Grow Your Own Teacher Act

Summary: The Grow Your Own Teacher Act provides college scholarships to worthy low-income public school graduates who are committed to teach in their own school district’s high-need schools.

The Grow Your Own Teacher concept is based on Illinois statute, 110 ILCS 48 (2005), which uses a far more complicated scholarship process than the one below.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This Act shall be called the “Grow Your Own Teacher Act.”

SECTION 2. PURPOSE

The Grow Your Own Teacher program is intended to prepare highly skilled, committed teachers who will teach in high-poverty schools and who will remain in these schools for substantial periods of time.

SECTION 3. GROW YOUR OWN TEACHER

After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:

(A) PROGRAM CREATED – There is established a Grow Your Own Teacher college scholarship program intended to provide four-year college scholarships and institutional support to low-income high school seniors who are committed to teach in their school district’s high-need public schools.

(B) SCHOLARSHIP AND SERVICE OBLIGATION

1. The Grow Your Own Teacher program shall provide four-year scholarships of $7,500 per year to select high school seniors who:

(a) Graduated from a public high school in this [state/city/county];

(b) Were eligible for free or reduced price lunch throughout their four years of high school; and

(c) Commit to, within six years after college graduation, teach for four years at a public school:

(1) where at least fifty percent of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch; and

(2) which is in the same school district from which they graduated.

2. The scholarships shall be provided through a competitive application process. To select scholarship recipients, the [state/city/county] Board of Education shall designate a committee of highly-qualified people who reflect the distribution and diversity of the district’s high-poverty schools.

3. In the event that any scholarship recipient fails or refuses to comply with the teaching obligation under subsection (1), the sum of the amounts of any scholarships received by such recipient shall be converted to a loan and be subject to repayment with interest. The interest will accrue from the date of the initial scholarship award, in accordance with terms and conditions specified by the administrator organization. The scholarship administrator may establish provisions for partial forgiveness of the loan if the recipient partially but does not fully fulfill his or her teaching obligation.

(C) APPROPRIATIONS
The number of scholarships available each year will be based upon an annual appropriation by the [legislature/council/commission].

(D) REGULATIONS

The Board of Education shall develop rules, guidelines, application forms and application procedures as needed to carry out its responsibilities under this Act.

SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE

This law shall become effective on July 1, 20XX.

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