DES MOINES, Iowa — The winners of the Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship program were announced on Thursday. A total of 19 school districts will be receiving grant money to introduce this program in the 2022-2023 school year.

Some of those districts include Des Moines Independent Community School District, Johnston Community School District, Newton Community School District, and Waukee Community School District.

The grant program will provide high school students and adults the opportunity to earn a paraeducator certificate and associates degree while learning and working in the classroom. The grant will also allow paraeducators to earn their bachelor’s degree while working.

Governor Kim Reynolds said the program was truly remarkable.

“Through valuable partnerships, this program makes post-secondary educational opportunities available at the fingertips of high school students before graduating high school.” Gov. Reynolds said. “And we’re not done yet – this pilot program is just the beginning of what we hope will expand across the state.”

The Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Program grants will serve more than 1,000 paraeducators and students in 134 schools to hopefully create over 500 new paraeducators and teachers. A total of $45.6 million will be granted towards the program.

The grant funding was made available through the American Rescue Plan Act.