Saginaw schools make efforts to combat teacher shortage

A new effort is being made to replenish the falling numbers of local educators.
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 6:46 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - A new effort is being made to replenish the falling numbers of local educators.

Saginaw Public Schools is now encouraging those who work within the district to pursue education and then return to teach.

The district is working to combat a nationwide shortage locally. Saginaw Public Schools along with the Saginaw ISD are partnering with the Department of Labor, Delta College, and Saginaw Valley State University to fill teacher vacancies.

“With the apprenticeship program, it will allow for us to take our own staff that are currently like teacher aids, and other support staff that currently already works for the district and train them to become certified teachers,” the Executive Director of Human Resources of Labors Relations Tiffany Pruitt said.

The program is called Grow Our Own, an opportunity that is exclusive to individuals already working in the district. Pruitt said she believes this will also help with retention.

“I believe because they want to be here, they are vested in the community. They have made a commitment to the district as I said. Some of them have been here 10 years or more,” Pruitt said. “So, I know they want to be here for our children, and they care about Saginaw Public Schools and they’re also vested in our community.”

The program offers two tracks: one for individuals who only have a high school diploma which will have a starting point at Delta College, and one for those who already have an associate degree or college credits which will allow them to go straight to Saginaw Valley State University. Depending on your current educational status, the program can range from one to five years.

“It will not detour the integrity of a teacher education program because they still have to go through that process to receive their education as well as the Michigan certification to be a classroom teacher. They will remain in their support roles while they’re receiving their education and training. They’ll be paired with veteran teacher who will also mentor and support them to allow them to gain that experience because they have to complete so many teacher competencies while they’re in the program,” Pruitt said.

They will also be on a progressive wage scale incentive allowing them to earn while they learn. Pruitt said she is excited for the district as a whole.

“I’m excited for the students to have people that they already know that are working daily to support them from an educational standpoint as well as their social and emotional needs. And I believe that our very own understands that,” Pruitt said.

The program is funded 100 percent through grants, meaning participants won’t have to pay for tuition, books, or fees.

Subscribe to the TV5 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every day.