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Capitol Briefs: DESE invests $50M on teacher recruitment, retention

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) allocated more than $50 million for workforce grants for Missouri teachers

The funds, available through federal COVID-19 relief grants, are earmarked for attracting individuals to pursue an education career and retaining high-quality educators in the state. Gov. Mike Parson said investing in the education sector was vital to the state as a whole. 

“Our administration continues to focus on workforce development, and training the next generation of workers starts with our teachers in Missouri’s classrooms,” Parson said. “It is critical that we address challenges in K-12 education now and help our future leaders successfully enter the workforce, which is exactly why we are investing state relief dollars to recruit and retain the best and brightest educators in Missouri.”

  • The department will make $10,000 grants available to local education agencies (LEAs) to establish or expand local Grow Your Own (GYO) programs encouraging students to pursue a career in education. Twenty percent of the state’s LEAs currently implement the program, according to the department. 
  • Additional grants will go toward teacher retention efforts, emphasizing schools facing high rates of poverty and minority communities. 
  • Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven said the grants would allow local school leaders to meet their recruitment needs and bolster retention efforts.