An $8 million U.S. Department of Education grant will create a site-based teacher program that will ultimately put 60 highly qualified math and science teachers in Central Louisiana high schools within five years.
The Central Louisiana Academic Residency for Teachers, called CART, will take qualified college graduates and pay their tuition as they pursue a Master of Natural Science degree. In turn, the residents will teach in Central Louisiana high schools as part of their graduate studies, and for another three years after they receive their diploma.
The Rapides Foundation conceptualized the CART project to help Central Louisiana school districts with limited resources offer rigorous education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
It approached LSU, which officially submitted the $8 million federal Teacher Quality Partnership grant that will fund the project. The Rapides Foundation’s partners in this five-year endeavor are The Orchard Foundation, LSU, LSU Alexandria and the public Central Louisiana school districts of Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon and Winn parishes.
The CART program is designed to increase student achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM, in Central Louisiana high schools by improving the quality and quantity of perspective new teachers.
“Research has proven that a strong background in STEM fields leads to more opportunities for our students,” said Joe Rosier, president and CEO of The Rapides Foundation. ”Our foundation maintains a strong commitment to improving the lives of the people in Cenla, and building a better educational system for our youth builds a more solid foundation for the future of this area.”