INDIANAPOLIS—On Wednesday, a proposal by State Senator Earline Roger (D-Gary) establishing the Teacher Assistance Grant, a fund to encourage students into teaching programs, passed through the Education and Career Development Committee. Senate Bill (SB) 328 would help increase the number of licensed teachers in Indiana by providing grants for students in education programs specializing in a high need subject area.

“My hope is that this grant will encourage students across Indiana to enter teaching programs regardless of financial need and ultimately help our teacher shortage problem. Between 2009 and 2013, the number of teachers in training programs fell by 50 percent,” said Sen. Rogers.

SB 328 would establish the Teacher Assistance Grant Fund in order to provide grants for full-time and part-time students in teaching programs, who study specific areas of need and committed to teaching in Indiana. A student can be awarded the grant for up to five years, which is $4,000 plus 50 percent of the tuition of a resident undergraduate student. The Department of Education would determine the specific areas of need for which the grant can be applied towards. High need subject areas are in serious need of more teachers in order to lower the student teacher ratio.

“In order to fix the teacher shortage problem in Indiana, let’s make sure anyone who wants to become a teacher can afford the required training,and ensure they have the means to obtain the best possible education,” said Sen. Rogers.

This proposal was voted out of committee 9-0. SB 328 will now be heard by the full Senate next week for further consideration.

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Sen. Rogers represents Indiana Senate District 3 which encompasses portions of Lake County. District 3 communities include Gary, Lake Station, New Chicago, Hobart, Ainsworth, Merrillville and Crown Point. For more information on Sen. Rogers, her legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/s3.
NOTE: A photo of Sen. Earline Rogers can be downloaded at: https://www.indianasenatedemocrats.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Rogers.jpg