Valdosta State University receives $750K to tackle teacher shortage

VSU will be addressing the teacher shortage by offering scholarships to paraprofessionals.
VSU will be addressing the teacher shortage by offering scholarships to paraprofessionals.(Source: WALB)
Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 11:17 PM EST
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Representative Buddy Carter of Georgia’s 1st District secured funding for school districts dealing with the teacher shortage.

Valdosta State University has received $750,000 in federal funding to address the teacher shortage in rural areas. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, 8.9 million American students attend rural schools.

“VSU, our department, we’re thrilled at the opportunity. We will be able to use these funds for educating paraprofessionals and others that will really make a huge difference in the lives of schools and children. We are very thankful that the president and those who support saw that this was a need and that they could help in this need,” Debra Paine, department head of teacher education at VSU, said.

VSU plans to provide scholarships to paraprofessionals who wish to have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Some students say these scholarships could be life-changing.

“I think that’s awesome. If it’s going to benefit somebody that trying to become something that they’re not already, that money if it’s used the right way, can be something that’s really awesome,” J’Maica Frame- Cabell, a VSU student, said.

J'Maica is a student at VSU who says she thinks this program will benefit a lot of people.
J'Maica is a student at VSU who says she thinks this program will benefit a lot of people.(Source: WALB)

Debbie Paine says the ability to take these classes online and continue to work and support their family will help a lot of people out.

“We believe it will help with not only teacher burnout but also teacher retention. We know the past several years have been very difficult in education. So, anything that we can do as a teacher training program, to help in that area, we want to be able to do that,” Paine said.

VSU started as a teacher-training college in 1913. So, they say the fact that they’re still able to provide and support that mission in 2023 is truly amazing for them and their students.