BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – With a national teacher shortage causing school districts to ramp up
recruiting efforts, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS) is proposing a new pipeline program, making the path to a teaching profession faster than ever.

“We’ve had a lot of sets of challenges with the teaching profession in terms of retaining folks, recruiting, those things,” said EBR schools Superintendent Sito Narcisse.

Like much of the country, the teacher shortage in EBR is critical.

“We’ve introduced a new model to the city called focus choice schools, and these are schools that are small theme-based schools specifically that focus on industry and this industry would be teaching,” said Narcisse. 

The new school would be on the Southern University campus for students in 6th to 12th grade, providing them the opportunity to earn up to 60 hours of college credit. Narcisse believes it’s important to create a pathway for interest early on. 

“I think if we create opportunity and create and teach kids in our workforce now here in those jobs, they’ll be set to want to stay here,” said Narcisse.

By graduation, the program would position students halfway to a teaching degree. Narcisse says this is about getting ahead to address the teacher shortage long-term.  

“We think it’s all about advantages, and more importantly it saves parents money which is the key thing, but what’s important to us is that everyone has access, it’s all about access and opportunities to be successful,” said Narcisse.

The proposal for the new school still needs approval from both the school board and the Southern University Board of Supervisors before it can move forward.