It's good to have some good news when it comes to education in our area and, if this all comes to pass, it will be very good for education in Lake Charles, indeed. It seems that the Calcasieu Parish School Board is in the running for a $50 million-plus grant that could help secure more certified teachers.

The Forging Outstanding Classrooms for Unified Success, or FOCUS, grant is one that Project Coordinator Kristin Brooks has proposed to the federal government.

According to Brooks:

"This grant will be wonderful for Calcasieu Parish in that it is focused on getting access to certified teachers in some of our schools we identify as having high, uncertified teacher rates and high (numbers of) economically disadvantaged students,"

Of course, this grant has to be approved, but. the school system would receive more than $50 million and School Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus explained how the money will be used.

"We'll use that money in a lot of different ways to provide incentives for things like student teachers to promote those student teachers going to school, for mentors to supervise those teachers and for incentives to transfer into those schools,"

Those involved say that, while the teachers may be selected from a great variety of universities, McNeese will no doubt benefit a great deal from the grant. Brooks says that McNeese has already written a ltter in support of the grant and that the university is already on board to filter teachers into area schools.

Brooks added: we can give these student teachers that $1,500 a month living stipend for the 10 months they would be employed with us, and then also be able to supply them with a job within one of our identified schools."

"We've gotten support from McNeese; they wrote a letter of support for the grant. They are on board with us to work with us and filter some teachers into our schools that we identified"

The U.S. Department of Education will announce in early October if Calcasieu will receive the grant. If awarded, the grant will be implemented immediately, and last until the end of September, 2021.

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