S.F. 1585 establishes a scholarship program for qualified teacher candidates of color who demonstrate financial need. It also expands eligibility for a student teacher grant program to student teachers of color and provides for appropriation for both programs.
Section 1. Teacher candidates of color scholarships.
Subdivision 1. Establishment. Establishes teacher candidates of color scholarship program for qualified candidates with financial need.
Subdivision 2. Eligibility. A person may apply for a scholarship through this program if the person (1) has been admitted a Board of Teaching approved teacher preparation program; (2) self-identifies to the teacher preparation program as a member of an underrepresented population; (3) meets satisfactory academic progress; (4) is a Minnesota resident; and (5) has a gross family income of $125,000 or less.
Subdivision 3. Amount. Caps the scholarship amount at $10,000 per year for a full-time student, distributed up to $5,000 per academic term. Establishes a minimum scholarship amount of $1,000 per year. Caps the maximum lifetime awards at $25,000 per student. Requires OHE to establish a sliding scale for disbursement of scholarship amounts based on available funding and applicants’ gross family incomes. Requires pro-rationing of scholarship awards for part-time students.
Subdivision 4. Distribution. OHE distributes the scholarship awards to the student’s teacher preparation institution, on behalf of the student, once the teacher preparation institution has provided the student’s name, self-identified racial and ethnic identities, gender, licensure area sought, and full-time or part-time status.
Section 2. Grants to student teachers in shortage areas.
Subdivision 1. Establishment. Specifies an adjusted gross family income limit of $125,000 for student teachers seeking stipends and expands participation to student teachers identifying as belonging to an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.
Subdivision 1a. Definitions. Defines “underrepresented racial or ethnic group” as a racial or ethnic group in which the percentage of Minnesota teachers of that racial or ethnic group is lower than the percentage of Minnesota students of that racial or ethnic group.
Subdivision 2. Eligibility. Expands eligibility to students interested in teaching in a high needs area upon graduation or students who identify as belonging to an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.
Subdivision 3. Administration; repayment. Requires repayment from students who do not complete their student teaching program or who leave Minnesota to teach in another state during the first year after student teaching. Caps the stipend amount at $7,500. The commissioner must consider financial need in determining the stipend amount. Requires that the percentage of funds reserved for student teachers of color must be equal to or greater than the total percentage of students of color in Minnesota. If the percentage of funds reserved cannot be used because of a lack of qualified candidates, the remaining amount may be awarded to student teachers in high needs subject area or regions.
Section 3. Ongoing appropriation.
The appropriation made in 2016 for student teachers in shortage areas may only be used for that purpose and not for student teachers of color.
Section 4. Appropriations.
Subdivision 1. Teachers of color scholarships. Provides for a blank appropriation in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 from the general fund to the Office of Higher Education for teacher of color scholarships. Up to five percent may be used for program administration. Any balance not used in the first year does not cancel and may be used in the second year.
Subdivision 2. Grants to student teachers. Provides for a blank appropriation in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 from the general fund to the Officer of Higher Education for grants to student teachers. This is in addition to the appropriation referenced in Section 3 which is limited in its use. Up to five percent may be used for program administration. Any balance not used in the first year does not cancel and may be used in the second year.