DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — A few Iowa school districts in Siouxland will be receiving millions of dollars for an educator apprenticeship program to help create more paraeducators and teachers in the state.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds made the announcement Thursday morning. The grants are part of the Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Program, which is meant to earn credentials all while learning and working in the classroom. Participating high school students and adults earn a paraeducator certificate and associate’s degree. Paraeducators will be able to earn their bachelor’s degrees while learning and working in the classroom. A total of $45.6 million will be granted to 19 districts with more than 100 schools for 2022.

Among the winners were some in Siouxland, including Sioux City, Cherokee, Storm Lake, and MOC-Floyd Valley. Grants range from nearly $500,00 to more than $6 million. The full list of the school districts and the awards they will receive can be found below.

  • Cherokee – $6,376,113
    • Algona/Audubon/Bedford/Bellevue/CalamusWheatland/Greene/Central Decatur/CAM/Coon Rapids-Bayard/Eagle Grove/East Mills/East Marshall/Edgewood-Colesburg/Fairfield/ Glenwood/Griswold/Harlan/Kingsley-Pierson/ Knoxville/Marshalltown/Mt. Ayr/Nodaway Valley/Northeast/Osage/Riceville/River Valley/Sidney/South Page/Westwood
  • MOC-Floyd Valley – $6,282,470
    • Boyden-Hull/Central Lyon/Emmetsburg/George-Little Rock/Okoboji/Sheldon/Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn/Rock Valley/Sibley-Ocheyedan/Sioux Center/South O’Brien/West Lyon/West Sioux
  • Sioux City – $1,225,844
  • Storm Lake – $6,199,094
    • Newell-Fonda/Sioux Central/Southeast Valley/Denison/ Woodbine/Albert City-Truesdale/Spencer
  • AHSTW – $1,656,907
    • Atlantic/Central Decatur/Clarinda/East Mills/ExiraElk Horn-Kimballton/ Fremont-Mills/Glenwood/ Griswold/Harlan/IKM-Manning/Lamoni/Lenox/ Logan-Magnolia/Missouri Valley/Riverside/ Sidney/South Page/Stanton/ Treynor/Tri-Center/ Woodbine
  • Burlington – $485,792
  • Cedar Falls – $719,452
  • Council Bluffs – $709,879
  • Davenport – $3,700,848
    • Clinton/Bettendorf/Muscatine/North Scott/ Pleasant Valley/West Liberty
  • Des Moines – $1,125,215
  • Johnston – $3,681,641
    • Urbandale/West Des Moines/Dallas Center-Grimes
  • Linn-Mar – $3,468,848
  • Marion – $2,920,899
    • Alburnett/Anamosa/Benton/Cedar Rapids/Center PointUrbana/Tipton/English Valleys/Highland/Iowa City/Iowa Valley/Mid-Prairie/Monticello/Mount Vernon/North Cedar
  • Marshalltown – $1,236,870
    • Grinnell/BCLUS/Eldora-New Providence/West Marshall/ East Marshall/ Iowa Falls/Montezuma/GMG
  • Newton – $1,103,269
    • Baxter/Colfax-Mingo/Lynnville-Sully/Prairie City-Monroe
  • Oskaloosa – $2,297,510
    • Cardinal/Wapello/Keokuk/Danville/Chariton/Seymour/ Moravia/Albia/Van Buren/WACO/Eddyville-BlakesburgFremont/Fort Madison/Pekin/Central Lee/Sigourney/West Burlington/ Montezuma/Highland/Keota
  • Perry – $745,557
  • Winterset – $561,726
    • Van Meter/Creston/Interstate 35
  • Waukee – $1,145,826

Reynolds said there was an “overwhelming response” for the grant opportunity and shows the passion for students of paraeducators.

“Through valuable partnerships, this program makes post-secondary educational opportunities available at the fingertips of high school students before graduating high school,” Reynolds said. “And, we’re not done yet–this pilot program is just the beginning of what we hope will expand across the state.”

Officials said the programs will create more than 500 new paraeducators and 500 new teachers.

“Growing our teacher and paraeducator talent pipeline helps ensure Iowa students have access to a world-class education today and into the future,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “I commend these school districts and postsecondary partners for their innovative plans to start registered apprenticeships that will inspire and support the next generation of educators in Iowa communities.”

Beth Townsend, the director of Iowa Workforce Development, said the grant will create more opportunities for those who might not otherwise believe a career in education is possible.

“Registered Apprenticeships have long been a crucial tool in developing our workforce,” Townsend. It is incredibly exciting to see this model embraced by educators to create a pipeline for teachers and paraeducators and demonstrates that apprenticeships can be created for almost any occupation in any industry.”

Funding is made available through the American Rescue Plan Act. The program will begin this fall during the 2022-2023 school year. Learn more about the pilot program by clicking here.