State education program keeps future Rockland County teachers in the classroom

New York's multimillion-dollar education program aims to keep teachers inside the classroom in Rockland County.
A total of $120,000 was allocated to four teacher residents at Clarkstown Central School District through the Empire State Teacher Residency Program.
The money fully or partially funds master's degrees for teacher residents enrolled in the program. 
Graduate level K-12 teacher candidates get a two-year residency at a participating school.
The program also relieves the financial stress of paying for books, fees, resident wages, living expenses and more through stipends.
It's part of Gov. Kathy Hochul's initiative to strengthen the education workforce and address the shortage of teachers in the state.
"Teachers are an essential component in creating the workforce of the future, often being the first mentor to students in career exploration," said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon.
The money is funneled through the New York state Department of Labor to public school districts or Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
Anyone enrolled in the residency program registered with the New York State Education Department qualifies.
As part of the program, the prospective educators get real teaching experience through a mentor.
Teachers are given the opportunity to develop instructional and leadership skills.
A total of $4.8 million was budgeted for the second round of funding. By the end of the program, $30 million will be distributed to qualifying students across the state.
The money has helped 450 teacher residents pay for their education since the start of the program.
More awards will be announced on a rolling basis, according to Gov. Hochul's office.