Louisiana has received a $67 million federal grant to better prepare new teachers and provide more support for rural school districts. Assistant Talent Superintendent Hannah Dietsch says much of the grant money will go towards making sure teachers are prepared for the classroom before they begin their careers in education.

The money will be dispersed among 16 rural school systems, reaching a total of 137 schools as part of an effort to better prepare educators. Dietsch says the state is seeking to implement a yearlong residency model for teachers breaking into the classroom.

“Every teacher has a full year of practice before they start their service in the classroom, much like medical doctors do, architects, and other professions,” Dietsch said.

The grant will also go towards opportunities and assistance for rural districts to attract and retain effective teachers. Dietsch says Louisiana Department of Education is one of 13 organizations to be awarded the federal Teacher Incentive Fund grant.

“We’re just thrilled to be working with these rural parishes to strengthen the education profession, build on existing efforts, and really think this will be a huge boost,” Dietsch said.