It is no secret that there is a teacher shortage in Kentucky and across the United States. Hardin County Schools is providing an opportunity for its graduates to return to the district to teach.
Starting with the Class of 2023, HCS will provide up to $350 per class for graduates from Central Hardin High School, John Hardin High School and North Hardin School who have been admitted and are in good standing in a post-secondary teacher education program. If students carry 15 hours of teacher education classes per semester, the HCS contribution could be as much as $1750 and would cap at $2100 (18 hours of education classes).
Should HCS graduates desire to become certified in middle school or high school mathematics or science, HCS will provide up to $525 per class.
In return for the contribution, HCS and the graduate will enter a contractual agreement that will bring the HCS graduate back as an HCS teacher for at least three years.
“This ensures that we will employ the best and brightest teachers to educate our students by those who have a commitment to HCS and our community,” HCS Superintendent Teresa Morgan said. “We know that they will be tremendous because their foundation lies in the best school district in the Commonwealth. More importantly, our students will have great opportunities for success. These young men and women will bring the finest instructional strategies and implementation techniques to our classrooms.”
HCS graduates (effective with the Class of 2023) must provide proof they are enrolled in teacher education programs at any accredited post-secondary institution. However, the partnership between HCS and Western Kentucky University will pay even greater dividends for these graduates in question should they enroll at WKU.
WKU will match the HCS contribution. Therefore two-thirds of the tuition costs are covered for those not seeking certification in middle school or high school math and science and all of the tuition is covered for those who do seek certification in middle school or high school math and science. The HCS graduates must be admitted into and remain in good standing with the WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.
“Hardin County Schools is paving an amazing road,” CEBS Dean Corrine Murphy said. “We are deeply engaged regarding strategies that seek to bring bright minds into the teaching profession and this initiative is certainly a first of its kind. I applaud Mrs. Morgan, the HCS staff and the Hardin County Board of Education for taking the necessary steps to help remedy this serious teacher shortage. HCS is securing its own destiny during these difficult times.”
A similar program is already in place for the district’s classified employees. The funds for both initiatives come to the district by way of a federal grant.