Once hired, Fellows are considered full-time employees of Chicago Public Schools, with the same starting salary as other first-year teachers. In recent years, first-year teachers earned approximately $47,250 annually; teachers with a master’s degree were eligible to earn supplemental pay (around $3,000 annually).*
Teachers typically receive their first paycheck at the end of the first month of teaching in the fall.
Fellows are also eligible for the same comprehensive benefits as all new teachers working in the district. These benefits include medical, dental, vision, and life insurance coverage--all of which usually go into effect at the end of the first month of teaching. For more specific information on benefits, please contact the CPS Human Resources department at (773) 553-HR4U or visit the CPS Human Resources website.
* First-year teacher salary and benefits for the 2013-2014 school year will be confirmed upon agreements between CPS and CTU in the summer of 2013.
Financial Assistance and Program Costs
Chicago Teaching Fellows is currently a member of the AmeriCorps national service network. Chicago Teaching Fellows in the 2013 cohort may be eligible to enroll in the Teaching Fellow-AmeriCorps Education Award Program (TF-AEAP) and receive an AmeriCorps Education Award in exchange for their year of service as a teacher in a high-need school. The opportunity to participate in TF-AEAP is contingent upon grant funding and we will not receive notification on whether or not we will receive funding until June, 2013. Fellows will be notified of their eligibility upon entering Pre-Service Training. We cannot guarantee that 2013 Fellows will have the opportunity to receive the AmeriCorps Education Award at this time.
For more information about the education award, go to www.edaward.org and www.americorps.gov.
Chicago Teaching Fellows with Stafford and Perkins loans may be eligible for loan deferment or forgiveness. For details about eligibility, please contact your loan provider directly to confirm whether programs are available for individuals who make a commitment to teach full-time in under-resourced schools. You may also visit the Federal Student Aid website for more information about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.
If you have private student loans, we encourage you to contact your lender to see if they participate in a loan-forgiveness program for teaching in high-need schools.
There is a $25 application fee to apply to the Chicago Teaching Fellows program.
CTF is unable to provide financial assistance for testing fees and/or travel expenses to and from an interview event.
Fellows are responsible for tuition and fees for TNTP Academy, a one-year certification program. For the 2012 Cohort, this amount totaled $5,500*.
*Bilingual Education Fellows will also be responsible for one-year of Dominican University coursework tuition of approximately $9,000 - $11,000. Please note that universities may increase tuition on a yearly basis, meaning that Dominican tuition for the 2013-2014 school year may potentially increase.
Fellows are responsible for the cost of tuition and program fees, and payment plans will be available. If a Fellow is interested in pursuing a loan to pay for the cost of tuition, he/she must do so independently, as eligibility differs for each person.
Fellows are responsible for the costs associated with registering their certification with the Illinois State Board of Education and with Chicago Public Schools. In addition, Fellows will have to take a TB test, drug test, and have their fingerprints processed for a background check as part of the enrollment and district hiring process. Fellows are responsible for these costs.
Managing the Financial Transition
After securing a teaching position, Fellows begin earning a regular salary and benefits from CPS upon the first day of teaching for the school year; once employed, a Fellow becomes a CPS employee. However, due to district payroll cycles, Fellows often do not receive their first paycheck until the end of August or even mid-to-late September. Therefore, planning for the financial transition into the classroom requires critical consideration during the application process.
We recognize that it takes careful preparation to plan for a prolonged period of time without a paycheck. Many of our Fellows have handled this reality by starting early and creating a detailed plan for income coverage. Here is a compilation of several ideas to help you manage the financial transition:
1. Start planning now
Assess your needs and determine the amount of money that you will need for living expenses throughout the Pre-Service Training and into the beginning of the school year, keep in mind that the summer is unpaid and Fellows may be subject to certification and district enrollment fees during the summer; revise your budget, assess your savings, and begin setting aside money from your current job to cover those expenses.
2. Research part-time job possibilities
Although the program involves an intense time commitment, some of our participants decide that a job on the weekends or at night is necessary for their situation. Check into the retail or food service industries for the most flexible hours. Consider tutoring privately or with an education service provider.
3. Contact a financial institution
They may be able to offer you the best rate for a short-term loan or other forms of credit. Many student loan programs offer low interest loans for professional development and continuing education. The federal government also offers loan forgiveness options to educators as well.
4. Contact your creditors
Discuss your change in career and ask for extensions on bill payments, extended lines of credit, or short-term loan options. You may also be able to find "good-faith" credit based on you securing a job in the fall.
5. Explore additional resources
In the meantime, we encourage applicants to visit the following website for additional resources and information: Federal Loan Forgiveness http://www.myedaccount.com/