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Texas Schools Benefit From $9 Million Math & Science Grant
In July 2006 grants of $9 million were given to Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) academics of the Texas Schools. The grants will go to the creation of 12 new academies and centers in the Texas Schools. T-STEM is a program that provides $71 million to various math and science projects at secondary Texas Schools.
The T-STEM project is under the umbrella of the larger Texas High School Project (THSP), which has the goal of increasing graduation and enrollment rates in public Texas Schools. The THSP is funded by both public and private funds in the amount of $261 million. Its partners include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Office of the Governor and others.
Why Fund Math & Science in the Texas Schools?
Concerns that both Texas Schools and American students in general are falling behind in the areas of math and science have increased greatly with recent technology. Federal mandates from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act have also added to pressure for Texas Schools to increase academic performance of its students in these areas. Finally, awareness of an increasing achievement gap between races and economic levels has prompted Texas Schools to make these changes.
According to Texas Governor Rick Perry, “The T-STEM initiative focuses our efforts where they are needed most- in areas where there are a high number of disadvantaged students who are too often left in the shadows of opportunity. This initiative will help us close the science and math gap that exists in our schools today before it becomes a salary gap for tomorrow’s workers, and an opportunity gap for Texas families.”
Methods For Support and Instruction in the Texas Schools
Funds from both the THSP and T-STEM will provide resources, instructional methods, and innovative approaches to better educate students at Texas Schools in math and science related areas. THSP funds are devoted to creating new and redesigned Texas high schools, training teachers, and preparing students for college. The development of five new T-Stem centers will give instructional materials to the schools, offer training to school educators, and evaluate best practices that can be recreated in other Texas Schools.
Charter schools, small schools, and a YES College Preparatory Academy will be funded with the three implementation grants awarded to Texas Schools to open T-STEM academies. Four start-up grants have been provided that will give $480,000 to four new academies that will open in fall of 2007. Educators and Administrators of Texas Schools are hopeful that the launch of the T-STEM programs in 2007 will reverse the trend of the growing achievement gap.
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