The Department of Education has granted $3 million to Montana State University for recruiting, training and mentoring educators to teach in rural Montana. The money has been matched by almost a dozen partners and will fund a 5-year project "Addressing Rural Recruitment and Retention in Montana." Principal investigator Ann Ewbank said, in a news release, "Our common goal is to ensure that every student, from Broadus to Lolo, and from Scobey to Troy, has access to highly effective educators... When rural schools thrive, Montana thrives."

The Bozeman school's Department of Education will educate 18 teachers during the first year in a Master of Arts program and then will work with 30 teacher residents for the next two years for a total of 78 teachers. The program is set up for 12 months for secondary teachers and 15 months for those teaching kindergarten through 12th grade. It includes extensive follow-up support in the first years of actual teaching. The funding will pay for students' tuition and fees and provide a living wage stipend. To qualify, students must commit to teaching for at least three years in a high-needs, rural Montana school. The program also will help support school principals, superintendents and school boards, working with the School Administrators of Montana and the Montana School Boards Association.

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