STATE OF VIRGINIA (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has announced an agreement with the Virginia Department of Labor that creates a new registered teacher apprentice program throughout the Commonwealth.

This new program will approve VDOE’s applications and allow schools to hire classroom aides, paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, and other unlicensed school employees. This will also create a mentored pathway for them to become fully licensed teachers.

Teacher apprentice programs expand the new teacher pipeline and open new career opportunities for school employees who may have considered full licensure and a teaching career out of reach,”

said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.

In November of 2022, VDOE awarded $143,00 in grant money to nine universities including Old Dominion University, Virginia State University, and Radford University to develop apprentice residency programs.

The VDOE says another round of grants is scheduled in 2023 that will support training for mentors, hiring new apprentices, and tuition assistance.