The Texas A&M University System’s focus on preparing teachers for Texas public schools recently earned a $440,000 grant from the Texas Education Agency to support 20 prospective teachers to teach in six West Texas school districts.
The grant will help meet the workforce demands and improve the quality of teaching in Canyon, Dumas, Friona, Olton, Perryton and Stratford independent school districts by supporting 20 demographically representative teacher candidates while they earn their bachelor’s degree from West Texas A&M University.
“We teach Texas, and we are honored the Texas Education Agency thinks our innovative efforts at The Texas A&M University System are worth investing in,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System.
West Texas A&M University is taking part in We Teach Texas, an A&M system-wide focus on recruiting and training the next generation of Texas classroom teachers.
“The Educator Preparation Program at WTAMU focuses on meeting the K-12th grade educational workforce needs in the Texas Panhandle and beyond. This grant will support the preparation of future teachers in our area who are committed to remaining in our rural school communities to serve with excellence the children of the Panhandle. This is an exciting development for our University and for our region,” Dr. Eddie Henderson, Dean of the College of Education and Social Sciences, said.
The 11 universities of The Texas A&M University System produce more fully certified teachers than any other university system in Texas, and have the highest number of teachers remaining in the profession for the for the first five years of their career.
“The Texas A&M University System is proud to be an integral partner in the Grow Your Own initiative,” Sharp said. “Working together with our partners at the TEA and in the six rural West Texas school districts, we will be able to recruit, support and retain the teachers and principals’ needs.”
The TEA’s Grow Your Own initiative comes as a direct recommendation from Commissioner of Education Mike Morath’s Texas Rural Schools Task Force, whose members identified this priority issue and presented a strong recommendation to address it.