Rep. Mike Harris, R-Waterford, sponsors legislation to help address Michigan’s teacher shortage – outlining a new program that would benefit education in the state for years to come.
The Future Educators program would provide college scholarships of up to $10,000 per academic year to students working toward their initial teacher certification.
“We want to provide kids in our K-12 schools with their best chance at success – and that requires good teachers,” Harris said. “Many districts across the state are having trouble filling teaching vacancies, leaving schools short-staffed and struggling to help students reach their full potential. This plan will help make becoming a teacher more affordable, and it comes with safeguards to ensure taxpayers get a good return on their investment.”
Students must be Michigan residents, have at least a 3.0 grade point average and take at least 24 credits a year to be eligible for scholarships.
Students awarded scholarships must commit to teach in Michigan schools for three to five years, depending on how long they receive the scholarships. If a student does not meet this service requirement or fails to finish the teacher certification program, the fellowship reverts to a no-interest loan which must be repaid within 10 years.
The legislation sponsored by Harris – House Bill 6378 – was recently referred to the House Appropriations Committee for further consideration. The bill provides an implementation outline for the grant program that will be funded through a budget measure previously approved by the Michigan Legislature.
“These shocking revelations set off alarm bells about Chair Witwer’s business ties and possible conflicts of interest, and they clearly illustrate the need for greater transparency and stronger ethical standards in Michigan government,” said Harris, R-Waterford.
“Countless Michiganders carry concealed weapons to defend themselves and their families, and unelected commissioners shouldn’t unilaterally take that right away in the Capitol that belongs to the people of our state,” said Harris, R-Waterford.