In a move that will save the district about $11,000, San Marcos CISD trustees voted Monday to partner with Texas State University to bring teacher fellows to school campuses.

The fellows program partnership allows three students pursuing their master's degree to serve as regular classroom teachers, and for every three fellows hired, the district will be required to employ one exchange, or mentor, teacher from SMCISD that will model teach, collaborate on lesson planning, discuss classroom-management issues and provide feedback to the fellows.

The fellows will get an $18,000 stipend in lieu of salary.

The district will pay Texas State the equivalent of two first-year teacher salaries—about $94,000—with no additional benefit costs. Texas State will use that money to distribute the $18,000 stipends as well as cover the program administration costs, fellows' tuition and fees, and mileage for exchange teachers. Texas State will also provide worker's compensation and the option to purchase low-cost health benefits through the University Health Center.

The exchange teachers will be required to make weekly visits to Texas State's campus to provide the fellows with on-site assistance.

Graduate students have until April 1 to apply for the fellows program. A screening and interview process—performed jointly between Texas State and SMCISD—will be held throughout the month of April, and fellows will be selected May 9.

The contract will end July 15, 2019.

"I think this is a great program; it’s really exciting, and I'm glad we’re doing it," trustee Anne Halsey said prior to the vote.