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Medford School District To Start Charging Its Student Teachers

MEDFORD, N.J. (AP) — A cash-strapped southern New Jersey school district has decided to start charging student teachers to work there.

Medford appears to be the first school district in the state to take such a policy.

It’s being criticized by the dean of the education school at nearby Rowan University.

Dean Carol Sharp says it would put too heavy a burden on students and it runs afoul of a traditional teacher-training partnership.

The charge is to be $1,200 for in-state student teachers and $1,500 for out-of-staters.

School officials tell the Courier-Post that there seems to be a backlash.

The district had 30 student teachers this year. It might not have any next year.

Information from: Courier-Post,

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • Brian Maloney

    Medford has been run and destroyed by GOP for too many years. Wake up people

  • Suzanne K

    ANOTHER example of how our great town is going down the drain. They are so worried about the budget cuts, that they are willing to risk the last of the help our teachers and students have. It’s FREE for heaven’s sake!!!!! All in the name of closing the budget gap.

  • Guess Who

    They’re getting free labor and that’s not good enough?

    I’m sure some other town will take this “burden” off their hands.

  • Josh M

    Schools should embrace student teachers! It’s “free” extra support for students in need. They should not be charging students to be student teachers! Student teachers can easily work with small groups, as well as the whole class (under the supervision of a certified teacher). This can also allow the classroom teacher to provide extra support to students in need, while the student teacher leads the class. Many universities return some of the “tuition” paid for student teaching back to to the cooperating teacher/district in the form of free tuition towards continuing education, or monetary compensation. Many (not all) internships in other fields are paid positions (albeit for a nominal salary), teaching is not one of those fields. It is during student teaching that many discover they are not cut out for teaching.

    Medford should be building relationships with their local universities! If they follow through with this policy, Medford deserves not to receive any student teachers next school year!

    Just an example of universities and schools working together: Nazareth College of Rochester (NY) works with local school districts to provide after school tutoring, special programs and opportunities for local teachers. They have also built a wonderful student teaching program. By the time graduates complete the program, they have done interacted with students at least 4 schools in multiple districts (in rural, suburban, and urban settings), in addition to 2 student teaching placements. Setting up all of these placements is no easy task, but by building relationships with area school districts over the years, they have shown that they are committed to developing educational opportunities in the surrounding areas. Local school districts take full advantage of the support they get through the college’s placements, and view student teachers as an extra resource (not an extra source of revenue), particularly during times of strict budgets.

  • D Edward D

    This is a tremendous idea. I’ve said for too long that secondary education teachers need to pay their dues to become quality educators. It’s way too easy to get a teaching job in this state and this is a great way to weed out those who shouldn’t teach.

    • Jenna

      By having student teachers pay to get teaching experience, you’re only assuring that those who teach have money, not that they’re of quality.

    • Duh Edwardo

      D (for dumb) Edward D (for dumber)….the story is about STUDENT TEACHERS….read the story DUMMY!!

  • Amanda

    i just completed my student teaching field work. It was worth 12 credits at my graduate school, each credit costing $1,250 per credit. I worked 35 hours per week, earned no money, paid huge tuition and now a school wants to charge students to work for free. disgusting.

  • Karin Meyer

    This is insane, it would only work if all the schools did it, now medford will only get the student teachers that couldn’t find anything else, therefore lowering the quality. Furthermore, they may have to hire people to do the work that the student teachers did costing even more. I have heard of paid internships, unpaid internships, but never anyone having to pay for their internship. Keep attacking teachers, and there will be no teachers!

  • Patricia Infante

    This is a ridiculous cost cutting measure. Isn’t there an educator who convince this hard headed business administrator that moststudent teachers give back far more than they cost to a district. Dumb.

  • john smithe

    Students pay for internships with other majors so why not with teaching?

    • Patricia Infante

      I wasn’t aware that there were fields that required students to pay for an internship. That surprises me. In these other majors you mention, are the “internships” required before one is legally eligible to apply for a job in their chosen field? And do colleges make the students pay tuition on top of the cost of an internship? My kids are in engineering and they have only had paid internships (although what I paid for summer room and board was more than they earned!).

    • Jessica

      What internships are your referring to that students have to pay for? My college (as well as all colleges in NJ w- teaching programs) require their students to pay Tuition, claiming that their student teaching experience is worth 10-12 credits depending on the university. So on top of paying for a semester of college they now have to pay extra for something that is REQUIRED? absurd.

      I’ve never heard of an ‘internship’ that requires students to pay. There are unpaid and paid internships in many fields, but when it’s required and already paid for at the university, there should not be an additional fee.

  • Howard Chud

    Though a poor student teacher or a poor cooperating teacher can take valuable learning time away from students, the process works if only the best teachers help new and future members of the profession. Medford is cutting its own throat but that is what schools do all the time. They act without thinking.

  • Elissa Williams

    Student teachers already pay for their student teaching experience, although the colleges they attend prefer to call it tuition. Not only that, but I can’t see how having student teachers costs the district anything. Medford deserves to lose their student teachers.

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