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‘UnPHILtered’: Butler University offers program amid Indiana teacher shortage

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Butler University is launching a program to help address Indiana’s teacher shortage.

According to the Indiana Department of Education, more than 2,000 teacher openings exist across the state as kids headed back to the classroom for the new school year.

The program, called Teacher-Led, Teacher-Education, is designed to support new teachers, alternatively credentialed teachers, emergency-permitted teachers, or long-term substitute teachers with training to succeed in the classroom. 

According to the Indiana Commission of Higher Education, more than 4,400 emergency teaching permits and more than 11,500 emergency teacher permits were issued during the 2020-2021 school year. 

Shelly Furuness, a professor of education at Butler, told News 8’s Phil Sanchez on Thursday night on “UnPHILtered” that the new program is designed to give teachers who have good content plans the necessary tools to expand their lesson plans.

“What we developed was a foundation model, an introductory overview of classroom teaching essentials, and that was curated by experienced, masterful teachers across a variety of disciplines in schools,” she said. “The content in that foundation’s model reflects a central lessons and content that we teach with within the College of Education teacher preparation program, and it reflects this kind of recursive loop that we have that our practicing teachers use to help inform what good teacher education should look like.”

Subscription plans to the Teacher-Led, Teacher-Education program start at $9,900 for a year, according to Butler. School districts wanting to get involved can do so by contacting the university’s partnerships lead, Liz Jackson, at 317-940-9315 or