INDIANAPOLIS - House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) says he hopes the "Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship" will encourage students to pursue a career in education in Indiana. The Indiana General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 1002 Thursday, which aims to keep prospective teachers in the state.

Under the program, eligible students would receive up to $7,500 per year to cover tuition, provided they commit to teaching in Indiana schools for at least five years. Bosma, who authored the bill, says the Commission for Higher Education will be responsible for implementing the program, for which $10 million has been appropriated.

"It's my hope that (the bill) sends the message that we honor and value our teaching professionals and we want to honor and value them in the future," Bosma said prior to the House vote on the bill.

Among the eligibility requirements, students must have graduated in the top 20 percent of their class or received a score in the top 20th percentile on their SAT or ACT exam. After receiving the scholarship, students must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and be enrolled in at least 15 credit hours per semester.

The bill caps the number of scholarship recipients at 200 students per academic year. An individual recipient cannot receive more than $30,000 total.

The bill now heads to Governor Mike Pence's desk for his signature.