V.I.S.D. receives grant from TEA’s Grow Your Own program

You can view the outline of funding allocations by visiting https://www.visd.net/article/536711
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Photo contributed by Victoria I.S.D.

VICTORIA, Texas – Victoria I.S.D. received a $114,000 grant as part of the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Grow Your Own (GYO) program.

V.I.S.D. opted to use the grant money to help paraprofessionals, specifically instructional aides, throughout the district become certified teachers. A maximum of six candidates are allowed to participate per district in this program, beginning in the 2022-23 school year. Each candidate in the program will receive between $7,500 to $18,000 in tuition reimbursement. Reimbursement amounts will depend on whether they receive both a bachelor’s degree and certification or certification only.

V.I.S.D. will select candidates for the program through a survey-selection process.

To be considered for selection, applicants must:

  • Not already hold a teacher certification in the state of Texas or currently be the teacher
    of record for any position they intend to fill after certification
  • Already have a minimum of 75 credit hours towards a bachelor’s degree
  • Have the capacity to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and teacher certification within
    the timeline of the grant
  • Be able to serve as a full-time teacher of record the semester after completing their
    certification
  • They must currently be employed as a paraprofessional or instructional aide within VISD during the
    2021-22 school year
  • Have been serving in a capacity in which the majority of their time is spent assisting
    certified teachers in instructional activities

“What better place to find teachers than in our own paraprofessionals,” said Lisa Cortez, director of professional staff for VISD. “They have chosen to teach, and they know and are committed to our students, staff and community.”

Grow Your Own grant funding was awarded through the Texas COVID Learning Acceleration Supports (TCLAS) program. Victoria I.S.D. received over $5 million total through the program. You can view the outline of funding allocations by visiting https://www.visd.net/article/536711.