CLEVELAND, Miss. (AP) -- Teach for America's ranks continue to grow in Mississippi.
This fall marks the 20th anniversary of the two-year teaching program's start in the state, with as many as 400 Mississippi teachers serving.
Group members account for less than 2 percent of the 34,000 teachers statewide, but make up a larger portion of first-year teachers, especially in the Delta.
The program aims to recruit smart people who might otherwise never set foot in a classroom. School districts pay a regular salary. TFA pays for training. Nationwide, some TFA teachers end up in big-city schools, but in Mississippi most work in small-town and rural districts.
Most districts that hire TFA teachers have trouble recruiting elsewhere. Of the 27 such districts last year, all but two are on Mississippi's teacher shortage list.