Gov. Perry Awards More Than $31 Million in D.A.T.E. Grants to Texas Schools
AUSTIN- Gov. Rick Perry visited schools in Waco, Midland, Abilene, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas to award more than $31 million in funding to school districts participating in the District Awards for Teaching Excellence (D.A.T.E.) grant program. D.A.T.E. supports school districts in creating or maintaining a system of awards for educators who improve student achievement. D.A.T.E. grants combined with Texas Educator Excellence Grants represent the largest teacher incentive programs in the nation.
"There is no financial measure for a young life that is changed, inspired and set on course to fulfill its potential," Gov. Perry said. "We must reward those teachers that break away from the pack and make a positive and lasting influence on our students' education and lives."
The governor was joined by Texas Education Agency Commissioner Robert Scott at Cesar Chavez Middle School in Waco, Clack Middle School in Abilene, Viola M. Coleman High School in Midland to award more than $1 million to each district, and Lackland City Elementary School in San Antonio, J.P. Henderson Elementary School in Houston and Leila P. Cowart Elementary School in Dallas, to award more than $5.4 million, $13 million and $10.5 million, respectively, to each district.
"Recruiting, retaining and rewarding effective educators is important to the agency," Commissioner Scott said. "The D.A.T.E. grant program allows large and small districts, both rural and urban, to address that issue which leads to improved student achievement."
Available for the first time in the 2008-2009 school year, the D.A.T.E. program begins with a $147.5 million appropriation. D.A.T.E. grants differ from other incentive programs by distributing awards to entire school districts rather than one campus. All school districts are eligible to participate and award amounts are determined by dividing the total appropriation by the number of students educated in the districts.
At least 60 percent of the D.A.T.E. funds must be used to reward teachers that positively impact student academic improvement, growth or achievement. The remainder may be used for approved activities such as recruitment and retention of teachers and master teachers, and incentives to principals and other school staff who increase student performance. The more than 200 districts participating in the program educate and employ almost 50 percent of the students and teachers in Texas. They also educate 60 percent of the economically disadvantaged students in the state and 62 percent of the state's ESL (English as a Second Language) students.
Source: Texas Governor's Office
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