Passing The Hat To Help New Teachers

Feb 24, 2017

A program designed to get more minority teachers into Illinois classrooms is turning directly to the public for support. 

The Grow Your Own Teacher program has been around for more than a decade, with support from the state of Illinois, higher education, school districts, and community groups. But funding has fallen apart during the state’s budget impasse. Former Rockford School Board president Michael Williams says it’s important because Illinois struggles to hire enough high quality teachers who represent minority groups. “Rockford in particular has had a challenge because of its history," he says, "But fortunately, the administration and this school board are committed to diversifying the workforce.”

Williams is trying to raise $15,000 through crowd-funding site Go Fund Me. That would help cover living expenses for three people who are in the unpaid student teaching phase of their education.