Associated Press

Five Mississippi universities are receiving nearly $10 million from the state to cover tuition for aspiring educators.

The “Mississippi Teacher Residency Program” is part of an effort to address the state’s teacher shortage. There were 3,036 certified teacher vacancies in Mississippi’s public schools from Aug. 21 to Oct. 11, 2021, according to a Department of Education survey.

The grants will cover tuition and expenses for up to 240 people seeking a graduate degree in elementary and secondary education, and are being paid for with American Rescue Plan relief dollars.

The money is being split between Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University.

Anyone accepted into the program will receive full scholarships, testing fees, books, and mentor stipends.

The grant includes training alongside a mentor teacher, testing support, professional development and a commitment to teaching in a district serving low-income children, racial and ethnic minorities and children with disabilities.