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Attracting and retaining a racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse teacher workforce is vital to reflect the diversity of Minnesota’s student population.

The goal of Come Teach in Minnesota is to support districts and charter schools in recruiting and retaining teachers who are American Indian or teachers of color to move to and teach in Minnesota.

Program Summary

The Come Teach in Minnesota Program is a competitive grant administered be the Minnesota Department of Education. It provides funding for districts or charter schools to offer hiring bonuses for licensed teachers who are American Indian or people of color who move to Minnesota. Hiring bonuses can be offered to teachers who:

Staff receiving a hiring bonus must be employed as a classroom teacher. Teachers on special assignment (TOSA), school nurses, guidance counselors, or other related-service personnel are not eligible for this program.

Hiring and Retention Bonus

Eligible teachers hired by participating employers may receive a hiring bonus up to $5,000. Additionally, if a teacher who received a hiring bonus successfully completes four years of service in the hiring district or charter school, that teacher can receive a retention bonus equal to their hiring bonus.

Getting Licensed to Teach in Minnesota

Those who wish to teach in K-12 public schools in Minnesota must earn a professional educator’s license. The Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board, PELSB, is the state agency that oversees teacher licensing.

Minnesota has a tiered system for educator licensure with four different levels, or tiers, available depending on a candidate’s educational attainment, experience, assessment scores, and evaluation. A Tier 2 or higher license is required to be eligible for the Come Teach in Minnesota hiring and retention bonuses.

Most candidates with prior teaching experience who are coming from out-of-state apply for either a Tier 2 or Tier 3 license. To qualify for a Tier 2 license, a candidate must have a job offer with a Minnesota public school and meet Tier 2 requirements. Tier 2 candidates do not need to meet testing requirements.

A Tier 3 does not require a job offer, but it does require that you meet testing requirements prior to applying for licensure.

View the visual guide to tiered licensure requirements in Minnesota.

Both Tier 2 and Tier 3 applications can be found on PELSB’s Apply for a License webpage.


Funds for hiring bonuses are available to certain district organizations for a limited window of time. See the below list of employers that are currently a part of the program.

Current Employers (active until October, 2023)

Previous Participating Employers (January, 2022 to October, 2022)

Get Free 1-on-1 Career Guidance

Get advice and answers when you talk to a Come Teach in MN navigator. Click below to schedule your free, 15-minute telephone session.

Come Teach in MN navigators are familiar with districts and charter schools across Minnesota, and with the licensing process. They can help you determine the best path for finding a teaching job in Minnesota based on where you are now and where you want to be. They can also connect you directly with school leaders that are interested in hiring.