GSU, KSU win $22M in federal teaching grants

Georgia State’s education college received about $13.5 million to train teachers and keep them working in Georgia’s schools.

Kennesaw’s education college received about $8.8 million to develop an urban education emphasis in its undergraduate teaching programs.

The grants, announced by the U.S. Department of Education, will be paid out over five years.

Arlinda Eaton, dean of Kennesaw’s education college, said the university plans to work with Cobb County schools and will stress areas such as teachers for its “English to speakers of other languages” (ESOL) classes.

Georgia State’s project includes a focus on schools in Atlanta, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett with a high percentage of low-income students, associate dean Gwendolyn Benson said. The program will emphasize several subjects, including math, science and special education, she said.

Georgia has struggled to hire and retain teachers in the subject areas stressed by both colleges.

For example, about 43 percent of the state’s elementary special education teachers are not fully certified. State studies show about 30 percent of Georgia’s beginning teachers leave within five years.

Georgia State’s project includes a paid “resident teacher” program, similar to what is used in medicine. Resident teachers will take courses through the college and spend a year working in classrooms with experienced teachers who will serve as mentors, Benson said.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.