Teach Pine Bluff
The Educational Alliance is an ad hoc committee of GFPB, Inc. (Go Forward Pine Bluff) and consists of representatives from the education sectors within the City of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The Alliance’s purpose is to implement the L.E.A.P. (Leadership, Education, Accountability, Pipeline) initiative as recommended by the Education Pillar of Go Forward Pine Bluff. The L.E.A.P. strategies focus on: (1) developing primary and secondary education institutions that are academically and financially sound, and (2) improving the education options provided by our high schools and institutions of higher education to meet the specific needs of employers in Pine Bluff and surrounding areas.
Recognizing the immediate need to attract certified educators, the Educational Alliance elected to focus on establishing a quality teacher pipeline. TEACH Pine Bluff aims to enhance effectiveness in recruiting and retaining certified teachers. TEACH Pine Bluff supports teachers who want to work in Delta area schools and will incentivize that commitment. It is the consensus of the Alliance that an increase in the numbers of certified teachers will reverse the negative academic impact of long-term substitute teachers, stem the loss of practical teaching skills, and provide a pool of candidates to replace 45 to 65 teachers annually as a result of retirement, death, and attrition.
GFPB received a planning grant from the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) to increase the number of certified teachers in the area and implement 75% of the recommendations by July 2022. Each teacher receiving certification support is required to complete an 8 to 10-week intense institute to assist them in passing their licensure exam(s). Each teacher is assigned a Coach/Tutor, receives study materials, and reimbursement for the cost of their exam(s). This service is provided at no cost to the teachers. The effort’s success led WFF to fund the work for an additional two years through school year 2025 with funding for recruitment and retention included to support the certification efforts.
Click here to watch a video on just a few of the great Teach Pine Bluff success stories.