Department of Education Grant

Marion Independent School District selected for new Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Program

Gov. Reynolds awards $45.6 million in competitive grants to grow Iowa’s educator talent pipeline

Marion Independent School District, in partnership with Alburnett CSD, Anamosa CSD, Benton
CSD, Cedar Rapids CSD, Center Point-Urbana CSD, English Valleys CSD, Highland CSD,
Iowa City CSD, Iowa Valley CSD, Mid-Prairie CSD, Monticello CSD, Mount Vernon CSD, North
Cedar CSD, and Tipton CSD, was awarded a $2,920,899 competitive grant as part of Gov.
Reynolds’ new Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Program to grow
Iowa’s educator talent pipeline and support expansion of registered apprenticeships in schools
across the state. The districts listed above will partner with Grant Wood AEA, serving as the
fiscal agent, as well as 4 partner universities: Iowa State University, The University of Dubuque,
The University of Iowa, and William Penn University.

This innovative program will provide opportunities for adult paraeducators to earn their
bachelor’s degree all while working in the classroom as a paraeducator, and taking courses
towards their education degree. School districts are partnering with an eligible four-year college
or university to provide the required education.

The Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Program awards are part of a
broad commitment to help more Iowans pursue careers in education. The program came out of
recommendations from the Task Force on Growing a Diverse K-12 Teacher Base, which the
Iowa Legislature called for during the 2021 session. The Task Force examined potential barriers
to entering the teaching profession, with an emphasis on those underrepresented in the
teaching force, and submitted its final report to Gov. Reynolds and the General Assembly last

The Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship grants drew 26 applications. Of
those, 19 districts were granted awards totaling over $45.6 million, which will serve more than
1,000 paraeducators and students in 134 schools, ultimately creating over 500 new
paraeducators and 500 new teachers. Funding for these one-time grant awards is provided
through the state’s allocation of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds. Recipients will
regularly report their progress throughout the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years.