Teachers are one of Indiana's most critical resources, touching the lives of thousands of students and shaping the future of our state. Unfortunately, we know from recent teacher licensing data that fewer and fewer Hoosiers are choosing the teaching profession. This session we seized the opportunity to incentivize the best and brightest Hoosier students to enter and stay in Indiana classrooms.
The Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship, which was signed into law on March 22, will begin issuing scholarships in the fall of 2017. Each year, a maximum of 200 graduating high school students will be awarded scholarships to receive up to $30,000 over four years for tuition to attend accredited colleges and universities in Indiana. Eligible students must have demonstrated success in academics, including high grades and SAT/ACT scores and well-rounded activity participation. Scholarship recipients will commit to teaching for at least five years in Hoosier public or private classrooms.
This legislation received nearly unanimous support in both chambers of the General Assembly. Most importantly, lawmakers appropriated $10.5 million for the program in a non-budget year to establish, fund and promote the scholarships – a clear signal that our state’s policymakers are committed to supporting our schools, educators and students.
This proposal was truly a bipartisan effort with input and broad-based support from lawmakers, education experts and organizations including the Indiana Department of Education, Indiana Chamber, a coalition of Indiana colleges and universities, Indiana State Teachers Association, the Indiana Catholic Conference and Stand for Children.
We believe this program reflects the way Hoosiers tackle our toughest problems – with common sense solutions. Working together, we came up with a plan that will have a dramatic effect on the future of K-12 education.
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), author of House Enrolled Act 1002
Gordon Hendry, Democratic member of the Indiana State Board of Education