Arizona State University has just launched a three-year program to train more American Indian teachers. Teachers at reservation schools have been primarily non-Native American, an issue that has contributed to a cultural disconnect, reports Rhonda Bodfield of the Arizona Daily Star.
Educators hope the new program, funded with a $1.2 million grant from the U. S. Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education, will improve recruitment and retention of teachers. Reservation schools have had a hard time keeping teachers in part because of their remote locations, and also because they historically have not paid as well. School districts have struggled as a result. Indian Oasis Elementary Principal Jonathan Eddy told the paper, “It takes a lot of different elements to turn things around, but turnover definitely has an effect.”