One class of Urban Teaching Academy students taken care of
The Hillsborough Education Foundation says it can meet the scholarship needs of 29 recent graduates of the district's Urban Teaching Academy Program, featured here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/first-class-of-hillsboroughs-struggling-urban-teaching-academy-graduates/1233916
Twenty of the students are expected to receive prepaid scholarships through a state-funded program for children from lower-income families. The foundation purchased the plans years ago and has them in its treasury. Some of the intended recipents decided not to go to college; others did not use all their credits. At a meeting this week, foundation board members agreed to "redirect" the plans to the urban teaching students.
Tuition for the other nine students -- and an estimated 21 from the classes of 2013, 2014 and 2015 -- will come from an ongoing fundraising campaign. Donors can visit the foundation website at this link: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/hef. "It's a very worthwhile cause," said president Phil Jones.
Jones was brand-new to the job when the Tampa Bay Times reported this spring that the program had only $18,000 in its scholarship fund. Shortly before the news report, a group of parents from Middleton High School wrote to superintendant MaryEllen Elia, alerting her to the shortfall. Since then, Elia and the foundation have scrambled to find money.
The program, launched in 2008 at Hillsborough, Blake and Middleton high schools, promised college tuition and book funds to students who completed the program successfully and agreed to return after college and teach three years at urban schools in the district.
At parent meetings last month, the students were asked to sign contracts such as the one attached.