Restore Funding for Tuition Exemption for Educational Aides
Since 1997 the Educational Aide Exemption program has opened doors for many teacher assistants to achieve their dream of becoming teachers by allowing them to attend public colleges or universities tuition-free while seeking teacher certification. The State Board for Educator Certification has found an exceptionally high teacher-retention rate among those who complete their degrees and become teachers by this route, mostly because the assistants already have classroom experience and are well-equipped to handle the rigors of the profession.
Last year the legislature zeroed out funding for the program for 2012-2013 as part of its overall demolition of the state education budget, and some participants were left in the middle of their degree program with no scholarship assistance. Additionally, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has not included restoration of funding for this program in its budget request for 2014-15.
Tell your legislators and the THECB that this valuable program should be funded and promoted to provide a key resource for recruiting much-needed help to the teaching profession.
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