Reducing Financial Barriers for Aspiring Teachers, Paraprofessionals and School Bus Drivers

The State of Minnesota is offering immediate financial incentives to support aspiring paraprofessionals and bus drivers and new teachers. 

The State of Minnesota is supporting over 1,000 aspiring paraprofessionals by paying for approved exams (ParaPro or ParaEducator Online) that are required to be instructional paraprofessionals in Title I programs. MDE is finishing up contracts with dozens of local testing sites to offer these exams at no cost.

Additionally, MDE is announcing financial support for new teachers by providing a stipend to all teachers who received their first professional teaching license in the Fall of 2021 to help cover licensing and exam fees. MDE will contact eligible teachers directly to process the stipends.

Finally, MDE is helping to alleviate school bus driver shortages by paying for 1,000 people to take the Commercial Driver’s License exam and the cost of their school bus endorsement fee. These funds will be provided as a reimbursement to bus drivers who have successfully completed their bus drivers certification and been hired by a school or school district. Each applicant must certify to the agency that they have incurred the certification costs and been hired by a school or school district

For assistance with questions about the paraprofessional exams or new teacher stipends, contact Tyler Livingston. For assistance with questions about the bus driver exam, contact Andre Prahl.