Article - Education
(a) In this section, “outreach program” means a comprehensive recruitment and outreach program designed to encourage the top 25% of high school students from each local school system to consider pursuing a Maryland professional teacher’s certificate.
(b) The Department, in collaboration with teacher preparation programs at institutions of higher education, county boards, teachers, and other interested stakeholders, shall establish:
(1) An outreach program within the Department; and
(2) A digital recruitment platform aimed at encouraging individuals to enter the teaching profession in Maryland.
(c) The outreach program and digital recruitment platform shall make use of a combination of free public service media and paid media, online resources, e–mail, and social media to implement a statewide marketing campaign to:
(1) Improve the public perception of the teaching profession and encourage individuals to pursue a Maryland professional teacher’s certificate by:
(i) Gathering contact information of interested individuals and providing the individuals with information about the teaching profession;
(ii) Engaging prospective teachers with messaging that cultivates interest in the profession;
(iii) Creating opportunities for prospective teachers to communicate with role model teachers through a “Talk to a Teacher” program;
(iv) Connecting prospective teachers with opportunities for hands–on teaching experiences;
(v) Assisting prospective teachers in learning the certification process for becoming a teacher; and
(vi) Connecting prospective teachers with teacher preparation programs at institutions of higher education in the State;
(2) Provide information to increase awareness of available incentives for individuals who pursue a Maryland professional teacher’s certificate, including the Teaching Fellows for Maryland scholarship program established under Title 18, Subtitle 22 of this article; and
(3) Provide information to increase awareness of the opportunity gaps that exist in various schools and the racial disparities between the student demographics and teaching population.
(d) (1) The outreach program and digital recruitment platform shall focus recruitment efforts on:
(i) Individuals from ethnic, racial, gender, and other demographic groups that are underrepresented in the teaching profession in Maryland and within teacher shortage fields; and
(ii) Teacher shortage fields identified by the Department.
(2) (i) The Department shall establish a steering committee that includes individuals from ethnic, racial, gender, and other demographic groups and that includes both faculty and student representatives of historically black colleges and universities and other institutions of higher education.
(ii) The Department may not implement the requirements of this subsection until full consultation with the steering committee has taken place.
(3) The outreach program and digital recruitment platform shall include marketing efforts to counselors and career centers at high schools and institutions of higher education in the State.
(e) The Governor shall appropriate at least $250,000 in the annual State budget for the Department to implement the requirements of this section.