Monday, December 18, 2017
Education

Education foundation is more than $200,000 closer to scholarship goal for urban teachers

TAMPA — The Hillsborough Education Foundation says it has raised $236,000 in private money to get the first class of Urban Teaching Academy students through college.

Donors were led by the Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union Foundation, which gave $95,000, according to an announcement the education foundation issued this week.

That was matched by $80,000 from the education foundation and nonspecified donations from the Bailey Foundation and the Hillsborough County School District.

The education foundation is working to cover tuition and book money for all 29 students who completed the program successfully at Hillsborough, Blake and Middleton high schools. In addition to the private fundraising effort, the foundation is arranging to redirect prepaid scholarships under a state-funded program for about 20 lower-income students.

The foundation still needs to raise close to $100,000 more for these incoming college freshmen, said president Phil Jones. But, because book stipends can be spread over four years, he said he is confident his organization can keep up with the payments.

"The Urban Teaching Academy is one of those great ideas to encourage students to consider a career in teaching," Jones said in the announcement.

"What makes the UTA program special is that these same students will return to teach the next generation of Hillsborough County students."

Although a scholarship account for the Urban Teaching Academy existed at the nonprofit foundation for years, fundraising did not begin in earnest until this spring, when the Tampa Bay Times reported that only $18,000 was in the account.

Already, superintendent MaryEllen Elia had been contacted by parents of the graduating students and was working to find a solution.

At Tuesday's School Board meeting, Elia publicly thanked the foundation and others who assisted her, including Hillsborough Community College and the University of South Florida.

"I'm glad to say that we did accomplish that goal," she said. "These students met their requirements, and they're on their way to college," Elia said.

In exchange for the scholarships, the students agree to return to the Hillsborough district after college and teach at inner-city schools.

A scholarship ceremony is planned on June 25 at the foundation headquarters in West Tampa.

One hundred students remain in the program as rising sophomores, juniors and seniors. Jones said he has already begun arranging prepaid scholarships for those who qualify based on income, and fundraising will continue for the others.

Marlene Sokol can be reached at (813) 226-3356 or [email protected]

Comments
Top USF Health official leaves amid questions of assistant’s special treatment

Top USF Health official leaves amid questions of assistant’s special treatment

TAMPA — A high-ranking University of South Florida Health official has resigned amid internal concerns that he was giving special treatment to his assistant.After an internal investigation, USF System President Judy Genshaft was poised last month to ...
Published: 12/15/17
Hillsborough school district and its teachers are at a bargaining impasse, but still talking

Hillsborough school district and its teachers are at a bargaining impasse, but still talking

TAMPA — A months-long conflict over planned pay raises has moved to a new phase with the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association declaring a bargaining impasse with the public school district.The two sides, which began negotiations in late spring...
Published: 12/15/17
Pinellas schools sheltered thousands during Irma. Here’s what it cost

Pinellas schools sheltered thousands during Irma. Here’s what it cost

Three months later, the Pinellas County school district has totaled up the costs of operating 16 schools as shelters for 25,000 evacuees during Hurricane Irma.The district is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, for a reimbursemen...
Published: 12/15/17
Love of science is the goal, now that every Pinellas elementary school has a lab

Love of science is the goal, now that every Pinellas elementary school has a lab

SEMINOLE — It was hard for the second-graders at Orange Grove Elementary to resist the urge to rush into the school’s science lab and tinker with the colorful objects neatly arranged on each table.Thursday was just their second time in the lab this y...
Published: 12/15/17
Terrace Community Middle School seeks alumni for celebration

Terrace Community Middle School seeks alumni for celebration

Terrace Community Middle School, an award-winning charter school in Thonotosassa, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2018, and the staff is trying to locate alumni, former parents, teachers and staff members to attend its Golden Glam Gala from 6:...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Florida lawmakers want stronger college free speech rules amid First Amendment flareups

Florida lawmakers want stronger college free speech rules amid First Amendment flareups

Rising up in defiance to Richard Spencer, hundreds of University of Florida students sounded off in a deafening chant."Go home, Spencer!" they shouted, as the exasperated white nationalist paced the stage, pleading to be heard.Were the students exerc...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17
Hernando could be next stop for PACE Center for Girls

Hernando could be next stop for PACE Center for Girls

BROOKSVILLE — The new year could bring about new beginnings for at-risk girls in Hernando County.Pending a vote by the School Board next month, PACE Center for Girls, an alternative education program for middle- and high-school students, could open a...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Pasco school district, employees reach contract agreement

The raises for Pasco County school district employees aren’t as high as anyone would like, but they’re now part of a signed tentative contract deal reached just before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.If ratified by the staff and the School Board, the agreements ...
Published: 12/13/17
For Bexley students in Land O’Lakes, math skills go airborne

For Bexley students in Land O’Lakes, math skills go airborne

LAND O’LAKES — At Bexley Elementary School in Land O’Lakes, students are throwing paper airplanes — with the help of a high tech computerized launcher. They’re also bowling — with a little aid from computerized drones. And when they get around to it,...
Published: 12/13/17

Proposal to rollback early learning programs could bring Citrus into Pasco-Hernando coalition

Some Florida lawmakers have not hidden their desire to scale back the statewide number of early learning coalitions that oversee child care and preschool programs, including Voluntary Prekindergarten.The state Office of Early Learning has now issued ...
Published: 12/13/17