AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced that 36 applicants, representing Texas school districts and educator preparation programs including Fort Hancock ISD, have been awarded funding through the 2019-2021 Grow Your Own Grant Program, Cycle 2.
Grow Your Own grants will be used to encourage high school students to consider teaching as a career, as well as paraprofessionals and teacher aides to pursue certification. The grant will also assist recipients in providing support to student teachers during their year-long clinical teaching or intensive pre-service experience prior to their first year of teaching full time.
“Research shows that 60 percent of educators in the United States teach within 20 miles of where they went to high school,” said Commissioner Morath. “Because we know our future teachers are currently in our high schools, the goal of Grow Your Own is to help increase the quality and diversity of our teaching force and to better support our paraprofessionals, teacher’s aides and educators, especially in small and rural school districts.”
This initiative comes as a direct recommendation from Commissioner Morath’s Texas Rural Schools Task Force, whose members identified this priority issue and presented a strong recommendation to address it.
Based on information shared in the applications of grant recipients, 2019-2021 Grow Your Own grants will fund:
- 51 current teachers to receive stipends to lead Education and Training courses, including for dual credit, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year;
- 123 paraprofessionals to receive a bachelor’s and teacher certification and project them to be full-time teachers starting the 2021-2022 school year;
- 51 paraprofessionals to receive a teacher certification and project them to be full-time teachers starting the 2020-2021 school year;
- 15 teacher candidates to participate in an intensive pre-service experience and project them to be full-time teachers starting in the 2019-2020 school year;
- 94 teacher candidates to participate in a year-long clinical teaching placement and project them to be full-time teachers starting the 2020-2021 school year; and
- 52 high schools to start or grow Education and Training programs.
The Grow Your Own initiative supports TEA’s Strategic Priority to recruit, support, and retain teachers and principals.