Gov. Perry Announces Program to Improve and Expand T-STEM Academies
RICHARDSON – Gov. Rick Perry today announced a $160 million initiative to expand the number and scope of Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (T-STEM) academies, an initiative he established in 2005. T-STEM academies have successfully provided young Texans with the resources they need to succeed in the increasingly competitive global economy. The governor spoke at Berkner High School, a T-STEM academy.
“Accelerating the pace of our high-tech education is essential to maintaining a globally competitive workforce,” Gov. Perry said. “This will continue to provide Texas students the opportunity to pursue the education they need as they fulfill their potential and keep Texas moving into the future.”
Nearly 90 percent of T-STEM academies are exemplary or recognized, and all are meeting state standards. Gov. Perry is proposing to double the number of T-STEM academies from 46 to 92, significantly increasing the number of students attending the academies. Some of the new academies would focus on providing opportunities to students in biomedical fields, and some academies will be laboratory schools that provide student teaching and other professional development opportunities to improve T-STEM education at classrooms throughout the state.
The governor is also proposing a $100 million T-STEM Challenge Scholarship for students at universities, community colleges and technical colleges pursuing degrees and certifications in the science, technology, engineering, math or medical fields. The scholarships will promote innovative approaches to recruiting, retaining and graduating students in T-STEM disciplines, and emphasize partnerships between higher education institutions, industry partners and T-STEM education programs.
“Texas has opened more than three dozen T-STEM academies over the past few years,” Education Commissioner Robert Scott said. “Not only do students find these classes exciting and challenging, but they provide them with a solid foundation that prepares them for college and the work place.”
The initiative will also greatly expand the UTeach Program, a nationally recognized program focused on recruiting university students earning math and science degrees into teaching, to five additional higher education institutions, and expand the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program to 50 additional high schools.
Ensuring that Texas remains a leader in job creation depends on the development of our workforce and is imperative to Texas’ future prosperity. Building on successful initiatives like T-STEM academies and legislation such as House Bill 3 of the 81st Legislative Session, which holds schools accountable for graduating college- and career-ready students, helps ensure future generations of Texans have the educational foundation necessary to compete and win in the increasingly competitive global economy.
The governor will work with lawmakers over the next several months to implement this initiative and secure funding during the 82nd Legislative Session.
Director, Texas Instruments Corporate Citizenship
T-STEM Academy at Burkner High School