New York State Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a new $30 million fund aiming to increase the state’s teacher residency program.
The Empire State Teaching Residency program will subsidize the expected Master’s degree programs for graduate-level K-12 teachers, creating a two-year period of funding matching at both public and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services for teaching candidates.
“With the tremendous responsibility of inspiring and shaping the minds of younger generations, New York’s teachers deserve to be set up for success,” Governor Hochul said on Oct. 24. “This investment will ensure new teachers have the mentorship and support to adapt to a challenging and ever-changing field. New Yorkers deserve the best education, and our teachers are essential in providing that.”
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State estimated that about 180,000 teachers would be needed in the coming decade to address learning and education discrepancies. The state’s student population is also expected to increase by over 61,000 in the next ten years and the strain on the state’s education system is expected to put immense pressure on currently existing educators.
Teaching residency programs are traditionally programs in which a new teacher will learn under a mentor and will be given real hands-on experience under the supervision of an established educator. These residency programs are shown to increase teacher retention rates dramatically and also normally leads to higher student success due to higher teacher retention and access to resources.
“Giving aspiring teachers an in-depth opportunity to learn on the job from high-quality mentor teachers and develop connections with students is key to setting future educators up for success,” said New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallota. “As we work to attract more people to our profession, this program shows that New York is dedicated to reversing staff shortages, helping diversify the education workforce and giving staff the tools they’ll need to teach and mentor their own students.”
The new program will be supported by both the State and City University of New York as well as private college and university partnerships. Teaching candidates will receive reduced or free tuition, wages, stipends and fringe benefits, as well as books and other materials.
Other leaders praised the governor for her commitment to educators and student communities.
“As the teaching profession has evolved, our colleges and universities have expanded programs and increased support to ensure graduates’ success,” said SUNY interim chancellor Deborah F. Stanley. “Last year alone, about 7,500 SUNY students were awarded teacher certificates. More are needed, and from all backgrounds, as we know students who have teachers who look like them and share their life experience have better outcomes. We applaud Governor Hochul for her commitment to education and are proud of SUNY’s contribution to the new residency program.”