One district is willing to pay teachers more money in order to make up for a lost program that mentored new teachers. 

Lawmakers sliced the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program, or KTIP, from the state budget earlier this year. 

But at Elizabethtown Independent Schools, district leaders said the internship program was so valuable that they're willing to pay extra to keep it around.

"I just can't imagine starting teaching and not having that resource right there with me," said Michelle Motley, a former teacher and principal who is now Director of Personnel at EIS.

KTIP placed any new teacher with a mentor teacher in the building. It's was a go-to person for classroom observations and coaching, which was crucial when Motley was a new teacher.

"I remember back to my first days, and the nightmares. Oh, what am I gonna do? How am I gonna do this? It's scary your first year," she said.

Now, Motley is trying to figure out how the small school district can afford to continue the program independently.

"These teachers are young, excited, fresh out of school, and they need to be given a chance," she said.

Now, that means either asking teachers to do it on their own or the district electing to pay them more. Motley said that's what school leaders are leaning toward right now: paying mentors extra, by the hour.

"After school hours, Saturdays, Sundays, a lot of times teachers are in our buildings planning on Sundays... those hours would be paid for," she said.

But working with more demands and fewer dollars is daunting. 

"It's been very difficult," Motley said. "But we're going to keep going, and keep striving, because that's what we do for our students." 

The district will finalize its plan before the upcoming school year.

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