New scholarship program hopes to spur careers in education

FILE - GENERIC - Elementary school classroom. (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - GENERIC - Elementary school classroom. (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Being a teacher is a commitment. For Charles Butt, CEO of H-E-B, his commitment to public education means investing in the men and women who educate young minds.

On Monday, H-E-B along with the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation announced the launch of Raising Texas Teachers, a program that will provide $50 million in scholarship funding for students committed to a career in teaching. Over the next 10 years, the scholarship program will grow to include at least 500 teaching fellows annually from more than 10 university teacher preparation programs.

If chosen, each teaching fellow will receive $8,000 per year as part of the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers. And while the money is a nice incentive, recipients will also receive ongoing training and mentorship from seasoned educators.

“Research consistently shows that the strength of the teacher makes the biggest difference in influencing a student’s success,” said Charles Butt in a press release. “To improve academic achievement, it is critical that Texas elevate the status of the teaching profession, strengthen the existing pool of aspiring teachers, and inspire our most talented high school graduates to consider a career in teaching.”

The Texas Workforce Commission indicates the demand for elementary school teachers will grow by nearly 35 percent from 2014-2024.

The following universities are part of the program:

1. Our Lady of the Lake (San Antonio)
2. Rice (Houston)
3. Southern Methodist University (Dallas)
4. Texas A&M University- Special Education program (College Station)
5. Texas Tech University (Lubbock)
6. Trinity University (San Antonio)
7. University of North Texas-Dallas (Dallas)
8. University of Houston (Houston)
9. University of Texas Austin (Austin)
10. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley- Student Teacher Educator Preparation: University Partnership (Edinburg)

“The University of Texas at Austin – UTeach Science Program is thrilled and honored to be chosen as a partner in the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation’s Raising Texas Teachers Program,” said Mark Daniels, Raising Texas Teachers program leader for the UTeach Science Program at the University of Texas. “We look forward to building collaborations and a community of practice in support of effective teacher preparation in Texas.”

Earlier this year, Butt announced a $100 million investment to create the Holdsworth Center in Austin. The center provides leadership training for 1,200 Texas public school leaders, from principals to superintendents.

 

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