A unique partnership between Teach NYS and two higher education institutions will enable teachers at Teach NYS member schools to obtain Master’s in Education degrees at significantly reduced fees, while helping to secure more government funding for their respective schools.
Beginning this fall, Grades 3 to 12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teachers from over 80 Teach NYS member schools will be eligible to participate in SUNY Empire and Gratz College’s Master’s in Education programs at a final cost of under $10,000 each — representing a savings of up to 40 percent in tuition depending on teachers’ chosen institution. Teachers will also benefit from waived application, credential, and student fees. The programs will feature customized STEM components and when teachers complete either M.Ed. program, their employing nonpublic schools will be eligible for reimbursement of their salaries under the NYSED (New York State Education Department) Mathematics, Science, & Technology Teachers in Religious & Independent Schools Grant (MST).
Teach NYS is a division of the Teach Coalition, a non-partisan grassroots organization that advocates for equitable government funding, security and quality education for nonpublic schools, including 90 percent of yeshivas and day schools nationwide. Through the activism of close to 40,000 community advocates, Teach Coalition advocates for resources in areas such as STEM, Security, Universal Pre-K, Special Education, K-12 scholarships, and more.
“This partnership helps to expand, elevate and enhance the STEM program’s impact on school and families,” says Teach Coalition Founder Maury Litwack.
According to Teach NYS Associate Director of Government Programs Adam Katz, some New York State schools were repaid up to $40,000 for each full-time teacher for the 2020-21 school year. Reimbursements are based on many factors, he notes, and will continue to grow thanks to Teach NYS’s ongoing advocacy for increased annual funding.
“The MST/STEM program is a game-changer for our schools,” says Katz. “We are happy to help schools benefit even more from it thanks to these partnerships. We’re proud to be able to partner with two premier institutions to offer our member schools simple, affordable paths to increase their government funding, while at the same time, elevating their quality of education.”
In 2017, Teach NYS led an advocacy campaign with thousands of parents and students, and worked alongside bipartisan policymakers in Albany to create the MST program. Since this program’s inception, Teach NYS has successfully advocated for $251 million in MST funds for NYS nonpublic schools, including $58 million for the 2022-23 school year, and $73 million expected for 2023-24.
According to Teach NYS, a greater number of schools are applying for more teachers each year, totaling over 2,000 teachers last year. Several Teach NYS-member schools have received over $1 million each in reimbursements since 2017, which they have utilized to recruit and retain top teachers and expand STEM course offerings.
“This partnership represents a sacred synergy of two institutions that see the supreme value in education and teacher empowerment,” says Gratz College President Zev Eleff. “Both Teach NYS and Gratz College are deeply invested in supporting teachers and student learning.”
SUNY Empire Assistant Dean of School for Graduate Studies Tara Pepis notes, “We are excited to partner with Teach NYS to support their work in solving the tuition crisis facing families throughout New York State.”
David Merel, a teacher and STEM and IT Coordinator at Westchester Hebrew High School, is eager to take advantage of the opportunity, and trusts his colleagues will be too.
“As both a teacher and administrator at a Teach NYS-member school, I am so excited about these partnerships and enrolling myself and my teachers in a program,” he says. “This is a clever solution that helps all member schools tremendously.”
For more information, visit www.teachcoalition.org/