Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry Announces $2 Million Grant to Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD to Expand Early College Program

Emphasizes importance of science, technology, engineering and math
Thursday, May 13, 2010  •  San Juan, Texas  •  Press Release

Gov. Rick Perry today emphasized the importance of an education in the science, technology, engineering and math fields in ensuring Texas students are prepared to enter the global workforce. The governor announced the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District (PSJA ISD) had been awarded a $2 million All Students: College Ready, College Connected grant through the Texas Education Agency.

"As technology shrinks our world, it brings us into closer competition with people all over the globe who want the same jobs we do. If students are going to experience a successful, prosperous career, they need an education that will equip them to compete in the global marketplace," Gov Perry said. "The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district is part of a larger effort across the state to continue improving the quality of a Texas education and ensure every student graduates ready for college or career."

The school district will receive $1.1 million for the first year of the grant, with $2 million total awarded over the next two years. This grant will allow PSJA ISD to expand its successful early college high school program to the entire district, while combining it with a focused STEM education. Through this grant, more than 60 percent of the 8,000 PSJA ISD high school students will experience college-for-all accelerated programs by the 2013-2014 school year, and at least 30 percent of the 1,600 middle school students will be in accelerated programs.

"As a result of what we expect to happen here in PSJA, school districts in Texas and across the country will have a working model that shows how a district can partner with institutions of higher education and work with its community to create college and career opportunities for all students," Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott said.

Ensuring that Texas remains a leader in job creation depends on the development of our workforce and is imperative to Texas' future prosperity. The governor has proposed 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, as well as fund STEM scholarships. 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, Texas is ensuring future generations of students have the educational foundation necessary to compete and win in the increasingly competitive global economy.

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