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Closer Look Shows Illinois Teacher-Training Program Costly

It sounds like something that would pop up on a math test: A teacher-training program gets $19 million in state aid. Over six years, it produces only 70 teachers. How much has the state spent for each teacher so far?

The answer: More than $271,000 each.

While that appears to be awfully expensive, advocates of the Grow Your Own Teachers program insist those numbers are misleading. The way they see it, Illinois put money into a long-term investment that's on the verge of paying off with highly motivated teachers.

The latest state budget includes $1 million for the program, down from $2.5 million a year earlier. But critics hope this is the last time it gets any state support. Rep. Chapin Rose calls the program a waste of money.

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