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Two Michigan Senators introduce bills aimed at addressing state’s teacher shortage

Student photos capture the details of Ms. D-B's classroom.
Student photos capture the details of Ms. D-B's classroom.

Package of bills designed to reverse teaching employment trend.

The Michigan Education Association and American Federation of Teachers commissioned a survey conducted by Public Policy Associates. Released in 2020, it reveals teacher certificates in Michigan declined 25% between 2013 and 2018.

Two Democrats, Michigan Senator Dayna Polehanki of Livonia and Senator Winnie Brinks from Grand Rapids are introducing a package of bills to reverse teaching employment trend, including early retirement, exacerbated by the pandemic.

There are a dozen bills. At the top of the list, The Student Teacher Stipend Act. Teachers could receive up to $9,600 for service as a student teacher. Those student teachers could also be reimbursed through a grant for childcare up to $10,000. There’s a grant program to cover the cost of teacher professional development and a loan repayment program for certified college graduates employed in a school.

Senator Brinks said, “By supporting new teachers and recruiting new prospects to the field as part of a future-focused strategy, we can strengthen our schools and empower our teachers to do what they do best.”

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.