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MDE Grant Brings Universities and School Districts Together

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MDE Grant Brings Universities and School Districts Together
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A new grant partners the Mississippi Department of Education with universities and school districts to provide special education teachers. MPB’s Alexandra Watts reports on the grant’s impacts throughout the state.

Three universities are recipients of grant money from the education department and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to fund a special education teacher residency program.

For some regions, the placements will be to offer some help with the teacher shortage.

Leslie Griffin is Delta State University’s Dean of College Education and Human Services. She said Delta State, which is part of the program, will be working put teachers into the Sunflower Consolidated County School District – but keep them there.

“Schools are identifying individuals who are vested in those communities," she said. " And then, through this programming, being so embedded in the culture and developing their schools in that culture, they’re going to be more likely to be retained in those schools.”

Funders are also to hope attract more diverse students into the teaching profession. Mississippi State University is working with Jackson Public School District. Brandi Sumrall with Mississippi State said students will be able to see themselves reflected in their educators.
“When you have a diverse pool of people you are graduating each year, then you have a better way to form those relationships and form those relationships in the classroom and with their school in their culture and climate," she said.

William Carey University and two other school districts are also part of the program. It begins with the school year this fall.