New teacher scholarship aims to keep top students in Indiana

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A new college scholarship is designed to encourage top high school students to stay and teach in Indiana.

At Plainfield High School on Thursday, Gov. Mike Pence ceremonially signed a bill that will provide up to $7,500 a year to cover tuition for students who commit to teaching in Indiana for at least five years.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, authored the legislation creating the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship fund. Statehouse leaders hope the money will improve the quality of Indiana education.

“This bipartisan initiative encourages our best and brightest students to consider teaching in Indiana classrooms as a lifelong career,” Pence said in a written statement. “I appreciate the efforts of Speaker Bosma and the Indiana General Assembly in moving this measure as we look to attract top-performing students to the teaching profession in Indiana.”

Starting in fall 2017, up to 200 students will be selected to receive the scholarship. Eligible students must have graduated in the top 20 percent of their class or received a score in the top 20th percentile on their SAT or ACT exam.

After receiving the scholarship, students must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and be enrolled in at least 15 credit hours per semester. A single recipient cannot receive more than $30,000 in total.

The governor was joined at the ceremonial signing Thursday by bill co-authors Rep. Tony Cook, R–Cicero, and Rep. Justin Moed, D–Indianapolis. State Board of Education Board Member Gordon Hendry, Indiana State Teacher Association President Teresa Meredith, and Rep. Bob Behning, R –Indianapolis, were also a part of the signing.

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