Teach Arkansas Initiative Addresses Teacher Shortage With Tools to Guide Arkansas to the Classroom
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 14, 2022) – Many Arkansas schools are facing severe teacher shortages that impact their ability to provide a high-quality education to every student. To encourage more Arkansans to enter the teaching profession and highlight various pathways and financial incentives to become a teacher, the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education and Forward Arkansas, a statewide education nonprofit, have rebranded and launched the Teach Arkansas campaign.
“All Arkansans agree that our students deserve a quality education,” ADE Secretary Johnny Key said. “For this to become a reality, schools across the state must be fully staffed with highly-qualified teachers. Teach Arkansas aims to encourage existing teachers to continue their careers while inspiring current high school and college students and professionals in other fields to join them in shaping the lives of our state’s future leaders. Together we can grow tomorrow, today.”
As part of the rebrand, a new website – TeachArkansas.org – was developed, which provides current and future teachers an easily-accessible hub for career resources. At the site, current teachers can find professional development opportunities to increase their existing skills and income, current high school and college students can learn how to enter the teaching profession, and potential career changers can learn about affordable pathways to the classroom. In many cases, teacher candidates can obtain a four-year degree plus teaching license at no cost to them!
In addition to a new website, one-on-one coaching with professionals trained in guiding current and future teachers through paths to licensure or career advancement also are available. Career advisors’ contact information can be accessed through TeachArkansas.org.
“Teach Arkansas makes it easier than ever before for current teachers to pinpoint opportunities for career advancement and for those interested in becoming teachers to identify paths to the classroom that work for them and financial incentives and career coaching to help them get there,” said Ben Kutylo, executive director of Forward Arkansas.
Additional resources, including a debt-free tuition calculator and a “choose your path to teacher licensure” tool, are available at TeachArkansas.org.