From the University of Wisconsin-Madison:
…A $5 million gift from Susan and James Patterson is allowing the School to extend the Teacher Pledge program and make it available through the 2026-27 academic year. This donor-funded initiative pays the equivalent of in-state tuition and fees, testing, and licensing costs for students enrolled in one of the School’s teacher preparation programs. In return, graduates “pledge” to teach for three or four years…in Wisconsin. Read more here.
Additional context from IRG Senior Research Director Quinton Klabon:
- This is unambiguously wonderful for educators. The economics of becoming a teacher do not work; good pay (with great benefits) does not cover 4 years of college debt, and 44% of Wisconsin teachers have a master’s, too.
- However, the easy, shortsighted, and expensive way to fix things is to subsidize them. We know that teacher preparation is not high in quality, either.
- A massive story in Education Week discussed “teacher apprenticeships” as an alternative. Future teachers stay in college classrooms just long enough to learn their subject material and classroom management, then get live experience in classrooms for years. This decreases tuition and debt, increases quality, and diversifies the workforce in gender, income, and race.