Texas Instruments Unveils $3 Million in STEM Teacher Grants
The Texas Instruments Foundation, TI's non-profit philanthropic arm, has unveiled $3 million in grants to support teachers of science and math to help deal with impending shortages of teachers in these subjects, particularly in Texas.
According to forecasts cited by the foundation in making the announcement, schools in the United States will need an additional 280,000 mathematics and science teachers by 2015 and an additional 16,000 in Texas just to "fill vacancies and replace teachers who are not fully certified to teach math and science."
The new grants will be administered through two separate programs: Laying the Foundation and UTeach. Of the two, UTeach is the more broadly applicable program. It will provide $1.5 million to help prepare undergraduates at three Texas universities for careers as secondary math and science teachers. Funds will be used, according to TI, to "provide a total of seven master teachers at the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Texas at Arlington. Each master teacher will work alongside senior faculty to prepare more than 50 undergraduate students each year for certification in math or science." In addition, the UTeach centers at the University of North Texas and University of Texas at Dallas will be expanded using grant funds, and, through a separate program, a center will be established at the University of Texas at Arlington.
The second program, Laying the Foundation, will provide another $1.5 million to pay for "advanced training" for teachers in 10 Texas middle schools in three districts--Dallas Independent School District, Garland Independent School District, and Richardson Independent School District. (According to the foundation, in Texas, about 30 percent of science teachers in middle schools and high schools do not even have a minor in science.) Laying the Foundation is designed to fund:
- Improvement of teaching in pre-AP courses;
- Assessment of students before and after courses; and
The foundation also pointed out that about half of math and science teachers leave their jobs within the first five years. So the program will provide "potential financial incentives of about $4,500 per teacher to encourage retention over the next five years."
Further information about the TI Foundation's giving programs can be found here.