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Governor McKee, Commissioner Infante-Green, Rhode Island Department of Education Launch Educator Recruitment and Resource Hub 'Educate401'

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee, Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, and the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) today launched Educate401.org, an online recruitment and resource hub for current and prospective educators. The website highlights the best of Rhode Island and offers a clear and user-friendly certification roadmap that guides aspiring teachers through the process of becoming certified educators in Rhode Island. From application requirements to professional development opportunities, Educate401 is an invaluable tool for anyone considering a career in education. The initiative is particularly important as Rhode Island and the nation experience workforce challenges.

"We are thrilled to introduce this innovative platform to the education community nationwide. Rhode Island has a long history of excellence in education, and with Educate401, we are inviting educators and school staff from all corners of the country to join our impactful education community and help us reach our ambitious goals laid out in our Learn365RI initiative," said Governor McKee. "Whether you're an aspiring teacher or a longtime classroom professional, Educate401 is your gateway to a rewarding career in the beautiful state of Rhode Island."

"Our children deserve a high-quality education that helps them grow to their fullest potential, and that starts with attracting talented candidates from across the state and the nation to our schools," said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. "Education professionals of every discipline can find opportunities and resources through Educate401. This new platform will help both schools and educators better serve our students."

Educate401 features a dynamic job board that connects professionals with openings in Rhode Island's diverse and vibrant educational landscape. The job board offers a wide range of career opportunities in various educational settings. As of October 4, 31 LEAs are participating. RIDE is currently working with school districts to connect them to the platform.

"We are deeply grateful for all the educators across Rhode Island who are making a difference in lives every day," said Senate Committee on Education Chair Sandra Cano. "Educate401 is a great tool for current and prospective educators as it offers a statewide job board, helpful resources for candidates, and information detailing the offerings of Rhode Island. We encourage professionals interested in a rewarding career to consider the Ocean State as their destination for teaching."

"Rhode Island is an amazing place for educators to call home and work in," said House Committee on Education Chair Joseph McNamara. "We need the best and brightest supporting our students to ensure academic excellence, and Educate401 will help us in sharing why Rhode Island should be a top choice for educators. I invite current and former educators to consider serving the children of Rhode Island to use this resource."

Additionally, Educate401 provides an extensive library of resources, including information on Rhode Island's education system, professional organizations, and continuing education opportunities.

"For our children to succeed, we must ensure our classrooms and schools are filled with dedicated and talented professionals," said Chair of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education Patti DiCenso. "On behalf of the Council, I thank RIDE for its commitment to thinking outside of the box and preparing our current and prospective educators for success in Rhode Island."

"RIDE recognizes the critical role that educators play in shaping our future, and we are committed to ensuring our schools have the best talent available," said Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. "With Educate401, we are taking a proactive step to attract and retain educators in our state. We invite educators from across the nation and globe to explore opportunities Rhode Island has to offer and be part of our dynamic educational community."

The website also features four video profiles: Lisa Leaheey, North Providence High School teacher and 2023 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year; Anne-Marie Flaherty, school counselor at East Greenwich High School and 2022 Rhode Island School Counselor of the Year; Dr. Tulani Freeman, school psychologist at Nathan Bishop Middle School in Providence; and Miguel Pacheco, school social worker at Segue Institute for Learning in Central Falls. The videos aim to shed light into the lives of Rhode Island's school professionals. Videos giving prospective educators glimpses into various school districts will also be shared on Educate401.

"As a veteran classroom teacher and mentor to new educators, I am reminded daily of how rewarding a career in education can be and am thrilled to see continued efforts to bolster the workforce," said 2024 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year Aimée Couto. "Recruiting educators during a nationwide shortage is not just about filling vacancies; it's about investing in the future of our students and strength of our communities. Thank you to RIDE and our school systems for their participation in and promotion of Educate401."

Educate401 underpins a host of recruitment and retainment efforts at the state and local level. In May, RIDE hosted a multi-day, statewide job fair that featured more than 40 local education agencies, 10 higher education institutions and preparation programs, and five food and transportation providers. The job fair attracted more than 430 job candidates and resulted in 90 on-the-spot interviews.

Further, RIDE in 2020 implemented increased flexibility with 15 states and Washington, D.C. to make it easier for out-of-state educators to obtain Rhode Island certification. RIDE also instituted new certification pathways to provide more ways for people to get started in a career in education while completing what they need to finish earning their credentials.

Additionally, RIDE supported legislative efforts such as the Rhode Island Commerce Cooperation's Wavemaker Fellowship for public school teachers, loan forgiveness programs, housing incentives, and similar financial measures. RIDE's first cohort of its free, comprehensive Praxis preparation program is currently underway.

Within career and technical education (CTE), RIDE provides grant opportunities to school districts to support tuition costs for individuals leaving industry to enter teaching. RIDE also helped fund the creation of a one-year, RIDE-accredited CTE teacher certification program at Roger Williams University.

At the local level, school districts in Rhode Island are diligently working to recruit and retain educators and school staff. The Providence Public School District (PPSD), for example, has added signing, experience, and retention bonuses for employees up to $5,000, tuition reimbursements, and other incentives to better compete. A $3,000 relocation stipend is also available for educators joining the district from outside of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

To explore Educate401 and learn more, please visit www.educate401.org.


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