SOUTH BEND — The South Bend Community School Corp. received a $5.5 million federal grant to help the district educate, recruit and retain teachers.

Qualified students will earn their bachelor’s degrees from Indiana University South Bend and have their master’s degrees paid for in exchange for a three-year commitment to teach in South Bend schools.

The grant is for five years and addresses a need to recruit and retain elementary, middle, high school and special education teachers in South Bend.

“IU South Bend is excited to partner with the South Bend Community School Corporation on this federal Teacher Quality Partnership Grant,” IUSB Chancellor Susan Elrod said in a news release. “This project demonstrates how two institutions can work together to address a critical need in the community — in this case providing a pool of high-quality educators committed to teaching in South Bend schools.”

South Bend has struggled to attract qualified teachers, which has forced administrators to turn to alternatives, namely filling jobs with people with emergency teaching certificates who aren’t qualified to teach in the grade and/ or subject levels to which they’re assigned.

A month into the school year, in September, South Bend had 16 teaching jobs still open while other local school districts, including School City of Mishawaka and Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp., were fully staffed.

As of Wednesday, 24 teaching positions, both full-time and part-time/ substitutes, were open in South Bend schools, according to the district’s website.
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