High school students in Newark teachers program offered stipend to complete their training
High school students in Newark who are serious about becoming teachers one day will be getting a major incentive to stay the course.
The president of the American Federation of Teachers announced on Monday that each student in the teachers program at East Side High School will receive a stipend.
“Every one of you – everyone will have a $1,200 stipend for the spring and $2,500 for the summer semester,” said Randi Weingarten.
One such student is junior Zeana Fortes.
“This stipend will really be an amazing opportunity for kids who are not able to work and take classes. It’ll be a burden and weight lifted off their shoulders,” Fortes says.
Fortes is part of the Teacher Academy, which means in addition to her schoolwork, she is also taking courses at Montclair State University. It is commonly known as dual enrollment.
“I take two classes. I take health and sociology,” Fortes says.
The hope is that the students will stay in the program, get their degree and then return to Newark to teach. It aims to address the teacher shortage in Newark and nationwide. There are currently 110 teacher vacancies in the Newark School District.
Newark School Superintendent Roger Leon also told all 40 students in the program that he will guarantee them a job offer if they complete the program and get their degree.
“Four years after that, so in 2027, I expect to see you all back here in Newark,” he said.
Between the academy, stipend and enticement of a teaching job, union leaders say this is how they foster homegrown talent and lessen the teacher shortage.
Leon is an example of that homegrown talent. He was born and raised in Newark and returned to Newark to teach after attending Rutgers University.