Vicente Gonzalez

10/01/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/01/2019 13:23

Congressman Gonzalez Announces $2.6 Million for IDEA Public Schools

WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced that the U.S. Department of Education awarded $2,636,705 to IDEA Public Schools under the Education Innovation and Research (EIR)- Early-Phase Program. The grant will be used to implement the Mathways to STEM Success program which will promote STEM education and serve more the 43,000 high-need students in grades 6 through 12.

Expected outcomes with this funding include improved student performance on district, state, and AP math-related assessments, increased enrollment in AP Computer Science Principles and other STEM coursework, and improved teacher and leader involvement with math curriculum.

'With a strong foundation in math and science, our students can meet the demands of our dynamic and evolving workforce,' said Congressman Gonzalez. 'My hope is that with this funding we can build students' skills, improve teacher outcomes and create a path forward for our students to meet the challenges of tomorrow. I remain devoted to equipping students and teachers with the resources they need to succeed.'

'IDEA Public Schools is thrilled to have received the Education Innovation and Research grant. In 2015, only 3.3% of all bachelor's degrees earned were in Computer and Information Sciences,' says JoAnn Gama, Co-Founder, President and Superintendent of IDEA Public Schools. ' STEM is a part of our future, but the present pipeline is insufficient to meet the workforce demand. K-12 Computer Science course participation is the leading indicator of what degrees and careers students pursue at the university level. Upon completion, this grant will provide access to AP computer science coursework for all IDEA high school students.'

The Mathways to STEM Success program seeks to increase the number of alumni employed in STEM fields and improve college acceptance, matriculation and graduation rates.

Across Texas, IDEA schools currently operate in the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, and Tarrant County with plans to open new schools in Houston and the Permian Basin during the project period. In addition to the educative math curriculum and AP Computer Science courses, this proposal also funds a STEM-focused work-study pilot in Austin and San Antonio, cities that house a robust technological sector.