Illinois falls short in $20 million effort to develop 1,000 teachers

To address the low diversity in the teacher workforce, in 2005, Illinois committed $20 million to a Grown Your Own Teacher Initiative to develop 1,000 teachers. The program provided a pathway for parents, community leaders, or other school staff to become teachers. However, by 2015, only 80 graduates of the program were hired in local schools - many dropped out after borrowing tuition money with no requirement that they repay loans. Proponents highlight individual success stories and say the program needs more time to create meaningful change, while critics point to the program's discouraging statistics.

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