have received Grow-Your-Own program grants from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). The districts will receive a one-time, $50,000 grant to boost the Commonwealth’s teacher pipeline, with the goal of providing all students with a high-quality education.

The 10 districts and the schools they will serve, include:

 Barren County: Barren County High School

 Bullitt County: Bullitt Central High School, North Bullitt High School and Bullitt East High School

 Corbin Independent: Corbin High School

 Greenup County: Greenup County High School

  Hardin County: Central Hardin High School

 Jefferson County: Ballard High School, Central High School Magnet Career Center, Butler Traditional High School, Doss High School, Fairdale High School, Jeffersontown High School, Louisville Male High School, Marion C. Moore High School, Pleasure Ridge Park High School, Seneca High School and Waggener High School

 Nelson County: Nelson County High School and Thomas Nelson High School

 Owensboro Independent: Owensboro High School

 Spencer County: Spencer County High School

 Whitley County: Whitley County High School

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman and Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass present 10 Grow-Your-Own program grants to districts. (Provided by KDE)

The program is designed to recruit, develop and retain teachers who already are connected to the community. Byron Darnall, associate commissioner in KDE’s Office of Educator Licensure and Effectiveness, said the grants can help eliminate obstacles for future educators.“Local schools and districts are uniquely suited to provide this opportunity to employees that may already be active in schools but lack full certification,” Darnall said. “GYO grants directly address potential barriers that may be preventing talented people from becoming fully certified educators.”


Recruitment of new teachers to the profession is vital to address significant teacher shortages and expand teacher workforce diversity in the state.

“Most educators teach in the school district they attended. Helping school districts develop the interests of students who want to become teachers, giving them the experiences they need to develop their skills, is a good way to create a larger teacher workforce in the future,” said Education Commissioner Jason Glass.

Once students are identified and recruited, a comprehensive school program employing the Teaching and Learning career pathway and Educators Rising, a career and technical student organization (CTSO), gives them a solid foundation for career preparation. Students receive formalized training in the classroom, while participation in the CTSO supports student learning through the development of leadership skills, positive personal attributes and real-world application.

US Dept. of Education approves Kentucky’s ESSER plan  
The U.S. Department of Education has approved the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (APR ESSER) plan.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – which included more than $2 billion for Kentucky public schools – authorized a third ESSER Fund, ARP ESSER. Kentucky previously received two-thirds of that funding in March and the remaining amount was released upon approval.

“It is heartening to see, reflected in these state plans, the ways in which states are thinking deeply about how to use American Rescue Plan funds to continue to provide critical support to schools and communities,” said U.S.
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

The plan sets priorities to ensure that every student has access to a high-quality, well-rounded education and to expand social-emotional learning programs and mental health efforts in all schools. The plan includes the safe reopening and operation of in-person learning in 2021, addresses the impact of lost instructional time and KDE’s support for students and educators’ social, emotional and mental health.

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