LANSING — State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) introduced legislation today as part of the “Teachers for Michigan” education plan — a 21st-century overhaul of the state’s K-12 schools — designed to prepare the best, attract the brightest and retain the finest Michigan educators. House and Senate Democrats held a press conference today to announce the bills.

“As a former teacher, I know how crucial it is for our students to have the best teachers so they can get a great education and be on the path to success,” Camilleri said. “I also know that not nearly enough of our students are choosing to join the teaching profession, and we have to do more to recruit talented individuals into our classrooms who can support student success.”

Camilleri’s bill creates an annual program that will encourage high school students in underrepresented groups to pursue teaching careers. The program would also include research about the successful activities or programs that recruit underrepresented groups for teacher education. Students who participate in the program would receive a $500 stipend for their attendance.

“Students learn best when they have teachers who come from diverse backgrounds. For students of color, it’s important to have teachers who look like them, share their cultural experience, and can be a model of what is possible,” Camilleri said. “My bill would create a pipeline of diverse talent by encouraging and preparing high school students from these groups to pursue a teaching career. It’s important that we not only create more opportunities and cultivate teaching talent early, but also that we help our schools become more supportive learning environments for all students.”