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For Immediate Release
Friday, October 13, 2000
Contact:Darrell S. Pressley, 781-338-3126 or
Jonathan Palumbo, 781-338-3105

Massachusetts Recruits Around the Nation for Teachers, Offering $20,000 Bonuses

Malden - Two years ago, officials from the Massachusetts Department of Education started traveling across the country to recruit outstanding individuals into teaching with a $20,000 signing bonus. Now in its third year, the Massachusetts Signing Bonus Program for New Teachers is looking for up to 500 new teachers, and begins this year’s recruitment Monday at the University of North Carolina.

Massachusetts officials will hold an information session at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 308 Hanes Hall, on Monday, October 16 at 6:00 p.m.

The Massachusetts Signing Bonus Program for New Teachers is an aggressive campaign to attract mid-career professionals, recent college graduates and college seniors with backgrounds in math, science and foreign language into teaching in Massachusetts. No other state offers signing bonuses to new teachers.

Officials have traveled to college campuses and businesses from California to Florida, and Maine to Texas, holding information sessions for everyone interested. This year, they plan to visit at least 20 states, including North Carolina for the first time.

Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll said, "There is a strong need for teachers in the fields of science, math and foreign language. The signing bonus program was designed to help school districts find highly-qualified teachers in those areas. That is why we are recruiting at the University of North Carolina, because they have a high level of students who graduate in those high-need areas."

"There have been over 220 candidates who have successfully completed the program that are now teaching in Massachusetts public schools, and we hope to expand on that number this year," Commissioner Driscoll added.

The Massachusetts Signing Bonus Program for New Teachers is part of a comprehensive teacher incentive plan. With an endowment of $70 million, the Teacher Quality Enhancement Plan provides for a variety of incentives for veteran educators and prospective teachers of all ages to raise the quality of the teaching force.

In addition to the $20,000 signing bonus, recipients will also receive free admission into the Massachusetts Institute for New Teachers (MINT) summer training, an intensive seven-week teacher training program which includes 100 hours of student teaching and course work including methods of instruction, classroom management, and the use of technology. Candidates who successfully complete MINT receive state licensure. Over this past summer, Governor Paul Cellucci demonstrated his commitment to this program by visiting training teachers at three different sites.

At the information session, interested candidates will learn details of the program. Applicants need to meet at least one of the following elite criteria to be eligible for consideration: ranking in the top 10% of the graduating class; minimum of a 3.5 grade point average in the major; minimum of a 3.5 grade point average overall; ranking in the top tenth-percentile overall on a nationally recognized exam; or be nominated by the dean of the college or university they attend. All mid-career professionals are eligible and their work experience will be considered in the selection process.

Applicants to this program can receive one of three awards: a signing bonus and scholarship to the MINT; or a scholarship to attend the MINT; or admission to the MINT program.

In the first year of the program, there were 59 recipients of the signing bonus, from 10 states. They are teaching in 23 districts including Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Lynn, Lowell and Springfield.

In the second year of the program, there were 117 recipients of the signing bonus, from 12 states: Arizona (1), Connecticut (4), Florida (1), Maine (2), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (90), New Jersey (3), New Hampshire (1), New York (2), Pennsylvania (4), Rhode Island (4), Virginia (3), and one foreign country, Morocco.

Of the 117 Bonus recipients, 58% were mid-career professionals ages 30-54, entering teaching for the first time. They came from diverse backgrounds in fields such as biotechnology, engineering, law, financial management and television production. Thirty-eight percent were men, 62 percent were women, 13 percent were minorities, and 80 percent will be teaching in the high need areas of mathematics, science, foreign language and special education.

This year applications are being accepted on-line only, and are available at the Department's Teacher Quality Enhancement website.

Last Updated: October 13, 2000
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