Education: TI Grants $7M for STEM, AT&T Foundation Donates to UTD, TSU Opens $40M Building in Fort Worth

From higher education projects (UT Dallas, TSU) to K-12 initiatives (Frisco ISD, Dallas ISD), here's your briefing on what's going on in education in North Texas.

Whats new, next, and reimagined in Dallas-Fort Worth EducationThere’s a lot happening in the education landscape in Dallas-Fort Worth.

From higher education initiatives and a new campus, to STEM education and funding, here’s some of what’s new and next.

HIGHER EDUCATION

AT&T Foundation grants $75K to UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas has announced that it received $75,000 in funding for its Academic Bridge and Future Comets programs.

The two programs provide advising and tutoring for students preparing for college and STEM jobs. 

“The students who benefit from these programs are among the best and brightest in the world,” Dr. Richard C. Benson, president of UT Dallas, said in a statement. “They are our future leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Thanks to programs like these and the generous support of partners like AT&T, many more students will have the chance to realize their dreams.”

This isn’t the first time that the AT&T Foundation has contributed in this way—in 2010, the foundation put $220,000 toward the Academic Bridge Program. 

First building opens at Tarleton State University’s new Fort Worth campus

A $40 million building is just the beginning of TSU’s new campus, as reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The new digs are about an hour’s drive away from TSU’s main campus in Stephenville.

TSU’s Fort Worth campus is located on Chisholm Trail Parkway in southwest Fort Worth, where over 1,700 students enrolled. By 2030, TSU hopes to have 9,000 students at its Fort Worth campus.

The new 76,000-square-foot space features classrooms, offices, a study area, a gym, and more. Construction will begin in 2021, at the earliest.

There’s also already a second building in the works for the 80-acre site. TSU said it is receiving an additional $70 million to construct it, which is expected to be used for the university’s College of Education and School of Kinesiology.

K-12

Texas Instruments and the TI Foundation grant $7M combined for STEM

Texas Instruments and its corresponding nonprofit, the TI Foundation, have donated a total of $7M in U.S. education grants this year—a majority of which will go to local nonprofit education organizations.

Over 250,000 students and 7,000 educators are expected to be affected by these grants, with 93 percent of the grant money targeting under-resourced students. More than 97 percent of the funds will go toward STEM-related programs.

TI pointed to data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to back up its investments in STEM education, noting that eighth grade math scores are a significant indicator for future academic success. TI said that performance gaps for under-resourced students are higher than for other groups.

“For years, TI and the TI Foundation have invested heavily in education initiatives with nonprofit partners in North Texas to improve teacher effectiveness and student learning outcomes in STEM-related subjects,” Andy Smith, the TI Foundation’s executive director and TI’s director of corporate philanthropy, said in a statement. “NAEP data paints an alarming picture of why it’s so important to invest in local education, and why we can’t let students back away from math and science.”

Among the North Texas schools that have received funding this year from TI are:

  • The National Math and Science Initiative College Readiness Program for three additional schools, Cedar Hill, Desoto, and Duncanville
  • Advanced Placement study sessions for Mesquite
  • Continued support for Teach for America in Dallas
  • Urban Teachers teacher preparation residency program for Dallas ISD and local KIPP and Uplift Education schools

Frisco ISD adds $2.2M to 2019-20 budget for substitute teachers and aides

Frisco ISD’s need for substitute teachers has increased by around 14 percent during the past two years, while the need for aides has increased by more than 40 percent. That’s why Frisco is working to improve its substitute system. 

To make sure this happens, the district is contracting ESS South Central, a substitute sourcing company, to add $2.2 million to this year’s budget. The new contract is expected to increase Frisco ISD’s current pool of substitute teachers from 1,000-1,100 to 1,500-2,000, according to Community Impact Newspaper

ESS is expected to offer training, benefits, and a 401(k) in an effort to raise the amount of substitutes at schools struggling to fill absences. The company will be creating a plan specific to Frisco ISD, where substitutes will be able to earn weekly pay, as well as enjoy recently increased pay rates.

FISD’s goal is to fill 95 percent of absences, which Anna Koenig, the district’s managing director of human resources, believes is attainable with ESS.

Two DFW-based organizations team up to donate $10K

Keller’s Music Movement and Plano’s My Possibilities are partnering to sponsor people wanting to attend Camp Summit. 

The donation will go to those wishing to attend Camp Summit this September, and in the future. The camp is a “one-of-a-kind” experience for people with disabilities, emphasizing their abilities with fun activities like swimming and games, according to a statement.

Music Movement’s mission is to help young people with autism spectrum disorder and other learning differences through music-based programs, scholarships, and events. My Possibilities offers education and training to adults with disabilities.

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