The Texas Education Agency has named the Socorro Independent School District a 2018-2019 Grow Your Own grant recipient.
Grow Your Own helps school districts cultivate interest in teaching careers and facilitates the entry of qualified, diverse candidates into the profession.
“We are extremely humbled to have been awarded the Grow Your Own grant,” said SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza. “We work proactively to ensure our teachers, both current and future, are highly qualified and effective educators. This grant will further enhance our efforts to give our staff the support they need to succeed!”
SISD paraprofessionals, instructional aides and long-term substitutes will have the opportunity to transition into full-time teaching roles with the Grow Your Own funding. The grant will provide five instructional aides $10,000 each to obtain a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certification. In addition, five other instructional aides will receive $5,000 to use toward a teaching certification.
“I commend SISD for this honorable achievement,” said State Rep. Mary Gonzalez in a letter. “I am very much looking forward to seeing how this funding will further Socorro ISD’s efforts to continue strengthening its teaching force.”
Grant funding also will benefit 36 SISD students in the Texas Association of Future Educators program. The future educators will receive $300 each to attend state TAFE competitions.
“The goal of Grow Your Own is to help increase the quality and diversity of our teaching force, especially in small and rural school districts,” said Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath in a press release. “This initiative comes as a direct result of recent work from our Texas Rural Schools Task Force, whose members identified this priority issue and presented a strong recommendation to address it.”
SISD was one of only 25 school districts in the state, and the only one in the region, to win the award.