When a student graduates from medical school they don't just step out into the real world and begin practicing medicine. They go through a program called residency. In that program, they are mentored by experienced doctors and medical personnel to teach those young doctors how to practice their craft.

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education believes a similar program would help teachers across Louisiana as well. The BESE board recently approved $1.5 million in funding to create such a program in our state.

Department of Education Assistant Superintendent of Talent, Hanna Dietsch, told the Louisiana Radio Network that the program is slated to begin in 2018. It will require teacher candidates to complete one year of residency under a mentoring educator before beginning their own teaching career.

The bulk of the $1.5 million proposal will go to the state's universities.

As they redesign their preparation program to include full year teaching residencies and a competency based program design.

Part of the funds will provide $2,000 stipends to 233 teaching residents. The rest will be disseminated among mentors within the program.

For mentors, this is a $1,000 stipend to acknowledge the additional work they’re doing preparing teachers in new preparation programs.

The idea seems like a great one. There is no addition funding needed to cover the cost of the program. It will be funded by existing state and federal funds. The goal of the program appears to be quite clear. If our state produces better teachers then ultimately our state will produce better students and a more educated and equipped workforce for the future.