Applications are in for teacher residency grants

Applications are in for teacher residency grants

(Calif.) State officials have begun sorting through applications for a share of the $50 million Teacher Residency Grant program, one of two funded in this year’s budget aimed at improving the state’s teacher shortage.

As proposed, the state is offering $20,000 per teacher participating in the program that can be used for virtually any of the costs associated with training, including stipends for both mentor teachers and candidates, along with beginning teacher induction costs.

Although the enabling legislation calls for the grant program to continue through 2023, officials at the Commission on Teacher Credentialing—which administers the grants—point out that, so far, money has just be provided for the first year.

Further funding, they said in a memo out earlier this month, is dependent on both evidence of the program’s success as well as the availability of state resources.

There has also been some question about how local educational agencies can comply with the grant requirements for matching funds. CTC has advised that the matching funds cannot come from an external agency and instead must be provided by the LEA to support grant activities.

Here is a selection of questions from the field about the grant and answers from the CTC:

Q:     We are confused regarding the amount that we can request per this grant and how this funding can be allocated to residents, mentors, faculty, etc. How much total funding can we request for the entire project? We are hoping to request $20k per resident–which would be paid directly to the residents in the form of stipends. We would also request additional funds (beyond the $20k per resident) to support mentor teacher stipends, IHE faculty time, professional development costs, etc. Is that allowed? These additional activities go beyond what would traditionally be considered program administration costs (which is capped at 5 percent for this grant).

A:     As stated in the RFP, funding in the amount of $20,000 per teacher participating in the Teacher Residency Grant program is available. All program activities to support the residents must be allocated within either these grant funds or the required matching LEA funds. The applicant must decide how to allocate the available grant funding. For example, if an applicant will be serving 5 residents, the applicant may request $100,000 in grant funding and must match at least that amount with LEA-provided funding. No additional grant funding beyond the statutory $20,000 per participating resident will be provided by the grant.

Q:     What is the minimum first cohort size?

A:     There is no minimum required first cohort size. Applicants are expected to identify and address their local needs for additional teachers of special education, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and/or bilingual education.

Q:     Is the state encouraging LEAs to diversify partnership with multiple institutes of higher learning or IHEs?

A:     This is a local decision. A residency is a partnership between the LEA and IHE. The program must be designed to address the LEA priorities and needs, the IHE’s program requirements as well as the state’s credential requirements.

Q:     What percentage of funding can be designated to pay for fees and tuition for each candidate?

A:     This is a local decision. There is a maximum of $20,000 in state grant funding per teacher resident available for Teacher Residency programs.

Q:     Are charter school management organizations eligible to apply for a Teacher Residency grant?

A:     Charter schools are eligible to apply for a Teacher Residency grant, either alone or as the lead applicant for a consortium of charter schools. Charter school management organizations are not eligible applicants for the grant. more