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Niagara Falls City School District partners with Niagara University to recruit more substitute teachers

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Posted at 4:59 PM, Jan 10, 2023

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Niagara Falls City School District partners with Niagara University to recruit more substitute teachers to combat the district’s teacher shortage.

Superintendent Mark Laurrie tells 7 News reporter Yoselin Person the district received a residency teacher grant from the Department of Labor.

“I’m very hopeful this is going to make a dent into the lack of substitute teachers that we’re experiencing here in Niagara Falls and across of Western New York,” Laurrie says.

Laurrie says partnering with Niagara University helps with easing the number of expected retirements in the coming years.

A substitute teacher who graduated from the school in 2021 tells 7 News the partnership with the district is a smart move.

“I think that’s amazing, I graduated from Niagara University and the pathway that they lead you to teaching anywhere is really good,” says Ahmari Jenkins, a kindergarten substitute teacher at Cataract Elementary School.

25 students majoring in teaching will receive $30,000 which can be used for tuition reduction.

“It could be used for the districts to pay for their uncertified salary rate which is $135 a day they’ll make,” Laurrie says.

Others say the initiative will help with students’ academic performances.

“Students' performances maybe a little bit lower than we would typically be used to just by what I’ve seen,” says Anthony Forcucci, a teacher assistant at Cataract Elementary School. “I think with more teachers being available we can close the gap on that.”

The residency teacher grant will begin in the fall of this year.